My Inappropriate Address to a Couple at Their Wedding

When I officiate a wedding I usually start with a moment of silence. I guide everyone to become present in the moment, to offer their Presence as a gift to the couple. We acknowledge those who are not able to be there, those who have passed on, etc.

Next I like to address the couple, with a reading or quote and a bit of my own perspective on love and relationships. It’s a lite version, appropriate, sweet… hopefully hopeful and uplifting.

If I could have an Ally McBeal moment (in case you’re too young, that show would feature way-out scenes in the midst of the action showing Ally’s real thoughts or what she really wanted to say and then snap back to the ordinary conversation)… Here’s what I would say:

Look into the eyes of your beloved. Think of all that you love about them.
Many of those things are in your mind, a figment of your imagination and expectations.
This person will disappoint you by not acting according to those expectations and just being themselves. It’s not personal against you. They are just being perfectly who they are. You’ll have to forgive yourself for having illusions of what was going to happen and how your spouse was going to behave. Forgive yourself especially for any thoughts that he or she would change, with your help.
You can thank your beloved at that point for guiding you back to the real purpose of the relationship – for you to discover the infinite well of Love within you. When he or she is unable or unwilling to give love or comfort, when he is exhausted and has only snide comments or silence for you, when she is in self doubt and coming at you with neediness disguised as accusations, you will be nudged toward the realization that your partner is not the source of love in your life. They are not there to give you love. When they have nothing emotionally to give, you will have the opportunity to be the one to bring love to the situation, to give love to yourself and to be loving to your partner. Then you will experience Love… and the Truth that, like Dorothy found, you had it all along.
You might get divorced. You can love someone and not want to be married to them. Your growth in this relationship may come to an end. One of you might get lost and go down a road the other chooses not to travel on. Any of that is Ok. It’s not a failure. It will not be for naught if someone learns something from it. That is success.
You may have been initially attracted to each other due to unconscious beliefs about yourself or unresolved issues with your parents. If so, you’ll be horrified in a few years when you realize how much your partner acts like your mother or father. Don’t fret. Part of you was hoping to recreate that dynamic and this time “win” the person’s love or attention. Your task will be to let go of your need for that replay. And to realize, again, that you are Love.
If you believe (even unknowingly) that people leave you, or that you deserve to be mistreated or abused, your partner will play his or her part in fulfilling that prophecy for you – unless you bring those dark thoughts into the light where they can dissolve… into Love.
You will have chances to practice being with annoyance, anger, sadness, and worry. You can learn acceptance, surrender, and how to remember your sense of humor. You can experience the heights of joy and passion if you are vulnerable enough to go to the depths of heartache.
And so I ask you both, are you ready to enter into this contract…
freely and without reservation?
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14 Responses to My Inappropriate Address to a Couple at Their Wedding

  1. tina says:

    Wonderful advise! I think all should do this before getting married and am forwarding this to a few folks I know who are getting married this year:) Thanks for your inspiration and amazing insights! Always, Tina

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Tina! I am going around touting the wonders of Yin yoga. You provided many insights for me. xo

  2. Betsy says:

    yes-yes-and yes! This is the best ‘marriage address’ that I have ever read! I have felt for a long time that there is a need to dissolve the ‘myth’ of marriage; that the pomp and circumstance of the wedding day is not what marriage is about. That someone who ‘loves’ you today, may not always ‘love’ you and that is ok. There is a need for workshops in high school and perhaps even in higher education on exactly what you have written here. I am going to make copies to give to my daughter and granddaughters. Perhaps it will change their wedding vows, and maybe their expectations of marriage. Thank you Lisa.

  3. Babcia says:

    Tears streaming down my face. How much truth is spoken in those words, Lisa! What a meaningful message you bring to a couple considering total commitment. What wisdom. I truly believe you were meant to be doing the work you are doing. I am so proud of you.

  4. Lisa says:

    Aw… Babcia. Thanks. Love you!

  5. nicole says:

    LOVE that I stumbled upon you. Danielle LaPorte noted something about Lori Portka, who listed your work prayer. Your gift to move through message is amazing. I needed to read this today. I asked and there it is…the gentle reminder that we are LOVE and connected we are here to make more of it!!! Thanks!!!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for stopping and commenting Nicole! Glad you heard something with resonance for you. xo

  6. Karen says:

    Lisa- wow this actually struck a cord with me when thinking about my relationship with my sister. Thank you for your wisdom. I also want to pass this on to my niece who is engaged at 21.

  7. Allison says:

    I absolutely loved this. I’ve been divorced for a couple of years, and what you wrote is SO true! Thank you for the Ally McBeal reference as well – she did have some awesome moments 😉

  8. Rev. Lisa – This is so profound, important, beautiful and expansive. Thank you for sharing your words, words I will share with others!

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