In my version of the Shire, Hobbit couples always have an elaborate copy of their Wedding Contract made, which hangs in a prominent place on the wall of their home.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This wedding contract was designed for a story co-written by Gryffinjack and myself, called "Testaments of the Past".
Here is the actual text of the contract: A marriage is like a summer flower garden, blooming with daisies and asters, lilies, foxgloves and more. Butterflies and bees flit among the blossoms, and ladybugs climb the leaves.
On the first day of the month of Forelithe in the year of Shire Reckoning 1354
Surrounded by family and friends agree to enter into this mutual covenant of wedlock as partners and companions in life and love and so make the following vows:
We promise to love and honour one another; to support and comfort one another in joy and sorrow, riches and poverty, from this day forward. We pledge ourselves as friends and partners in marriage, to trust, appreciate, cherish and respect each other, to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as we build our lives together.
We shall establish a home that is compassionate to all wherein the flow of the seasons and the passages of life, as witnessed by our mutual traditions, are honoured. May our home be filled with peace, happiness, and love as we build upon the hearth of truth, kindness, wisdom and reverence. May our home be shared by our family traditions and committed to the pursuit of learning, caring for friends and family, and nurturing of the Shire.
We vow to join our two separate families into one family, united by our marriage. We shall now each of us be considered equally a part of one other’s family as the family to which we were born. We promise to love, honour and care for each other’s family as much as the family to which we were born.
Our hearts are united forever; May we grow through our lives ever entwined, our love bringing us closer together
When we are parted at the end of our days, the one who is left shall retain the rights to all property, real or personal, and any and all inheritances with which we each of us entered into this marriage.
We joyfully enter into this covenant and solemnly accept its obligations.
In witness whereof, with love and devotion, We, Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins, hereunto set our hands to seal this moment and sign and publish this covenant this first day of Forelithe S.R. 1354.
Drogo Baggins Primula Brandybuck
This instrument was signed, sealed and declared by Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins, the Bride and Groom above named for their Wedding Contract in the presence of us who in their presence and at their request and in the presence of each other have hereupon inscribed our names as Witnesses. Furthermore, we Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins and the Witnesses respectively, whose names are signed to the foregoing instrument do hereby declare to the undersigned official that the Bride and Groom signed the instrument as their Wedding Contract and that they signed voluntarily of their own free will and that each of the Witnesses in the presence of the Bride and Groom at their request and in the presence of each other signed the Wedding Contract as a Witness and that to the best of the knowledge of each Witness the Bride and Groom were at that time thirty-three years or more of age, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
Rorimac Brandybuck Saradas Brandybuck Adalgrim Took
Bilbo Baggins Fosco Baggins Rufus Burrows Fredegund Bolger
Subscribed and acknowledged before me by Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins, the Bride and Groom and subscribed and sworn to by the
above Witnesses on the first day of Forelithe, S.R. 1354.
Gorbadoc Brandybuck,(SEAL OF THE BRANDYBUCKS)
Master of Buckland
Here is the actual text of the contract:
A marriage is like a summer flower garden, blooming with daisies and asters, lilies, foxgloves and more. Butterflies and bees flit among the blossoms, and ladybugs climb the leaves.