Friday, July 9, 2010

Ceremony Details

I’ve gotten a few questions about the rest of our ceremony and what it was like to undertake such a big task as writing your own ceremony. I’m not really a write, and I used a lot of sources for our ceremony to gather some inspiration, but there were two main ones: Mrs. Cherry Pie from Weddingbee (LOVED her ceremony!) and our officiant’s personal collection of ceremonies.

You see, we were lucky enough to be married by our friend, who just also happened to be a minister. It made the whole ceremony VERY personal, and you know that I liked having free reign to write up whatever I wanted and he would comply. No rules to follow or suggestions for improvement. He had three different scripts that he typically used for weddings, and gave me copies of those to choose from or told me that we could come up with something totally our own. He would just follow our lead. In fact, when I sent him the finalized ceremony script about two weeks before the wedding he emailed me back and told me that he and his wife cried when they read it! I was touched that he liked it that much.

Like I said before, I knew that I wanted to incorporate a hand fasting ceremony in lieu of a unity candle or sand that was set WAY before we knew what we wanted from the rest of the ceremony. And I won’t lie here...reading and following along Mrs. Cherry Pie’s wedding recaps and finding out that they too had chosen a hand fasting kind of sealed the deal on possibly using parts of her ceremony in ours! Instead of re-creating the wheel, and in an attempt to stay completely honest and not plagiarize anyone else’s work, here’s a link to her post about their ceremony...where she got certain parts from, how she wrote it and the whole ceremony in detail. Her ceremony was definitely a BIG inspiration for our ceremony!

I don’t have links to Dwayne’s ceremonies...or I would post links to them too. How frustrating!

In the end, I wasn’t 100% happy with Mrs. Cherry Pie’s ceremony, and I wasn’t 100% happy with our minister’s ceremonies. So, taking the best of both worlds, I combined the two (or three or four) sample ceremonies that I had found (though most came from the two sources that I’ve mentioned) and my own words and phrases and made something that was completely 100% US. B loved it. I loved it. That’s all that counted in our book.

In case you’re interested, here is our ceremony, broken out by segments:


Family and friends, we welcome you today to witness the marriage of B and S.

Marriage is a promise, made in the hearts of two people who love each other. This promise takes a lifetime to fulfill. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and husband are each other’s lover, teacher, listener, critic and best friend.

Today, B and S demonstrate their devotion to each other by dedicating themselves to a life together. And they show their respect for each other by setting forth to honor the vows they have created. Today, their lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one.

Who gives their blessing to this union?

Dad: “Her Mother and I do”


Today represents not only the joining of B and S, but also the joining of their families and friends.

On behalf of B and S, thank you for joining us. They are delighted that you have come to share their joy during this special day. By your presence, you celebrate with them the love they have discovered in each other and you support their decision to commit themselves in a lifelong relationship. You have shared and contributed to their lives in the past, and by witnessing their marriage ceremony today, B and S ask you to share in their future.

B and S would like to recognize their parents on this occasion. They offer profound gratitude for all the love and care their parents showed in raising them. Parents, the unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts. Without you, this day would not be possible.

They are blessed to share their wedding day with you, their family and friends, and thank each of you for making the effort to be here.

B and S have also asked that we take a moment to honor those loved ones who are not with us today.

Please take a moment of silence.

[Moment of silence]


S and B, do you, with family and friends as your witnesses, present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?

B & S: “We do.”

B, do you take S to be your wife? Will you love, honor, and cherish her, in good times and bad, and do you promise to stay true to her as long as you both shall live?

B: “I do.”

S, do you take B to be your husband? Will you love, honor, and cherish her, in good times and bad, and do you promise to stay true to her as long as you both shall live?

S: “I do.”

Deep abiding affection, the magical and compelling shared impulse that makes us seek each others company, is among the greatest gifts of the human experience. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to find and express the kind of loving devotion that we are celebrating here today knows that it is an awesome and beautiful thing.

This understanding brings me to a few suggestions for you, B and S. First, be constantly grateful for the presence of this precious person who has chosen to make a life with you. For it is a choice that each of you have made, to combine your lives with one another.

Secondly, make each other the recipient of daily kindness. The world can be a tough place and any of us can be subject to rough handling. Be generous with compliments. Be attentive and helpful.

Last, but perhaps most importantly, make truth the unfailing bedrock of your lives together. A happy, loving marriage is built on trust and respect. That trust and respect can only be sustained if you are both deeply committed to always being open and truthful in every exchange, no matter how small.

My hope for you is this; that you have many long years to delight in each other’s company, to feel gratitude for your great good fortune in having found and loved each other, to make a home together that is both sheltering and welcoming, to each do meaningful, productive work at home and in the world and to love and be loved by the friends and family who have come here today to support you…

May you pledge to each other to be loving friends and partners in marriage. To talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate one another; to respect and cherish each other’s uniqueness, and to support, comfort, and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows. May you promise to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as you build your lives together. May your lives be ever entwined, your love keeping you together. May you build a home that is compassionate to all, full of respect and honor for others and each other. May your home be forever filled with peace, happiness and love.


S, B – please face each other and hold hands.

[bouquet hand off]

B, as you look at S, please repeat these words after me:

I B, take you S to be my wife / to have and to hold, from this day forward / to love, honor, and cherish / to comfort and respect, in sorrow or in joy / in hardship or in plenty, so long as we both shall live.

S, as you look at B, please repeat these same words:

I S, take you B to be my husband / to have and to hold, from this day forward / to love, honor, and cherish / to comfort and respect, in sorrow or in joy / in hardship or in plenty, so long as we both shall live.


The ring is a symbol of unity into which your two lives are now joined in an unbroken circle, in which, wherever you go, you will return to one another.

B do you have a ring for S?

[B gets S’s ring and takes her left hand]

B, please repeat after me:

I, B, give to you S / this ring as a symbol of my commitment / to love, honor and respect you.

S, do you have a ring for B?

[S gets B’s ring and take his left hand]
S, please repeat after me:

I, S, give to you B / this ring as a symbol of my commitment / to love, honor and respect you.


S, take B’s hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love. They are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

Now B, take S’s hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you:

These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree. They are holding yours on your wedding day, as she promises to love you all the days of her life.

Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted in the ways of old. Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…

[Cords are held aloft by Best Man]

The love already shared by your hearts has been strengthened by the vows you have taken.

You will be bound by your love as you are bound by your clasped hands from now until the end of your days.

[As the following is recited, the couples hands are wrapped with cords by Best Man]

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you build your future together.

These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours.

[Binding is finished and cords are knotted]

Bless these hands that you see before you this day.
May they always reach out with love, gentleness and respect.
May they build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
May they always be held by one another.
If you follow these words and heed this sacred binding, your hands will heal, protect, shelter and guide.
Now, you may remove the cords, but remember the knot as a lasting symbol of your binding and commitment.

[Cords are removed and stored]


S…B, may the love that has brought you together continue to grow and enrich your lives. May you meet with courage the problems that arise to challenge you and may your relationship always be one of love and trust. May the happiness that you share today be with you always and may every word that you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives.

May your home be a haven of peace and your relationship be one of truth and understanding. May you enjoy length of days, fulfillment of hopes, and peace and content as you, day by day, live and fulfill the terms of this covenant you have made with one another. May God bless and honor your lives together.

And now, for as much as you have made your vows, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving your rings, in recognition of the above, and in accordance with the laws and statutes of the State of Texas, I pronounce that you are husband and wife.

Groom, you may kiss your Bride.


[B and S turn to face family and friends, collecting bouquet back]

It is my honor and privilege to present Mr. and Mrs. B.

[Bride and Groom go back down the aisle, followed by attendants and parents/grandparents]

The Bride and Groom would like to invite you all to stay for the reception that will begin shortly just across the way in Redbud Hall. We do have some quick pictures to take first, so we will ask the family to remain seated for those pictures, but the rest of the guests can go ahead and make your way across to the reception hall.

Thank you for coming.

In the end, the ceremony ran right at about 30 minutes...Dwayne was a little nervous and made it through the ceremony faster than any of the times that he had practiced at home. It was the perfect length, not too long and not too short.

I hope that this answers some of the questions that you might have had regarding our ceremony. Like I said, a lot of this came from Mrs. Cherry Pie’s ceremony and our minister’s own ceremonies...I hope that it helps some of you brides out there!

No comments:

Post a Comment