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We worked long and hard on our ceremony and vows, drawing from many sources, rewriting, and at times writing from scratch. Only a small handful of people got to hear them in person, so we thought it would be nice to share them with you all here in writing. We hope you enjoy.
Upward, into the pure realm,
Over sun or star,
Thou must mount for love.
Where unlike things are like,
When good and ill,
And joy and moan,
Melt into one -
There Past, Present, Future, shoot
Triple blossoms from one root.
There need no vows to bind
Whom not each other seek but find.
They give and take no pledge or oath,
Nature is the bond of both.
Not with scarfs or perfumed gloves
Do these celebrate their loves,
Not by jewels, feasts, and savors,
Not by ribbons or by favors,
But by the sun-spark on the sea,
And the cloud-shadow on the lea.
Is none so high, so mean is none,
But feels and seals this union.
The throbbing sea, the quaking earth,
Yield sympathy and signs of mirth;
Even the tell Furies are appeased,
The good applaud, the lost are eased.
Their cords of love so public are,
They intertwine the farthest star.
Dear family and friends: Today Jonathan and Melissa have invited you here to witness and celebrate the public declaration of the private commitment they have already made to one another. Let us support them with our hope, love, and respect.
Marriage is the promise of hope between two people who love each other sincerely, who honor each other as individuals, and who wish to unite their lives and share the future together. In this ceremony, they dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other in a union of mutual caring and responsibility.
As we gather here to join Jonathan and Melissa in marriage, it is fitting that you, their families and friends, be here to witness and to participate in their wedding - for the ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which they bring to their partnership are rooted in the love, friendship, support, and guidance you have given them.
Jonathan and Melissa have chosen to be joined in marriage on the vernal equinox, the first day of spring; a day when, in spirit, all things are equal. May the partnership that is solidified between them today be one governed by equality and balance, wherein the strengths of each of them will, together, form a more perfect whole. And like the new spring which awakens today, may their love grow ever stronger to weather the seasons of their life together.
Jonathan and Melissa, please face each other.
Jonathan, are you ready to enter into this marriage with Melissa, believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things?
Melissa, are you ready to enter into this marriage with Jonathan, believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things?
Will you please join your hands.
Jonathan, if it is your desire to become the husband of Melissa, then repeat these words to her:
I, Jonathan, take you, Melissa, to be my wedded wife and partner, to have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward. In this moment I promise to love you and care for you for all of our days. I accept you with your faults and with your strengths. I promise to support you when you need support, and to turn to you in times of need. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
Jonathan, do you take this woman to be your wedded wife and partner in all things, to love her, comfort her, and honor her, and forsaking all others, keeping only unto her, for so long as you both shall live?
Melissa, if it is your desire to become the wife of Jonathan, then repeat these words to him:
I, Melissa, take you, Jonathan, to be my wedded husband and partner, to have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward. In this moment I promise to love you and care for you for all of our days. I accept you with your faults and with your strengths. I promise to support you when you need support, and to turn to you in times of need. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
Melissa, do you take this man to be your wedded husband and partner in all things, to love him, comfort him, and honor him, and forsaking all others, keeping only unto him, for so long as you both shall live?
I do.Do you have a rings that you wish to exchange?
A circle, having no beginning or end, is a symbol of infinity, eternity, and wholeness. These rings which you give and receive, then, will from this day forward represent the infinite, eternal, and complete love you will share as husband and wife.
Jonathan, please place the ring on Melissa's finger with the words:
With this ring, I thee wed.
Melissa, please place the ring on Jonathan's finger with the words:
With this ring I thee wed.
Let these rings be given and received as a symbol of your affection, sincerity and fidelity to one another. Jonathan and Melissa, please step forward to sign your marriage license.
Signing of marriage license - Melissa and Jonathan approach table and sign, followed by Josh and Monica who sign as witnesses. All four then return to their places in front.
We know not what the future may bring into the life of this couple, but together may they be equal to the needs of their tomorrows. May they have patience in times of strain, strength in times of weakness, courage in times of doubt, and above all, a growing love to sustain them.
Jonathan and Melissa, you have exchanged your promises, and given and received rings in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, your families and friends. You have made your marriage legal in the eyes of the law. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Jonathan, you may now kiss the bride.