Welcome friends and family. We are here today to celebrate love. Love organizes our large and sometimes unpredictable world. It is that which enshrines and ennobles our human experience. It is the basis for the peace of relationships and family. Love fuels kindness, empowers generosity, enables frank communication, and is always governed by choice. The greatest gift bestowed upon humans is the gift of love freely given between two persons. (Please be seated)

 In his wisdom, Dr. Seuss said: “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.”

The love between Jaimes and Brandon has grown over years of dinners and texts, late nights dreaming of and planning for the future, and in treasured moments of both weirdness and deep sincerity. I am not here today to say that this is the start of your marriage. You two have already proven you have what it takes to face the storms and successes of the years. You have a life together that is already long and rich. Today, your wedding day, we celebrate you. We are here to encourage you and delight in the dozens of years that lay before you. So let us all join hands and hearts and give this couple a beautiful memory that will remind them of all the reasons why they have already chosen to spend their lives together as friends and partners, companions, and now, officially, as husband and wife. Today you seal your marriage.

A marriage is more than a promise, it is a living thing. This living thing requires more than a promise; it takes a commitment. What is the difference between a promise and a commitment? While a promise is a moment, a phrase; a commitment is enduring. It continues long after the words that will be exchanged today. It endures through hardship and it flourishes in triumph.

 It takes work; and some days, the work is easy, it comes as naturally as breathing. Other days, the work is difficult, and it takes every muscle and ounce of will to continue. -You will need to till the earth, the foundation of your marriage, so that its roots may grow strong and deep. -Your marriage will need the waters of kindness and compassion in order to grow tall and strong. -You will need the warmth of sunlight, so that your marriage may enlighten you. -And your marriage will need the momentum of wind, so that the seeds of your happiness can be carried far and wide.

Marriage is a journey. From this day forward, it’s not only about the places you have been. It’s about the place you will go. The incandescent joy you feel today will fade in time, and to keep a marriage long and happy, burning strong and bright, you both need to invest in it and in each other. Buy flowers, make the bed, send texts that say no more than “I love you.” Ask yourself, often, “Have I shown my love today?” Because troubles hides in the idle days, a marriage is an activity, be active friends. Even “lock” of Wedlock, does not mean a bind, Lock is Old English for activity. The ancients knew that being married required activity. Be active with each other.

  It is often said that you may not always like each other, but you must always love each other. I have found the opposite to be true. You fell in like before you fell in love. Commit yourself to always liking each other. Commit yourself to being best friends. Friends that share jokes and stories, friends that let each other vent, and friends that are happy to simply be in each other’s presence.

 Bertrand Russell tells us that for love we need but two elements, delight in one’s company, and great well-wishing for their future. As you can see, this couple delights in each other’s company, and we are all gathered here today with well wishes for their future. I think we can all agree that love is here today.

Those of you joining our couple here today are part of that life cycle. Your love for them is present in all parts, the foundational earth, the waters and winds of kindness and support. But as this living thing, this marriage, starts to take root, we must give it room to grow. -Be mindful that advice can quickly become like vines, constrictive and draining. -Be a calm, silent wind when they need to talk to you. -Be a refreshing rain when they have doubts. Flowers bloom when they feel the warmth of illumination. Help them find their light by asking them what they think, or how they feel. 

BREAD BREAKING:  Marriage is a tradition far older than any institution, older than any empire, older than any city. Since time immemorial, we have found a special person, and exchanged special words in a special place. It is our first great tradition, and we have honored its ceremony from one generation to the next. 

The couple has decided to share in one of the oldest traditions in marriage, a tradition created long before the written word, but so meaningful that it has shaped many of the words we use to describe marriage, celebrations, our homes, and even husband and wife.  Jaimes and Brandon have chosen to honor each other, and the tradition and history of marriage, by breaking bread together.

Throughout history bread has been the staff of life, the heart of the home. Bread sustained you and your family, your home was built to house your bread, to make your bread, to protect your bread, you shared it with your guests, and bread is at the heart of special occasions. 

So standard is bread that in Russia, “Bread and Salt,” is a common greeting. It is embedded in most “bread and butter” English Idioms, from “Our daily bread” to “breadwinners” and “Breadlines”. “My Lord” derives from loaf, the one who provides the bread, as well as “My lady”, because remember, marriage is even older than bread.

But there is one word in particular that we have used today that best encapsulates what  Jaimes and Brandon are to one another. Companion. The word derives from Proto Indo European compound words, “the one you share bread with”. How beautiful is that word, that idea. That your companion, the one you choose to spend your life with, is the one with whom you choose to share that which gives you life; your bread.

So, Jaimes and Brandon, as you break this loaf of bread, you are promising to sustain one another’s heart, as this bread sustains your life.

You,  Jaimes and Brandon, are not only promising to sustain each other. You are also promising to add richness and flavor to your lives together, as we add richness and flavor to your bread.

: Spread butter over your bread to soften the rough edges of life.

: Sprinkle salt over your bread, promising to fill your life together with flavor and adventure.

: And finally, pour honey onto your bread, vowing to always make life sweeter for each other.

Jaimes and Brandon, as you share your bread with one other, remember that you are companions, from days long before this one until days far longer after.

 If I may have the rings?

This ring is an object. But more importantly, it is a symbol. In fact, it is the perfect symbol for the commitment you are both making today for two reasons. First, this ring is a perfect circle, unending, like your commitment to one another. Second, the atoms in this ring are perfectly arranged. In dissonance, they are weak, fleeting, insignificant; passing by so quickly that we have no time to appreciate them. But in harmony, they become something more. They become strong, substantial, and beautiful. They become something perfect and pure, just as the bond you two share.

Jaimes, will you please place the ring on Brandon finger., repeat after me: I give you my heart. I promise from this day forward, you shall not walk alone.

 Brandon will you please place the ring on Jaimess finger repeat after me: I give you my heart. I promise from this day forward, you shall not walk alone.

 Vows:

 Jaimes, Please repeat after me.

I, Jaimes, take you, Brandon, to be my husband, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad. I promise to communicate fully and fearlessly. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward.

 Brandon Please repeat after me.

 I, Brandon, take you, Jaimes, to be my Wife, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad. I promise to communicate fully and fearlessly. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward.

 There is time for one last vow, and that is one that you make as a couple. Join hands, and when I am finished, say, “We do.” Do you vow to continue the journey that you have already started, hand in hand, appreciating the wonder of the world around you and respecting and nurturing the strength and fortitude that has forged you as both individuals and a couple?

The pen I am about to use will make this marriage a legal entity, but we already know that long ago your hearts made this marriage a reality. We have just one more point of business.  There is some tradition of a kiss. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the great pleasure of introducing the world to a new marriage. Please stand for Jaimes and Brandon Lee!!! 

Contact The Atheist Officiant today to learn more about how we can create the ceremony that best represents your love, life, and values.