Woohoo! As of today, Ryan and I have officially survived one year of marriage! It’s unfortunate that it falls in a week when I’m on business travel, but we were fortunate to be able to spend two weeks together nonstop in Italy, so we consider that our celebration.
Our wedding weekend was the most wonderful few days of my life, and we are still so grateful to everyone who came to celebrate with us and make it so special for us.
The first year has flown by and has been totally fabulous. I don’t know how we got so lucky, but 4 years in, Ryan and I continue to have a really fun and problem-free relationship.
In honor of our first anniversary, I have decided to share our wedding ceremony text & vows here on the blog. We were honored to have a very special officiant, my former boss and executive at the company where Ryan and I work, who had become a good friend & mentor to us. As if his agreeing to travel to the wedding and officiate in the blazing heat wasn’t enough, he actually wrote a unique and wonderful opening to our wedding ceremony.
I know the ceremony we did isn’t for everybody, but it was perfect for us. Enjoy – but be warned, it’s a bit lengthy, no hard feelings if you don’t read it. :) You can find all the other wedding posts here.
Every year 2 million herbivores (wildebeest, zebras, gazelles) participate in an awesome spectacle…the great migration of the Serengeti. They travel over 300 miles in an elliptical clockwise pattern thru SW Kenya and N Tanzania following seasonal weather patterns in their quest for fresh, sweet, grazing grass. They are a breathtaking sight and stretch as far as the eye can see.
In a similar, albeit slower, rite of passage the giant female tortoise of the Galapagos [ who weigh almost 1000 lbs. and live twice as long as humans, who sleep 16 hours a day and can survive without food or water for up to a year] find their way at 0.2 mph over several kilometers to sandy beaches to bury their eggs in their rite of renewal. The clutch hatches in 4-8 months and the babies take weeks to dig to the surface…40 years later they will reach maturity…
Not to be left out, the Arctic Wooly Bear Moth spends up to 14 years of its life as a caterpillar and 90% of that frozen… withstanding temperatures of up to -60 degrees Centigrade. In the last short summer of their life they pupate into a beautiful moth, mate and lay eggs…and die.
Those same complex, mysterious, inexplicable, wonderful forces of nature have brought together the two beautiful people we are here to see joined in the bond of matrimony today.
And so, nature perpetuates its wonder and majesty as we bear witness, this day, to the beginning of Ryan and Jane’s journey through the time and space continuum….and so it goes…
Presentation / Recognition of family & friends
Marriage is founded on an intimate promise, one of a lifetime of love and support, of laughter and forgiveness, of fidelity and understanding. It is a commitment that begins with a public proclamation but does not end there. Your marriage will unfold to thousands of discoveries and compromises, unexpected joys and adjustments. As Jane and Ryan pledge their vows here today, they acknowledge that they will grow together, and indeed, will grow old together.
Marriage creates a family as well. With the beginning of this new family will come the responsibility of raising children, which will be equally shared and embraced, and beyond this the embrace of each other’s extended families and cherished friends. Ryan and Jane will be committed to each other first, but they will not be alone.
It is appropriate then that you, the families and dear friends, are here to participate in this celebration. Your presence shows that they take with them into this marriage, not only their own commitment to each other, but also your commitment and encouragement to them.
And so I ask all who are gathered here, do you promise to support Ryan and Jane in their new shared life?
Reading: from Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet”
Reader: When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself. But if you love and must have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
And what of Marriage? You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Unlike your usual officiant, I’ve had the benefit and pleasure of knowing both Jane and Ryan for some time and in a very small way may have helped fate in bringing them together. I know, on a first hand basis, their commitment to what is right, their enthusiasm for the joy every day brings, their compassion and understanding toward those less fortunate and most importantly their love for each other. They share abundantly in laughter and joy move effortlessly back and forth across the nominal border between man and woman and husband and wife…they support and love each other and I wish for them a lifetime of happiness together.
Will you, Ryan, take Jane, to be your wedded wife? Will you love her, cherish her, honor her, give her understanding, write her blog posts, And remain faithful unto her, In sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, In hardship and in ease, and whatever the future may bring, So long as you both shall live?
Will you, Jane, take Ryan, to be your wedded husband? Will you love him, cherish him, honor him, obey him occasionally, give him understanding and comfort, laugh at his bad jokes, And remain faithful unto him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, In hardship and in ease, and whatever the future may bring, So long as you both shall live?
(Ryan) I take you, Jane, to be my wife, To share the joys and sorrows of life together, To honor your integrity, and in trust and understanding, to love you.
(Jane) I take you, Ryan, to be my husband, To share the joys and sorrows of life together, To honor your integrity, and in trust and understanding, to love you.
Blessing & Exchange of Rings
Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple. The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle, and wherever you go, you will always return unto one another.
I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity.
I do now, by the power vested in me by the State of Maryland, and the presence of this company, pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride.
And so, may you live faithfully and peacefully together, ever mindful of the vows and covenant you have made here today, and may your hearts be rich in the joys of life, may your life together be filled with laughter, and your days good and long upon the earth.