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# 1

After the openings, optional readings or remarks may be made by bride, groom, friends, etc.

Marriage is dedication. You give yourself, your life and love, into the hands of the one you love. You do so trustingly and generously. By the same token, each of you receives a gift -- the life and love of the other. You receive this gift not only from the one you love, but also from the parents who brought you into the world and reared you and from the personal world of friends and family who are joined in friendship and faith in your marriage.

Mark Twain once said that "a marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, and a new fragrance to the flowers, and new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life."

# 2

What greater joy is there for two souls than to join together to strengthen each other in all their endeavors, to support each other through all sorrow, and to share with each other in all gladness? We hope, too, that the meaning of the vows that ______ and _______ are about to share with one another will deepen as they discover the possibilities of their life together. This is a love which is not to be tarnished by common events, but which will flower both in deepest adversity and greatest joy. Everything in your marriage can manifest your love for one another as you let it grow with you. We ask that the radiant power which first brought you together be with you always. Love is stronger than your conflicts, bigger than life's changes, always inviting you to learn, to bloom, to expand, and grow.

# 3

Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love
Edmund O'Neill (b. 1929)

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 or 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, 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.

# 4

To Be One With Each Other
George Eliot (1819-1880)

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

# 5

This marriage is an event in the lifetime of a love. Neither I, nor all society, can join these two lovers today. Only they can do what they have chosen. They are joining themselves, each to the other. As they find union with one another, they proclaim that union today and pledge its future. We, by our participation in this celebration, do but recognize and honor their intention to dwell together as husband and wife.

# 6 Kahlil Gibran

To these two young people, this marriage signifies the birth of a new spirit, a spirit which is a part of each of us, yet not of any one of us alone. This "birth of spirit" reminds us of Spring, the season when all life is reborn and looms again. It is appropriate, therefore, that this wedding of _____ and _____ be in the Spring, and that it be under the open sky, where we are close to the Earth and to the unity of life, the totality of living things of which we are part.

# 7

It is fitting to speak briefly about love. We live in a world of joy and fear and search for meaning and strength in the seeming disorder. We discover the truest guideline to our quest when we realize love in all its magnitudes. Love is the eternal force of life. Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage.

But, you must "be of love a little more careful than of anything."

For the giving of yourself in love is difficult, for you must learn to give of your love without total submission of yourself. Therefore, in your giving, give your joy, your sadness, your interest, your understanding, your knowledge – all expressions that make up life. But in this giving, remember to preserve yourself – your integrity, your individuality. This is the challenge of love within marriage.

# 8

You have come here today from your varied life experiences to make public the commitment you have made, each to the other. You come to combine your two separate lives into one.

Although you will be sharing one life, never forget, you are two separate people. Cherish and affirm your differences. Love each other. Keep your commitment primary. Together you will laugh and cry, be sick and well, be happy and angry, share and grow.

Grow, sometimes together, sometimes separately. But never remain stagnant. Love and life are always changing, always new.

If you will ensure a healthy lasting marriage, always, always value each other. Although you will disagree, remember to respect each other’s feelings, needs and wants. And above all, never, never lose your sense of humor. – Joan Kahn-Schneider

My goal is to help all couples, regardless of their religious affiliation or non-affiliation. I respect all cultures and creeds and deliver a ceremony with dignity and respect, regardless of whether or not I share the same beliefs. Click here for a brief explanation of my beliefs.