Cause of Love

Cause of Love

Frequent Photo

“Commitment isn’t just a sign of love; it’s a cause of love.” Daniel Gilbert

One day last fall, a beautiful young woman married a handsome young sailor.  Barefoot, she wore a simple dress and flowers in her hair. He wore his uniform.  The sun poured down on the blue waters of Trinidad and polished the bride’s smooth shoulders as we stood on a cliff beside the ocean. Only their parents and one friend came to watch this secret wedding. Far below us the waves whispered, “Hush”  as I spoke the words that made them husband and wife.

Recently, they had found out they needed to be married in order to qualify for housing in the military but she had already begun planning a large formal wedding for December–therefore they wanted a small secret ceremony before their Christmas wedding.

The two entrusted me with writing and performing both.  The second was held at the Scotia Inn.  There the bride looked beautiful in a formal ivory gown and the groom looked self assured in a tux with his military haircut scraped into a mohawk. The first wedding was gentle and full of hope–the second, full of laughter and trust.  The first simple, the second formal.  To me, I felt as if each ceremony created a deeper connection between the two.  The act of making a commitment made their love stronger, I believe.

Don’t get me wrong, I lived with my husband for several years before we married.  I think taking time to make sure you are both ready is only sensible way.  But, by marrying, you invest more in each other and the more you commit, the more you feel entwined.  It is as if two hands tentatively reach out for each other and brush fingertips– then that soft touch creates a craving that isn’t satisfied until the two hands are clasped and two lips are pressed against each other.

Since I began by performing my cousin’s wedding a year and a half ago, I’ve felt such joy at being a tiny part of creating this stronger bond.  It is as holy (if I, an agnostic, can use that word) as when a hawk spirals in the sky or when a baby slips out of his mother’s belly into his father’s hands.

Thank you to all three couples who have entrusted their special days to me.  I’m blessed.

(I am also, apparently,  in an incredibly sentimental mood.  I hope this is not too saccharine.)

Vows below the fold

A year and a half ago, I officiated at my cousin’s wedding.  Since then I’ve performed four ceremonies but I’ve only married 3 couples.

Here are the  vows for the India Schill’s first wedding to Travis Broadbent.

The Ceremony: Feet on the land, Wind in Our Hair

As we stand here, our feet on the land and the wind in our hair, let your hearts fill with the joy of this place.

Let the continuing caress of the waves on the sand become the basis for your relationship.   Reach out to each other in times of trouble like the water reaches to the land.

There will be troubled periods when you will wonder why you married this person—you won’t even be sure you like them.  But just as the tides always return so too will love’s intensity if you reach out for each other.

If you remember this day and this hope, and clasp each other’s hands just like you are now, you can and will reconnect through your memory of this moment–this time where you stand, feet on the land with wind in your hair, and promise each other to love, and to care, and to cherish, and to believe.

Do you India, Do you Travis… promise to remember your love when times are hard?

[We do]

Right now is the time to turn to each other and promise to take the joy of this moment forward with you into the day to day motions of life.  Try and fill the moments of life with droplets of this hopefulness, this belief in each other.  Reach out for each other in times of trouble.  Hold hands and remember how here— feet on the land, wind in the hair– you believed in each other enough to start on this marriage–together.

Do you India, Do you Travis promise to remember your belief in each other and in yourselves and work to make your belief a reality that your great grandchildren will remember—a love so abiding that it will help you surround a family with love like your own families surrounded you?

[We do]

With your feet on the land of the North Coast you both belong to, turn and look at the families and friends who are here to support and love you.  Just like this land provides a solid basis to your lives so too did your family.

Will you Travis,  Will you India, promise to work to provide that same solid basis to each other?

[We will]

As a symbol that this beautiful North Coast is part of you and you are part of it, each of you carries a heart shaped stone.  Let the stone stay here and choose another from this spot to carry with you.

Hold this new stone in your hand.

Feel its coolness warm with your love for this man, for this woman. So too will your lives be warmed by your love for each other. Let these rocks symbolize the small things you will give each other—kind words, soft touches. Will you with your feet on the land and the wind in your hair pass these stones to each other?

[We do]

Now take the rings in your hand, warm them with the love you have for each other.  Let the rings symbolize the large things you will give each other—kind words, soft touches.  For there are no larger things than these. …Travis, Will you place your ring on India’s finger?

[I will]

India, will you place your ring on Travis’ finger?

[I will]

Here with your family and friends, by the power you have entrusted in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for here and forever. For now, for always, may our love surround your love. May your love always last. May your laughter echo in your great-grandchildren’s ears. May the ocean of life treat you kindly.

With the wind in your hair and the land beneath your feet, reach out, hold each other.  And Kiss.

Let your new life together begin.

_______________________

Here are the  vows for the India Schill’s second wedding to Travis Broadbent.

India, Travis, this is a day for beginnings.  Are you ready to start afresh?

[We are]

{I turn to audience}

Thank you for coming here to celebrate one of the most important days in Travis and India’s lives, welcome.

Marriage is a promise of stability made solemnly before the community. But it is not just a promise between two people, it is a ceremony in which the community—family and friends—accept the husband and wife as more than just two single people.  We accept them also as a distinct and remarkable entity—people whose goals and values are now joined together.  It as if two streams flow into each other making one strong river.

But even more than a recognition of their new status, it is a promise we make to the participants that we will support their choice and strengthen their love in whatever ways we can.

So, in symbol of this support, I’m going to ask you here to make some vows also —Please respond aloud as I ask for a verbal acknowledgment of the silent commitment we as a community make at each new wedding. Reach out to whoever is sitting beside you and clasp hands. {pause}

Will you, the friends and family of India and Travis, join me in surrounding these two with your affection and your willingness to help sustain their love?

[We do]

Every person here has, to a greater or lesser extent, shaped these two beautiful young people, and you will continue to help form the people they become.  Will you work to prove a supportive, nurturing place for their love to grow?

[We will]

Thank you.

India, Travis  these family and friends want your marriage to wind slowly into forever—never breaking, never dying.  Will you promise to remember their support and do all within your power to nurture your love so that it creates a river of strength?

[We do]

Now take the rings in your hand, warm them with the love you have for each other.  Let the rings symbolize the large gifts you will give each other—kind words and soft touches.  For there are no smaller or greater gifts than these. …Travis, Will you place your ring on India’s finger?

[I will]

India, will you place your ring on Travis’ finger?

[I will]

To symbolize the way your lives were shaped separately but now will flow together in strength and love will you each pick up a vessel.  Now pour that water into each other’s cups.  India, this vessel that pours into your cup is filled with water from Travis’ home.  Travis, this vessel that pours into your cup is filled with water from India’s home.

Drink from each other. As you drink, know that from this day forward your lives flow together as water from two streams flow together to make a river.  Let each of you work to help one another achieve your goals and your dreams.  Like the river, you will not turn stream against stream but rather you will work entwined to achieve that which you both want.

And on days when you look at each other askance and wonder what made you chose to travel together (and you will)  remember, like the river, to let go of needing to go only your way and instead relax and let your love carry you through the hard times.

Do you India, Do you Travis promise to create a love so strong—a love so abiding that it will help you surround a family with love like your own families surrounded you?

[We do]

Here with your family and friends, by the power you have entrusted in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for here and forever. For now, for always, may our love surround your love. May your love always last. May your laughter echo in your great-grandchildren’s ears. May your lives wind together into the future as long as you both shall live.

Sip again from the cups.

Here, surrounded by people who love you, reach out, and hold each other.  With the water symbolic of both your former lives moistening your lips, turn to each other and kiss.

Let your new life together begin.

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35 comments

  • Beautiful vows, Kym.
    The Redneck and I will celebrate 10 years on January 28th and I’ve been thinking a lot about just these things. You put into words the nebulous thoughts in my head.
    Awesome.

  • Beautiful vows, Kym.
    The Redneck and I will celebrate 10 years on January 28th and I’ve been thinking a lot about just these things. You put into words the nebulous thoughts in my head.
    Awesome.

  • My wife and I have been married 35 (going on 36 years this August) and much of what you say about marriage is right on.
    It easily rates as the biggest milestone in my life. My happiness started when we were dating and bloomed into full-blown love over the years after we got married on Aug.31st, 1974.
    I’m not much of a romantic guy, but when it comes to Shirley…my heart still skips a beat after all these years.

    I wasn’t aware you were able to perform marriages. I’m guessing that you do non-denominational weddings …which to me is a great idea! I admit to a lot of skepticism when it comes to organized religion.

  • My wife and I have been married 35 (going on 36 years this August) and much of what you say about marriage is right on.
    It easily rates as the biggest milestone in my life. My happiness started when we were dating and bloomed into full-blown love over the years after we got married on Aug.31st, 1974.
    I’m not much of a romantic guy, but when it comes to Shirley…my heart still skips a beat after all these years.

    I wasn’t aware you were able to perform marriages. I’m guessing that you do non-denominational weddings …which to me is a great idea! I admit to a lot of skepticism when it comes to organized religion.

  • I had a feeling at the second Wedding that you were already married. I now know that both Ceremonies were beautiful. I hope the best for the both of you. I know from my own failures how hard it is to make a lifetime together work, but I felt when I was with you two that you will do whatever it takes to make it work for yourselves, your Children and our Grandchildren. May all Good Blessings Be Upon You, May Peace Abide with You, May Love Illuminate your Hearts, Now and Forever More. May your life together be a Light that gets brighter and maybe a little more Rosie with age. All my Love to you both. Grampa Rob

  • I had a feeling at the second Wedding that you were already married. I now know that both Ceremonies were beautiful. I hope the best for the both of you. I know from my own failures how hard it is to make a lifetime together work, but I felt when I was with you two that you will do whatever it takes to make it work for yourselves, your Children and our Grandchildren. May all Good Blessings Be Upon You, May Peace Abide with You, May Love Illuminate your Hearts, Now and Forever More. May your life together be a Light that gets brighter and maybe a little more Rosie with age. All my Love to you both. Grampa Rob

  • Oh Kym…. What a beautiful and thoughtful ceremo0ny. Thanks so much for posting it.

  • Oh Kym…. What a beautiful and thoughtful ceremo0ny. Thanks so much for posting it.

  • Thank you, both weddings were so beautiful (and the bride looked like a model from a magazine–either it is true that all brides are lovely or I have officiated at some the weddings of some of the most strikingly pretty women in the world!) that I felt blessed to be there.

  • Thank you, both weddings were so beautiful (and the bride looked like a model from a magazine–either it is true that all brides are lovely or I have officiated at some the weddings of some of the most strikingly pretty women in the world!) that I felt blessed to be there.

  • I am so happy that others have included you in their wedding. You definitely made our wedding so very special~ I always think back on that day and smile. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • I am so happy that others have included you in their wedding. You definitely made our wedding so very special~ I always think back on that day and smile. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Kym! What lovely words! Now I have vow envy. How would you feel about helping us write ours? 5th Anniversary 2012 … our love is warming every moment like rocks in our hands…. &lt ;3

  • Kym! What lovely words! Now I have vow envy. How would you feel about helping us write ours? 5th Anniversary 2012 … our love is warming every moment like rocks in our hands…. &lt ;3

  • Your post is very touching. Almost too much so as it reminds me of how things are floundering between me and my wife of almost 14 years.

    Love is precious, but sometimes it’s just fleeting…

  • Your post is very touching. Almost too much so as it reminds me of how things are floundering between me and my wife of almost 14 years.

    Love is precious, but sometimes it’s just fleeting…

  • Forkboy, somehow I missed your comment. I am so sorry.

    My husband and I went through a hard time at around 15 years. It took a lot of pain (and a lot of laughter) to get through to where we are now. If it isn’t too presumptuous, my advice is be painfully honest, be kind (and no, those are not mutually exclusive) and to consciously, verbally acknowledge all the wonderful things about the other person–not only to them but to other people and yourself in private as well. Hugs. I know how much this can rip at you throat and make your body physically ache with the emotional pain.

  • Forkboy, somehow I missed your comment. I am so sorry.

    My husband and I went through a hard time at around 15 years. It took a lot of pain (and a lot of laughter) to get through to where we are now. If it isn’t too presumptuous, my advice is be painfully honest, be kind (and no, those are not mutually exclusive) and to consciously, verbally acknowledge all the wonderful things about the other person–not only to them but to other people and yourself in private as well. Hugs. I know how much this can rip at you throat and make your body physically ache with the emotional pain.

  • They were such wonderful Ceremonies Kym! Travis and I look forward to spending our lives together, and I am so grateful for being joined by you under your beautiful words. Thank you Again and Again and Again!

  • They were such wonderful Ceremonies Kym! Travis and I look forward to spending our lives together, and I am so grateful for being joined by you under your beautiful words. Thank you Again and Again and Again!

  • Pingback: A Tale of Two Weddings « India's Roses

  • Pingback: A Tale of Two Weddings « India's Roses

  • KYM……..as a recent widow I cannot read the vows today as I am too sentimental.
    I,will,read,and treasure later.

    I hope many people,will,know,such a deep love. M husband and I were together almost 40 wonderful,years. Jac was a 5 star ***** husband. We lived in Benbow 14 years.. Then moved up to Oregon …

    I read the news of NOR Cal everyday from my home in Thailand..

    Thankyou for all of the good you do 😀

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