I am officiating a wedding ceremony this weekend on Long Island. While I will admit each ceremony presents its own set of challenges, the inherent challenge with this one is the fact that the bride and groom are in their sixties, have been together for over 25 years, and are not overtly romantic people (no penchants for sappy ceremonies here). For most typical wedding ceremonies, #NewYorkWeddingOfficiants can write about the endless possibilities a younger will experience together; all of the milestones in life they will achieve together — buying of a home, rearing children, et al, This aesthetic, however, in not typical of a wedding ceremony that involves older couples. And with all of these thoughts in mind, here’s an excerpt of the ceremony I put together for my older couple this weekend…
A wedding is the celebration/ of the miracle of love,/ and that is the impetus/ for what we are doing here today;/ to celebrate/ that miracles do occur;/ that at any moment,/ the unexpected can happen;/ and how at the drop of a hat, /the path of our entire life/ can change.
Marriage is a meditation on our histories as well as our future, on our losses and failures, as well as our hopes and possibilities and in the case of our bride and groom; we look back with fond remembrance of their many years together as a couple.
And so, as Linda and Philip wed, it is worthwhile to contemplate that they could not and would not be standing before us today if they had not followed their own star home and done what they needed to do to deliver themselves to this point in their lives.
Marriage brings two people together not only in the present, but also in the presence of their past – of the lives they have led, the choices they have made, the lessons that have shaped and reshaped the chambers of their hearts.
It would be wonderful to think that this relationship – and your readiness for it – arrived at your doorstep out of the blue. But that isn’t the case, and in trying to view it this way you separate yourself from the lessons that brought you here, indeed from your own evolution as a person.
Acknowledging the past as preparation allows you to step most gracefully into the present, and, having done so, you need to remind each other that this union in unique for it is the consequence and fulfillment of all of those that have gone before. It has qualities contributed by the both of you that make it the highest expression of what you both can offer through the medium of an intimate relationship. Therefore, be generous in reminding one another not only of what an amazing union you have, but also of the singular set of qualities you each possess – the attributes, values, and convictions – that can allow you to legitimately believe to depths of your hearts that this is a love that will last until the end of your days.
Always remember to do the simple and beautiful things that will make this love a treasure. Play and fight well. Communicate with one another. Focus on what you want and entice your intentions into being. Plan for the things that are important to you and make sure to follow through on all of them. This love has to be nurtured, to be lived out to the fullest in every aspect imaginable – in the simple acts of daily life, in realized hopes and long-deferred plans, in a quality of emotional exchange toward which the whole of your life has been leaning.
And, finally, be thankful for one another. Love is always a gift. You have both been delivered to your ideal partner, the person with whom you can share the fruits of all the lessons in your life.
I hope you enjoyed reading it!!!
Wishing you all a life of love, laughter, and balance.
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