welcome. We are gathered together today on this beautiful afternoon to celebrate the union of [BRIDE and GROOM], and witness their joy and love as they dedicate themselves to one another in the excellent adventure of matrimony.

    Marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, who trust that love, who honor one another as individuals in that togetherness, and who wish to spend rest of their lives together. It enables the two separate souls to share their desires and longings, their dreams and memories, their joys and sorrows, and to help each other through all uncertainties of life.

    The person who stands before you now is going to be your spouse. Something I love so much about this is that the word spouse comes from a Latin word which means betrothed, and the word betrothed comes from the Old English be truth, indeed suggesting that the idea of being one’s spouse is to be their truth. 

    With this understanding, I offer you the following suggestions: Live in gratitude for one another and for your many blessings. Be grateful for the presence of this person who has chosen to make a life with you. Learn the wisdom of compromise and of patience, for it is better to bend, lest you break. Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it; remember that friendship and support are the basis for any lasting relationship. Make truth your priority. Marriage is built on trust and respect, so regard one another with honesty in every exchange, no matter how small. 
    
    You are not going to promise each other that you will never disappoint one another, because at some point you will. What is important is that you not leave one another just because you are disappointed. In the words of Antoine de St. Exupery, “Of course [you] will hurt each other, this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.” Today you join your life with theirs. Wherever they go, you will go. Whatever they face, you will face. For good times or bad times, in happiness or sadness, you take them as your partner, your own.

    In many ways you have already done this for one another- as boyfriend, girlfriend, even just friends in the first place, you have been partners in crime in many fashions. But in the words of Robert Fulgham’s Union, “You are about to cross a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same between the two of you. For after this moment you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.”

    BRIDE, GROOM, the words you speak to one another today are a seal, a testament to the bond that you form with one another, and with your families. So too are the rings that you bring before one another this day- may we now have the rings?

    BRIDE, would you please place GROOM’s ring upon his finger and repeat after me? (BRIDE repeats.)

I BRIDE, take you GROOM
To be none other than yourself
Loving what I know of you
And trusting what I do not yet know
I will have faith in your abiding love for me
in whatever life may bring us.

    GROOM, would you please place BRIDE’s ring upon her finger and repeat after me? (GROOM repeats.)

I GROOM, take you BRIDE
To be none other than yourself
Loving what I know of you
And trusting what I do not yet know
I will have faith in your abiding love for me
in whatever life may bring us.

    These rings symbolize the love and trust between you that you have chosen to declare as sacred on this day. May their presence on your hands remind you of your love for one another and the vows you have just taken. They have been placed on your finger as a reminder that you are together, even when you are apart.

    Now, BRIDE, before your family and all those friends gathered here, do you do you take GROOM to be your beloved husband? Do you promise to love and cherish him, in good times and not so great ones, so far as this adventure takes you?

    (BRIDE responds, "I do.")

    And GROOM, I ask you, before your family and all those friends gathered here, do you take BRIDE to be your beloved wife? Do you promise to love and cherish her, in good times and not so great ones, so far as this adventure takes you?

    (GROOM responds, "I do.")

    Then by the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the bride.

    (Kiss! ♥)