http://bit.ly/29MJEpU S and S with an unusually interesting personal story.
http://on.fb.me/1mP0J6J J and X with a beautiful and substantial ceremony.
http://on.fb.me/1N1yKpw K and D in a delightful and lighthearted personlization.
http://on.fb.me/22UeQIX C and M and a formal personalized ceremony.
Chad and Lyndsey (Shorter ceremony with a single personalized statement.)
In a marriage a balance is important. You have to be both the same person and very different people. This balance is perfectly represented by the Chinese symbol of Yin and Yang. The balance in life of light and dark, fire and ice, all contained in a perfect unified whole. This symbol also represents Chad and Lyndsey. I have watched in wonder as they complete each other’s sentences and move forward on common goals. Their love for each other is obvious and profound. Their similarities are obvious. Lyndsey chose a life of service, dedicating herself as an educator. More than that, choosing to travel across the globe to help students in China learn English. She said that she probably wouldn’t get married for a while because no one was going to get in the way of her goals. And then there was Chad. What a wonder that two people with such a unique career path would find each other. And become friends before they became partners.
Being similar is part of the balance of a great marriage. The other part is their differences. Lyndsey’s idea of cooking is – I’m pretty sure that doesn’t say burning. Must be toasting bread. And opening a container of yogurt. Yum. Chad loves to cook, helping win over Lyndsey’s heart. Lyndsey is very organized. Chad is organized chaos. Together they hike and kayak. But they are teaching each other about very different forms of music. They both want kids, but she wants a little girl and his side of the family seems to be nothing but boys. Oh, but what a wonderful, globe spanning life their children will have. Chad and Lyndsey are the perfect combination of similarities and differences. Yin and Yang. Fire and Ice. So let us now take these two friends and partners complete their circle.
Ryan and Ali (Here are some personalizations that were scattered through a longer ceremony)
I’d like to take a moment speak personally about Ryan and Ali. Every wedding couple I meet is in love. But a long successful marriage often requires more than that. When I look at Ryan and Ali I see that something special. Yes they are both professionals. Yes, they both grew up around here. Yes, they are really nice people. But it goes beyond that. They truly SHARE with each other.
And that is so rare. They take the time to learn each other’s interests. His love of sports and fantasy football. Her secret addiction to reality TV.
Teen moms? Really Ali?
They even TEACH each other. Everything from Snorkling and Kayaking to the undeniable fact that Greedo Shot First! (Don’t worry, if you didn’t get that last one, you don’t want to know.)
I also love the way that she can always make him laugh, and he is always doing special things for her like surprising her with flowers and coffee after taking their dog Professor Pep Pep out for walkies in the morning. Their kids are going to have an amazing life. (Yes mom, grandkids for you is part of the plan.) Traveling to the four corners of the world with all of the sights, smells, tastes, and knowledge that brings.
But the thing that really seals the deal for me with their relationship? In their own words-
"She calms me down." "He keeps me on my toes."
This one is going into overtime. So with that, Ryan, Ali and I ask you to repeat after me: GO HAWKS!
Damon and Jason (I particularly liked the way this statement flowed in the Traditional Ceremony from the Four Simple Ceremonies selection.)
. . . . Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
And this joining is a very special occasion indeed. There are a few things that are important to see in a couple who are embarking together on the exciting and wondrous journey of marriage. In some ways they need to be so similar that it can be hard to tell which one you are talking to. For example when one of them has to go to sleep watching the Golden Girls. And the other already has a complete set on dvd. With bonus features. At other times they need to be complementary, fitting together like perfect puzzle pieces. As when Damon says “Let’s make a plan” and Jason says “Let’s wing it!” It is all too rare to find such a perfect mix of these attributes as we have here before us in Damon and Jason. In their words “It has been a fun adventure!” Now it is time for the next step on that great adventure.
Damon, do you take Jason for your lawful wedded spouse? . . . .
Ron and Olga (Another single addition to a simple ceremony)
I would like to take just a moment to talk a bit about Ron and Olga. There are only a very few of the many couples I meet who seem like a perfect fit for each other. Ron and Olga are a part of that elite group.
They come from different countries, but they clearly share a culture. A culture of the importance of family, a love of travel, of putting the needs of the other above thier own needs, and of building their love for one another in a deliberate and careful manner.
Ron had to work pretty hard to get that first kiss.
Now he is told that he can't leave her side until she has had the first kiss of the day.
They share the same values and always make time for each other's families. And most of all they simply love spending time together. It is plain for all too see just how comfortable they are with each other. Even when somebody leaves the refrigerator door open just a little bit.
Phillip and Mikala
(This one is a little longer than average. The personalizations below added up to about 600 words and were about 5 minutes of a 25 minute ceremony that included a Sand Ceremony and a Hand Fasting. The couple specifically asked for something fun and light in an otherwise very formal and substantial wedding. So I really went for it, and they LOVED it!)
So let us celebrate that union, and honor their commitment to not just gaze into one another's eyes, but to look outward together in the same direction. Today Phillip and Mikala proclaim their love to the world, as we rejoice with and for them.
In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously into the hands of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives the love and trust of the other as our most precious gift. But even as that gift is shared by two people who are in love, it also touches the friends and family members who support and contribute to the relationship. And that is particularly true for this couple as they have been brought, as a couple, into the home and hearts of Laurel and Michael.
Marriage is about learning to become more self-aware in ways that we could never have seen before. This is particularly true of Phillip who, under the careful tutelage of Mikala's fashion sense, actually wears matching clothing most days.
Marriage is also about becoming more aware of others around us, particularly of our beloved. As Phillip became aware that Mikala really couldn't keep time and probably wasn't going to use the belly dancing finger cymbals that he gave to her as a first gift. (While saying this I was irregularly snapping my fingers as thought trying to keep time but failing miserably.) But the thought was there and she truly appreciated them.
Sometimes love and marriage is about the silly little things. Sorry dude, but I have to throw you under the bus. When they first met Phillip called himself Sean to sound cooler, and pretended to play the guitar in front of a stereo. Mikala completely bought it and thought his musical skills were awesome.
Marriage is about self-sacrifice and being willing to walk in another's shoes. Both of which Phillip accomplished at the same time by carrying Mikala a lonnng way when she stepped on a bee at the beach.
Marriage is also about dedication and commitment. That is where Phillip and Mikala really shine. The have been a couple for 5 years now. They have been to four proms together. They have been through great times and tough times, always there to support each other.
Marriage also requires both passion and wisdom. Phillip had the passion to propose to Mikala within a few months of their first meeting, and several times after that. And Mikala had the wisdom to wait until they were more mature and know that the time was now right.
Sometimes marriage is just about getting the numbers right. Laurel and Michael were married on a 25th day of the month, Phillip was born on the 26th day of the month, Mikala was born on the 27th day of the month. And today, well, today is the 28th.
But of course Marriage is mostly about long, enduring, joyful love. In their own words "I love you to the moon and back, I'll write your name in emerald green on the moon."
You two are doing so well, have been through so much, and are so ready for this. Let me just leave youw with these thoughts.
Pledge to each other to be loving friends and partners in marriage. To talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate one another; to respect and cherish each other's uniqueness, and to support, comfort, and strengthen each other through life's joys and sorrows. May you promise to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as you build your lives together. May your lives be ever intertwined, your love keeping you together. May you build a home that is compassionate to all, full of respect and honor for others and each other. May your home be forever filled with peace, happiness, and love.
Say "I love you" every day.