About 3 months ago, my niece sandollar17 announced her wedding to her fiancé, Garfield, and soon thereafter, both asked me to officiate. I was tremendously flattered and, although at first a little apprehensive, i accepted.
First off, a quick trip to the Universal Life Church Monastery for a free membership to the Ordination Nation. I chose to go by 'minister' over 'reverend' due to etymology; 'minister' is "from Latin ministrare “to serve, attend, wait upon”", and 'reverend' is "from Latin reverendus “(he who is) to be respected”." On their special day, i was there to attend them. I also considered what i'd wear, and decided that, unless i could secure a formal jacket to wear with one of my kilts, i'd stick with my suit. I called The Celtic Shoppe just a few days before the wedding and, luckily, they had a tweed Argyll jacket and vest in my size.
Next up was, as you might expect, writing a short speech exalting marriage, which i whipped up with help from the Internet and from 2wanda (who regretfully could not attend, as she needed to be in DC for a work-related conference in which she would be awarded a scholarship):
Isaac Newton once wrote, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." In marriage, we stand on each other's shoulders, and in doing so we grow together. We are more than the sum of our parts. It is through our partner's eyes that we can truly see how great we are and how great we can be. It is the strength that we gain from being together that lets us weather the storms and surmount the difficulties that we inevitably face in life.Other than a couple of small booboos on my behalf, it went perfectly. Sandy and Garfield are a couple who genuinely like and love each other, and all of us there witnessed and felt it. Best wishes to the happy couple! We love you!
From my own experience, i can tell you how my wife helped me to find within myself the will to change my habitual night owl behavior to be awake and functional in the morning to help see her kids to school; to get up early on Sundays to go to work in the garden; to try all manner of food that i didn't like or thought i wouldn't like (and find that, usually, i did like it). And she tells me that if it hadn't been for my help and support, she would not have been successful going back to college to get her degree (with triple honors!); i encouraged her to rekindle her love of pottery; and she has even learned a little Spanish, including what she often hears from me, "Sí, mi amor."
There's rarely an expiration date on an intimate relationship. We enter it with no intention of having it end, so, in that sense, almost any relationship could be said to be meant to last for the lives of the people in it. What makes marriage special is the declared intent to dedicate oneself to the other, and the vows that we state to each other are the centerpiece of the ceremony.