THE ART OF MARRIAGE
The little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say, "I Love you". At least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
It should continue through all the years
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the duty of sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other, for what is perfection?
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humor.
It is having the ability to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.
To make this relationship work, therefore, it has taken more than love.
It has taken trust, to know in your hearts that you have wanted only the best for each other.
It has taken dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and to grow, even when it was difficult to do so.
And it has taken faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future held for both of you.
This has not been a destination, but a journey, which has brought you together today.
An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours
The Hands of the Bride and Groom
Maid of Honor
Bride’s name, please face Groom’s name, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. Bride and groom should be facing each other, his upturned hands resting in hers.
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within you.
These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief rack your mind.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.
Groom’s name, please hold Bride’s name’s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. Bride should now place her upturned hands in the Groom’s hands.
These are the hands that are smooth, young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.
These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings, after you’ve both had a long hard day.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and chrish you through the years,
for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child; that together you have created a new life.
Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child, and will convince you that together you will create new life in other ways.
These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together, as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.
Observe the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May Bride’s name and Groom’s name see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide.