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Personal Reflection and Advice to Couples About Their Wedding Day | Personal Files

As I look back on that past year I smile, thinking to myself that I have accomplished a lot in 2014.Β  I opened up my first business, my husband and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary and we bought our second home together. We also had a few set backs and heartaches, one being, we each lost a grandparent in the beginning months of the year. And when I think back on those hard times I am often brought back to our wedding vows.
While we were planning our wedding 2 years ago, there was a lot to think about. Flowers, dresses, music, food, invitations, and more. But it is not these details of our wedding that get me through the hard times of life and struggles of marriage. It is our vows. Our ceremony and the words we spoke to each other are what I use as the encouragement to move forward, to realize that life may have its ups and downs but we will always have each other. Those words that bounded us as husband and wife, mean more to me than anything in the world.

When I decided to step out in the photography world, I did it because I wanted to create beautiful memories for couples to cherish for the rest of their lives. To make the bride feel her most beautiful and the groom, his most handsome. But also because I believe in the sanctuary of marriage. I am still in awe of the love couples have for one another and the commitments they make in front of their family and closest friends. Whether you go the traditional route of “for better or for worse” or you chose to write your own, it is you that makes the marriage work. My advice to the couples out there is to put as much effort into your vows as you would any other part of the wedding. Because when the times get rough and you think, it couldn’t get worse, its not the centerpieces that you will be clinging to, it will be your husband or wife.

Below are parts of our ceremony that I read almost every week and still get choked up. I remember that our wedding day wasn’t about the details but about us making a lifetime commitment to each other. To stand up for one another, support and encourage one another and to love one another endlessly.

In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously into the
hands of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives
the love and trust of the other as our most precious gift.

It’s been said that love is a friendship that has caught fire. It is
quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad.

It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for
human weakness. Love is content with the present. It hopes for
the future and it doesn’t brood over the past.

Jessica and Lou have decided to begin the sealing of their
commitment to each other with a hand blessing. Hands are
considered to be a direct connection to the heart, with that in mind
they will join and symbolically bring two hearts together.
Jessica and Lou, please take each others hands as I read the
blessing.

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 tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are 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.

VOWS
Jessica and Lou, we are here to remember and rejoice with you
and to recount with one another that it is love that guides us on
our path, and to celebrate as you begin this journey together. It
is in this spirit that you have come here to today to exchange
these vows.

Lou, repeat after me:
I Lou, take you Jessica to be my wife/
Loving what I know of you/
trusting what I do not yet know.
I will respect your integrity/
And have faith in your abiding love for me.
Jessica, I give you my hand and my heart /
as a sanctuary of warmth and peace/
and pledge my love and devotion/
as I join my life to yours.

Jessica, repeat after me:
I Jessica, take you Lou to be my husband/
Loving what I know of you/
trusting what I do not yet know.
I will respect your integrity/
And have faith in your abiding love for me.
Lou, I give you my hand and my heart /
as a sanctuary of warmth and peace/
and pledge my love and devotion/
as I join my life to yours.

RINGS
For thousands of years couples have exchanged rings as a
token of their vows. 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.

Lou, take Jessica’s ring and put it on her finger, and repeat
after me:
Just as this circle is without end/
my love for you is eternal/
With this ring,
I take you to be my trusted confidante/
and partner for life.

Jessica put the ring on Lou’s finger and repeat after me:
Just as this circle is without end/
my love for you is eternal/
With this ring,
I take you to be my trusted confidante/

 

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Photograph by: Caroline Frost Photography

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