Naya and Oliver Get Hitched!
A big thanks to all of our friends and family for making our wedding so special. Below is our wedding ceremony which a number of people have asked us to share. Thanks again to James Home for officiating.
JH:"Welcome. Today represents not only the joining of Naya and Oliver, but also the joining of their families and friends. Oliver and Naya would like to recognize their parents on this occasion. Parents, the unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered, have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts. Without you, this day would not be possible.
Today Oliver and Naya are surrounded by the love of family and friends. They want me to thank you all for being here; for your travel, your time and most of all your presence. You are the most important people in their lives - you form the community within which their marriage will grow and thrive. Will you give bride and groom your blessing and pledge to them your continued respect and support? If so, please answer, "We will."
Naya and Oliver have also asked that we take a moment to honor those loved ones who are not with us today and as we remember those who are not with us, we also recognize those who are still denied the civil right of wedded union.
In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the legal case in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the state may not deny the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage to same-sex couples, the ruling read: "The union of two people is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects."
Oliver and Naya believe that all loving couples should enjoy the right to legal marriage."
"How joyful to be together, alone
as when we first were joined
in our little house by the river
long ago, except that now we know
each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong to one story
that the two, joining, made. And now
we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves:
how joyful to feel the heart quake
at the sight of a grandmother,
old friend in the morning light,
beautiful in her blue robe!"
"That was The Blue Robe, by Wendell Berry, read by Emily Kasten. These are the words that Naya and Oliver feel represent the reason they want to marry. To grow old and more in love. To spend the years of time joining in making their own way, always carrying that first spark forward."
"To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one's self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one's self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another--and to one's inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon's own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child's scars
Or an adult's deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are--and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide."
"That was To Love is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh read by Rachel Weidinger
Naya and Oliver have asked you here to bear witness to their bond, and in this, they publicly acknowledge their priority to value their individual contributions to their partnership.
The sweetness of a shared goal is one part of why they have chosen to join in this union, and within this bond, they recognize that by standing tall / acting clearly / being honest / doing their best – they form a bond from their own individual strengths such that the sum is truly greater than its parts."
“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.”
JH: "That was “Looking For Your Face” by Rumi, read by Amy Squires
[Vows. Naya/Oliver read from book]
“I choose you to be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you and trusting that which I do not yet know.
I promise to learn from you, to communicate openly, and to honor our differences,
I promise to make a home together with you, grow old, and during this life, make a difference in our world,
I vow to remind you that every moment is an opportunity for the extraordinary,
You are my partner, my best friend, my lover, my teacher, my reminder of the beauty in life....
From this moment forward, I take our marriage as my highest honor, my greatest challenge, and my sacred duty. that I may be your husband/wife and keep you as my wife/husband, forever.”
JH: “These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
[Exchange of Rings (repeat after James)]:
"With all that I am, with all that I will become, with this ring, I marry you."
If you, the beloved friends and family of Naya and Oliver affirm that you have witnessed and sanctify this marriage, let them hear your most resounding “YES!”
Y E S!!!
“you may now kiss the bride”
May every word you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I present to you, for the first time as husband and wife: Mr. and Mrs. Fross.
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