But before all of that, I wanted to share with you the words which our three friends who attended shared with us. We asked each of them, in advance, to bring a short passage of prose or a poem which they would be willing to share by way of opening and closing the ceremony. We did not know in advance what they had chosen, but instead let their words inflect the day unanticipated.
Here, in the order which they read them, are the words they shared.
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade,
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
your every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name
an open as welcome,
as the moon in the clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles
in this marriage.
Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight writing down; perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps ... perhaps ... love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
~Robert Fulghum, All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
*Update: due to privacy concerns voiced by attendees, I've removed the identifiable images from this post; I apologize to those whose personal online image policies I unthinkingly violated.