The Art of Marriage, Revised 3-10-2022

Welcome Message

Welcome, and thank you all for being here. We have come together to share this day with NAME and NAME as they become a married couple. We celebrate their friendship and love, and reflect on what it means to love another person in a married relationship.

Reading

There is a poetic essay that has been read at weddings for over 50 years, titled, “The Art of Marriage”, and I’d like to share some of it with you today. It speaks about what love really is in everyday life, and in it’s simplicity, offers some of the best advice that can be given to a couple embarking on one of the most meaningful and challenging journeys in life: to be not just married, but happily married.

“Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the Art of Marriage the little things are the important things.

It means never being too old to hold hands, or to say I love you each and every day.
It’s never going to bed angry, and having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It’s doing things for each other, not as a sacrifice, but because it makes you happy;
It is not looking for perfection in each other and yet seeing each other as perfect just as you are.

The Art of Marriage is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor in all aspects of your relationship;
it is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It’s not only marrying the right partner, it’s being the right partner.”

I love that last line. Being the right partner. It means you consider your responsibility to be the “right” partner, and you want to keep being the right partner. Being the right partner isn’t just a thing you are, it is a continual process. It’s a creative endeavor, and just as in any art, there are many methods and mediums as you paint your relationship across the canvas of life. (or sculpt into the stone, etc) 

One of those methods is through understanding each other’s “love languages”. This is the concept that each of us has innate ways of wanting to be loved, and of showing our love in return. Some need spoken words, to hear “I love you” every day. Some need to touch and be touched often to feel secure in love. Some, to have quality time together. And there are those who need to receive gifts or acts of service to know they are cared for, as equally there are those who genuinely show their love in these ways.

The art is in finding how you can both be fulfilled by your natural needs to love and be loved. It’s doing that extra chore when the other has had a hard day; it’s using your words to let them know you still think they’re an amazing person; it’s cooking a meal, or picking up their favorite ice cream; or perhaps it’s just being together, snuggling on the couch watching your favorite show.

It’s those little things that make your partnership more than just a marriage and a commitment. It’s those little things that add up to a lifetime of moments of loving each other.

Vows & Exchange of Rings

NAME and NAME, you’ve come here to make this official commitment, binding your lives together, because you love each other with all the artistry it takes to create a beautiful marriage.

NAME, do you have the ring? As you place the ring on NAME’s finger, please repeat after me:

“I, NAME, want you, NAME, to be my married partner,
I vow to honor and respect you,
to be honest in my words and actions,
to co-create our life together,
and to strive to be the right partner for you
as you are for me.

I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you.

Closing

As you officially begin your marriage: Speak your truths to each other, respect yourselves, and practice art in the ways you communicate your love. If each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be filled with happiness and love.

Announcement

NAME and NAME, having witnessed your vows with all who have joined us here, I am honored to announce that you are now officially married. You may kiss.

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