After our friend Jon brought down the house with his reading, it was time to get a little serious. OK, really serious. I had spent a lot of time thinking about my vows to Sparks, and it was finally time to recite them. I went first, and it was really tough to think about speaking up, not crying too hard, looking Sparks in the eye, and not stumbling over my words all at the same time. But I gave it my best shot. Later that night, Sparks told me he’d felt as if I had said everything I’d ever wanted him to know about my love for him right there. And I knew I had done a good job.
I cried while Sparks read his vows to me. And so did everyone else. He has such a way with words and I’ll never forget the look on his face when he spoke to me then.
After everyone dried their tears, Drew called our last reader up to the front. My cousin Becky is one of the smartest people I know and I was really eager to hear what she had selected to read. Turns out, she had selected two passages…the first was from Christopher McCandless and the journals he had kept during his travels in Alaska (which were eventually turned into a book and then a movie, Into the Wild):
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences,
And hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
She continued, without missing a beat, weaving a Jack Johnson song into her speech:
There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard,
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart,
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
Like a shoebox of photographs,
With sepia-tone loving,
Love is the answer
At least for most of the questions in my heart,
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving,
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together
It’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, we’ll look at the stars when we’re together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together.
So from these quotes, the best thing I can wish for you two is that you will never lose your passion of adventure as you embark together on the biggest adventure two people can take together. May you push each other to keep moving on to your endlessly changing horizons, and may you wake each day to a new and different sun. However, as you are moving forward and encountering life’s questions, just remember, love is the answer, because it’s always better when you’re together.
We exchanged rings next and began by incorporating my engagement ring into the ceremony:
Sparks, the engagement ring that you gave Miss Sparkler is a symbol of promise and intention. Now that the intention is realized and the promise fulfilled, please place your engagement ring on Miss Sparkler’s finger over her wedding band to symbolize that the love that brought you together will always protect and sustain your marriage.
Then, I slipped Sparks’s wedding band onto his finger, repeating:
With this ring, I thee wed. I marry you with all that I have and all that I am and all that I hope to be.
…and he did the same.
There was only one thing left to do!
Coming up: The First Kiss!
Get Caught Up!
All photos by Avery House