Far Beyond Forever: The Ceremony Begins

Now that my veil had blown away, we were ready to get on with the ceremony!



Our officiant, Rev. Laura C. Cannon, opened the ceremony with a few words about the importance of witnessing the union of our two lives, and asking our friends and family to support and celebrate our marriage. We followed this with a moment of silence for those who could not join us at our wedding but were there in spirit.

In the next segment we had asked Laura to say a few words honoring our parents. As I have mentioned before, both Mr. GP’s parents and mine have been married for 35 years—we thanked them for their love and sacrifices in making us who we are today.


(Mr. GP’s mom and dad, with his grandfather and sisters in the background)

We thanked them for being shining examples of what marriage is, can, and should be, and for their generosity and wisdom throughout our lives.


Mr. Guinea Pig’s grandfather then read an excerpt from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea, “The Oyster Bed.” We had asked both our readers (Mr. GP’s grandfather and my aunt) to choose readings they felt were appropriate and meaningful, and I loved both their selections.


Love does not consist of gazing at each other (one perfect sunrise gazing at another) but in looking outward together in the same direction. For, in fact, man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction; they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base. Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society. And here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow growing devotion and playing these through, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.


After this reading, Rev. Laura emphasized that marriage is not a commitment to enter into lightly, but with certainty and mutual respect. She charged us with cherishing, sharing, and respecting each other; standing together to face the world, and reminding us that marriage is not about looking for perfection, but being flexible, patient and understanding—laughing together and at ourselves.


(I’ve got that whole ‘laughing at myself’ down pat)

She also shared the story of how, on our second date, a man on the street asking for change came up to us and asked if we were going to get married. We both stood there in silence because it was only our second date! Yet, neither of us wanted to say no. We each knew that we felt like we might, in fact, get married. But of course we couldn’t admit that out loud yet. 🙂

My aunt then read a slightly altered excerpt of “On Marriage” from The Prophet, by Khalil Ghibran.


“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

You shall be together even in the silent memory of your Source of Love.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

{there was definitely some laughter at the “wind” line here!}

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”


Finally, it was time to say the words that would bond us together: our vows! Those are up next. 🙂

I had already laughed and nearly cried during the first part of our ceremony—laughed at stories, at references to wind, was near tears when honoring our parents, and during the readings. Little did I know (but I probably should have expected) that soon I would be undeniably, straight up crying during our vows.

Did anyone else experience a roller coaster of emotion during the ceremony?!

*** All photos in this post copyright Amy Deputy Photography ***

Miss something in the Guinea Pig recaps? Far Beyond Forever:


Mrs. Guinea Pig

Baltimore, MD
Wedding Date:
May 2010
Chardonnay and a Ceremony, Anyone?
Puttin' A Ring On It
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  1. frenchfries Bee
    frenchfries 2168 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:33 pm

    Awww, your readings are so touching — I teared up reading them. Lovely, as always, GP!

  2. Member
    missbiscuit 1054 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:39 pm

    Oh man, I’m getting teary just reading this post. I can’t imagine what the vows will be like! What a wonderful ceremony you had.. I can’t wait to hear more.

  3. hippo Bee
    hippo 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:49 pm

    Love this!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Abby, Guest @ 1:01 pm

    Wow – they chose some amazing readings. I would never be able to hold it together through that!

  5. Pincushion Bee
    Pincushion 1074 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:24 pm

    I love that you let the readers choose their selection . . . wish that I had thought of that! Your ceremony is so touching and personal!

  6. mssocks Bee
    mssocks 1336 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:47 pm

    Beautiful! I had thought about letting our bridal party choose something to read, but the thought overwhelmed many! It looks like your group did a fantastic job, and it sounds like it made the ceremony that much more special.

  7. Member
    MissMargie 769 posts, Busy bee @ 1:09 pm

    Swoon! I love your recaps, can’t wait to see the rest of your ceremony!

  8. mspencils Bee
    mspencils 1015 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:48 pm

    These readings just gave me major goosebumps. So gorgeous- and so glad you have them to remember ever more!

  9. msbuttons Bee
    msbuttons 5014 posts, Bee Keeper @ 4:14 pm

    Looove the readings! And also tear up at the statement that “marriage is not about looking for perfection, but being flexible, patient and understanding—laughing together and at ourselves.” Oh how freaking beautiful… 🙂

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Far Beyond Forever: Family Love | Weddingbee, Guest @ 1:15 am

    […] The Ceremony Begins (readings) […]

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