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 [x years ago]. 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.
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. These two have manufactured new meaning and generated new motivation in life, through this love that they have nurtured.
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
As you look at one another, remember what brought you here. Your love, yes, but also all of the decisions you have made to keep your love growing. You each have come to recognize the value in yourselves and your relationship – that you are both deserving of love and worth the effort that goes into loving each other. You will share a few words here today that will transform your lives. It is not the words themselves that hold power, but your true intentions that give those words meaning as vows to one another. You approached this ceremony as two people who love each other. When you step away, it will be as a married couple, and you’ll say to the world, this – is my husband/wife/partner, this – is my husband/wife/partner. With this in mind, I ask you both to confirm your intentions to marry:
Do you, NAME and NAME, wish to be partners in marriage? Do you promise to be true to each other, even as you remain true to yourselves, to live and laugh together as you make sense of the world, sharing all of life’s adventures from this day forward?
“I do/we do.”
Please repeat after me:
“I, NAME, want you, NAME, to be my husband/wife/partner, and for myself to be your husband/wife/partner. I vow to love and respect you in my actions, in my words, and in my heart, to be open and honest with you, to care for you and comfort you, and I vow to grow with you for as long as we live in this universe together.
Do you have the ring? Place the ring on NAME’s finger.
As you embark on life’s great journey of marriage together: Remember what you’ve shared here today. Remember to choose love in your actions and words. And, through your choices, may your love continue to grow throughout all of the years you will be together.
NAME and NAME, I am honored to now pronounce you husband/wife/partner and husband/wife/partner. 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.)