"A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal."
July 5, 2011 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Two of my best friends are getting married (to one another!) and I'm putting together a book of letters, photos, advice, poems, etc. from everyone invited to the wedding. A lot of what I've found are love poems and vows written in the first person about how much the speaker loves the intended, which might feel a bit weird coming from the wedding guests. I'm looking for more general advicey-type stuff, about marriage as an institution or love in the abstract. Funny or serious; the couple are extremely happy together and have great senses of humor.

It's a relatively small wedding and a relatively large book, so I want to be sure that we can fill it completely. Basically, I'm looking for marriage-related material to add at the end to take up the last few blank pages.

Here's the kind of stuff I've got so far: a Are You Ready For Marriage? quiz, quotes ("Matrimony is nothing but a form of friendship recognized by the police."), and the excerpt from Charles Darwin's journals weighing the pros and cons of marriage. I'd like to include relevant bits from great commencement addresses/PostSecret/etc., but don't know how to easily find them.

I've found the previous Ask threads on vows and wedding readings, as well as the IndieBride forums. Anything really spectacular in the first person is okay, but I certainly would rather that be a minimum of the material.

posted by you're a kitty! to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Zombie pickup line #23?
posted by anonymisc at 10:12 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." -- source unknown, read at my wedding during the vows, by my best man (opposite Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which isn't really that uplifting, unless you're into war and peace and such).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

- Ogden Nash
posted by one little who at 10:19 AM on July 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

And a bucket of random love quotes, many not delivered from the person in love, and from some rather odd sources (example: "Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely." ~M*A*S*H, Hawkeye)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:36 AM on July 5, 2011

I've borrowed heavily from Matt Groening's "Love is Hell" in times like this, particularly the #9 types of couples. But there's tons of fun, if a little bitter, stuff.
posted by Gucky at 10:36 AM on July 5, 2011

“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. . . it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that you’re ready to fine a life-long mate. Only then do you finally know what you are looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you can gaze lovingly upon, and think, ‘This is the problem I want to have.’”

-Andrew Boyd, from Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe
posted by rabbitbookworm at 10:48 AM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

I'm not particularly religious, or religious at all really, but I had a "religious lite" wedding because it was easier that way for family reasons. Our parting blessing was this, which though I am not a God-n-Jesus type, I still love. I think it's Lutheran, but I could be mis-remembering that.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May God give you grace never to sell yourself short,
Grace to risk something big for something good,
Grace to remember that the world is now too dangerous
for anything but truth; and too small for anything but love.

So, may God take your minds and think through them,
May God take your lips and speak through them,
May God take your hearts and set them on fire.
May God lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen
The bolded bit, obviously I suppose, is the part I love best.

Additionally, now whenever we're asked for our best advice, we tell people to be sure to have a litter box on each floor of their house. This may or may not apply to people who don't live with cats.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:19 AM on July 5, 2011

Best answer: "Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. . . Without question, civil marriage enhances the 'welfare of the community.' It is a 'social institution of the highest importance.' . . . Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family."

- from Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the 2003 Massachusetts court decision mandating equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 11:28 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: What marriage may be
in the case of two persons of cultivated faculties,
identical in opinions and purposes,
between whom there exists that best kind of equality,
similarity of powers and capacities with reciprocal superiority in them –
so that each can enjoy the luxury
of looking up to the other, and can alternately have the pleasure
of leading and being led in the path of development –
I will not attempt to describe.
To those who can conceive it, there is no need;
to those who cannot, it would appear the dream of the enthusiast.
–John Stuart Mill

Had to go look it up to remember, but it's from The Subjection of Women.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

This paragraph on the last couple of pages of Somerset Maughm's Of Human Bondage is my favorite quote about marriage and one that I've tried to take to heart:

He realised that he had deceived himself; it was no self-sacrifice that
had driven him to think of marrying, but the desire for a wife and a home
and love; and now that it all seemed to slip through his fingers he was
seized with despair. He wanted all that more than anything in the world.
What did he care for Spain and its cities, Cordova, Toledo, Leon; what to
him were the pagodas of Burmah and the lagoons of South Sea Islands?
America was here and now. It seemed to him that all his life he had
followed the ideals that other people, by their words or their writings,
had instilled into him, and never the desires of his own heart. Always his
course had been swayed by what he thought he should do and never by what
he wanted with his whole soul to do. He put all that aside now with a
gesture of impatience. He had lived always in the future, and the present
always, always had slipped through his fingers. His ideals? He thought of
his desire to make a design, intricate and beautiful, out of the myriad,
meaningless facts of life: had he not seen also that the simplest pattern,
that in which a man was born, worked, married, had children, and died, was
likewise the most perfect? It might be that to surrender to happiness was
to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.

posted by Edward L at 8:06 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Neponset Circle
posted by roll truck roll at 9:07 PM on July 5, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I favorites the ones that ended up fitting the best.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:30 PM on July 9, 2011

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