Marriage is a relationship which embodies all the warm and precious values that grow out of human companionship and love. We enter it joyfully and in the knowledge that love is both our highest achievement and life's most precious gift. Love is one of the highest experiences that we human beings can have, and it can add depth of meaning to our lives. The sensual part of love is one of life's greatest joys, and when this is combined with real friendship both are infinitely enhanced. The day-to-day companionship - the pleasure in doing things together, or in doing separate things but in delighting to exchange experiences - is a continuous and central part of what two people who love each other can share.
Floyd, as the bride's father you stand here representing the parents of both Melissa and Jeff. As such you are not here to give the bride away but rather to be recognized not only as Melissa's father and a vital influence on her journey into adulthood, but also as an symbol of parental love and guidance which shapes us all into the people we are today. Are you ready to wish Melissa and Jeff well on their new journey together?
It is appropriate that you, the family and friends, are here to participate in this wedding. The ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which these two bring to their marriage have roots in the love, friendship, and guidance, with which you have provided them.
Melissa and Jeff, you have invited us to witness the happiness that you have found in each other. Are you ready to make the pledges to which you commit yourselves to each other in love?
We are gathered here to join this man and this woman in marriage. Marriage is an act as ancient as the history of the human race and as new as each new morning; for it speaks of the past and of the future, of the life of the individual and the existence of the community. It is a commitment, the essence of which is the taking of another person in his or her entirety, as lover, companion, and friend. Those who enter into this relationship shall cherish for each other a mutual esteem and love, bear each other's infirmities and weaknesses, comfort each other in sickness, trouble and sorrow, encourage each other and live together as the heirs of life. Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly, but with devotion and discretion. Love and loyalty will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home; and if the solemn vows you are about to make be kept with honor and integrity, your life will be full of peace and joy, and the home you are establishing will be one of warmth and understanding.
Melissa and Jeff, you have come to this celebration with an awareness that your marriage will have its rewards and its joys, as well as sorrows. Your lives will be intertwined and it would be unrealistic to assume that you will always live in harmony. However, as you have already established a strong foundation, you will be able to meet future challenges with humor, understanding and compassion.
<Both Melissa & Jeff: "As husband and wife we will remember the delight that we have discovered in each other's company, accept the discoveries and treasures of growing older together, and provide strength where there is weakness.">
<Jeff: "I stand before family and friends as your lifelong mate.">
<Melissa: "I stand before family and friends as your lifelong mate.">
The ring is a symbol of unity in which your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Your wedding rings declare that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be together, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are and who you will become. May your love have the strength and resilience of these rings which you have chosen to symbolize your love.
<Jeff: "I hope you wear this ring as a reminder that I love you every single day of your life.">
<Melissa: "I hope you wear this ring as a reminder that I love you every single day of your life.">
Melissa and Jeff, marriage is the joining of two people- the union of two hearts. It lives on the love you give each other and never grows old, but thrives on the joy of each new day. May you always have in your hearts the memory of this special day. May you always be able to talk things over, to confide in each other, to laugh with each other, to enjoy life together, and to share moments of quiet and peace, when the day is done. May you enjoy a lifetime of happiness.
Forasmuch as Jeff and Melissa have grown in knowledge and love of one another, and because they have agreed in their desire to go forward in life together, seeking an even richer, deepening relationship, and because they have pledged to meet sorrow and joy as one family, we rejoice to recognize them as husband and wife.