When my sister asked me if I would officiate her wedding I answered the way any good brother would, “Only if I can dress like Elvis.” At this time the wedding was supposed to be a small family event in my parents backyard. They live on the water here in Florida and it’d be a nice place for a wedding.
Over the coarse of the engagement the wedding grew larger and turned into a much bigger deal. As the ceremony grew so did my anxiety about performing the ceremony. I’d never done anything like this before. So after watching many YouTube weddings and reading on Google about various wedding tips I put together my speech and processes.
By wedding day I felt relatively prepared. The ceremony got going and everything seemed to be moving along fine. Just then I realized I had messed up. So much for it going off without a hitch. I forget to tell everyone to be seated. They were still standing from when the bride walked in. I see my mid nineties grandfather struggling to keep standing. I knew I was close to a point to sit everyone so when I got there I had everyone sit. I don’t remember what I said but it must’ve been funny since the room laughed about it. Other than that it seemed to of gone very well and I got great feedback. Most importantly the bride and groom liked it as did my parents.
While I mostly had an outline and spoke sort of off the cuff, below is pretty much what I had to say during the meat of my talk. And performing a wedding in an old historic church is the same as a brand new one expect you have to talk loudly as there are no microphones or speakers to amplify your voice. Anyway, here’s pretty much what was said.
“On behalf of both families I’d like to thank all you for being here to share this moment with Shane and Katie. Marriage is a ceremony of love. Shane and Katie met, formed a bond, that bond became love and has grown into what we see today. They are ready to commit to each other for the rest of their lives.
I’d like to start off by reading I Corinthians 13: 4-8. Love is patient, love is kind…..(I read it all but I think I said one word wrong but no one noticed) We’ve all heard that verse before, probably at weddings and we can all agree that these are good words for any relationship based on love. But the love of a marriage, or to be in love require even more.
In preparation for this ceremony I sought the advice of people who have been in relationships a long time and I’d like to share what they had to say with you.
After the ceremony it would be a mistake to think you’ve won each other over and that’s the end of it. While you have won each other you have to keep doing what it takes to win each other over, over and over again, throughout your life. As life changes you and your partner and circumstances change, the things it takes to win each other over chance as well. For this reason it is essential you keep learning about each other.
This is the point where I was going to tell embarrassing stories about everyone and what we’ve all learned but I won’t do that. We’ll just say we’ve learned that Shane is a bit reserved, Katie is not and anyone can become an ordained minister over the internet. (The whole room laughed at that. I was nervous my joke wouldn’t go off well so I was relieved it was a hit!)
The last point I want to make is that love is unconditional. No limits should be set on how much love you’re willing to give. Some say marriage is 50/50 but I disagree and think that is a recipe for failure.
This mindset says I’m only willing to go so far, then I stop. Instead, make up your mind to give it all, whatever it takes. Earnest Hemingway said the easiest way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them. I think this can apply to love too. So I say to trust and to love.
Keep winning each other over, keep learning about each other and love unconditionally.