I knew from a young age. It was my calling. I was destined to be a man of the cloth...
That may be overstating it just a little. But it was definitely worth $5 online at the Universal Life Church Ministries...and sure, why not throw in a PhD and Press-Pass.
Yup. It's legal. Tested all the way up to the Supreme Court. At 15 years old, I became credible in the eyes of the every state except most counties in VA and PA to conduct marriages. God (or whatever non-diety of your choosing) bless the US of A.
Fast-forward 10 years. My sister is marrying a great guy. And I'm invited to do it. Here's what I pulled together for two of my favorite people:
Good afternoon, family and friends. I am Josh Miramant, brother of the bride and soon to be brother-in-law to Josh.
I am so delighted to welcome you all here.
We have come together to celebrate the love and union of Ashley Brooke Webster-Miramant and Joshua James Ridley in the presence of the people they care most about.
Todayâ€™s ceremony of marriage is both a celebration of their love and a public acknowledgement of their commitment...a commitment to their support for one and other.
Love is the intersection of you are as individuals, and who you will become together.
New experiences lie before you with opportunities to grow deeper in love with each other.
From today, as you create a future together, you now get to cherish a new part of your lives...one where you think not only for yourself, but the compassion and understanding of each other.
This bond is given to bring comfort when there's sorrow,
peace when there is unrest,
laughter when there is happiness,
and love when it is shared.
When I Am with You - Rumi
When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.
Since the three of us all went on their first date together. (Yes...this is true) I immediately realized what weâ€™ve all come to realize...that these two amazing people, have found another person that makes each of them stronger, happier, fuller individuals.
They found another person that made their hopes and the goals more meaningful and more attainable through the mutual support provided in love, commitment, and family.
Each one of us here knows the bride and groom in different ways, but in each of these ways, itâ€™s obvious they are better for the love they give and receive.
Weâ€™ve seen them grow to make each other happy, to support one and otherâ€™s growth both as individuals and as a couple.
I like to now offer you this tiding of love:
May the years bring you happiness and contentment, and may you enter each otherâ€™s sorrow by empathy...
into each otherâ€™s joy with gladness...
into each otherâ€™s hope with faith and trust...
and into each otherâ€™s lives with enthusiasm and embrace..
May your life together be full of kindness and understanding, thoughtfulness and fun.
As you embark on your journey through life together, you are committing to be there for each other, in both the good times and bad.
But most importantly... you are committing to continue to fall in love with each other over and over again as you play, grow and learn together.
Before Ash & Josh share their vows with each other, Iâ€™d like to share a quote by Lao Tzu
â€œBeing deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.â€
We are all here today as loving family and friends to share with you both deep strength and enduring courage in the life youâ€™re building together.
Ash and Josh have prepared vows for one and other:
Ash do you have some words to share:
Josh would you please share your vows:
Please repeat after me:
I [name] acknowledge my love and respect for you
and invite you to share my life as I hope to share yours.
Through kindness and understanding
I shall seek to achieve with you the life we have envisioned.
I am always by your side
And now, by the power vested in me by the State of Massachusetts, I hereby pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss the bride.