Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wedding Day: Our Commitments

We would like to thank you all for joining us in our journeys and to express our deep gratitude to you all for having helped to shape our lives and who we have become today. Each and every one of you mean the world to us. Many, many thanks coupled with big hugs and big love. We would like to share as so many of you could not be with us at the time. Now please join us in remembering our big day (already 6 months ago!?) in San Pancho, Mexico with ocean and sunset as the beautiful back drop to our celebration... Well, in life there is celebration, there’s ritual and tradition. It’s something we experience from the day we are born. It’s something we cherish and hold dear to our hearts. It’s something we look forward to, we go back to, and we always remember. March 2nd, 2013, we gathered on the shores of San Pancho, engulfed by the mighty Big Blue. Feeling our toes in the sand, the pulse of the Ocean's power, we embarked on a true celebration and journey of love. 

by officiate Lisa Whisnant
I’d like to share a story with you all. A story of courage, of love, of real devotion, and it takes place behind me in this vast sea, this wilderness we call the ocean… We see a small boat on the Big Blue, the mighty ocean rocking her back and forth, and then heeling to one side with sails full, cutting through the swell with such precision, passion, and determination. The hull strong and sturdy, her foundation solid. It groans with joy as it tilts from side to side readying itself for any unimaginable challenge.

TAO ~ a little boat engulfed by the energy of the deep sea. TAO ~ transition. To be tossed to and fro, to ride with the currents of life, the currents of Mother Nature, of water, whether small stream, big river, or Mother Ocean. TAO ~ the transition of being alive and being human. On her deck, there are two plus one small furry one and they dance in their synchronicity as one. But in the beginning they came from different walks of life.

HE was drawn to water, perhaps born of it and from an early age it had been passed on to him that water and nature were his medium. He played in it, wallowed in it, day dreamed and pursued the unknown with great abandonment. Its massive energy calmed him, yet ignited courage. He was one with it, he was fluid.

SHE came from the Earth, grounded and rooted in the soil. She understood the Earth’s energy. From seed to sapling, the perseverance of nurturing in order for growth to succeed. Her legs were roots to the Earth, but her arms stretched endlessly to the sky. In between there was breath, and this linked her between the two. Her growth was radiant and it reached out like the rays of a setting sun. It was there that she saw her reflection, her joy.

TOGETHER, they were complete. It is true that the Earth craves water and water craves Earth. It is the great balance in life, the great dance. Their meeting is not a collision in life, but a collaboration of love and respect for one another. Tao’s crew fell in love with her as she did them. As they moved together through the waters of time, their love grew to unimaginable depths. Relying on one another through all the whims of the natural world, living side by side on a journey that only echoed life in its purest form, they saw each other in every fiber of their being. Pure, simple, and beautiful.

TAO ~ a little boat engulfed by the energy of the deep sea. TAO ~ transition. She moves with ease now, strong and sturdy, the currents of the wind dictating her course. From the belly of her hull she rides with confidence and conviction into her next adventure, into uncharted waters… life as one, not life as two, but life as one.

by Shawn and Chris

 Together ~ I PROMISE
Shawn ~ to ask for your help
Chris ~ to lean on you when I need to
Shawn ~ to communicate fully and fearlessly
Chris ~ to give you time to sort out your feelings
Shawn ~ to make sure I'm not just hungry before I yell at you
Chris ~ to give you the benefit of the doubt
Shawn ~ to take a break from reality and let in a little romance
Chris ~ to surprise you with flowers and hold your hand
Shawn ~ to accept you with all your faults and strengths
Chris ~ to accept you with all your faults and strengths
Chris ~ I PROMISE to pay attention to the details
Shawn ~ to try to see the big picture
Chris ~ to remind you of your talents and cheer for your successes
Shawn ~ to respect your mind and encourage your love of learning
Chris ~ to appreciate your patience when I'm being too stubborn to admit you're right
Shawn ~ to defend you to others, even when you're wrong
Chris ~ to tell you I love you and need you
Shawn ~ to show you I care and that you matter
Chris ~ to support you in whatever you choose to do
Shawn ~ to support you in whatever you choose to do
Shawn ~ I PROMISE to seek your opinions and trust your judgments
Chris ~ to ask your advice and consider your suggestions
Shawn ~ to honor you, cherish you, and hold you in my heart
Chris ~ to respect you, hug you, and keep you in my thoughts
Shawn ~ not to keep score
Chris ~ to be responsible in our finances but not let money run our lives
Shawn ~ to help you when you need help
Chris ~ to turn to you when I need help
Shawn ~ I PROMISE to love you
Chris ~ I PROMISE to love you
Shawn, over the course of our relationship, you have truly shown me what love is in all of its splendor. Your unyielding strength, patience, and steadfast commitment to our relationship has, and will always baffle me. Even when I have tried, in the depths of my most hopeless moments, I could not swerve you. You have demonstrated time and again your acceptance and patience with me, even when I was undeserving. You are my north star * when my compass is broken. You are the glue that holds us fast. Through your love, a portion of my soul has been entwined with yours.

Shawn, I promise to give you the best of myself, to love and to cherish you at your best and your worst, as you have always done for me; and, I pledge to ask of you no more than you can give. I love you with all my heart. With this ring, I give you myself completely.

Together, so close to nature, with all of these people in my life that have shared with me their love, friendship, and guidance;

Chris, I pledge to be:

Your lover, companion, best friend
Your comrade in adventure
Your greatest fan and toughest adversary
Your student and your teacher
Your ally in conflict
Your consolation in disappointments
Your partner in parenthood
Your accomplice in mischief

I give you my hand, my heart, and this ring as a visible and constant symbol of my love and my faith in our strength together. As it encircles your finger, may it remind you always you are surrounded by my enduring love. As I join my life to yours, with my whole heart I take you as my husband. I CHOOSE YOU, YOU ARE MY PERSON.


With all of the love that is right here, right now amongst your dear family and friends and along side the endless rhythms of the mighty Big Blue, I now pronounce you
Husband and Wife, Wife and Husband
Partners forever
Seal it with a kiss



  1. A very special day to remember.

    Love always,

  2. now you got me all teary-eyed reliving that beautiful day... thanks SO MUCH for putting these words down so I could linger with them better than I could on that day with my wild naked baby!

  3. Reading this post made my eyes teary and heart full of emotions. These moments are really very special for bride and groom looking for a new beginning. My friend is planning a bridal shower for her sister to make her feel on cloud nine. Also booked one of the outstanding Chicago wedding venues for embarked celebrations and tasty dinner.