What's good on your end of the screen? This past weekend I had the honor of officiating the Wedding of Rosalind Konikoff & Henry Rodriguez. The setting was magical. This was a destination wedding. The wedding took place in the hills/mountains of Dansville, New York at the Redmond House. Beautiful setting if you ask me.
What an honor to be asked to preside over the public confirmation of the commitment of these two friends. The Sweat Nation Triumvirate is Mind/Body, Finances & Relationships. Saying the right things and accommodating friends and family can be nerve-wracking. Today, I'll go over tips I took on how to officiate a wedding.
1) Preparation - Give your self-time to prepare. This is not the time to procrastinate, not that any time is, but give yourself time to organize your thoughts. Your thoughts will evolve along the way. Giving yourself the time for this evolution to occur will work to your benefit.
2) Research - Echoing off of preparation get on the google and check how other officiants have approached the experience. I was tasked with a secular service. Reading how others went about creating was key to laying down the template that was my foundation. No need to reinvent the wheel. Take what you like from others and make it your own to create a remix if you will.
3) Communication - Keeping open communication with the bride and groom is key. In my case I sent a couple of questions to the couple to be and worked on incorporating it into the service. They both wanted to hear the service for the first time so I gave them the gist of it without giving any of the surprises away.
With these three tips you too can create a beautiful service and keep enriching the relationships in your life. To be honest it was a challenge for me to get through it without tearing up, as everyone was tearing up all around. Feeling emotional is a strength, don't et anyone tell you that it isn't.
Now, I'd like to share my speech with you. Reach out and let me know what you think of it. I'd be grateful for your feedback.
"Good afternoon!!!! How exciting is it to be here on this beautiful day? On behalf of Rosalind and Henry, I’d like to thank you all for your presence. It is your presence and attention as they embark on this journey that is the greatest gift of all.
Rosalind & Henry would like to send a special thank you to Eli, Karen, Enrique, and Zoraida, as of course, if it wasn’t for them none of this would be possible. It’s evident that the seeds of love planted in them by you their parents are growing into the forest of love that is represented here on this day. Thank you for simply loving and supporting them unconditionally.
Rosalind & Henry have invited us here to this beautiful place to remind us how important it is to be creators of love. Whenever we attend a wedding, it may put us in a mindset to reflect on our own relationships. We may look at the couple before us and give in to that part of the brain that begins to compare their love to the qualities of our own. The truth is that every relationship is as unique as our fingerprints.
With this uniqueness one may ask “what needs to happen for love to exist?” To answer this question I quote author Neil Strauss “Love is not something you search for, Love is something you become.” End quote.
Vulnerability, honesty, and openness are emotions and actions that come to mind when considering how to foster a strong love. I’d like to suggest that we all become more mindful of practicing the skill of being creators of love. If we take a moment to think about it, each of us has the choice to dedicate ourselves to one another or to withhold our love and caring every moment of every day.
It’s a scary proposition to allow for vulnerability. It can very easily feed fear. What’s interesting.. is that it’s in that fear, and in overcoming it that life’s greatest lessons reveal themselves. If you ask couples who have a strong and abiding love what they like most about their partners, many will say that they don’t have to pretend to be anything other than themselves. They are able to express themselves without fear of being judged or rejected and be true to their authentic selves. As it turns out, it’s what’s within that scary proposition that we seem to want the most. Let us feel free to surrender to the vulnerability of true intimacy—to be known and to be loved, unconditionally.
Talk about kicking things up to the next level!!!!!
INTRODUCTION TO VOWS
Throughout history, countless millions of people from many cultures, religions, and societies have gathered among friends and family to celebrate their love for one another. Each culture has symbols and rituals that celebrate marriage, from the Chinese tea ceremony to the Jewish tradition of breaking glass.
A rich tapestry of traditions from around the world has combined to give marriage its meaning. Today, we use weddings as a symbol, a heartfelt and meaningful symbol but a symbol nonetheless. This ceremony is not magic, it will not create a relationship that does not already exist. Rosalind and Henry stand before us to symbolize commitment towards the risk of being vulnerable. What we are truly celebrating today is not the beginning of a marriage, but the continuation of a union-already-in- progress. This ceremony is a communication to us of how far they’ve come together, and for the commitment that they will continue to make to each every day.
These symbolic vows that are about to be spoken are a way of saying....., “You know all those nights we stay up chatting about making our dreams a reality? Well, I mean it, every word.”
Take a deep breath and really take in this moment. Before this you have been many things to each other—But with these words you cross a threshold, that publicly affirms that you choose to love one another through whatever may come. It may have felt a little awkward coming up with these vows, it can feel intense to create under pressure. But for a little perspective, if you thought that part was challenging, imagine what it will be like living up to the vows day to day.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
Ok you two... here we go!!!!
Having considered all of these things, Let’s listen to those vows!
INTRODUCTION OF RINGS
lease take hands. And all of you who love each other, please take each other’s hands as well. To reach out to that someone and be acknowledged and loved is a human need. Taking the hand of one who loves you is a powerful symbol of that unspoken bond. Please take a good look at your partner’s hands, so you may feel the gift that they are to you.
Rosalind, Henry, the hands of your best friend are holding yours on this special day. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you build onward together. Now, This is that familiar point in a ceremony when I could talk about the wedding bands being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But as I thought about it, it occurred to me that these rings do have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, molded, cooled & polished with much care and attention. Something beautiful is made from raw earth. Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once raw material.
Henry, please place this ring on Rosalind’s finger and repeat after me:
I Henry, offer this ring to you as a symbol of my Love and the vows i have just spoken.
Henry, do you promise to do your very best each day to create a loving, healthy, and happy life?
Rosalind, please place this ring on Henry’s finger and repeat after me:
I Rosalind, offer this ring to you as a symbol of my Love and the vows i have just spoken.
Rosalind, do you promise to do your very best each day to create a loving, healthy, and happy life?
No one but you can declare yourselves married. You have begun it here today in speaking your vows before your family and friends, and will live it out day to day. I am sure I can speak for us all when I say our hope for you is this:
May you have many long years to delight in each other’s company.
May you make a home together that is a center of joy.
May you each do meaningful, productive work in the world, learning that your failures are only stepping stones to success.
May life’s challenges be met together with courage, optimism, and may your days be filled with laughter, imagination, trust, friendship, and love.
PRONOUNCEMENT AND KISS
With that, It is now my honor and delight to declare you husband and wife—you may seal this ceremony with a kiss!
I now present to you Mr. & Mrs. Rasalind Konikoff & Henry Rodriguez"
Thank You Sweat Nation. Serving you has been the building blocks to creating a speech like this one. Thank you for challenging me.
Coming soon, the video of the wedding!!!!