Sample Wedding By Rick Hoyt
A wedding for a couple in their late 30’s. This is a second marriage for both partners. WELCOME
Welcome to this joyous day!
Peter and Cheryl have invited you here today because you have an important place in their lives and you have an important role in this wedding.
As the friends and family of Peter and Cheryl, your participation in their wedding honors the new lives that you as well as they will henceforth share together.
And your presence here symbolically represents the other friends and family members who could not be here today. The spirits, whether living or dead, of these absent friends, cherished by Cheryl and Peter, hover around us this afternoon, and are present here through you.
Let your presence also represent the people Peter and Cheryl don’t know yet but will know later in their married life, the people they will never know, and even all existence. The entire universe is connected by love. Let your joy today be on behalf of the entire universe which rejoices with you at this wedding of two people united by love.
Welcome to you all!
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This afternoon we pause to recognize and celebrate a marriage that has already begun, which is being lived today, and which will continue for years to come.
A wedding lifts a moment from time and helps us all to notice and wonder at the evolving beauty of love. In the lives of Peter and Cheryl a loving partnership has blossomed that they are now ready to declare to the universe. This afternoon they proudly proclaim what they have already begun and ask the universe’s support in strengthening and lasting their bond throughout their lives.
The magic that happens this afternoon is not supernatural. My words and your witnessing do not make this a marriage. Peter and Cheryl and the love that touches and sustains us all makes this a marriage. But there is still magic this afternoon. Today we feel through words and ritual the power of love that flows around us constantly. This afternoon we say, “Yes” and we say “Thank you” to the love that Peter and Cheryl have manifested before us.
When Peter and Cheryl sat in my office a few weeks ago talking about their relationship and planning this wedding, t was charmed by the beauty of their love. Their joy in each other is so sincere, and so obvious, that it is my joy and honor to unite them in marriage.
This is not a first marriage for either Peter or Cheryl. They have already experienced much in their lives, including disappointment in love. They began this partnership six years ago with caution and care. Broken hearts are not easily mended. New love is not easily made. Their partnership has been carefully nurtured with tentative steps, emboldened by courage, and strengthened by mutual respect and trust. The result of your courage and trust has revealed itself in a deeply loving partnership that surprises even you. You described your developing relationship as coming out of the darkness into light, and indeed there is an evident quality of light about you. You glow. And there is lightness about your spirits as you have allowed yourselves to be elevated by joy.
You told me in my office that before you met you both had the feeling that the best was behind you, and yet you moved forward, stayed open to what may come, and let yourselves be surprised by love more glorious than you imagined. This is the definition of faith. To move forward with courage and trust, to be open, to let yourself be surprised.
Peter, you told me that God for you is like a coach. I can think of no better analogy. Like a coach God has our best interests at heart and is filled with strategies and suggestions for our success. But like a coach, God depends on us to get out there and play the game.
Peter and Cheryl, you have proved yourselves willing to play the game and have found success in this universe created by and sustained by love. So I say to you only what you said to me. You think the best is behind you and then.” As happy as you are today, have faith that even more happiness is to come. The coach of the universe is wildly eager for your increasing joy. The joy that awaits you will make even today’s light seem like darkness. Your skill of moving forward. The strength of your partnership. Your ability to re-invent yourselves and to create new life and accept more life. These skills are all you need to get there together. I am excited for you.
We do not need to ask for God’s blessings because God is always and everywhere blessing us. What is required is that we recognize and accept the blessings that constantly fall all around us. So I say today look all around you, look in the depths of your hearts, look in each other’s eyes, and know that you are blest.
I now ask that the gathered friends and family formalize their participation in this wedding ritual by publicly affirming the change that happens today in your relationship with Peter and Cheryl, just as they are formally affirming the change that is happening in their relationship.
I ask the friends and family of Peter and Cheryl gathered here today to listen to the following vows and afterward signal your agreement by saying together, “We do.”
First the friends,
Do you commit today to support Peter and Cheryl in their life together? Do you vow to be there for either of them or both in their times of trouble as well as in their times of joy, to rejoice that their love has added to the love in your own lives and to strive as you are able to strengthen and uphold their love? (We do)
And now the family members,
Do you commit today to support Peter and Cheryl in their life together? Do you vow to teach what you know about love and to learn what they have to teach you, to thank them for the gift their partnership has given you in expanding your circle of family, and to watch with pride and assist with love as they create their own family?
And now the vows that Peter and Cheryl make to each other,
I pledge to you my love forever.
A love borne of respect for one another.
Of friendship, trust, and laughter.
Of a continuing desire to understand each other.
I promise to honor you.
To support and protect you through life’s challenges and triumphs.
To accept you for all the things you are.
And to encourage and nourish your hopes and dreams.
The ring as a circle is a symbol of the interdependent connection of all existence, where through love everything connects to everything. Let the rings you will wear remind you of your loving connection with all that exists, and your special love for each other.
And like a circle closed on itself, a ring is a symbol of the eternal nature of love, which has no end and no beginning. The love you feel arose from the universe before your births and will continue after your deaths. May the power of that love, sustain and support your commitment to each other. Let these rings symbolize, therefore, love and commitment.
This ring is a symbol of my love and commitment to you.
As you wear this ring, you carry with you my promise
That I will always be your companion, your lover, and your friend.
You brought love and light back into my life.
My happiness is complete as I marry you this day and forever.
READING “Destiny” by Edwin Arnold
Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul,
Each choosing each other through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life’s long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.
Through the vows and ritual performed this day, before family and friends, through and with the loving energy that eternally connects all existence, and by the profound truths of your own hearts, I pronounce you, Peter and Cheryl , husband and wife.
Today is not the start of your love, nor is it the cap. From today you go forward into a life of expanding love and increasing joy. I thrill for the life you will discover together. “The way lies open onward to eternal day.”