I have been waiting for this my whole life....
A new family.... Alan, Thenille, Anthony and Adrian
The first kiss.....
A beautiful sunset to conclude the ceremonies....
Thenille and Alan asked that I speak to them as part of the ceremony, so here is what I wrote, and spoke...
Words from your Father who loves you both...
A Perfect Marriage is what most couples think they want on this day. A perfect marriage, like having a perfect son or perfect daughter, all fitting an imagined perfect image. While that sounds great, you will be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Why won’t it happen? Because it does not exist.
You may want your son to become the perfect scholar, the perfect opera singer or perfect basketball player. Either he has the ability or he doesn’t. You cannot make him into something he is not. What you can do is love, encourage and support him in becoming the best that he can be. In the same vein, you cannot make your marriage into something it cannot be. You cannot have your parent’s marriage nor have your friend’s marriage. You CAN have your marriage, by loving, supporting and caring for each other so that you both can become the best that you can be.
Thenille, Alan, you are who you are. The perfect marriage is the one that you two will create. It will not be like anyone else’s marriage, it will be yours. Unique. One built on your strengths, your weaknesses. Because it will be unique to you two, it will be strong, loving and enduring.
You two love and care for each other so much that you made a commitment to each other today. With that commitment, there is no person in the world better for you than each other. Does that mean you as an individual no longer exist? No, it means you now have a life partner who has pledged their love and their life to love, care and stand by you so that you may become the best person you can. You have pledged this to each other.
Being in love is not the same as love. Being in love is what you feel today. Love is what you will grow into. In building your lives together, they will become so intertwined that it will be impossible to separate the two lives. You will not know where one person ends and the other begins - and you will love it. You will reach that point in marriage where you have no desire to untangle yourself from this life you have created together.
The most important of all traits to a successful marriage are respect and laughter. Bodies age, beauty fades, but the inner beauty that first attracted you to each other continues to grow. The sense of humor keeps the bonds of matrimony strong and tight. Laughter gives you strength to weather storms, to enjoy sunsets. Find joy in each other, laugh a lot, show your love to each other. Work together to build a home that you both want to be part of.
Then you will have YOUR perfect marriage.
p.s. Would like to share with you some of the best advice I have on how to avoid arguments in a marriage: Can you avoid all arguments? Impossible. However some of your biggest arguments will be over something inconsequential – the color of paint, a new sofa or which coffeemaker. When buying something or doing something for the home that you both share - The simple advice is not to waste time trying to convince the other to like what you like, if they don’t like it. The more you try to convince them, the more the argument grows. They either like it or they don’t. You can’t make someone like something. There are thousands of sofas or coffee makers in the world, so keep looking. Find the one you BOTH like. You may have to visit a lot of stores, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter which one you buy. Only that you buy the one you both like and you both will be happier.
Never forget to tell the other person you love them. To often we assume they know it and forget say it. Both of you need to hear it – every day.
Mother of the Groom and I are thrilled to see our family continue to grow in love.