The weather was made to order; as if purchased from a postcard factory specializing in perfect-day clip art.
An unbroken clear blue sky stretched from horizon to horizon, white downy cotton clouds drifted lazily without hurry across the overhead vista, draping fleeting patches of cool shade upon the celebration and its attendees who came together to send off the newly married couple into their lives together.
As they stood face-to-face beneath the canopy, holding hands, the minister raised her head from the couple and looked toward the crowd;
“The couple has written their own vows which they’d like to share.”
He could hardly hear what she said; the sound of his heart pounding too loudly in his ears. When she finished, he, with shaking hands, pulled a thrice-folded sheet of paper from inside his charcoal-grey tuxedo pocket. Looking deep into the brown eyes of his beloved, desperately attempting to prevent his voice from cracking, he croaked out his pledge.
“Today, in front of friends, family, and God, I am marrying my soul mate. I know not what lies in our tomorrows. Yet, no matter that, I promise to you that I will love you deeply and without reservation in every manner in which I know. I shall love you for the remainder of my days and beyond. In all that time, I commit to honor you for the person you are and not try to change you, as there is no reason to do so. you are already of my spirit, interwoven through my essence, closer to me than my breath. I ask nothing of you in return except to be with me. And I promise as each day fades into yesterday, before I sleep, that I will gently kiss you good night and thank the Universe for your presence. When we agree, I shall kiss you with gladness. Should we differ, I shall do the same. In sickness, my kiss will heal. In good times, it shall celebrate. I will – through joy and sorrow, illness and health, poverty and riches – forever remain by your side, ending and beginning each day with you and with a kiss.”
A beam of sunlight reflected from the gold ring as he placed it on her finger.
Faintly, he heard applause and cheering, noting the soap bubbles as they floated to the heavens over the two of them as they walked back up the aisle, drifting in their thoughts as the clouds and bubbles above.