Ceremonies

Here are some sample ceremonies.  They, of course, can be a jumping off point, altered, combined and re-written.

COMPLETE SCRIPTS

CEREMONY 1

Welcome family, friends and loved one.  We gather here today to celebrate the wedding of  A & B.  You have come here to share in this formal commitment they make to one another, to offer your love and support to this union, and to allow A & B to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them.

So welcome, again, to all who have traveled from near and far.  A & B thank you for your presence here today, and now ask for your blessing, encouragement, and lifelong support, for their decision to be married.

Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships.  No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that, through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening; through helping, supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences and by learning to make the important things matter… and to let go of the rest.  What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as lifemates and partners.

Will you, A, take B to  be your wedded wife/husband/lifemate/partner?

A: I will.

Will you, B, take A to be your wedded husband/wife/lifemate/partner?

B: I will

In the spirit of the importance of strong friendships to a marriage, A & B  have asked (X Friends) to read selections about love that especially resonate with them. (optional)

Two people do not live in isolation.  Their love is a source of strength with which they may nourish not only each other but also world around them.  And in turn, we, their community of friends and family, have a responsibility to this couple.  By our steadfast care, respect and love, we can support their marriage (and the new family) they are creating here today.

Will you who are present here today, surround A & B in love, offering them the joys of your friendship, and support them in their marriage?

All:  We will

We have come to the point in your ceremony where you are going to say your vows to one another.  Before you do that, I ask you to remember that love, which is rooted in faith, trust and acceptance, will be the foundation of an abiding and deepening relationship.  No other ties are more tender, no other vows more sacred than those you now assume.  If you are able to keep the vows you take here today, not because of any religious or civic law, but out of a desire to love and be loved by another person fully, without limitation, then your life will have joy and the home you establish will be a place in which you both will find the direction of your growth, freedom and your responsibility.

(Insert Vows)

(Insert Unity Ceremony)

Please present the rings (hold hand over theirs for blessing) :

Many blessing on these rings, may they always be a constant reminder of the promises you are making to each other.

(To A) While placing the ring on B’s finger please repeat:

I give this ring as a daily reminder of my love for you for now and always.

(To B) While placing the ring on A’s finger please repeat:

I give this ring as a daily reminder of my love for you for now and always.

By the power of your love and commitment, and power vested in me, by the state of Minnesota, What God has joined together, let no one part.

I now pronounce you husband and wife/lifemates/partners!  You may kiss each other.

It is with great joy I present to you for the first time, A & B Smith.


CEREMONY 2

(This has been the most requested)

Welcome Everyone!  What a Great day!  Today is the day that A & B have work very hard to make “perfect”.  The dress, the flowers, music, the food, decorations, and all the little details that go into making this DAY perfect.  However, I have often said that people spent way too much time (and money) planning a Wedding DAY, forgetting to plan for the whole MARRIAGE that follows.  While we want a “Perfect Day” we need to spend more time and reflection focusing on having an imperfectly – perfect marriage.

Today A & B, you will make your vows to each other.  It is your intention to honor those vows and each other.  You cannot do this alone.  There are a couple things that you will need to remember to be successful in the commitment you are making to each other today.

FIRST is PATIENCE…Patience is the attribute that will keep you sane!  It will help keep perspective of what is real and important in each other and in the life you are making together.  Keep this in mind as you weave your lives, jobs, households, finances and possessions together.

SECOND is GRACE… Grace is about letting go of what we expect our spouse to be and do… and accepting who they are.  A, there will be times you will wish that B would just read your mind,  and figure it out, without you telling them … and B , you will wonder why A is still “stewing” over the conflict that you have long forgotten because it was so “last night”.  You want the other to be the person you envision.  The reality is, this probably won’t happen.  Ask anyone who has been married for a while, myself included, after 25 years, I still wish my spouse would “just get it”…but we don’t get stuck in that place.  THAT is Grace – forgiving the other for not always meeting these unrealistic expectations.

THIRD you need an understanding of COMMITMENT.  Commitment seems to be especially difficult today with our cultural emphasis on personal happiness.  Putting the needs of others before our own – most of the time – seems like an antiquated concept.  However, this is how marriage and relationships are designed to be.  It helps you see beyond the ups and downs and invest in the BIG PICTURE.  You can encourage the long term and enhance the dedication by spending time dreaming about your future together.  Making all efforts to understand and work toward that ideal is the way to a successful and fulfilling relationship.

FOURTH, you need to keep DATING each other… Never stop! Right now, as you establish your household together, working and having little extra time.  You need to consciously set aside time for each other and the relationship. This ceremony is not the end to making that a priority. Your time needs to be more important than the landscaping, picking out furniture or paint colors. You are working hard to have “things”, but the relationship cannot nurture itself. You must make each other the Priority. Take time to love your relationship, yourself and each other… date each other now and forever!

FIFTH, be COURTEOUS AND LOVING to each other.  Treat each other with kindness and respect at all times.  Always put your best out there for each other. Speak to others about your spouse in the same manner. This does not mean “stuffing your feelings” about things that bug you, it is normal and healthy to vent or disagree every so often.  But remember this, nothing erodes intimacy more than hurtful sarcasm and publicly berating another person.  What is seen as humor to one can be a sharp knife in the heart of the other.  Be gentle and kind with your words.  If you are truly marrying your best friend, continue treating each other as such. Nurture each other and humble yourself for each other.

FINALLY… A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR goes a long way!  When you can laugh at yourself and with each, other you have it made. Laughing at your own “quirks” can ease some of the difficulties of living with another person day after day.  When you are having a particularly difficult day, thing back on some funny even that has occurred in your relationship and you will find it can help bring you back to a good place and not get stuck in the difficulty.

Don’t think that what you feel today, is the end all be all.  When the strong emotions that you identify as “LOVE” today fade, and they will from time to time, allow them to change and grow. A great man – my Grandfather, said that when he married my Grandmother he thought he knew what love was… when asked again on their 50th Wedding Anniversary he realized he was finally beginning to understand what love REALLY was… and that marriage lasted 65 years – maybe they “got it”!

Marriage by design, is a venue to encourage each other, grow with each other, and enjoy what each of you brings to it. Celebrate every day by honoring your vows and giving thanks to the power that brought you together.

We are now ready for the vows:

(Insert Vows)

(Insert Unity Ceremony)

A & B have chosen rings to symbolize their love; By sharing these rings they are sharing a covenant promise – Gracious God, Remind A & B of your encircling love and unending faithfulness that in their life together they may know joy and peace in your love and in one another.

A repeat after me: B, I give you this ring as a sign of my eternal love and faithfulness.

B repeat after me: A, I give you this ring as a sign of my eternal love and faithfulness.

By sharing these rings and exchanging these vows, you have made a commitment to yourself and to each other.  Love each other, rejoice in each other, and rejoice in the power that blesses this union.

By the promises made before us this day, A & B have united themselves as husband and wife/lifemates/partners.  Whom God has joined together, let no one separate.

So it is with great pleasure, by the power vested in me by the state of Minnesota, I present to you A & B Smith.  You may now kiss your bride/each other.


CEREMONY 3

(For a Blended Family)

Welcome family and loved ones.  We gather here today to celebrate the wedding of A & B.  You have come here to share in this formal commitment they make to one another, to offer your love and support to this union, and to allow A & B to start their married life together surrounded by the people most important to them.

A & B want to thank you for your presence here today, and ask for you blessing, encouragement and lifelong support, for their decision to be married.

Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventures of human relationships.  No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other;  through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive; learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest.  What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as life mates and partners.

Will you, A, take B to be your wedded wife/husband/partner?

A: I will

Will you, B, take A to be your wedded husband/wife/partner?

B: I will

Two people do not live in isolation.  Their love is a source of strength with which they may nourish not only each other but also the world around them.  And… in turn, we, their community of friends and family, have a responsibility to this couple.  By our steadfast care, respect, and love, we can support their marriage and the new family they are creating today.

(Children) today not only are A & B making a commitment to each other, they are making one to you as well.  Your family is drawn together by the love your parents have for each other and will be held together by devotion.  Today you will each gain a confidant, a friend.  Another who is devoted to you, another who will encourage your hopes and dreams, another who will calm your fears and be there for you every step of the way as you journey forward in life.  Becoming a blended family isn’t always easy but your parents are just as devoted to you as individuals, and your new family unit, as they are to each other.

(Children) will you support your parents as they enter this commitment?

Kids:  We will

Treasured family and friends will you offer your love, support and encouragement to A & B as they begin their married life together?

All: We will

I ask that your home be a place for happiness for all who enter it and a place where the old and young are renewed in each others’ company, a place for growing, a place for music and celebration, and a place for laughter.  When life seems to be too much or you just had a rough day, may your home always be a place of refuge where every one of you can find the comfort of always knowing that you will be accepted and loved unconditionally.

We have come to the point where you will say your vows to each other.  Before I do that, I ask you to remember that love – which is rooted in faith, trust and acceptance – will be the foundation of an abiding and deepening relationship.  No other ties are more loving, no other vows are more sacred, than those you now assume.  If you are able to keep the vows you take here today, not because of any religious or civic law, but out of a desire to love and be loved by one another, without limitation, then your lives will have joy, and the home you establish will be a place where your hearts reside.

(Insert Vows )

(Insert Unity Ceremony)

May I have the rings please?

A, please repeat after me:

B, I give you this ring, as a constant reminder of my unending love for you.

B, please repeat after me:

A, I give you this ring, as a constant reminder of my unending love for you.

You have said your vows and exchanged rings sealing your love.

Would you please hold hands…  May these hands always be held by one another.  May they have strength to hold on through the storms of stress, and the darkness of disillusionment.  May they be tender and gentle as they nurture each other in love.  May these hands build a marriage founded in grace, rich in caring, and reaching together to bring forth the very best in both of you.

By the power of your love and commitment, and the power vested in me, by the state of Minnesota, What God has joined together let no one part.  I pronounce you, husband, wife/Partners  & FAMILY.

A, you may kiss your bride/groom/partner/each other!

I proudly present to you for the first time as husband and wife/Partners/lifemates/a family,

A & B Smith & Family – The Smith Family


CEREMONY 4

(Christian Ceremony 1)

Dear friends, we have come together in the presence of God to witness the marriage of A & B, to surround them with our good wishes and prayers, and to share in their joy! Let us enter into this celebration confident that through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present with us now.  We pray that this couple may fulfill God’s purpose for the whole of their lives.

Let us pray:

O God, we gather today to celebrate your gift of love and its presence among us.  We rejoice that these two people have chosen to commit themselves to a live of loving faithfulness to one another.  We praise you, O God, for the ways you have touched our lives with a variety of loving relationships.  We give thanks that we have experienced your love through the care and affection of and from other people.  At the same time, we remember and confess to you, O God, that we often have failed to be loving, that we often have taken for granted the people whom we care for the most. We selfishly neglect and strain the bonds that unite us with others. Forgive us, O God.  Renew within us and affectionate spirit. Enrich our lives with the gracious gift of your love so that we may share the same love with each other. May our participation in this celebration and commitment give us a new joy and responsiveness to the relationships we cherish. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Reading(s)

POEMS, PRAYERS SCRIPTURE (Ex Romans 12:9-13, 1John4: 11-13, Matthew 22: 37-40)

Before God and this congregation, I ask you to affirm your willingness to enter this covenant of marriage.  To share all the joys and sorrows of this relationship, whatever the future may hold. A & B, will you love each other faithfully as husband and wife?

Couple: We will

(To gathered loved ones):  Will you, as family and friends, of A & B offer your prayerful blessings and loving support to this marriage?  If so, please say “We will”.

Congregation: We will

Let us pray. God of our mothers and fathers, hear our pledge encouraging and supporting this union of A & B. Bless us as we offer our prayerful and loving support to their marriage.  Bless them as they pledge their lives to each other.  With faith in you, and in each other, may this couple always bear witness to the reality of love to which we witness this day.  May their love continue to grow, and may it be a true reflection of your love for all of us; through Jesus Christ.  Amen

(Insert Vows)

(Insert Unity Ceremony)

Blessing of the rings: Gracious God, remind A & B of your encircling love and unending faithfulness that in their life together they may know joy and peace in your love and in one another.

A repeat after me: (B, I give you this ring as a sign of my eternal love and faithfulness.

B repeat after me: A, I give you this ring as a sign of my eternal love and faithfulness.

By the promises made before us this day, A & B have united themselves as husband and wife/lifemates/partners.  Whom God has joined together, let no one separate.

It is with great pleasure the, by the power vested in me by the state of Minnesota, I present to you A & B Smith… You may now kiss your bride/partner/each other.


CEREMONY 5

(Religious ceremony 2)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here on this beautiful day to witness the union of A & B in holy matrimony. This is a day of great celebration and reverence, on which we come together before God to recognize and commemorate the sacred love and dedication shared between these two people. It is wonderful to have family and friends here to join us today. The bride and groom would like to thank their guests for being here, and would like you to know that each of you were invited here on this day because you have played an integral part in their intertwining lives.

As the Bible reminds us in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

In the time that A & B have spent together, they’ve built the sturdy foundation for a lifelong relationship. After a great deal of thoughtful consideration, they have decided to bind themselves to one another for the rest of their lives.

May you all remember and cherish this sacred ceremony, for on this day, with love, we will forever bind A & B together.

Who gives (presents) A here today?

(Whomever is presenting) I do.

(Addressing the guests) Marriage is a sacred ceremony. Today we observe the union of these two people with the respect the occasion warrants. What we honor with reverence, however, we also celebrate with great joy! For married life – a shared life – is a tremendous blessing. Now, as A & B embark on this journey together, they will be able to nurture a love that makes each of them better versions of themselves. Marriage is, indeed, the perfect garden from which to sow and harvest personal growth.

(Addressing the couple) A & B, learn to work together, to laugh together, and to love together. Don’t get caught up in worldly things that will draw you apart. Instead, focus on your shared devotion and turn inward. As your relationship strengthens you will find that you come to share a remarkable love; a love that is both abundantly given and freely accepted.

The joy you’ll find as you pursue your shared lives will fuel you to face head-on the challenges you’ll encounter on this Earth. On your journeys together, keep your spouse in the space of highest priority in your heart. The love you share must be guarded and cherished, it is your most valuable treasure.

Under the eyes of God, I solemnly consecrate these matrimonial proceedings and the sacred covenant you shall both enter into on this day.

Marriage is an ancient rite. As you enter into this union, you are choosing to take part in a historical human establishment and are pledging your commitment before the witnesses present here today to enter into that tradition with honor.

As Jesus said: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,” he also taught that, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

A & Bthe sacred vows that you make to one another today present you with the opportunity to express your love in your own words. I would at this time invite you to publically declare these vows:

(Insert Vows)

A & B, while the words you have spoken have sealed your union, it is the lighting of the unity candle that truly symbolizes the melding of your two souls.

UNITY CEREMONY – wording would be changed for Sand/Glass/Wine Box – below is sample for Unity Candle.

(At this time A & B should each receive a pre-lit taper candle.)

You hold in your hands a single flame. Allow this flame to represent your life: every thought that’s ever crossed your mind, and every word that’s ever crossed your lips; all of your victories, and all of your failures; all of your joys, and all of your sorrows. And now, as you tilt these candles forward to light the center candle. Watch as the two flames instantly form one. So too, today, have your two spirits come together to form one singular entity. Just as your combined flame illuminates the space around it, let your magnificent union radiate with love and light your path as you move forward through life.

To commemorate this union, you may now exchange rings. The circle formed by each ring symbolizes your eternal love and commitment to one another. Let these rings remind you always of that love, and of the promises you have made here on this day.

Will each of you please repeat after me as you place the ring on your loved ones hand?

A: I, A, give you B this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment. With this ring, I thee wed.

B: I, B, give you A this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment. With this ring, I thee wed.

By the power vested in me, by the Church and by the state of Minnesota, I pronounce you A & B as wife and husband/lifemates/Partners, lawfully wedded before God.

A, you may now kiss B, forever sealing your union.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you A & B Smith


CEREMONY 6

Who presents this person(bride/groom/man/woman today?

Person’s Companion: I do

Welcome to this day of celebration, it’s great to have all of you here to witness the union of A & B  as Partners before God. Together, we will share in the joys of their wedding, both with the outward celebration of this occasion and with an internal appreciation for the love that surrounds us.

A & B , you two have the opportunity to build an amazing life together. You are blessed to share this experience with the loved ones gathered here to support you as you embark on this journey together.

As the Bible reminds us in Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

May you all remember and cherish this ceremony, for on this day, with love, we will forever bind A & B together.

Marriage is more than a simple exchanging of rings or combining of material assets. Rather, it is an indescribably powerful shared commitment. While today I will legally bind you together, the truly important bonds we form today are largely invisible to the world, existing primarily in the unfilled corners of your heart.

Marriage is one of life’s greatest gifts, and it is a blessing to make these promises with your soulmate. As you hold onto one another, you will find deeper levels of joy, happiness and peace together. Your marriage is the foundation upon which you will build the rest of your lives and, despite any adversity, will always be there to sustain you.

A & B, take a moment to sense the tremendous amount of love radiating throughout this space. As you stand here today, before God, before those gathered here in your honor, and before one another, take note that after you speak your vows this day your lives will never be the same. Marriage, regardless of any preconceived notions you might have, has the capacity to deepen and challenge and strengthen you and your relationship in ways that you never thought possible.

The joy you’ll find as you pursue your shared lives will fuel you to face head-on the challenges you’ll encounter on this Earth. On your journeys together, keep your spouse in the space of highest priority in your heart.

Learn to work together, to laugh together, and to love together. Don’t get caught up in worldly things that will draw you apart. Instead, focus on your shared devotion and turn inward. As your relationship strengthens you will find that you come to share a remarkable love; a love that is both abundantly given and freely accepted.

As we celebrate this bond of unity today Under the eyes of God, it is important that we keep in mind that, while this is certainly an occasion of tremendous joy, the promises we witness here today are serious and life-altering commitments.

As Jesus said: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,” he also taught that, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

It is with simultaneous feelings of elation and expressions of respect that we proceed.

A & B, I would now invite you to publicly speak your commitment to your partner.

A, would you like to begin?

A: B, today I take you to be my spouse/partner; I join my life with yours. I promise to love and to honor you; to treasure you and to respect you; to walk with you side-by-side in joy and sorrow. I vow to be honest, caring, and truthful; to love you as you are, and not as I want you to be; and to grow old by your side as your love and best friend. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward.

B, your turn.

B: A, today I take you to be my spouse/partner; I join my life with yours. I promise to love and to honor you; to treasure you and to respect you; to walk with you side-by-side in joy and sorrow. I vow to be honest, caring, and truthful; to love you as you are, and not as I want you to be; and to grow old by your side as your love and best friend. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward.

A & B please join hands.

A, do you take B to live together in the union of marriage? To take him/her as your best friend and partner in life? To honor, cherish, and love him/her, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, for all of your days?

A: I do.

B, do you take A to live together in the union of marriage? To take them as your best friend and partner in life? To honor, cherish, and love them, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, for all of your days?

B: I do.

A & B, while the words you have spoken have sealed your union, it is the combining of sands/glass that truly symbolizes the melding of your two souls.

At this time A & B should receive a vessel, each containing a sand of a different color.

Each of you holds now a vessel of sand/glass. Allow this sand/glass to represent your life: every thought that’s ever crossed your mind, and every word that’s ever crossed your lips; all of your victories, and all of your failures; all of your joys, and all of your sorrows. Every grain/granual of sand/glass is another moment, either a moment that has been or a moment that is yet to be.

And now, tilt your vessels forward and pour your sand/glass into the vessel of marriage.

A & B should tilt their vessels forward, pouring their sand into the larger vessel centered between them.

Watch as the sand/glass mix together, forming one structure. So too, today, have your two spirits come together to form one singular entity. Just as your combined sands have combined to form a collection much grander than you ever could have accumulated on your own. Note also, that now combined (and to be molded in fire), the sands/glass may never again be separated. Your lives, like the sand/glass, have become all the more grand for the involvement of your partner. Your spirits so intertwined that they may never again be truly torn asunder. As you move forth in life, keep your partner close to the heart, recognizing that they are an integral part of your being.

The wedding ring’s circular shape reflects the unending power of love – a force with no beginning and no end. You should wear these rings proudly, and let them remind you each day of your commitment to one another.

Please repeat after me:

I, A, give you B this ring as a symbol of my love. As I place it on your finger, I commit the whole of my heart and soul to you. I promise to cherish you for the rest of my days. I give you all that I am, and accept all that you are.

I, B, give you A this ring as a symbol of my love. As I place it on your finger, I commit the whole of my heart and soul to you. I promise to cherish you for the rest of my days. I give you all that I am, and accept all that you are.

Family and friends, by the power vested in me by the Church and by the state of Minnesota, I am pleased to pronounce A & B as partners/lifemates/spouses, sealed together today both in law and in love.

You may now kiss your spouse/each other.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present for the first time, A & B Smith.


HAND-FASTING CEREMONY

Friends, family, loved ones.  We are here today to witness these two people, A & B  join hands and be bound together by their love, now and forever.  Before we begin the ceremony, we will turn this place into sacred ground.  As I cast the circle, please take a moment to visualize loving, positive energy for A & B.

(cast circle either out loud or in silence)

The circle has been cast, and this is now a sacred space.  We will now take a moment to consecrate the rings.

(consecrate with the 4 elements or by other method called for by the couples tradition)

North-Earth, East-Air, South-Fire, West-Water

*The circle itself is an infinite thing.  It is magical and never-ending.  Never changing and yet always adaptable, a ring with no beginning and no conclusion.  Like the circle, true love itself is infinite.  It goes on, knowing no boundaries or restrictions.  It flourishes and blooms in the light and in the dark, laying down no ultimatums, making no demands at all.  Love, in its infinite form, is something that cannot be forced.  It cannot be taken away.  It is a gift we give to ourselves, and an honor we give to others from the bottom of our hearts and souls.  When two people come together and give one another this gift, the most sacred gift of all, it is certain the universe is sitting back and smiling upon us, laughing and showering us with every possible blessing.

Today is a day to celebrate the love of A & B.  They are two people who are the halves of a whole.  Two souls, coming together to form one single being; two hearts beating in a single rhythm.  They are together as one, so they will now light a candle of unity, to show the universe that they indeed are one light burning brightly in the darkness.

(light unity candle)

Today we ask that the infinite light of the divine shine upon this union.  In that spirit, I  offer a blessing to the ceremony.

Blessed be this marriage with the gifts from the East(AIR) – new beginnings that come each day with the rising sun, communication of the heart, mind, body and soul.

Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the South(FIRE) – the light of the heart, the heat of passion, and the warmth of a loving home.

Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the West(Water) – the rushing excitement of a raging river, the soft and pure cleansing of a rainstorm, and a commitment as deep as the ocean itself.

Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the North(Earth) – a solid foundation on which to build your lives, abundance and growth of your home, and the stability to be found by holding one another at the end of the day.

A & B, these four simple blessings will help you on your journey that begins today.  However, they are only tools.  They are tools which you must use together to create the light, the strength, the infinite energy now and forever of a love you both so richly deserve.

Now, I ask you to look into each others’ eyes and hearts.

A, please place the ring on B’s finger.  Do you promise to show B your honor and fidelity, to share her/his laughter and joy, to support and stand by her/him in times of difficulty, to dream and hope together with her/him, and to spend each day loving her/him more than the day before?   A’s AFFIRMATIVE RESPONSE

B, please place the ring on A’s finger.  Do you promise to show A your honor and fidelity, to share his/her laughter and joy, to support and stand by him/her in times of difficulty, to dream and hope together with him/her, and to spend each day loving him more than the day before?   B’s AFFIRMATIVE RESPONSE

(Insert Vows)

The Vows of love have been spoken.  I ask you now to cross your hands over each other and take one another’s hands.

(Wrap the “handfasting cord/ribbon around A & B’s wrists, binding them together loosely and tying a knot)

B, A, this cord/ribbon symbolizes so much.  It is your life, your love and the eternal connection that the two of you have found with one another.  The ties of this handfasting are not formed by this cord/ribbon, or even by the knot connecting them.  They are formed instead by your vows, by your pledge, your souls, and your two hearts, now bound together as one.

One last bond, A, will you please kiss B.

(as the couple seals the vow with a kiss, unwrap the cord/ribbon without untying knot)

Now, A & B  please turn and face your friends and family who love and support you.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you A & B Smith.

And now we will dismiss this sacred space.  As I close the circle, please send all your loving energy towards our newly Married/handfast couple, so they may begin their life together with all your blessings and warm wishes.

(go around the circle and dismiss the quarters/elements)

The circle has been dismissed.  Friends, please take a moment to congratulate A & B


ELEMENTS OF OTHER CEREMONIES:

Parents’ Blessing:

As we know, marriage is a blending of two families that have been separate until this moment, but united from this day forward – blending their different traditions and strengthening their family tree.

As A & B’s journey unfolds there will be opportunities and challenges that will strain, and perhaps even weaken, them. There will be times they will need the support and caring of all of us who have come to celebrate their joyous union. In acknowledgement of the help they might need on the road ahead, and in honor of the tradition of uniting two families, A & B wish to ask both their parents’ blessing.

PARENTS OF A, do you pledge to honor and support their marriage? Do you pledge to be neutral and support them equally? Do you welcome B as a member of your family and give him your love and affection?

PARENTS: I DO/WE WILL

PARENTS OF B, do you pledge to honor and support their marriage? Do you pledge to be neutral and support them equally? Do you welcome A as a member of your family and give her your love and affection?

PARENTS: I DO/WE WILL

CONFIRMATION FROM GUESTS

Marriage by design, is a venue to encourage each other, grow with each other, and enjoy what each of you brings to it. Celebrate every day by honoring your vows and giving thanks to the power that brought you together.

Treasured family and friends, will you offer your love, support and encouragement to A & B  as they begin their married life together? If so, answer WE WILL.

GUESTS: WE WILL

ALTERNATE UNITY CEREMONY (IN GLASS)

WRITTEN BY BRIDE: CARRIE SCHUMANN

A & B, today you are making your life-long commitment to share your lives together. You each have chosen a glass color that represents you in a unique and special way. Throughout your lives you’ve each been colorful, complete people all on your own, just as this glass.

(Hold up A) A’s color vessel is QUALITY 1, (but/and/some conjunction) QUALITY 2 with a QUALITY 3 as represented in the color COLOR. (hand to A)

(hold up B) B’s color vessel is QUALITY 1 but QUALITY 2 with a QUALITY 3 as represented in the color COLOR. (hand to B)

The glass in these containers represents your lives until this moment: individual and unique. Today you will combine the glass as your lives will join together as one.

(POUR GLASS)

The journey of your glass does not end on this day. Today, your wedding day, is simply the beginning.

This combined glass will now be taken by an artist and blown into a beautiful ornament, the colors never to be separated again, so may your marriage be. Marriage and your ornament are alike. Both are examples of what can happen when raw, unfinished elements come together. They can be two separate entities, fluid and independent of each other and can be beautiful on their own, but joined together and tested through life’s fires, the result can be stunning in its beauty, inspiring in its strength, and humbling in its fragility. As with your marriage, your ornament will require great care. Cherish it, polish it, dust it, protect it from harm. Keep it from that which can break or chip away at it, and it will remain a thing of beauty.


POEMS, PRAYERS, PROMISES

Marriage is a journey. You each have traveled your own paths and now you come together and from this day forward, you will have each other to travel throughout this adventure called life. Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭says “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.” 10 “For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.” 11 “Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm?” ‭‭12 “And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” We all know that two can accomplish more than one. You should wrap yourselves around each other, physically and emotionally, giving each other love and support. Your marriage is more important than any other relationship and the key to success in that relationship is LOVE, given freely without expecting anything in return. You must compromise and lift each other up when needed. Marriage is work, but the return is worth all the effort you put into it! Love is accepting and forgiving. You will make mistakes – we all do. The nature of marriage is that two very different people are joined together so that your strengths will fill in for your partner’s weaknesses. The greatest key to a successful marriage is within the verse that says a core of three strands is not easily broken. It is a scientific fact that three strands, no more or less, makes the strongest kind of rope. Two strands alone are limited, but add the third which is God Himself and you have the strongest, most stable rope. What ever hardships you face, turn to God in the good times and the bad times, asking for His help and to fill you with His love and nothing will ever tear you apart.

Let us pray, Father – this is a day of celebration – of love and commitment as A & B unite as one. Help them to learn from each other and grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. May your friends and family gathered here today commit to loving and supporting you as the embark on this journey. Amen.