Photo taken at The Columbia Club
by Summerly Photography
by Summerly Photography
Readings - Non-Religious
by Robert Fulghum
"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will" - those late night talks that included "someday and somehow and maybe"- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word." Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few 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”
The Art of Marriage
Wilferd A. Peterson
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 big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner. It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
By Mary Nichols-Haining
Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body. Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, who won't hold them against me, Who loves me when I'm unlikable, who sees the small child in me, and who looks for the divine potential of me. Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who thanks God for me, with someone I feel blessed to hold. Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love and friendship, because marriage is a discipline to be added to a list of achievements, because marriage do not fail, people fail when they enter into marriage expecting another to make them whole. Because knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness. I create me. I take half of the responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness. I create me. I take half of the responsibility for my marriage. Together we create our marriage. Because of this understanding, the possibilities are limitless.
Ultimate Geek Mashup
We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. Love is the moment before you’re frozen in carbonite, when the girl you’ve had your eye on finally admits what you always knew. Love is when you say, “I know”. Love is do, or do not, there is not try. Wuv…twu wuv…goes on forever and ever. And always says “As you wish”. Love is not cupid’s Arrow, it’s a green one. It happens in a Flash, and makes you feel like you can leap tall buildings in a single bound. It’s a shield, a smash, a hammer, and an iron suit. You should always be in love. Unless you can be Batman. Then you should be Batman. Love is the Ron Swanson of emotions. There is nothing stronger, except Ron Swanson. When it comes to love, treat yo-self. Love says “Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear”. Love is like a prayer. It’s the great American hero, Kevin Bacon, teaching a small town that it’s our time, it’s our time to dance. Love is 1.21 gigawatts. It makes us drive 88 miles per hour, speeding towards our Density. It’s dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria. It’s more powerful than a T-Rex, and almost majestic. Love is our happy thought. Love is magic. Love is asking “After all this time?” and knowing the answer will be “Always."
I Love You
by Roy Croft
I love you, not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself but for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a temple; out of the works of my every day not a reproach, but a song.
I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself.
Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.
These words were written by the one and only Mr. Fred Rogers. You are never too old and it's never too late to hear his message.
When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong along with the fearful, the true mixed in with the facade. And of course the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way. ... It’s what’s inside us that matters most. You can really love someone else when you really love yourself. ... As human beings our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have. Something inside which is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression. ... Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now, and to go on caring, even through times that may bring us pain.
A passage from Kurt Vonnegut’s “A man without a country”
"But I had a good uncle, my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So, when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. So, I do the same now, and so do my kids and grand kids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is."
"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity."
Destiny is a mysterious thing. No matter what you do or where you go, you cannot avoid it. And, no matter how hard you try, even putting forth your greatest effort, you can’t force it to happen before it's time. This occasion we witness today is the destiny of two souls. There is not a force in the universe that could have kept you apart, and there is nothing they could have done to come together sooner.
Each of you had to live your lives, lives that were stepping stones that have led to this moment in time, this uniting of hearts and minds that shall be forever more.
This occasion we celebrate today is the destiny of two souls. Yes, destiny is a marvelous and mysterious thing.
He’s Not Perfect
by Bob Marley
He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.
A book passage from Carl Sagan
Consider our planet. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived here on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Once we lose our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe which dwarfs -- in time, in space, and in potential -- the tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors. And for small creatures such as we, this vastness is made bearable only through love.
Marry The One
Marry the one who doesn’t mind doing dishes . . . or the laundry, or the cooking, or who will jump into home improvements to make a house a home or whatever needs to be done.
Marry the one who will support you in everything that matters to your heart, from your silliest ideas to your grandest dreams.
Marry the one who pulls you away from the sink and into a dance in the kitchen.
Marry the one who pays attention and is thoughtful with your wants and needs.
Marry the one who’s willing and happy to binge your favorite show. Each and every season.
Marry the one who leaps into parenting with both feet. Who loves the children and is willing to learn with an open heart. Who through the hard days, gains their trust and love in return.
Marry the one who teases playfully, sneaks extra kisses, holds your hand in public, and says “I love you” unabashedly.
Marry the one who makes you feel beautiful. Who laughs with you. Who comforts you when you cry.
Marry the one who shows up every day—when life is great, when it’s miserable, when it’s everything in between.
Marry the one who’s willing to brave the rollercoaster—the ups and downs of marriage.
Marry the one who knows love is a choice more than it is a feeling. The one who will choose love, even when it’s hard. The one who will choose YOU, especially when you wouldn’t choose yourself.
Marry the one who’ll walk beside you all the way through. Through the late nights with sick children. Through the early mornings for the stressful job. Through weight gain and gray hair and wrinkles. Through the moments when you’re at your worst. Through weeks, and months, and maybe even YEARS of pain or distance. Through real sickness. Financial troubles. Old age. Devastating loss. Through the moments of wondering if the feeling can ever truly be captured again.
Marry the kind one. The GOOD one. The one who hears you, and sees you, and validates your feelings.
Marry the one who knows you deeply and who loves you as you are . . .
the one who will spend a lifetime trying to be the partner you deserve.
Marry that one . . .
and BE that one . . .
for the one you are marrying.
Thoughts In a Garden
This is a special place, a place where people have brought beautiful living plants, here to establish them, to nurture and care for them, that they may forever surround us with the beauty we now see. And into this place where we stand, you have brought something beautiful — the relationship that is becoming your marriage. Here you are declaring it and pledging it, promising to establish and nurture it. We are aware of the special beauty between the two of you, just as we are aware of the special beauty of this place. We are with you now in this appropriate place to celebrate your relationship as it is and as it is yet to be, and in doing so, we ask only that you remember how your life together will have the same seasons and needs as this garden. There will be growth like spring and loss like fall; there will be giving as the blossoming flower, and rest as the seed beneath the snow. All the seasons will be yours, but remember, too, that gardens are not must happenings. The more wonderful the garden, the more skilled the gardener. So you will have to care deeply for the life that is yours together, and nurture it. You will have to appreciate your differences and cultivate them. You will have to take care of yourself, if for no other reason than out of love for the other. And you will need the support of family and friends to reach full growth. As you caringly chose this place to declare your marriage, so remember it's lessons for your life together through the seasons that are yours to share. And may those seasons bring you and yours joy and happiness.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Louis de Bernieres
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love
Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.
A History of Love
Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fuelled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love's spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable? Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots stretching deep into dark and mysterious days.The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving and being loved.
Love Is Friendship Set On Fire
Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
** Formal Wedding Ceremony Guide ** Formal Wedding Ceremony Scripts ** Elopement Ceremony Guide ** Elopement Ceremony Scripts ** Parts of a Wedding Ceremony ** Vow Writing Guide ** Unplugged Ceremony ** Opening Prayers ** Welcoming ** Moment of Silence ** Declaration of Support ** About Love and Marriage ** Non-Religious Readings ** Christian Readings ** Secular I-do's! ** Christian I-do-s! ** Ring Meaning ** Ring Blessings ** Secular Ring Exchanges ** Christian Ring Exchanges ** Unity Ceremonies ** Secular Blessings ** Christian Blessings ** The-pronouncement-Secular ** The Pronouncement - Christian **
I am open to marrying any couple. It is my goal to meet each couple where they are and help them to have a positive wedding experience. In order to meet you where you are, I approach every wedding with an open mind - I don’t know anything about you until you tell me and that’s only if you choose to tell me. Wedding ceremony scripts have been written for years for brides and grooms. Now, bride and bride or groom and groom are very common. Some couples are choosing to forego traditional gender roles altogether and are using the terms spouse or partner. If you have made the choice to use non-traditional pronouns, please let me know, and I will be happy to honor your preferences. Any wedding ceremony script can be changed to reflect those personal preferences.
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