These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on you wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you, cherish you through the years, and will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will push you towards your dreams and will embrace you with joy to celebrate your victories.
These are the hands that will support you and hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it the most.
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours as you walk through life hand in hand.
May these hands always reach out with love, tenderness and respect.
May these hands continue to build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will” – those late night talks that included “someday and somehow and maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my wife.”
We wrote our vows together as a conversation between the two of us and the equal promises we made to one another:
A: I take you to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love
K: I promise to give you the best of myself and not to take you for granted
A: I promise to be authentic with you, to be honest even when it is not easy
K: I promise to love all of you while we grow individually and together in mind and spirit
A: I promise to help you be your best self, encourage you, and laugh with you
K: I promise to challenge you, inspire you, and support you in your dreams
A: I promise to cherish our experiences, to be grateful for all that we have, and what is yet to come
K: I promise to love you through sadness and joy, through all the triumphs of life
A: I promise to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in life together
K: And I take you to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love
“May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”
We then exchanged rings while reciting:
With this ring, I give you my heart. I promise from this day forward, you will never walk alone; my heart would be your shelter, and my arms will be your home.
Lastly, Johnny left us with a native American wedding blessing
“Now you feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness for you.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now into the world to enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long together.”
Our day was truly made by the family and friends that surrounded us the whole weekend. Having all of our favorite people in the same place made us happier than words can say and being able to share our wedding day with those closest to us is something we will treasure forever. The memories of this day are bright in our mind and the emotions that flowed through us will stay with us into our future life together.