Good afternoon everyone!
[You may be seated.]
Andrew and Abby want to thank everyone for being here to help celebrate their marriage. The past two years have been challenging in a variety of ways for everyone and we feel so blessed to have each and everyone of you here with us. It is incredible to be surrounded by such amazing family and friends.
The island we are on and the magnificent views around us were forged from the depths of the ocean slowly over millennia. And just like this island, the union we witness today began years ago and will blossom into a vast and beautiful relationship over the coming years.
This week we have taken ourselves out of the usual routines of daily living to witness a pivotal moment in the lives of Abby and Andrew. Today we celebrate their marriage with all of you.
To all their guests, they are happy to share this moment with you. They have known most of you for many years. You watched them grow-up, you went to school with them, or you worked with them. Because you are the ones who have supported them and known them so well, it is only fitting that you are the ones to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them.
We are gathered on this day to witness and celebrate the marriage of Abby & Andrew. We come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to acknowledge and strengthen a bond that already exists. This ceremony is a public affirmation of that bond and as their dearest family and friends; they are honored to have you stand as witnesses to this event.
Marriage is a commitment where two people discover and bring out the very best in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other type of relationship can equal, a joining that has the promise of a lifetime of fulfillment.
Let us bow our heads in prayer. Lord, we thank you for gathering everyone here today. We ask that you help Abby and Andrew to remember the strong love that they share. To work that love into practical things so that nothing can divide them.
May their love always inspire them to be kind in their words, considerate of the other’s feelings, and concerned for the other’s needs and wishes. Increase their faith and trust in You.
Bless their marriage with peace and happiness and make their Love fruitful for Your glory and their enduring joy, both here and in eternity.
While this commitment begins with the two of you, its effect radiates outward. It touches your family, friends and ultimately even strangers you encounter in your communities. When this commitment is made in earnest and continuously cultivated, it leads to the richest and most rewarding of experiences one can have in this Earthly existence.
However, your relationship will take more than love.
It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other.
Dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so.
And faith, to go forward together without knowing for certain what the future holds for you both.
As humans, love is our natural state of being, but these other qualities are not as easy to come by. They are not a destination, but a journey. Marriage is a give and take between two distinct personalities, a mingling of two endowments which diminishes neither, but enhances both.
My favorite analogy for this comes from a passage by the late Anthony de Mello. He says that our relationships are like being in a band. We each bring our own unique instruments to the band but we must rehearse, learn the other band members’ tendencies, and then adapt our instrumentation to ensure our band sounds amazing.
CHARGE TO THE COUPLE
As we have established the meaning of this moment here in Oahu, we ask that you take this marriage as a beginning of your lives together. Today signifies the creation of a new home and a new family for you both.
May you be fulfilled by each other’s love and friendship. May you be overjoyed by the promises you are about to make and the life together you will create.
Remember that in every marriage, there are good times and bad, times of joy and times of sorrow. Marriage is a journey – a time of adventure and excitement enhanced by the love, trust, dedication, and faith you share in one another.
May the promises you make to one another today, be lived out to the end of your lives. Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys, but today is the day it all begins.
Abby and Andrew, do you, with your family and friends as your witnesses, present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?
Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life, come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?
Abby and Andrew would like to share their own vows at this time.
Abby we will start with you.
[ABBY READS VOWS]
And now, Andrew.
[ANDREW READS VOWS]
DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE
Having pledged their fidelity to one another, to love, honor and cherish one another in the presence of this gathering and by the authority vested in me by the spirit of “Aloha,” it is my honor to now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Finch.
Please proceed back to the covered green pavilion and grab a beverage at the bar while the wedding party takes a few photos.