After we had finished the sand ceremony, Roberto smoothly transitioned into our statement of intent and vows.
Chris, do you take Carla to be your wife. To love and to cherish from this day forward?
Chris: I do
Carla, do you take Chris to be your husband. To love and to cherish from this day forward?
Carla: I do
The I dos made my sister tear up a bit.
Then is was time to say our vows. It took a lot for me to hold back my tears. Don’t let this picture fool you. My voice was definitely quivering while I was saying them.
I, Carla, take you Christopher, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; now and forever
I, Christopher, take you Carla, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; now and forever
Mr. Meerkat even got a bit choked up while saying his vows so I wiped away some of the tears.
Before I knew it, it was time to exchange rings. This was a moment I had been thinking about since we first got engaged.
At first I didn’t even notice Roberto holding our shell ring holder out to us so we could collect our rings. I guess I was too busy looking at my almost husband.
After we had shaken the sand from our rings, Roberto started the reading for our ring exchange.
For thousands of years lovers have exchanged rings as a symbol of their commitment. These simple bands are not of great value in and of themselves, but are made precious by our wearing of them. Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings always serve as a reminder that wherever you go, you may always return to your shared life together.
Chris, repeat after me – I give you this ring as a symbol of my endless love and commitment for you.
Chris: I give you this ring as a symbol of my endless love and commitment for you.
Carla, repeat after me – I give you this ring as a symbol of my endless love and commitment for you.
Carla: I give you this ring as a symbol of my endless love and commitment for you.
I was having a hard time holding it together at this point. After a small pause, so I could try and compose myself, Roberto started the “these are the hands” reading (aka hand ceremony).
Chris and Carla take a moment and look at each other’s hands so you may see the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to passionately love and cherish each other through the years.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold and care for the ones you love.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
It makes me tear up even reading those words now but I got through the hand ceremony without a flood of waterworks, which was one of my biggest fears.
Then it was time for my sister to give our last reading.
The reading I choose is by James Kavanaugh:
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another—and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
That one last smile my sister gave us before she took her seat said more to me than a million words could.
Up Next: Our Ceremony Conclusion
- We Arrive In Mexico
- Out Of Town Bags
- Fun In Mexico
- Our Best Man Goes Missing
- A Dress Fiasco and Rehearsal Dinner
- Our Fairy Godmothers (aka Getting Ready)
- Time To Put The Dress On
- The Guys Get Ready
- The Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue I Didn’t Plan
- Just A Few Pictures With My Girls
- Get Me To The Beach
- A Gift For Mr. Meerkat
- A Beach Processional
- Our Love Story Ceremony
- Our Sand Ceremony