A transcript of the reading is listed below:
Today we are here to witness the marriage of Heather and Elizabeth, and to share in the joy of this occasion. They stand before you out of their love, trust and deep commitment to one another. The essence of this commitment is the taking of one another in her entirety as lover, companion and friend.
Marriage is a relationship entered in to thoughtfully, with gratitude for the past that you each bring to it and hope for your future together. It includes a willingness to share life with one another, and a desire to nurture your friendship, trust and love.
The future will, of course, contain success and failure, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow -- because these are the things that touch each of our lives. The important difference is that you will now experience those emotions together, and our hope is that your love and trust for one another will grow and deepen as you experience the future together, not alone. Remember that the surest basis for marriage is friendship -- the sharing of interests -- the ability to discuss ideas together and understand each other's thoughts and dreams.
While marriage is the uniting of two lives, it can yet enhance the differences and individuality of each partner. We must give ourselves in love but we must not give ourselves away. A good and balanced relationship is on in which neither person is overpowered or absorbed by the other. It is out of the tension between separateness and union that love, whose incredible strength is equal only to its incredible fragility, is born and reborn.
It is a tribute to your faith and trust in each other that, in full understanding of their importance and significance, you are willing to make the vows you make today. As we witness your vows, we wish for you a happy life together. We wish for you a love that makes both of you better people, that continues to give you joy and a zest for living, and that provides you with energy to face the responsibilities of life. We also wish for you a home filled with love, laughter and friendship.
In that spirit, and in recognizing your love and respect for one another and your decision to accept each other totally and permanently, I ask:
Do you Elizabeth take Heather to be your lawfully wedded wife? (Liz: I DO!)
Do you Heather take Elizabeth to be your lawfully wedded wife? (Heather: I DO!)
The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. By its circular shape, the ring signifies no end, a form of eternity. It is a symbol of the undying love that exists between these two people.
Liz and I then placed the rings on each other's fingers, while saying: With this ring, I marry you, join my life with yours and pledge my faithful love to you forever.
Because Heather and Elizabeth have promised to love and respect each other, and have witnessed to that before this company, and have declared the same by giving and receiving vows and rings:
May these two people, now married, keep this covenant which they have made, may they be a blessing and a comfort to each other, sharers of each other's joys, consolers of each other's sorrows, helper to each other in all the changes of their life together. May they encourage each other and give affection between themselves but also together have affection and consideration for others.
We who are present, and those who are absent, thinking of these two people, hope that the inspiration of this hour will not be forgotten. May you continue to love one another forever and ever. My virtue of the power vested in me by the laws of the State of Minnesota, I pronounce that you are married and I wish you much happiness.
Then we sealed everything with a kiss. :) *SMOOCH*