Becoming #teamnakamura: Writing Vows

When Sean & I decided to get married at the absolutely amazing San Francisco City Hall, we knew that we wanted to have a family member marry us.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

We decided that we wanted to ask Sean’s brother to officiate our ceremony.  There are 2 ways for a family member to be able to marry you in California.  #1 they can be deputized for the day, there is a $120 fee for this and you can get it at the same place you get your marriage license.  #2 they can get ordained online for free.  I found all this info and more on

After we asked Jared to officiate our ceremony, we had to write it.  So I went to Pinterest and started looking around for inspiration.  There are a lot of sites out there that give ceremony templates for both religious and civil ceremonies but I have to say that most of them weren’t anything near what we wanted.  First of all most of them were really long and very formal including lots of readings and just didn’t convey who we were.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

I asked an officiant friend from Orlando if we had to have anything specific in the ceremony before I started piecing things together.

I found an awesome ceremony on pinterest which I can now not find, so I apologize that I can’t give credit to the author, but I loved the beginning of it and I changed it to fit us.

I’m thrilled & honored to be here to witness & celebrate the beginning of your journey through life as Team Nakamura.

I imagine the marriage between the two of you will look a little like this:

Traveling the world, running from place to place, watching sunsets, enjoying amazing meals and making plans for your next adventure.

May your marriage be a never-ending edit of beautiful vignettes, captured and shared #togethertogether, for as long as you both shall live.

Then I found very very long reading, I cut it in half using what I thought fit us.

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the art of 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 at no time taking the other for granted, the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue throughout all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values & common objectives. It is standing #togethertogether facing the world.

Then came the vows, I saw this sign first and it was basically what I built the whole ceremony around.  I felt that the vows were absolutely perfect for us.  I made a few small changes and they were perfect.

I take you, Sean/Jenny, to be my husband/wife, my best friend, my faithful partner and my one true love.

I promise to encourage you & inspire you and to love you truly through good times & bad.

I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally throughout all of our adventures in life #togethertogether.

I think the ring section was probably the hardest part to find, and eventually I just gave up coming up with something super creative and picked a basic ring blessing.

A ring is an unbroken circle, a symbol of unity and love, the greater circle of life of which we belong. Having neither beginning nor end but a continuous cycle of which you are an element. For you, it begins with the gift of life and will continue through the end of time.

For the ring vows…

With this ring, I give you my heart, I promise from this day forward, you shall not walk alone, may my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.

Then a nice Irish Marriage Prayer that I found & liked.

Now an Irish Marriage Prayer…May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.

And then it was official & we were married!

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, 3rd Floor, Fancy Windows, SF Wedding

Basically I didn’t write much of our ceremony, I picked and choose bits and pieces of things that were already written and put them together to make what would become the #teamnakamura wedding ceremony.

All in all it was just over 6 minutes long, included a lot of laughter, some tears and our amazing families.  If you would like to watch the ceremony my brother in law David recorded it on his phone, hence the audio quality and the fact that city hall is really noisy 🙂 and you can watch it here.

My favorite part of the ceremony? Hum…I loved it all but probably this…The absolute pure happiness on Sean’s face after he got his ring.

SF city Hall, San Francisco, SF Wedding, Carmen Alvarez Photography

Sean’s favorite part?

I asked him and he said it was all his favorite.

We are so grateful to Jared and our families for joining us on this most special day in our lives.

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