Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate an incredibly special day in the lives of two of our good friends -- Michael and Barbara.

Having been married myself for over 21 months, I'd like to pass along some of the wisdom that I've learned:

First, love is caring for each other even when you're angry -- here's a little picture to help explain it:


For those of you who can't see, it's an elderly couple sitting out on a park bench in the rain. They are clearly mad at each other, but you can see the man still holding the umbrella for his wife to keep her dry all the same. Probably far in the future, but one day in the years ahead, you'll get angry with each other. When this happens, just remember that you still love and want the best for each other.

Second, make time to show you care -- schedules get full and humans get tired. But you never get tired of seeing how much your spouse loves you. Find the time to leave them love note, or text them randomly during work, go on a date, or call in sick and snuggle for no reason. While they'll never forget that you love them, it's still nice to be reminded!

Third, you have lots of support -- your spouse is also your confidant. But they're not your only pillar of support. Look around at all the support you have right here -- everyone is here to not only witness this amazing ceremony, but they are here as a symbol of their belief in, and support of, your union. Should the need arise, feel free to use them.

I'm sure we can find time to exchange more tips in the years to come, but now it's hot and everyone looks ready to continue on!

Barbara and Michael have chosen a couple of readings that are meaningful to them. May I ask Thomas to come forward and read "Marriage is" by Emily Matthews?

Thank you Thomas. May I now ask Stephanie to come forward and read an excerpt by Louis de Bernieres?

Thank you Stephanie. Michael and Barbara, I will now ask you to take your vows.
Do you, Michael, choose Barbara to be your partner in life and one true love,
promising to share in all that life offers and suffers,
to support and respect her in her successes, as well her failures,
to care for her in sickness and in health,
to nurture her, and to grow with her throughout the seasons of your life together?
[Michael] I do

Do you, Barbara, choose Michael to be your partner in life and one true love,
promising to share in all that life offers and suffers,
to support and respect him in his successes, as well his failures,
to care for him in sickness and in health,
to nurture him, and to grow with him throughout the seasons of your life together?
[Barbara] I do
Michael and Barbara, May you remember the vows you have taken here today, not only in your minds, but also, in your everyday actions of kindness and caring for one another.
Barbara and Michael now have a few words that they would like to say to each other.

[Barbara speaks]
[Michael speaks]

Now, Michael and Barbara have chosen to use rings as a symbol of the commitment that they have made to each other today. Will the rings please be brought forward?

May your rings serve as symbols of your never-ending spiritual bond and love for each other, as your two lives are now committed to each other -- forever united in heart and soul.

Michael, you may place this ring on Barbara's hand and repeat after me.
Barbara, I give you this ring
as a symbol of my promises to you
and as a reminder of my devotion to you.
I am honored to call you my wife.
Barbara, you may place this ring on Michael's hand and repeat after me.
Michael, I give you this ring
as a symbol of my promises to you
and as a reminder of my devotion to you.
I am honored to call you my husband.
And finally, the moment we've all been waiting for. By the power of your love and commitment, as well as the power vested in me by the County of Santa Clara, I now pronounce you husband and wife!

Michael, you may kiss your bride!

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Friends, I have the great honor of presenting Barbara and Michael!