A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We had three readings during our ceremony. I picked all three, approved by DH and executed by three people very close to us.

The first quote was from "Gifts from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. As a wedding gift, my father gave me his mothers copy of the book. She passed when I was 13, but my father and my uncle both assure me that she and I are very similar and she would have loved sharing books and politics (and beer and cigarettes) with me. He shared with me that she read this book at a very difficult time in her life (affairs, marital troubles) but that it helped her. I knew she loved this book, but had no idea the magnitude of support it provided for her when I chose the quote.

This is the quote my sister in law read:

EXCERPT FROM "THE GIFT FROM THE SEA"~ By Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

DH's uncle read next. A passage form the bible and admittedly overdone in wedding ceremonies. However, for me it was important to include, because it was read at my parents wedding 44 years ago. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Finally, BM and Matchmaker, Melisa read my favorite relationship quote ever. It was read at a friend's wedding 2 years ago. I always cry at weddings, but I balled when this was read. I knew, if I married the man sitting next to me, I NEEDED this read at my wedding.

Union by Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way.

All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –This is my husband. This is my wife.

Powerful stuff, no? All three readers blew us away. The love, the emotion that came forward from them waved over us.


Jenna said...

If I had known about the first quote I may have had it read at my own ring ceremony. It is everything I believe about relationships. Really really beautiful.

Monica Surfaro Spigelman said...

yes, beautiful words, may they always serve as a reference point for you both.

Anonymous said...

I do love these and just a warning I may have to steal one for my wedding.