Your first 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. In addition, 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.
You now have what remains the most honorable title that exists between a woman and a man - the title of "wife" and "husband." It is now my great privilege to be the first to address you as such and for your first gift as wife and husband, that gift will be a single red rose bud.
The couple is handed rose here
The rose is considered a symbol of love and a single rose always means only one thing - it means, "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift that gift would be a single rose bud.
Please exchange the rose buds as your first gift to each other as wife and husband.
Within these rose buds, if given proper loving care, is the potential for an even more beautiful expression of Life and Love in the form of the mature flower. And so it is with your marriage. At this point your marriage is like these rose buds - ready, with proper loving care - to unfold into a very beautiful expression of life.
Bride and Groom, 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 select 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 the holy vows which you have made before God and those present on this beautiful day.
Those of us who are already married know that marriage, like life, brings with it many joys and also many challenges. We also know that love, while beautiful, does not always show its prettiest face. There are days when we may find it hard to express the depth of our love for one another.
Sometimes it is difficult to find the right words. It might be difficult to find the words to say "I am sorry" or "I forgive you"; "I need you" or "I am hurting". If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected - for that rose then says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says, "I still love you."
It is wise to understand this as a statement of love and the need, or request for that extra bit of tender loving care permits the beauty of the rose to come forth from the rose bud. So also will that love permit the beauty of maturity to come forth from your marriage in every situation. Your partner should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
Bride and Groom, 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. Whatever the situation, love, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness can make everything right.
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