Wedded Words

Toasting to the three Cs of a successful marriage.

Kirsten and Chris Wallace are married by the Magical Minister

On Saturday, July 7, 2012, I had the honor of marrying Chris and Kirsten Wallace, a shy, young couple who didn’t want the spotlight, didn’t want to have a long ceremony and didn’t to say (or write) their vows. They made it clear to me the only lines they wanted to say were, “I do.” All went well and I’m sharing and adapting a portion of their non-traditional ceremony as a brief and tasteful wedding toast: The three Cs of a successful marriage: Communicate, Compromise and Compassion.

To have a happy, healthy and long successful marriage you only need to remember the three Cs. The first C is Communicate. Telling your partner what you don’t want, is good.

Telling your partner what you DO want is better. You must articulate your wants, needs and desires.

Think about your wedding. You had to make many decisions and offer many opinions. Did you get everything you wanted? No, not everything, but you did get most everything, which leads us to the second C.

The second C is Compromise. Getting your way all the time is not fair to your partner.

When you compromise things can turn out better than what you initially had planned. A good tangible example is Thanksgiving. Will you go to Chris’s family gathering? Will you go to Kirsten’s family gathering? If you work it out right, you’ll get two free dinners!

Keith and Shawn, Sam and Jill [parents of the bride and groom] there will be some times in the future where Chris and Kirsten will want to spend their holidays alone and that’s fine, too. They will want to make new memories. That leads us to the third C.

The third C is Compassion. As you join together in marriage, you are bringing together two different families with different thoughts, ideas, opinions and that’s where you share your compassion. The two of you probably agree on many points. That’s why you’re getting married, but some family and friends may have different opinions. And that’s okay, too. And that’s where we come full circle back to communication.

That circle is a strong bond and it’s easy to remember because it is in the form of a ring that you will wear every day of your life. As you promise to communicate, compromise and share your compassion with each other, we promise the same. Congratulations.

Your turn: What’s your recommendation for a fourth C?

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