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Our Vows 

Welcome dear friends and family, I am Rabbi Renee Feller. On behalf of Jim and Matt I extend a warm welcome to all of you.


Matt and Jim are happy that so many of you who mean so much to them are here to share and celebrate their wedding day.  Their relationship has drawn much of its richness and beauty these many years from the close ties held with each of you and on this day as they embrace one another in love, so too do they embrace their families and friends who have come together on this happy occasion.


This place was chosen for the wedding today because it has been for Jim and Matt a place of joy on several occasions in the past and I know from my many conversations with Jim and Matt that they were most excited to share it with all of you.  So, again the warmest welcome for all of you who have come so far to be with them today.


My officiating at this wedding was as inevitable as the sun coming up this morning.  I met Matt and Jim 13 years ago when they were a new couple.  I was officiating at the wedding of Matt’s business partner Andrew to his lovely wife Emily.  A few years later, Matt suggested me to officiate at his close friend Marc’s wedding in Germany to the wonderful Daniella.  Then, I performed the wedding of Matt’s cousin Lisa to her husband Dan in New York City.  I spoke to Jim and Matt last spring when I was officiating the wedding of Matt’s cousin Alexandra to William in Brooklyn.  All of these couples are here this evening except Alexandra and William but they are represented here by their parents Lisa and Howard Rosenberg.


When I spoke to Jim and Matt last spring, Jim told me they were considering a wedding in Spain at some point in the future.  I told them that they had to hurry up and do it before I died! 


So - here we are tonight on a beautiful hillside in Spain and I am very much alive :)


Normally a wedding is when friends and family gather to witness the joining of two lives.  But Matt and Jim joined their lives together almost 14 years ago.  From what I understand - almost the minute that they met.   They have been raising their son Owen together for nearly 7 years.  


As a gay couple, marriage for them has only very recently become a possibility.  We are all delighted I am sure that society and the government have caught on to what has always been true.  That two people who love each other will be together no matter what - and for all of us who know Jim and Matt, we know that they have always belonged together.


So today’s wedding is different than most.  But different only in its timing.  This wedding isn’t the beginning of something - it is part of the progression of a long, enduring relationship.  We gather here not with hopes of a successful marriage for Matt and Jim - they have that already no matter what anyone has called it.  We are here to celebrate a mature relationship that has seen its share of better and worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer.  


So with that, If there is anyone present who has just cause why this couple should not continue to be united ... then you probably should not have come tonight :)


Who gives this man and this man to be married today? {Owen says - I do!}

For Jim and Matt, out of the routine of ordinary life, the extraordinary happened. They met each other, fell in love, have been blessed with a child and now many years later are celebrating all of that with their wedding today.


Romance is fun, but true love is something far more and it is their desire to continue to love each other for life  - and that is another thing we are celebrating here today.


Matt and Jim both know that a good marriage is not a given but must be created and they have done so.

In marriage the "little" things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say, ”I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person -- it is being the right partner


Please face each other and hold hands - so you may feel the gift that you are to one another.  These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build the rest of your lives together


These are the hands that will comfort when fear and grief plague you.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes - tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength as you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just one touch.


{Matt and Jim exchange their personal vows.}

Matt and Jim - I would ask that you always treat yourself and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together many years ago and again today.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration and difficulty assail your marriage - as they do to every relationship at one time or another - focus on what still seems right between you, not only the part that seems wrong.

This way, when clouds of trouble hide the sun in your lives and you lose sight of it for a moment, you can remember that the sun is still there. And if each of you will take responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and happiness.


RING EXCHANGE {Rabbi asks ‘who has the rings?’  Owen hands to Rabbi.}

The ring is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. They are the outward and visible symbol of an inner spiritual bond.  

Matt, do you take Jim to be your Husband?

To love, honor, cherish and respect him as long as you both shall live? (I DO)

Jim, do you take Matt to be your husband?

To love, honor, cherish and respect him as long as you both shall live?  (I DO)




Jim and Matt - your friends and family, all of us here, rejoice in your happiness and we pray that this day marks only one of many more blessings you will share in the days and years ahead.


We end this ceremony with the breaking of the glass.  There are many explanations for this ancient Jewish custom - but the traditional explanation is that the glass is broken as a symbolic hope that your love and commitment to one another will remain until the pieces of this glass come together again.


Tonight, the breaking of this glass also symbolizes the breaking down of prejudice and ignorance.

And finally, the breaking of the glass is the end of this ceremony but the beginning of a celebration  - a celebration that begins on this hill in Spain but continues, in various forms, for the rest of your lives.



By the power vested in me I now pronounce you . . . . . .

Husband and Husband.

You may kiss each other!

I would like to introduce the happy couple!