An author once said, “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” (Robert Fulgham)
We have come here today to celebrate the marriage of NAME and NAME. They have come a long way to get where they are, and they have chosen to be together and to care for each other each step of the way. The mutual weirdness they call love began when they met. It continued through all of the challenges and adventures they faced, staying by each other’s side through it all. Now they are here, sharing with all of us this very significant day when they officially become a married couple.
To find inspiration for life, love and happiness, all we have to do is look around us. For many thousands of years, we humans have looked up at the stars, at the natural world we live in, and down into the tiniest of particles.
American astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson recently said, “The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.”
These two wonderful people have created the love between them. Love may begin as a powerful feeling and an emotional experience, but a real lasting love comes from a decision that people make to be committed to one another. Real love is a choice to nurture, share, and to act in loving, caring ways toward each other. To use the words of Neil de Grasse Tyson, these two have manufactured new meaning and generated new motivation in life, together.
Astrophysicist Carl Sagan famously stated:
“As long as there have been humans, we have searched for our place in the cosmos. Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions, and by the depth of our answers.
“All of the rocks we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.
“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
And Carl Sagan was right. When we look out at the stars, and the amazing intricacies of nature, when we wonder what it all means and why we matter, somehow the simple act of loving transcends all of it and gives us a place of belonging, a reason for being.
Vows and Rings
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another: acquaintance, co-conspirator, friend, companion, lover, fellow star-gazer. As you look at one another, remember that you are here today together, not because of any religious or civic law, but out of a desire to love and be loved by another person absolutely, without limitation. Now you shall say these simple words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this– is my husband, this– is my wife.
[Option 1, repeated vows and ring exchange]
NAME, do you have the ring? As you place the ring on NAME’s finger, please repeat after me:
“I, NAME, promise to you, NAME,
that I will be your faithful husband/wife,
I vow to love and respect you
through all of life’s adventures,
I promise to be honest and compassionate
to care for you and comfort you
I vow to share myself with you
to grow with you
and to keep the kid in you alive
for as long as we both live in this universe together.
[Option 2, “I do’s and ring exchange]
Now, I ask each of you to affirm your decision to join your lives together as a married couple, as you exchange rings, a tangible symbol of the love and commitment you share.
Do you, NAME, take NAME to be your husband/wife? Do you promise to remain loyal to him/her
with every atom of your being,
to live and laugh together as you make sense of the world,
caring for him/her through all of life’s sorrow and happiness
and everything in between, from this day forward?
Place the ring on NAME’s finger.
Love gives us a purpose, and brings meaning to our lives.
NAME and NAME, as you embark on life’s great journey of marriage together:
May you always be able to make each other laugh, and to always find the humor and fun in life.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another!
NAME and NAME, I am honored to now pronounce you married/husband and wife.
Congratulations! You may kiss!
(If you like this, I also suggest “Scientific Romance” by Tim Pratt, and the piece from “The Amber Spyglass” by Phil Pullman, more from Richard Feinman, Diane Ackerman as well as additional quotes from Carl Sagan, which can all be found on my Readings page.)