Three Rings of a Successful Marriage

WEDDING VOWS #10
(Non-religious - Rings of a Loving Marriage)
(Copyright Andrew W. Schmidt 2004)

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentleman. We are here today to celebrate the joining in matrimony the union of_______________ [GROOM] and _______________ [BRIDE]. They have asked all of you to be present this day and in this beautiful place to witness their vows of union, marriage and love to one another.

These promises to one another do not present themselves easily or lightly. _______________ [GROOM] and _______________ [BRIDE] have searched their own souls and have discovered that being in love with one another and committing their lives to each other brings them each to a higher level of happiness, humanity, and spirituality than they would have ever attained on their own.

The love that these two people are experiencing here and now is based on the existence of three interconnected rings. These three things are not tangible items but intangibles that emanate from your soul.

A loving marriage has these three interconnecting rings present every single moment. As each day unfolds you will find yourself feeling and perhaps saying each of these. To have a loving marriage these rings must be felt in their purest and most genuine form.

The first interconnected ring is “I Love You”. Coming from the heart, “I Love You” is both simple and surprisingly complex. It is so simple to say. Yet, it is so difficult to maintain. But in its purist form “I Love You” is as magical to the person communicating it as it is to the person receiving it. These three simple words “I-Love-You” cannot be coerced out of a person. No, these feelings have to be earned, nourished, and at times guided out!

The second interconnected ring is “I am Sorry”. These three words are not easy to say. At times they are hard to find and they are so often hidden and clouded by one’s own pride, ego, or principles. Like the other rings, “I am Sorry” must be genuine. It must come from the soul. It must come from a place deeper in your heart than any of the other feelings.

Roses and chocolates alone are not enough to repay a mistake, an error, or a wrong. They are not genuine. “I am Sorry” is a sincere payment on a moral debt you owe to another.

The third interconnected ring is “I Forgive You”. Quite often forgotten, “I Forgive You” is the response necessary to “I am Sorry”. It is the acknowledgment of the debt paid when your partner is seeking forgiveness for a mistake, an error or a wrong. Like “I am Sorry”, “I Forgive You” can come with no conditions or exceptions. Only genuine forgiveness will work in this loving marriage.

“I am Sorry” and “I Forgive You” are the ‘ying and yang’ of your Love. You cannot have one without the other.

Having been given the secret to a long and healthy relationship, do you both agree to join one another in matrimony?

(By Both): YES.

VOWS

_______________ [GROOM], do you take _______________ [BRIDE] to be your wife? Will you love, honor, and cherish her, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to her as long as you both shall live?

(By the Groom): I do _______________ [BRIDE], do you take _______________ [GROOM] to be your husband? Will you love, honor, and cherish him, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to him as long as you both shall live?

(By the Bride): I do

_______________ [GROOM] and _______________ [BRIDE], may you pledge to each other to be loving friends and partners in marriage. To talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate one another, to respect and cherish each other’s uniqueness, and to support, comfort, and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows. May you promise to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as you build your lives together. May your lives be ever intertwined, your love keeping you together. May you build a home that is compassionate to all, full of respect and honor for others and for each other. May your home be forever filled with peace, happiness, and love.

_______________ [GROOM] and _______________ [BRIDE], please face each other and hold hands. _______________ [GROOM], as you look at _______________ [BRIDE], please repeat these words after me:

(By the Groom) I, _______________ [GROOM], take you, _______________ [BRIDE], to be my wife. Together, we can accomplish anything. I pledge to honor, encourage, and support you. When our way becomes difficult, I promise to stand by you and uplift you, so that through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone. I promise to work at our love and always make you a priority in my life. With every beat of my heart, I will love you. This is my solemn vow.

_______________ [BRIDE], as you look at _______________ [GROOM], please repeat these words after me:

(By the Bride) I _______________ [BRIDE], take you, _______________ [GROOM], to be my husband. Together, we can accomplish anything. I pledge to honor, encourage, and support you. When our way becomes difficult, I promise to stand by you and uplift you, so that through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone. I promise to work at our love and always make you a priority in my life. With every beat of my heart, I will love you. This is my solemn vow.

The ring is a symbol of unity into which your two lives are now joined in an unbroken circle; in which, wherever you go, you will return to one another.

(By the Groom) _______________ [BRIDE], I offer you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion. Let it always be a reminder of my love, and my vows to you.

(By the Bride) _______________ [GROOM], I offer you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion. Let it always be reminder of my love, and my vows to you.

_______________ [GROOM] and _______________ [BRIDE], may your home be a haven of peace and your relationship be one of truth and understanding. May you enjoy length of days, fulfillment of hopes, and peace and content of mind as you, day-by-day, live and fulfill the terms of this covenant you have made with one another.

And now, for as much as you have made your vows, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving your rings, and by authority vested in me by the State of Wisconsin, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

_______________ [GROOM], you may kiss your bride!