Lessons of Love
Lessons of love has always been my favorite part of a wedding ceremony.  Some times serious, and often whimsical, lessons of love should express the devotion you have for each other and remind each other that the love is greater than the little things that get in the way of daily life, like bad days at work, and sometimes our own tendency to be selfish.  The verse should be designed to bring you back around to the reasons you married to begin with.  Some of the verses below were gifted to me by brides and grooms and others I created for my couples.  Here is a selection, there will be more soon.

The vows you are about to give and receive should be taken to heart, because that is what marriage is about. Your hearts joined in the splendor of love and devotion to each other and to those whose lives you touch.  Especially in this modern day,  marriage should be taken with the desire of a life long commitment to each other, with the understanding that common courtesy and respect to each other is more important then to that of a stranger.  Marriage is after all a journey, not a destination.

Marriage is a promise born of hope between two people who love each other, who trust that love, who honor one another as individuals, and who wish to share their future with each other.  It enables two separate people to share their desires, longings, dreams and memories, joy and laughter, to protect each other and comfort each other, and to help each other through uncertainty. Your presence today is a statement of your commitment, to encourage and support the marriage Debbie and Mike will create.
As you enter into marriage, you do so with thought and reverence for with marriage comes a profound responsibility to each other.  It is therefore a decision which is not to be entered into lightly, but rather undertaken with great consideration and respect for both the other person and oneself.  As you find union with each other, you proclaim that union today and pledge to preserve it against what storms might come.  Marriage offers the greatest challenges to overcome, but in return, marriage gives us love, strength, and support from one another.  It is the couple who perseveres and demonstrates unrelenting patience and faith that obtains the highest form of happiness within their marriage. 

A strong marriage is dependent upon many factors. Love should be the core of your marriage, love is the reason you are here. But it also will take trust - to know in your hearts you want the best for each other. It will take dedication - to stay open to one another; to learn and to grow together even when this is not always so easy to do. It will take faith - to always be willing to go forward to tomorrow, never really knowing what tomorrow will bring. And it will take commitment - to hold true to the journey you both now pledge to share together.
The vows you are about to give and receive should be taken to heart for that is what marriage is about.  Marriage should be taken with the desire of a life long commitment to each other, with the understanding that common courtesy and respect to each other is most important.  Remember marriage is personal between a husband and wife.  Let no outsider guide your hand, heart or deed, for no one has traveled the road that brought you here today.  Debbie, will you hand your bouquet to you maid of honor, will you face each other and hold hands.

Mike, today, you are taking Debbie as your partner and companion, your dearest love and best friend.  Look forward to all the joys in your life together and welcome the challenge of every obstacle you encounter because whatever you face, you’ll face together.  
Because you are not only committing to your vows and your love today.  You are committing yourselves to the love you’ll share tomorrow and all the days after.  Your marriage is not just made up of two people, but also includes your friends and your families who have all in some way shaped you into the people you are, and guided your paths towards each other, and then before me today.

Neither of you can hope to be a perfect person, we have habits some would call flaws, and there will always be differences between you, learn to understand them, for they are part of why you came to love each other in the first place.
Poets, scholars, philosophers and fools have long referred to life as a circle.  We rose from the ashes and to the ashes we fall…  The circle of life, ……..the life cycle,…….. and the ever popular what goes around comes around.
Today’s wedding is much like that.  It began in high school the rest of their senior year, as they, say is history…and seen by them through the starry eyes of teenager’s in love.  Like most things with teenagers, the end of the school year brought an end to their relationship and each moved in a new direction. For 27 years they were married to other people, had children, built careers, lived parallel lives and as the life cycle would have it, they became again; single.
As the poets would have it; both Les and Kate remained friends with Joni, but more importantly:  as Joni would have it; after a dinner and a passed on hello from Kate to Les:   ., Les and Kate reunited, the rest, as they, as is about to become history.  That was seven years ago.  The path paved from high school has arrived here today.
For this we say :  Thanks, Joni! 

In this new season of life remember what past seasons have taught you.  Bring with you the wealth of your history, use it for the foundation of the path you now build together.  Sweep away the pebbles with ease, and don’t let the road blocks bar your chosen path, and enjoy the smooth roads to the nth degree.
Two lives….two people…so very different, yet so similar.  Together you stand sharing your future as it comes.  Leave your past and face buds that are yet to blossom for you.  Face the future with care, trust, honesty, and kindness.  These are the fruits of love.
Don’t let the vows between you be an obstacle to individuality.  Marriage is a partnership; not two people becoming one.  Your minds cannot fuse, your souls cannot merge.  Two hearts cannot keep to the same time.  You have chosen to walk one path together, to bridge the differences between you with love.  Remember to respect those differences; learn to understand them, for they are part of what made you come to love each other in the first place.
Love is the reason you chose today to begin your lives together.
Love is the reason you give to each other the best you have to offer.
Love is the reason that together you will walk one path, with hope and joy for the coming years.
Denise, Lee, today you commit yourselves to honoring and protecting one another above your separate selves; to valuing your union above your own interests; in so doing, you will find a wealth of love and peace not attainable otherwise. With this joy comes a profound responsibility.  Protect the bond you share. It is only with meticulous care that your love is secure in the test of daily life.
Regard each other with the deepest respect. Appreciate each other's talents, foster each other's dreams; Be ever mindful of the gifts that you bring to each other. Inspire and encourage one another. In strengthening your partner, you strengthen your marriage. Bring out the very best in each other. Be sparing in criticism and generous in praise always.
Be honest and open with each other. For without truth there is no respect;  without respect there is no love. Accept your marriage as a work-in-progress that will hereafter consume you as a labor of love, never be completed.  Find joy in that labor which produces the richest fruit, that we call love.
A vast, unknown future stretches out before you. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. But it is a great tribute to your belief in each other that you are willing to face those uncertainties together. May the pure, simple love with which you join hearts and hands today never fail, but grow deeper and surer with every year you spend together.
You are to each other what the earth and wind and seeds are to life.   Just as the wildlife nourishes the soil and stream, just as the stream and soil nourish the seeds of the trees that grow strong around us, just as the trees and plants proved the air that we breathe, you are all nurturing to each other.  Provide strength when you partner is weak, shelter when your partner is cold, and love when your partner feels lost.  Scatter the seeds of your love easily and with joy, encouraging each other and those of us around you to grow with love.

Have patience with each other:  Be free in giving of affection and of warmth.  Above all remember that marriage is personal between you two, let no outsider guide your heart, hand or judgment, for they have not traveled the road they you have shared.  There is no greater magic on this world than two people joined together in love.  Be close, grow together and grow individually, as the lily needs the lattice shade of the oak, neither will the lily survive in total shadow.

Marriage symbolizes the ultimate intimacy between a man and a women. This closeness should not diminish, but strengthen the individuality of each partner. A marriage that lasts is one that always has a little more to grow.

Be kind to each other. When you disagree, do so with respect. The love that you have found together is a fragile gift. Nothing of this earth is worth the risk that it might be damaged. Always hold in your heart the feelings that you have at this moment. When there are difficult times, when you may doubt the validity of your love, bring yourself back to this moment. Keep your hearts open to each other especially when it is the most difficult.

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