For those of you who couldn’t be present, but wish you could have been. And also for those who were there, but would like a nice reminder… here it is… the wedding script. Sans, of course, all my scribbling on the page, etc. as revisions and notes were made so I’d know where I was and what I was doing.
The guests come in and sit down
Tam says “Would everyone please stand for the Bride.”
Bridesmaids (meeting up with Groomsmen) walk down the aisle (music plays)
Karen walks Mary down the aisle
Bride walks down the aisle (music continues to play)
Tam says, “Would everyone please be seated.”
Bridal Party sits down
Tam gives welcome speech
Welcome and good afternoon. Mary and Martin have asked you, their much loved family and friends, to join them today as they take this next step in their journey together… becoming husband and wife.
There comes a time in every relationship when a decision is made. You look at the other person, at your life together as it is to that point, and say to yourselves… who am I in this? Who have I become because of being with this person. Who have they become. It’s more a feeling than an actual thought. Do I feel whole, do I belong, am I a better person, do I make them a better person, is there trust, can I imagine my life without them, do I love, am I loved. We ask ourselves these questions, knowing it or not, as a way to check in. To evaluate. To decide. Forever? Or not.
Stepping into a marriage is not a small decision. It’s easy to live with someone. To say to yourselves… I like this person, I love them, and I want to be around them all the time. It’s really pretty easy to say to someone else I want to hang out with you, I want us to be in each others lives. What’s hard, really hard sometimes, is saying… I don’t like what you’re doing right now, I may not even like who you are right now, but that doesn’t change the love I feel or the solid foundation that we have. It’s tough to be angry, or hurt, or to feel overwhelmed, and then to say, despite all of it, that you want to walk toward someone, talk to someone, work it out with someone, and not just walk away.
We all have faults. Some more obvious than others, but we have them. We all have “stuff” from our childhoods that comes up and bites us, and the ones we love. We may be defensive, or occasionally careless, or have a short temper when certain buttons are pushed. We may push too hard, or try to control too much, or tend toward ignoring the problems as they come up. The stuff, what people often call baggage, that walks into every relationship with us. The difference, the miraculous beauty of choosing to marry, is to say to your partner… I know you. I know your strengths, I know your love, and I know your faults. I see you, all of you, and I know you see me. And despite the “stuff”, the baggage, we are bringing into this… right along with all the love, and laughter, and gentle understanding… despite that baggage, I choose you. I look at you fully, honestly, in the face and say that no matter what happens, no matter what life brings us… tough and beautiful and strange and miraculous and impossible and sad and glorious… we will face it together. Faults and all. I choose to face it with you. It’s a simple matter of choosing because you aren’t able to imagine your life without the other person holding your hand, wiping your tears away, making you laugh.
Marriage is a choice… a choice that says… I’m going to be a better person for you, because of you, and with you, than I could ever be on my own. It’s a choice that says despite the problems we will have in life we want to face those together. It says… us, plain and simply… us… holding hands, building a life, having a family, laughing, loving, being joyfully one.
Today, in front of family and friends, Martin and Mary have decided to make the beautiful choice to marry. They have not come to this place lightly, or flippantly. Anyone who knows them knows this decision was thought out, considered, which makes this day that much more lovely. There is no doubt here, only a steadfast certainty in them that the person standing across from them up here today is that person. That magical one. Who knew those few years ago in St. Louis how much their lives would change forever. Life is an amazing and wondrous journey of challenge, and love, and choice. By choosing each other, their journey together begins in earnest here today.
Tam calls up first reader
“Martin and Mary have asked Dave Widdicks, the grooms father, to do a reading in celebration of their day. Dave has chosen to read Foundations of Marriage. Dave…”
“When two people join together and bond their lives forever because they are certain they have something special that will make their commitment last, this is the first act of faith. Upon this act of faith these two people will build a life, and as long as their determination stays with them this life will always be their hope, their dreams, their truth, their being, their inspiration, and their source of strength. Through their life together, they will hurt and laugh. Together they will feel all of life’s ups and downs. They will learn and grow through trial and error. The lessons will show them the meaning of true love and the difference between a love that lasts and one that just gives up. These two people will face each failure together and discover the strength to go on. They will encourage each other’s dreams and forgive each other’s faults. Through a labour of love these two will become as one, fighting against the odds and ultimately creating a commitment that will grow into an infinite love.”
Tam asks Mary and Martin to please stand. Mary and Martin move behind the table set up at the front and face the audience. Tam moves to the side and reads…
“Martin and Mary have chosen to include in their marriage ceremony a celebration of the four elements. All of us are made up of many different parts. This celebration represents Mary and Martin’s promise to share every part of themselves and their life with one another.”
Celebration of the Elements
Tam: “Until today, your lives have burned as individual flames. Let them
now burn together as one. From every human being, there rises a light that reaches straight to the stars, and when two people who are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.
Mary and Martin each take a light (ice cube) in their palms and place them together into the vase.
Tam: “Before there was life, there was water. Water is life. It sustains, nourishes, cleanses, and refreshes us. We are made of it, so drink. Drink to the love you’ve shared in the past, celebrate in your present, and look to in your future.”
Tam hands Mary and Martin a goblet and they each take a drink.
Tam: “The wind is the soul, the spirit, the very breath of life. Until you die few things will ever be more intimate than that subtle infusion of air and the touch of lips when you kiss. You have the memory of many kisses, with breath passing, between you – and there will be many more!
Mary and Martin kiss
Tam: “We must not forget the rock from which we are hewn, the very earth on which we live. However fickle and variable the ways of humankind, there lies within us all something solid, unshakeable, and unmovable.”
“Everyone, please take in your hand the stone you were given. Close your eyes and find within yourselves that piece of sure foundation you would share with Mary and Martin. Focus on your inner strength and visualize the future you wish for this couple, engraving those wishes into the stone.”
“Please come forward, quietly, row by row and bring these stones, made special by your love, and place them in this bowl.”
Everyone comes forward and puts their stone in the vase with the lights while music plays.
Tam asks Martin and Mary to come around in front of the table again and stands between the table and them.
Tam says, “The number of stones in this dish is the exact number of people here today. They will be an unending testimony to the fact that all of you were here, that you esteem Martin and Mary as husband and wife, and you wish the best for them that the earth can give.”
Tam asks the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to stand with the Bride and Groom.
Tam says, “Mary and Martin have each prepared a message for the other that they would like to read.”
Tam introduces the exchange of vows
“And now Mary and Martin will exchange their wedding vows.” (Tam really leans forward and says… are you ready? Here we go…)
Exchange of Vows
Tam says, “Martin please repeat after me: Mary, I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife. Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you, with all of your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.”
Tam says, “Mary please repeat after me: Martin, I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband. Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you, with all of your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.”
Exchange of Rings
Tam asks for the rings from the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Tam asks Mary to place the ring on Martin’s finger and repeat: “Martin, please accept this ring as a symbol of my unending love.”
Tam asks Martin to place the ring on Mary’s finger and repeat: “Mary, please accept this ring as a symbol of my unending love.”
Tam says, “Martin and Mary have asked Tom Derbish to read the blessing. Tom…”.
Tom reads The Blessing of the Apaches…
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
but there is only one life before you.
Go now to you dwelling place,
to enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Tam says “And now, by the powers vested in me by the State of Illinois, it is my honor and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss.”
Tam then joyfully says, “Ladies and gentlemen… Mary and Martin Widdicks.”
Recessional (music plays)