Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings-which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect: and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband and wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your gift as husband and wife. Ins some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this.
In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
Groom and Bride, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage base upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt those whom we love the most. It is easiest to be hurt by those whom we most love.
It might be difficult some time to find words to say “I am sorry”, or “I forgive you”, “I need you”, or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply cannot find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all things and all other words.
That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept the rose for the words that cannot be found and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
Groom and Bride, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.