Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is wing’d cupid painted blind. –William Shakespeare
Love is the art of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Love, it is said, is blind, but love is not blind. It is an extra eye which shows us what is most worthy of regard. —J.M. Barrie
I found this piece while traveling with my husband . . . and fell in love with it!
I think it was the first piece we bought together, but I had another heart on my own. Once I had two…. the collection began!
I tell my couples: if you have an idea, we can work together to come up with something totally unique. We often think of ritual as something that’s been done before, but ritual is more about connecting symbol and metaphor and meaning in our lives. Ceremony is a way of telling a story about ourselves using symbol.
Here’s an example: After exchanging vows & rings, this couple created a lasting memento of the day & of their love.
A&S are very fortunate to have a friend who has created an amazing gift for them. It’s a brand with their initials intertwined together. It’s been heating in the coals beside us and in a moment, A&S will be pressing the brand to a piece a of wood, to burn their initials into it.
This brand is a reminder of the commitment that they have made to one another. The forging of this brand wasn’t a simple process; it took time and skill to create. At some point, it was soft and malleable and shaped into their initials, but now having been cooled, it is strong and enduring. It is solid and powerful. It can take the heat. And in the same way, A&S recognize that love isn’t simple; it takes skill and time to create, but once forged, it is strong and unshakeable.
A&S, you may now create your brand together.
A lovely selection suggested by one of my couples who met 20 years ago, drifted apart, and then re-connected in a serious way.
Here is my past–
what I’ve been proud of,
and what I’ve pushed away.
Today I see how each piece
was needed, not a single
step wasted on the way.
Like a stone wall,
every rock resting
on what came before-
no stone can be
suspended in mid-air.
Foundation laid by every
act and omission,
each decision, even
those the mind would
label “big mistake”.
These things I thought
were sins, these are as
necessary as successes,
each one resting on the
surface of the last, stone
upon stone, the fit
the rough, uneven
face of these rocks
in the sunlight.
Who are all the gardens
I have ever gazed at, longing.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
This sweet, simple poem by Emily Dickinson reflects something of the impossibility of measuring love.
It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
If ever two were one, then surely we.
I often find the best readings from my couples. Here’s one I fell in love with!
“Married Love” by Kuan Tao-Sheng and translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung.
You and I
Have so much love,
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.
If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.”
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it
There are two primary ways couples choose to say their vows. #1) The officiant asks the couple a series of questions to which the couple replies, “I do!” or “We do!” #2) The couple reads their vows to each other. There are other ways, but today I’ll focus on these two.
Which is right for you? It depends. If you love the idea of standing in front of your partner, looking into their eyes, and making them your promises, then you should read your vows!! If you love the idea of saying “I do!” or if the idea of standing in front of people and speaking makes you too nervous to enjoy your ceremony, you should consider going with questions. Does it matter? Not really—the only thing that matters is that you and your partner take the time to choose the vows you want. Whether you write your own or use the extensive resources I offer, it’s the deliberate selection of the promises that is most important. Your vows are the foundation of your relationship—your relationship “charter” or “constitution” if you will. They are important. Selecting the ones that mean something to you as a couple is critical. The format —questions or statements—that’s more a matter of what makes you most comfortable.
Here’s an example of the same vows in two different formats:
I take you to be my partner in life, my friend and companion through the unknown of the future. I will support you, love you, and be faithful to you for the rest of our lives. I promise to share my time and attention and to bring joy strength and imagination to our relationship. I promise to share my time and attention with you and to bring joy, strength, and imagination to our relationship. I promise to strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, filled with laughter, patience, communication, understanding, and love. I promise to work together to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that we will create a life together far better than either of us could imagine alone. I promise to comfort and strengthen you through life’s joys and sorrows, regardless of the obstacles we may face together for as long as we both shall live.
Bride/Groom, do you take this man/woman to be your partner in life, your friend and companion through the unknown of the future, support him/her, love him/her, and be faithful to him for the rest of your lives? I do!
And I ask of you both, do you promise to share your time and attention and to bring joy, strength and imagination to your relationship? We do!
Do you promise to strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, filled with laughter, patience, communication, understanding, and love? We do!
Do you promise to work together to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that you will create a life together far better than either of you could imagine alone? We do!
Do you promise to comfort and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows, regardless of the obstacles you may face together for as long as you both shall live? We do!
I can always help you personalize & re-format any vows so that they are just what you are looking for! Contact me & set up a free consultation!
Writing vows can be a real challenge—after all, these are the promises that you are making to the one person whom you never want to hurt. These are promises you want to keep forever. No pressure! I always encourage couples to consider and discuss the vows they want to make, regardless of whether they write their own or borrow from already beautifully written vows. The important part is that you make promises you can keep and promises that will strengthen your relationship.
I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become.
I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone.
I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams.
I promise to always strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.
I promise to be there for you when you need me, whenever you need me.
I promise to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.
I promise to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion.
I promise to persevere when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we might face, we will conquer them together.
I promise to treat you with compassion over fairness, because we are a team, now and for always.
I promise to show you, every day, that I know exactly how lucky I am to have you in my life.
Looking for a way to express your support for marriage equality? Consider including Justice Anthony Kennedy’s beautiful words from the landmark Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges:
Kennedy writes, “No union is more profound than marriage for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
But before this ruling, Judge Margaret Marshall from the State Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts wrote another beautiful passage:
Creating a personalized, deeply meaningful ceremony isn’t all about super serious, heavy poetry. It’s connecting to what is actually important to you. For this couple, a huge part of their life together is gaming—everything from board games to Pinballz, this couple loves to play games together. And let’s face it, there’s not a much better way to bond than to share laughter and good times! They didn’t want to take every moment of their wedding too seriously—and they wanted to share the laughter.
How’d they do it? Well, first of all when I approached the venue, the first thing I noticed was the groom and groomsmen all out flying remote helicopters. This definitely helped keep the nerves at bay! Their cakes were these amazing cartoon creations that defy description! But my favorite: their choice of ring bearer: a robot. Yes, an actual remote control robot whirred its way down the aisle getting a real laugh from all the family and friends who know this couple’s love of games so well. This was captured beautifully by Tank Goodness Photography. You can also see the couple moving from serious to laughing again in the ceremony.
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain’d its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
“Looking For Your Face”, by Rumi
“From the beginning of my life I have been looking for your face, but today I have seen it. Today I have seen the charm, the beauty, the unfathomable grace of the face that I was looking for. Today I have found you, and those who laughed and scorned me yesterday are sorry that they were not looking as I did. I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty, and wish to see you with a hundred eyes. My heart has burned with passion and has searched forever for this wondrous beauty that I now behold. I am ashamed to call this love human, and afraid of God to call it divine. Your fragrant breath, like the morning breeze, has come to the stillness of the garden. You have breathed new life into me. I have become your sunshine, and also your shadow. My soul is screaming in ecstasy. Every fiber of my being is in love with you. Your effulgence has lit a fire in my heart, and you have made radiant for me the earth and sky. My arrow of love has arrived at the target. I am in the house of mercy, and my heart is a place of prayer.”
From “The Irrational Season”, by Madeleine L’Engle
“Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling.”