Before I could marry the most amazing woman in the world, our officiant recommended that we schedule readings as part of the ceremony. These readings did not carry a specific set of rules–We were allowed to write our own, select from an archive of previously vetted material, or even invite a guest to perform a reading of their creation. I chose to write my own.
A reading is separate from a vow. A vow contains all the promises to love, to have and to hold, and to cherish one another. A reading can be anything, provided it comes from the heart. I’ve seen people at other weddings use this opportunity to tell stories of how they met, their first kiss, the day they knew that their partner was “the one,” and so on. My wife is the single greatest person I know, and as a writer, I definitely felt the pressure to step up my game and produce something worthy of her.
Below is a transcript of the reading I prepared for my wife. My goal was simple: Make her laugh, make her cry, but above all else, fill her heart with love. I hope I rose to the occasion and delivered a message that she will always remember.
In the five years that I’ve known you, I’ve probably already used up all my best material before we even made it to the wedding, but since we’re all gathered here today in front of our family and friends… and of course, [our officiant] Kevin, I’ll give it my best shot.
I still sometimes think about the man I was before I met you, but the truth is, I barely remember him anymore. I know that he was unhappy and unfulfilled, but those feelings are so foreign to me now that it’s hard to imagine anything other than complete happiness. With all of the good that you’ve brought into my life, there’s simply no room left for anything else. And although I recognize the clichéd nature of what I’m about to say, it doesn’t make it any less true: For the first time in my life, I am whole. I am a better person because of you.
I don’t consider myself a lucky man, because finding you stretches far beyond the definition of luck. I’m not normally the kind of person to say things like “fate,” “serendipity,” or “kismet”… mainly because they remind me of Kate Hudson movies… however, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that some unknown mystical force was at play the day you entered my life.
I’m not telling anyone here in attendance today anything about you that they don’t already know. Anyone that has ever met you has been touched by your kindness, your compassion, your light… and your crazy theories about who Gossip Girl is.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’re just the greatest person I have ever known, and choosing to spend the rest of my life with you is the easiest decision I will ever make. It was meant to be. I only hope that I can return a fraction of the joy that you have given me, but you have my undying promise that I will never stop trying.
I know that I don’t get to kiss you until the end of our ceremony, but if it’s all right with you, I’d like to give you a hug, because I love you with all my heart, and this is the greatest day of my life.