As Mr E Man said on Friday night, as we had dinner on a patio next to the wedding venue, "it's been a wonderful year, and may there be five or six more".
The reading before our vows was adapted from "On Marriage", taken from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I came across a copy of this book in the house of Mr E Man's BFF (and best man), a few months before our wedding. Upon reading the Marriage chapter, I immediately announced that I had found the perfect passage to kick off the ceremony. Turns out that BFF had been given the book a few months before his own wedding, at which Mr E Man was the best man, and had used the same passage in the ceremony!
We removed the passage alluding to God - and not for the reasons you might think! In BC you can either be married in a civil or a religious ceremony. If you choose the former, as we did, the marriage commissioner is not allowed to include any religious words in the ceremony at all.
Here's what we used:
You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together
when the white wings of death scatter your days.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea
between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other's shadow.
Happy anniversary, babe. You're not too shabby, really. The kitty cats and I had a meeting after you left this morning, and we've decided to keep you.