What Was Said On Our Behalf, and What We Said To Each Other, October 20th, 2000

Welcome, family and friends! We are gathered here today to witness the joining of Vickie and Kent in marriage. Many of you have made long journeys for this celebration, but whether you come from near or far, you have all taken time away from your lives to offer your love and support for their union. Vickie and Kent are deeply honored by your commitment to being here, and have asked me to express their gratitude to you.

Vickie and Kent, your marriage is the work for which your lives have been spent in preparation. It is a partnership, in which you honor each other as unique human beings. It is a work of giving yourselves fully, yet not giving yourselves away, one in which you dance with the ebb and flow of separateness and togetherness, and one in which you may grow as individuals, as well as partners in your union. Today, together, you come to dedicate yourselves to the mysterious, unknown path of Marriage and to declare your acceptance of all the demands, challenges and joys of its vast distances.

Vickie and Kent, in your hearts you have already committed yourselves to living together in love for the rest of your lives. Today you are here to declare that commitment in the presence of your family and friends.

"I, Vickie/Kent, promise you, Kent/Vickie,
that I will be your wife/husband;
I will be your best friend, faithful lover,
and steadfast partner in adversity and adventure.
I promise to love and respect you,
support and inspire you,
now and forever, until the end of time."

Vickie and Kent, the rings you exchange today will be visible symbols and seals of your promises. They will always remind you of your intentions and inspire you to act toward their fulfillment.

"This ring is my promise
to nourish our love and carefully tend it;
to hope with you in sorrow
and dance with you in joy."

As you enter into this new season of your lives, remember that this day has come to pass not only because of your love for each other, but through the patience and grace of your ancestors, families and friends. Never forget to share yourselves with those who love you, for they have helped you to grow into the people you are today.

Now that you, their family and friends, have witnessed Vickie and Kent making their vows to one another, do you promise to give them your love, support, and encouragement in being true to themselves and each other, and in living the promises they have made in your presence?

Long ago, when bride and groom pledged themselves to each other, they drank from a single cup, signifying that they were becoming one blood, one flesh, and one family. Vickie and Kent, let this wine remind you that your love, like a vineyard, has seasons, so that you may never lose hope in the dark times and always savor the joy of the light. You may now offer this cup to one another, acknowledging the new bond between you.

Vickie and Kent, you have given much thought to the values, dreams and intentions you will nurture in your marriage and your life. As you begin this exciting adventure together, let me take a moment to reflect back to you some of these thoughts:

Cherish the qualities in each other that attracted and excited you in the beginning. They are the seeds of your learning, growth and delight.

As you accept one anotherís being, at the same time, with lightness of heart and not a heavy hand, encourage each otherís becoming.

Cultivate the elements of happiness and wellbeing: humor, honesty, forgiveness, patience, loyalty, courage, and compassion. They are the flowers of your marriage, which will bring you much joy.

Let the losses you have experienced in your lives be a tender reminder that life is both fragile and fleeting, so that you may be generous with your love and gratitude, making its expression a daily practice toward each other and all whose lives connect with yours.

Remember that long-stemmed roses are as necessary to your soul as bread is to your table, and that life is as much a wild, outrageous poem, inviting you to play, as it is an ordered piece of prose, requiring your ordinary, earnest efforts.

Most of all, remember that every moment is a priceless pearl. If you carefully and consciously gather each one, pearl by pearl, moment by moment, you will string together a necklace of timelessness, which will grace you with a lifetime of beauty and pleasure and wonder and magic.

And, last but not least, split the difference on the thermostat and the remote control, and everything else should work out fine.

[Had to pause here; the crowd was laughing too hard.]

The writer Goethe wrote: "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness ... the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too ... Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Vickie and Kent, you have committed a bold act today. You have begun a dream called marriage. May your boldness bring you all the genius, power and magic you need for the fulfillment of all your dreams. In the company of your family and friends, you have declared your love and your intentions to be life-long partners in marriage. Therefore, it is my privilege and pleasure to declare that, by the authority vested in me by the State of California, you are forevermore, husband and wife.

You may kiss each other.

[Oohyeah.]

And now, before we adjourn to the reception, Vickie and Kent have asked me to express their gratitude to you all with a traditional Irish blessing:

"May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand."

[Exit, grinning, to the traditional strains of "Classical Gas."]

Congratulations, brave pilgrim--you've reached the end of our wedding vows. From here, you can see a spectacular shot of Vickie in her wedding dress, or (ick) go back to Kent's Butt-Ugly Home Page. Oh, and hey: if some or all of our wedding vows work for you, please use them with our blessing. If you do, we'd love to hear from you.