Kristen and Frank’s Wedding Ceremony
Robert walks in and takes place to left of aisle, on
Good afternoon, and welcome to the ceremony that will unite Frank and Kristen in marriage.
We are gathered here, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is. We celebrate with Kristen and Frank the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives.
Kristen and Frank, your bond was first formed when the two of you chose to combine your separate lives into one. You have made a mutual commitment to love each other in an atmosphere of care and consideration and respect. You are partners in life, working together to bring out the best in each other, and for each other, and striving to be the most you can. This ceremony marks the moment when the relationship you have been creating gains a new, richer meaning.
Your shared experiences have brought you together and forged this bond of love. From this day onward you will come closer together than ever before. You will love one another for better and for worse, in sickness and in health. At the same time your love will give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destinies, to make your special contribution to the world.
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 your marriage be a place in which you share your joys so that they may be multiplied and your pain so that it may be divided. May you be blessed with a lifetime of happiness and a home of warmth and understanding.
I would now like to invite Frank’s sisters, Marie and Denise, to deliver the first reading.
Reading 1: Marie and Denise
(Robert, to Kristen and Frank:) Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Take responsibility for making each other feel safe, and give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties, and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at some time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And, if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
Kristen’s friend, Debbie, will now read the second reading.
Reading 2: Debbie
Debbie brought Kristen to DC in 1998 for the 4th of July party at which she and Frank met – right before Kristen left for Uzbekistan, of course. It is because of Debbie that Kristen and Frank are here today. And they would like to ask everyone to join them in congratulating Debbie and her partner, Tim, on their recent engagement. Let’s have a round of applause for Debbie and Tim.
I’d like to ask Kristen’s brother, Danny, and her sister-in-law, Morgan, to come up and deliver the final reading – one which she had the privilege of reading at their wedding in September.
Reading 3: Danny and Morgan
Frank and Kristen, may you always need one another, not to fill an emptiness, but to help each other know your fullness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with each other, and not fail in the little graces. May you have happiness, and may you find it in making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.
Involvement of Family and Friends
(To all) Kristen and Frank would like to take this moment to recognize you, their family and friends, who traveled from near and far to spend this very special day with them. Each and every one of you has been an important part of their lives and has played a role in shaping the people that they are today. Thank you all for being here to celebrate this joyous day with them.
There are, of course, loved ones who are unable to be here today. Kristen and Frank, do not be sorrowful for you know all those who love you and ever have loved you are here with you in spirit. Let’s take a moment to remember the special loved ones whose presence is missed today. (pause)
For the families of Kristen and Frank, this is a special day in your lives as well as theirs. In addition to the union of their hearts, this ceremony marks the joining of their families, merging their heritages into a single future. In their shared future, Frank and Kristen will draw upon the examples you have set and the love and strength you have provided. Your relationships with them and with each other have shaped the people they have become, and will continue to shape the couple they will be.
The friends who share this day with Frank and Kristen have been the community with whom they have shared both good and bad times. The bonds of your friendships will be even stronger and more meaningful because of your participation in their wedding. Now you will witness and confirm the primacy of their friendship for each other.
Will you, the family and friends of Kristen and Frank, pledge to give them your continuing support, your love and your understanding as they work to build a happy and enduring marriage? If so, please say, “We will.” (hopefully people will all say “we will.”)
(Robert reads and Frank repeats)
(Robert reads and Kristen repeats)
Exchange of Rings
For years, lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their vows. These simple gold bands are not of great value in themselves, but are made precious by our wearing of them. Frank, I ask that you now offer such a ring to Kristen. (Robert holds up a card with the following text so Frank can read it.)
(Frank:) Pookie, today I take you to be no other than who you are, the woman who stopped me in my tracks when I first set eyes on her on the 4th of July seven years ago. Today, I make this commitment to you because every day my love for you has grown deeper and fuller. And my love will grow deeper and fuller still, every day that we are together. I promise to always be there to love you and make you smile, and to comfort and support you. I give you this ring as a reminder that I shall love you, in all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever. Will you receive it and wear it in glad union with me? (Kristen says “I will.”) (Frank puts ring on Kristen’s finger.)
Kristen, I ask that you now offer a ring to Frank. (Robert holds up a card with the following text so Kristen can read it.)
(Kristen:) Frank, today I choose to deepen my commitment to you. This ceremony is my way of telling you that our experiences together have been so good that I want them to continue for the rest of my life. You are everything I ever hoped to find in a partner and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I give you this ring as a reminder that I shall love you, in all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever. Will you receive it and wear it in glad union with me? (Frank says “I will.”) (Kristen puts ring on Frank’s finger.)
(Robert to Kristen and Frank:) Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that, despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.
(To All:) We rejoice this day in the marriage of Kristen and Frank. We celebrate the love that brought them to this day. (To Kristen and Frank:) May your house be a place of happiness for all who enter it, and a place where the old and the young are renewed in each others' company, a place for growing, a place for music, a place for laughter. And when shadows and darkness fall within its rooms, may it still be a place of hope and strength for all who enter it, especially for those who may be entrusted to your care. From the rich encouragement of your affection, may you be inspired to open your doors to the needs you perceive in the world. In the embrace of mutual respect, may you each complete the unfinished pattern of your true selves. Let the passing of the days and the years deepen the love of your union and make it full of tenderness and grace. May you strive all the rest of your lives to meet this commitment to each other with the same love and devotion that you now possess.
Kristen and Frank, as you join hands right now and look into one another’s eyes, let it be known that you are joined, body and soul in this lifetime, and that this bond is sacred and eternal.
You may now seal this ceremony with a kiss.
Friends and family, by the power vested in me by the District of Columbia, it gives me great pleasure to present the newly married Kristen Degan and Frank Schipani.