A Stable Kind of Love: We Make It Official

I’ve always enjoyed reading other people’s wedding ceremonies, and I’m so happy to share ours with you all. I hope you love it as much as we did.

All photos courtesy of Aleksey Photography.

F introduced himself, talked about how he’d known me since I was a baby (literally, 25 years ago, he was changing my diapers, and now he’s marrying us – how wild is that?) and how special it was to be officiating our wedding ceremony, and then got down to business.

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First up, my dearest friend and Alpha Delta Pi sister S did a reading. We chose an excerpt from one of my favorite books, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Of course, in all the pre-wedding rushing around, I completely forgot to print a copy of the excerpt. S’s reaction? “My phone case is gray; it’s a neutral. It’ll look fine!” I love her.

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Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two. (via Goodreads)

F took it from there.

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Filly and Stallion, today you are surrounded by your friends and family, all of whom are gathered to witness your marriage and to share in the joy of this occasion, which should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your lives.

Life has no singular meaning so much as it is composed of many meaningful events, some of which can be specified and planned. One of these events is marriage.

As you know, no minister, no priest, no rabbi, no public official can marry you. Only you can marry yourselves. By a mutual commitment to love each other, to work toward creating an atmosphere of care and consideration and respect, and by a willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie human life, you can make your wedded life come alive.

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Every time I looked at Stallion, I teared up, so I looked at F instead. I had a lot of feelings, okay?

On this, the day of your marriage, you stand somewhat apart from all other human beings. You stand within the charmed circle of your love, and this is as it should be. But love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather, it should serve as a source of common energy, as a form in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward, you must come closer together than ever before; you must love one another in sickness and in health, for better and for worse. But, at the same time, your love should give you the strength to stand strong, to seek out your unique identities, to make your special contribution to the world which is always part of us.

Today, as you join yourselves in marriage, there is a vast and unknown future stretching out before you. The possibilities and potentials of your married life are great. Now falls upon your shoulders the task of choosing values and making real the moral dreams that other men and women have engendered. In this way, you will create the meaning of your lives.

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In traditional religions, it is customary to bestow a blessing upon the bride and groom. But I know you share with me the conviction that the manner in which two people love and treat one another and contribute to the community of men and women is as important as their formal religious manifestations. You stand here today as two people who wish to express their emotions within the framework of a meaningful life. For your self-reliance and courage and love, you deserve respect and admiration, and it is these attributes which make this a serious occasion. 

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Stallion, do you take Filly to be your lawfully wedded wife, to live together in the holy state of matrimony, to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keeping yourself only unto her, so long as you both shall live?

He agreed to these tough conditions. Schmuck.

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I have NO IDEA what is so funny here, but clearly I was amused by something. Pay attention, Filly, you dope!

Filly, do you take Stallion to be your lawfully wedded husband, to live together in the holy state of matrimony, to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keeping yourself only unto him, so long as you both shall live?

I do, I do, I do.

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We then exchanged rings, repeating the following:

With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge to you my fidelity and love.

We could have incorporated another unity ceremony here, like a handfasting or a sand ceremony or a unity candle, and I always thought we would because I’ve enjoyed them so much at other weddings. But when it came time to put together our own ceremony, we just … didn’t. None of them really spoke to us. Exchanging rings was enough.

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For as much as you both have consented to be joined in wedlock and have given and pledged your faith, each to the other, and have committed your lives to each other forever, this having been witnessed before this company here assembled; therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me, and according to the laws of the State of New Jersey, I do hereby pronounce you husband and wife.

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It was perfect. Short and sweet, yet immensely meaningful. F said everything we wanted to say about our relationship, our hopes for the future, and our promises to each other. I could not ask for more.

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Even more perfect: our first kiss as husband and wife.

WE DID IT, YOU GUYS!

Next up: I fist-pump my way back up the aisle. You can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can NEVER take the New Jersey out of the girl.

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Missed one? Catch up on the fun!

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