One year ago today, hand-in-hand with my favorite person, we walked down a lantern-lined aisle; on a hot New Orleans Thursday afternoon. Under the Tree of Life, a symbol of growth, strength, and connectedness, we proudly said, “we do!” Oh, what a beautiful day that was!
After being together for ten years, we didn’t view getting married as a game-changer or an adjustment. It was a celebration of the life we had built up to that point and a commitment to continue growing, changing, and adventuring. Our relationship didn’t begin or end at our wedding; it was just one of the many joyous days we’ve shared, knowing there will be many more to come.
We had so many details that were personal to us and in our quirky style. We spent the whole morning together, dressed and everything. We both wore sneakers instead of dress shoes. We created a wedding playlist, filled with some of our favorite songs to walk down the aisle. When the time came, we just hit shuffle; whatever random song came on would be the answer. It could have been anywhere from “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo to “Take Me or Leave Me” from the Rent cast album, we ended up walking down to “The Crane Wife 1” by The Decemberists. We walked down the aisle together as our parents waited to embrace us at the end. Instead of exchanging rings, we exchanged bracelets made by yours truly. We initially didn’t seal our union with a kiss, but instead a loving headbutt. Fun fact, when we eventually did share a kiss, for the close family and friends that did join us, it was their first time witnessing PDA from us.
One of my favorite wedding preparations was crafting our ceremony script. The ceremony script is what you want the officiant to say as they facilitate your wedding. I thought we would all wing it; we say, “I do,” they say, “y’all married now, we good?” The end. Well, after I received the generic version, that thought process changed. It turns out it was pretty important to us that our values, personality, and pop culture references be incorporated. We’re not a generic couple, we’re not religious, and we don’t buy into typical marriage ideologies. I was very motivated to flip the script (ha!). What I was reading did not represent us.
In the end, with the assistance of browsing other nontraditional scripts, writing and rewriting, and bits and pieces of the original, we produced something we were proud to have read. I wanted to share our ceremony script with you as a way to get to know us and also inspire you if you ever decided to do something similar. It wasn’t easy, but don’t let wanting to be yourself deter you. This script is non-religious, non-possessive, gender-neutral, and has an emphasis on friendship and gratitude.
I. GATHERING WORDS
Today is a celebration.
A celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it for forever. In this ceremony today we will witness the joining of Tiara and Austin in marriage.
Before going further, the couple would like to take a moment to acknowledge the spiritual presence of loved ones who meant a great deal to them.
Even though they are not here physically, they are a part of the foundation that makes Tiara and Austin the people they are today.
When we marry, we promise to love not only as we feel right now in this moment, but also as we intend to feel in the future. In marriage we say not only, “I love you today,” but also, “I promise to love you tomorrow, the next day and always.” Marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, and who trust in that love, who honor one another as individuals, and who wish to spend the rest of their lives together.
II. MARRIAGE ADDRESS
As we think of love, let the words of Bob Marley resonate with each of us:
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.
You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.
They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.
You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
III. MARRIAGE STATEMENT OF INTENT
Tiara and Austin, do you present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?
Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life,
Come what may,
And to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?
Then please turn to each other to exchange your vows.
Austin, please repeat after me.
I, Austin, choose you Tiara, as my partner, in friendship and in love, in strength and weakness, to share the good times and misfortune, in achievement and failure. I will cherish and respect you through all the changes of our lives, forever giving thanks that we found each other.
Now, Tiara, please repeat after me.
I, Tiara, choose you Austin, as my partner, in friendship and in love, in strength and weakness, to share the good times and misfortune, in achievement and failure. I will cherish and respect you through all the changes of our lives, forever giving thanks that we found each other
V. BRACELET EXCHANGE
Now, a lesson on relationships from Garnet. “For a fusion to work, there needs to be balance. An imbalance can cause your fusion to lose touch with reality, see things that aren’t there, and eventually fall apart. That is to say, if one of you is falling apart, your fusion will as well. To find balance, you must understand your feelings. To understand your feelings, you must see them clearly without running from them”
Their relationship is a fusion. It is formed when the participants are emotionally harmonious with each other. Tiara and Austin have experienced this same joy and harmony, realizing they are stronger together than they are apart.
They have chosen to exchange bracelets, not only as a token of their love and commitment, but as a reminder of the fusion that they have become.
The bracelets are made of three components:
Rainbows, a symbol of following their hearts desire and purpose. To be inclusive of each other’s identities and passions. To always see the brighter side of things.
Obsidian, a stone formed by lava from a volcanic eruption. A symbol of strength and reassurance. Self-reflection, open communication, and protection. A reminder that they are each other’s anchors.
And Amethyst, a symbol of being the best versions of themselves. A pledge to continue to strengthen their balance, harmony, and stability. And of course, because purple is their favorite color!
Now, please remove your bracelets.
Austin, please repeat after me:
Tiara, I give you this bracelet a symbol of our partnership, and as a reminder of my promise to honor, love, and cherish you through all of life’s adventures.
Austin, I give you this bracelet a symbol of our partnership, and as a reminder of my promise to honor, love, and cherish you through all of life’s adventures.
Austin and Tiara, we have heard your promise to share your lives in marriage.
We recognize and respect the vows you have made here this day
before each one of us as a witness.
In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today,
And in accordance with the laws of the state of Louisiana
It is my honor to declare you united by the ties of marriage.
Austin, you may now head-butt your spouse.
And now I leave you with one piece of advice – remember, your wedding day doesn’t mark the end of your pursuit of each other. Rather, it’s just the beginning. Never stop learning about your spouse or learning what it means to love them.
Friends and family, I now present to you the newly married couple!
Thanks for celebrating with us!
Categories: Introvert Life