The last wedding-related things I want to share with you are the vows and the playlist.
Although I fancy myself some sort of writer, I’m not the type of writer who composes wedding vows. We wanted something more than, “Yo dude, we’re married!” (Sorry about the “yo”; I recognize that I’m a dorky white woman who has no business saying “yo,” well, pretty much ever, but sometimes it happens.) So we turned to the internet, where we found something we liked at Friendly Atheist that was used in an atheist/spiritual Buddhist wedding. Being an editor type, I made a few little changes, plus we adapted it to work for solemnizing our own marriage (we took turns reading paragraphs). Behold the finished product. (They’re a bit long but that was the extent of our ceremony.)
On the journey of life, we as individuals evolve, transform, and change, developing our potential, and finding out more than we ever thought we could know about ourselves. As we travel down this path, we meet many people — some good, some bad, some for only a little while, and some whose path converges with ours for the rest of our lives.
The impact those people have on our lives and the impact we have on theirs is profound and creates a bond, steadfast and lasting, that shapes our path together, and even has an impact on those around us. Now our paths have converged, and we are happy today, not only because of our unity and the unity of our path, but also because we can share that unity with everyone in our lives.
We pledge to help each other to develop our hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration, and wisdom as we age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and awesomeness.
We pledge to help each other develop loving kindness, allowing our love to be our example of the love we should share with everyone around us, and move each other to have more love and patience for all in the world.
We pledge to help each other be mindful of our thoughts and emotions, and to support and guide each other on our path, even when our path is rocky and unsteady, and especially when the path is obscured from our sight and we aren’t sure where to go.
We pledge to help each other when thoughts and emotions may turn to negativity, and help each other see the opportunity for emotional growth in challenging times and help each other take full advantage of that emotional growth so our hearts can be fully open to each other.
We pledge to preserve and enrich the love between us, and to share it with all those around us, generating compassion and empathy for all living beings and striving to never turn a deaf ear to each other’s suffering or the suffering ever present in the world.
When it comes time to part, due to the impermanence of this world, we pledge to look back on our time with joy, a joy we have built and shared together, and shared with the world around us, and remember our happiness and the kindness we showed the world and the kindness we were showed in return.
We pledge to remember the pain caused by ignorance and anger, and to apply an antidote whenever these are present, and to help each other avoid this pain and work toward the welfare of others with all our wisdom, compassion, and skill.
We pledge to continually develop the patience in ourselves that we may better understand each other, knowing that lasting change is slow and requires work and understanding, and to continually seek inspiration from those around us and in our everyday lives.
Understanding that because we are a mystery to ourselves, we are also a mystery to each other, we pledge to continually seek understanding of ourselves, each other, and all living beings, to continually examine our own minds, and regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy that comes with being able to share those mysteries with each other.
We pledge to dedicate ourselves to each other in this life, with body, spirit, and mind, in health or sickness, wealth or poverty, happiness or difficulty, as long as we both shall live.
The wedding ring is an outward symbol of the emotional and spiritual commitment that we are making, which unites two loyal hearts in partnership.
By the power vested in us by the state of Colorado, we now pronounce ourselves husband and wife!
Ben and I both contributed songs to the playlist, then hit shuffle. Some of these are meaningful (Welcome to Atlanta, for example, from the early days) and some are just songs we’re digging now that have no deeper significance.
Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana
Happiness – Mark Farina
Welcome to Atlanta – Ludacris
Simple Kind of Life – No Doubt
H to the Izzo – Jay-Z
Change of Heart – Azari & III
The Bay (Erol Alkan Re-Edit) – Metronomy
You Found a Way – Tortured Soul
Let’s Make Love (Hot Chip Remix) – CSS
Fix My Sink – DJ Sneak
In the Grace of Your Love – The Rapture
Electric Feel – MGMT
Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) – Maxwell
Flowerz – Armand Van Helden
Electric Feel (acoustic) – Katy Perry
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
The Way I Feel – Solu Music
Two Can Win – J Dilla
Take ‘Em Up – Shit Robot feat. Nancy Whang
The Cure & The Cause – Dennis Ferrer
Shades of Jae – Moodymann
Love Like a Sunset (Pts. I & II) – Phoenix
You’ve Got the Love (XX Remix) – Florence + the Machine
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
Anitina (First Time I See She Dance) – MAARS
I Can Get Love – Toro Y Moi
Excuse Me Miss – Jay-Z
Yours (Original Mix) – Steffi feat. Virginia
I Want Your Soul – Armand Van Helden
There 4 Me (Soul Bounce (Vocal)) – Mark Grant
I Can’t Tell You Why (DJ-KiCKS) – Chromeo
45:33 (Prince Language Remix) – LCD Soundsystem
Flashback – Jazzanova
I Wanted to Tell Her – Holy Ghost! feat. Nancy Whang & Juan Maclean
Do It Now (Extended Disco Version) – Dubtribe Sound System
Givin’ Into Love – Buckner Funken Jazz
He Is – Heather Headley
Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem
Love Make’s – Mark Farina
Is This Love – Bob Marley
The Light – Common
A Long Walk – Jill Scott
Darko – Booka Shade
Thing Called Love (Legowelt Remix) – Wolfram feat. Haddaway
Your Love – Bon Iver
You Make Me Feel Like (Peace & Love & Happiness) – A:Xus
Lights, Camera, Action – Mr. Cheeks
Falling Into (Swell Sessions Boy Wonder Mix) – Stateless
Better Things – Passion Pit
Looking for Love (Kevin Yost’s Fate Calling Mix) – Karen Ramirez
Brian Eno – MGMT
Prisoner of Love – Jessica 6
Changes (Vemixed) – Van She
The whole thing (plus a pdf track list) is available for a limited time here. Enjoy!