Jun 06, 2009


The Ceremony Highlights

Here are the highlights:



The Vows of Support (Joining of two families)


I now ask Kirby and Lana – and Shelby and Sandra to please come forward.

(Parents stand and come forward)


Often marriage is viewed as the union of just two people. In reality, marriage is much broader.  It is always a joining of two families.  To you,  the parents of Steven and Kassandra,


Although they have embarked on this marriage through personal choice, their marriage will be enriched by the families from which they come. With this in mind I ask you, Kassandra's parent's, Kirby and Lana, to take this man, Steven, into your hearts,  that he might live from this day forward as your son, for he is dear and beloved to Shelby and Sandra and shall be so to you and your family. Do you?

(Kassandra's parents) - We Do


And of you, Steven's parents, Shelby and Sandra, I ask the same.  I ask that you take this woman, Kassandra, into your hearts, that she might live from this day forward as your daughter, for she is dear and beloved to Kirby and Lana, and shall be so to you and your family. Do you?

 (Steven's parents) - We Do

 (Both Bride and Groom hug new family and return to seats)


 Reading by Louis de Bernieres

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.


Reading from The ABCs of Faith

“They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even -- for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health -- when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their live s together... The question is, what do they get in return?

“They get each other in return... There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to... There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. If they have children, they can give them, as well as each other, roots and wings. If they don’t have children, they each become the other’s child.

“They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”

-- Frederick Buechner


The Three Questions

So then, what is this love that we speak about today? I asked Kassandra and Steven individually what does Marriage and What does Love and being in Love mean to each of them, and I’d like to share their answers with all of you gathered this day,

As well as with Steven and Kassandra here for the first time.

Kassandra started with this.  Marriage is committing to and knowing you will live with and love the same person forever, even as you both change and grow individually and as a couple.  It’s thinking of your partner and doing things for them- not because you feel you have to, but because you want to.    To me, marriage is also admitting that while things will not always be perfect,  you are willing to push through it and come through as a stronger couple.  This will be my first and last wedding- no exceptions to that rule. Growing up, I could always tell how happy and in love my parents were.  You could see it in their eyes and how they talked to one another.  This is what influenced my view of marriage and what I have always wanted to find in a relationship. I knew that I wasn’t going to settle for any less. 


My parents showed me that marriage is committing to an intimate friendship where you are really an integral element of your partner’s being and they are a part of you as well.  My parents showed me that it is okay to give yourself completely to someone else.  My parents truly showed me what love, marriage and family are.  I know that Steve and I will do the same thing with our children. 


Steven described marriage in this way: Marriage good. Steven like Marriage. I asked him to elaborate (and evolve) a bit, and he said: Marriage isn’t easy.   It takes a lot of effort to make it work.  It is compromise and change and sacrifice.  It is depending on someone, and having them depend upon you.  There is an entire personal social change that takes place, not only legal or moral, but in the very heart of the individuals getting married.  It is no longer just the one (ME), now it is the couple (US).  Both must undergo this change for the marriage to be a success.  It is not something to be taken lightly, opposed to modern philosophies of marriage, where the divorce rate is high.  We both come from two sets of parents that have never divorced or separated and are the prime example about how a marriage will work out.  In my experience it is not always an easy thing to do.  I believe that marriage is final, that it should be the most important decision of your life.  I know that we have a road ahead of us,  but I also know that we are able to make sacrifices and compromises to make this partnership successful.  Whether it’s watching one of her shows on tv, or her taking out the trash sometimes,  know that we will be able to cooperate.


On Love and Being in Love, Kassandra said:  What is love?  A long time ago, I found the quote by Robert Heinlein,  “Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own,”  only to find that was written by an author Steve liked.  This quote sums up my feelings about love perfectly.  Knowing that I am making Steve happy makes me happy.  I think not only of myself, but of Steve as well, with pretty much all of my daily actions.  I think of how things will affect our lives as I make choices that once only had to do with me.  Being in love is willing to take a leap of faith and put yourself out there to get hurt.  When Steve and I had been dating for a couple months and things began to get serious, he told me about the position he would be going for in South Carolina in a couple months.  I remember thinking to myself, I have two options here: take a chance, put myself out there and see where this takes me (possibly to SC) or just end the relationship now before I get too involved. 


I thought about it for about a minute and a half when I realized that I could not imagine a day not talking to Steve.  At that point, I realized that I truly was in love with Steve.  Some people say that being in love makes you do crazy things, and I would say that is partially the truth.  For Steve and myself, being in love was driving back and forth between Anderson, SC and Atlanta five times a week for three months just so we could be together.  It’s labeling books, grading papers and making copies to make me a little more sane.  It’s buying anything Spiderman related just to make Steve smile.  It’s going to see every superhero movie known to man- preferably the day it comes out.  It's having a best friend, confidant, and lover all in one person.  Being in love makes life exciting.


For in Steven, I see the person that completes me.  I see kindness and warmth and someone that is so honest and sincere with everything that he does.  I see someone that makes me incredibly happy.  I see someone who will protect me from everything I fear.  I see someone who I would do anything for. 


Steve is so many things that I never necessarily thought I’d want or have in a relationship, but now cannot imagine living without.  When I look at him, I see “the one.”


Steven countered with this: Love, to me, is putting someone else’s well-being above your own.  Love is shared between many people in my life on a daily basis.  Being “in love” is something different, however.  The idea of being in love with someone means that you place that person highest in priority. 


You care deeply for that person and would do anything for them, because you know that they would do the same for you.  Love is knowing that, come what may, you have someone that has your back, someone that is there for you.  Love is the feeling you get when you are with that person, The warmth that comes from their closeness, the agony of not being near them, and the brightness that comes when you see them again.  Love is waking up and knowing that no matter what, your life has improved because they are in your life.  Finding the right person to be in love with is harder than falling in love. 


Some want a person who is just like themselves that they agree on everything, and do everything together.  I disagree. Some believe that opposites attract and that those with completely different interests are the ones that fall in love.  I disagree with them as well.  I believe that a happy medium is where you will truly find it.  I think that couples should not agree on everything or else it is entirely boring.  I admire the fact that Kassi and I do not agree on everything.  It keeps things fun and exciting.  I know that I am in love with Kassi, because I cannot live without her.  She is my first concern when I wake up and my last thought as I go to sleep.


And when I look into her eyes, I see, pupils, then her brown irises, but it isn’t her eyes themselves that give it away.  It’s her eyelids, her eyebrows and the way she makes her face do the talking.  I can tell what she’s thinking when I look into her eyes.  If she’s sad, or mad, or happy her eyes tell the story.  When she looks at me, I see safety.  I see shelter. Shelter from whatever storms come our way.  I know that I can tell her anything.  I know that we can overcome anything with each other.  If she needs something she tells me.  If I need anything I know I can come to her with it.  She is understanding and caring and by looking in her eyes I know I’ve found “the one.”

And that is the love we are speaking of today.


Rings and Vows

This being said, I now ask you to speak with a voice as true as your heart’s love,

The vows of Marriage, as you exchange the rings,


The tokens of the love shared here today.

  (Rings are presented to the Officiant)

These wedding rings,

these little circlets of precious metal,

symbolize the never-ending circle of love.

They echo the circle of eternity, and thus, are justly regarded as the

fitting emblem of the purity and perpetuity of the marriage state. 

Always see the best in each other each day that you are together. 

And when you look at the beauty of these rings,

Remember the love that you have for each other is forever.

May these rings forever be to you the symbols of your ever-growing love.


Steven, repeat after me.

I, Steven, take you, Kassandra, to be my wife.

In token and pledge,

Of my constant faith,

And abiding love,

With this ring, I thee wed.

I will love you for today, tomorrow, and forever.


Kassandra, repeat after me.

I, Kassandra, take you, Steven, to be my husband.

In token and pledge,

Of my constant faith,

And abiding love,

With this ring, I thee wed.

I will love you for today, tomorrow, and forever.



Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

May you wake each dawn with a winged heart,

And give thanks to another day of loving.

With these vows spoken

I now pronounce you husband and wife.


You may now kiss your bride  (Kiss)

(2) Comments

I love your Three Questions Section!

I Adore the Vow Of Support!!!  I've never seen it like that and it's great!