Today is our 6th Wedding Anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Gay! That 6 years we dated before getting married doesn’t seem to long anymore. :) We went out to dinner on Thursday and we’ll have a barbecue dinner with the kids tonight. I even cleaned the grill!

We wrote our own ceremony and marriage vows for our wedding and lost the original copy. Since we were married, two couples who attended the wedding were divorced and both told us that our wedding vows were a factor in their decision to divorce. What did we write??! And people actually listened to them??? We recently found the paper our officiant read from packed away in our filing cabinet, so I thought I’d write them down so they’re a little more permanent. Be careful if you’re married, you might end up getting divorced if you read them.

The ceremony:

Today is the commemoration of a private union created by love and kept by will. The true marriage is already manifest in Troy & Gay's relationship. The ceremony is a formal articulation of the love and the pledge these two have made for a lifetime. Today they choose to make that commitment public and forever. Troy & Gay enter into this union with the full understanding that marriage is not mandatory to unify their lives or codify their relationship. Troy & Gay enter into this union recognizing that they are fortunate to have the right to marry, a right some of their closest friends are denied. Marriage has been recognized by society, religions, creeds, customs and government throughout history. And today Troy & Gay are entering into a legal union that is recognized by the State. However, Troy & Gay are marrying not because it is meaningful to others, but because it is meaningful to them. Troy & Gay, like all in attendance who have experience in marriage, realize that the commitment they are making is the most important promise two poeple can make to each other. Marriage is a responsibility and an honor, one that deserves to be made in a ceremony and in celebration with family and friends. Marriage is not simply a private affair between two individuals. Marriage brings together two families and two families of friends. Today is a time for all of us to share in Troy and Gay's commitment to each other by offering them our continued support, love and best wishes in their lives together. Gay and Troy, marriage is something beyond the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. Marriage means caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your life partner as about your own. Real love does not result in the total absorption or possession of each other; it is about two independent people looking in the same direction together. Love makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can do things you dare not risk alone. Troy and Gay, a good marriage depends on many factors. Primary among them are a strong friendship and mutual respect. Your love with grow deeper with time, but genuine closeness and a willingness to accept each other's strengths and weaknesses is the foundation for a lasting marriage.

Troy’s vows:

Gay, I marry you because you are my complement as well as my antithesis. You excite me, you challenge me, and you help me to understand myself. I, Troy Hakala, vow that I will love and respect you. At all times, under all circumstances, I will be open and honest with you, support you in everything you do, and be your faithful and equal partner, as long as we both shall live, and then some. No splitting up.

Gay’s vows:

Troy, I marry you because you are the man I admire and adore. You make me laugh, you let me cry, you inspire me and make me a better person. I, Gay Gilmore, vow that I will love and respect you. At all times, under all circumstances, I will be open and honest with you, support you in everything you do, and be your faithful and equal partner, as long as we both shall live, and then some. No splitting up.

The “No splitting up” is something we promised to each other while on “vacation” in Cuba when we were separated and couldn’t find each other. No cell phones back then either. When we found each other again, we promised “no splitting up” so that doesn’t happen again on the trip. It stuck.