For anyone who was unable to attend, or anyone who did attend but would like to again enjoy the words spoken during the ceremony, we thought we’d post everything here. It was a beautiful celebration, made all the more special by our officiant Amanda, a long-time friend of Paige’s (who also crafted the most beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets!).
Paige’s two youngest nephews, Liam and Dom, carried the rings down the aisle to Carter’s and Paige’s moms. Carter, his daughter Ellie, and Paige’s nephew Rusty walked down the aisle to “A Happy Ending” by Mark Knopfler, from The Princess Bride.
Paige was escorted by her nephew, Charlie, to “To Build a Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra.
Friends and family, dearly loved community of those who support this wonderful couple, we are gathered here to celebrate love in all it’s forms but especially the love that makes a commitment between two people. This kind of love is not afraid to make promises. It is not afraid to work and to struggle. It seeks not only to be, but to continue. It is based not only on the pleasures of the present but on the hopes of the future. This is the kind of love that creates an anchor between two people, one that they can float away from and then find their way back safely. It also anchors a home and a family and along with other such great loves creates the bonds of a community. We celebrate and applaud the love and the promises of Paige and Carter. May they always be a living hope for the future and for all of us.
Good people gathered here this evening, join with us on this happy occasion and let this be a time of gladness, thanksgiving, possibility, and great good fortune for all of us, but especially for Paige and Carter, who are coming together to demonstrate the wonder of love through the celebration of their marriage.
We all live in the hope of loving and being loved, and any sign of the blossoming of love is a true inspiration. Therefore we give thanks for the sweet happiness of these two people who stand before us. Their enthusiasm is electric, their belief in the destiny of their love is inspiring, their great expectations encourage us all beyond measure.
Marriage is a very special place, the sheltered environment in which we can endlessly explore ourselves in the presence of another and in which we can offer the possibility of the true reflection of another. We are so happy that Paige and Carter have found one another, and that they know in their souls how perfectly mated they are, and that they are choosing on this day of most special days to become for all time the accurate and beautiful reflection of each other’s essence. We ask that the vision they have of one another be always informed by the blissful radiant power that first brought them together, and we pray that as they move into the hallowed ground that is marriage, they may always hold one another in the light of all light, the love of all love.
Paige’s niece, Charlotte, read this excerpt from Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones.”
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you.”
Paige’s niece, Katherine, sang and performed “Can’t Help Falling in Love” on her ukulele.
Paige’s niece, Olivia, read this quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson when asked the most astounding fact he could share about the universe.
“The most astounding fact is the knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on Earth, the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures.
These stars, the high mass ones among them, went unstable in their later years. They collapsed and then exploded, scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy—guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself.
These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems, stars with orbiting planets, and those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky and I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us.
When I reflect on that fact, I look up… many people feel small because they’re small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars.
There’s a level of connectivity. That’s really what you want in life. You want to feel connected. You want to feel relevant. You want to feel like you are a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That’s precisely what we are, just by being alive.”
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of it’s own,
It too could wake up filled with possibilities
Of coffee cake and ripe peaches
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
The soiled linens and scratched records…
Since there is no place large enough
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, and in that way, be known.
The words soon to be spoken between Paige and Carter are indeed important and sacred. But they are not what joins these two together, nor is this marriage ceremony. We are not here to witness the beginning of their relationship, but to acknowledge and celebrate a lasting bond that already exists between them. Paige and Carter have already joined their hearts together and chosen to walk together on life’s journey, and we have come to bear witness and support this symbolic union and a public affirmation of the love they share.
Will you, parents, family and friends who have gathered with them, grant them your blessing and pledge them your love and support? If so, please say, “We will.”
Having shown your desire to be united in marriage, your families and friends have also given their love and support in this happy endeavour. I will now ask you to express your vows to one another.
(This is where Carter & Paige shared their personal vows, and why they are choosing each other.)
The wedding rings are the outward and visible signs of the inward and invisible bond that already unites your two hearts in love.
Carter, please place the ring on Paige’s finger and repeat after me.
I give you this ring that you may wear it as a reminder of my love for you.
Paige, please place the ring on Carter’s finger and repeat after me.
I give you this ring that you may wear it as a reminder of my love for you.
Now please join hands.
These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love one another today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and of joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
May your rings ever be a reminder of the joyful love you proclaim today.
You have made your vows to one another, witnessed by your friends and family. You have sealed those vows with the exchange of these rings. By the power invested in me by the state of Tennessee, I am so pleased to pronouce you wed! Now for the kissing!
Your love contains the power
Of a thousand suns.
It unfolds as naturally and effortlessly
As does a flower,
And graces the world with it’s blooming.
Its beauty radiates a transforming energy
That enlivens all who see it.
Because of you, compassion and joy
Are added to the world.
That is why stars sing together
Because of your love.