Monique: To all who come to this happy place, welcome. We’re all here today to celebrate the relationship of Dani and Shawn and to be witnesses and supporters of the commitment they share with one another. Together we’re a group of the most important people in their lives and they’ve brought us here to publically recognize that we’ve all played some special part in the love they share today.
Dani and Shawn wanted me to thank you all for being here and to recognize how important each and every one of you are to their relationship. They would also like to recognize all of those who couldn’t make it here today as they are certainly missed but not forgotten on this day of celebration.
Speaking of important people, there were none more important in influencing the lives of Dani and Shawn than their parents. With that being said, who gives Dani away in marriage to this man?
Father answers: “Her mother, step father and I”
Monique: Marriage gives permanence and structure to a couple’s love. It’s a way to tell one another that no matter how much you snore or how much of slob you are, we’re still in this together. It’s more permanent than the crazy perm Dani had in her early twenties and has more staying power than Shawn’s tattoo. Marriage is telling the person you love that you’re not going anywhere and that’s a powerful commitment for two people to make to one another.
One does not simply walk into marriage. A good marriage must be built on the foundation of this commitment. In marriage the “little” things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is standing together and facing the world. It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not only marrying the right partner — it is being the right partner.
The road that has brought Dani and Shawn here today hasn’t been easy. It’s been filled with challenges that they weren’t necessarily prepared for. But together they’ve taken each one on and have used those experiences to strengthen, not weaken their love.
"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." - Dr. Seuss
Reading of the Vows
Monique: Dani and Shawn have chosen to write their vows together. To share their love and commitment to each other in their own words. Sometimes poems, verses and quotes just don’t get the point across the way you need them to and the best option is just to do it yourself. These vows are a way of openly declaring their promise to one another as well as to all of those who are here in attendance today.
Dani: I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a man. You’re the one.
Shawn: Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do, then I should warn you – you’re gonna see all sorts of things. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: The trip of a lifetime!
Dani: I, Dani
Shawn: And I, Shawn
Both: By the power of Grayskull
Dani: Vow to be your companion.
Shawn: Your Jedi Knight.
Shawn: I vow to boldly go with you for the rest of our days.
Dani: For better, for worse.
Shawn: For richer, for poorer.
Dani: In times of peace and under the Emperor’s reign.
Shawn: In Brightest day and Blackest Night.
Dani: To love and to cherish
Shawn: For all the days of our lives
Dani: Together or not at all
Shawn: Together or not at all
Exchanging of Rings
Monique: Dani and Shawn will now exchange rings to symbolize their commitment. Rings are derived from humble beginnings of imperfect metal to create something striking where there was once nothing at all. It is customarily worn on the ring finger as it is the only finger with a vein running directly to the heart. The wearing of the rings is a visible, outward sign that they have committed themselves to one another.
Monique: Shawn, please take Dani’s hand and repeat these words.
Monique: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,Shawn: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,
Monique: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.Shawn: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.
Monique: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this dayShawn: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this day
Monique: and know that my love is present,Shawn: and know that my love is present,
Monique: even when I am not.Shawn: even when I am not.
Monique: Dani, please take Shawn’s hand and repeat these words.
Monique: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,Dani: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,
Monique: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.Dani: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.
Monique: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this dayDani: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this day
Monique: and know that my love is present,Dani: and know that my love is present,
Monique: even when I am not.Dani: even when I am not.
Pouring of the Unity Sand
Monique: By sharing your vows and exchanging rings here today you both have decided to share the rest of your lives together. You are no longer two separate people but one couple together. This unity is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, Dani and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, Shawn, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be.
As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be, united as one for all of your days.
The I Do’s
Monique: Dani and Shawn you have professed your love by exchanging your vows. You have symbolized your commitment by exchanging rings. And you have expressed the end of your individual lives by the pouring of the unity sand. With all of this there is just one more question I need each of you to answer and then we’re off to the reception to celebrate.
Monique: Dani – do you take Shawn to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
Dani: I do.
Monique: Shawn – do you take this Dani to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
Shawn: I do.
Monique: By the power vested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife. Shawn you may kiss the girl.
Monique: It’s my great honor and privilege to be the first to present to you Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Strawbridge