Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Ceremony

I have finally figured out how our ceremony is going to go. This was a project I put off for a long time because I knew it was going to be a very time consuming project. Without further ado, if you want to read a lot of words, here is our ceremony outline:

Pre Words (before Meghan walks down the aisle)

Good afternoon and welcome.

As we will be beginning shortly, those of you with cell phones, if you will please, turn them off at this time.

Opening Words

We are gathered here to join Phillip and Meghan in marriage. It is fitting that you, their families and friends, are here to witness and to participate in their wedding. For their ideals, their understanding, and their mutual respect that they bring into their marriage have roots in the love, friendship, and guidance you have given them. Marriage makes us aware of the changes wrought by time, but this relationship will continue to draw much of its beauty and meaning from the intimate associations of the past.

The Hand Ceremony

Meghan and Phillip please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.

These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will 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 hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief overwhelms you.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold and protect your children.

These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

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

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

With eyes locked, and hands linked, this ritual is a beautiful symbol of the union of two hearts, two lives, and two souls.

Where there were only two hands before; now through this marriage there are four. May the both of you use these hands to build a marriage where all your dreams come true.

Marriage Statement of Intent

Meghan and Phillip, do you – with family and friends as your witnesses – present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined today in marriage?

[Meghan and Phillip: We do]

Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life, in sickness and health come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?

[Meghan and Phillip: We do]

Marriage Address

Meghan and Phillip have opened their hearts to one another and today, in just a few moments, will share their vows of marriage together. Any of us who has been fortunate enough to find and express the kind of loving devotion we are celebrating here today knows it is a wondrous and beautiful thing.

This understanding brings me to the first of three suggestions I will offer you, Meghan & Phillip:

(1.) Be constantly grateful for the presence of this precious person who has chosen to make a life with you.

Throughout your lives together you will inevitably have the words you will speak today challenged in countless ways. Whether it be hardship or loss, illness or tragedy…always remember that above it all you have chosen each other to embark on this journey with. Together you can make the world just a little bit brighter for each other.

My second suggestion is this:

(2.) Make each other the recipient of daily kindnesses.

This world can be a tough place. Daily stresses can take a quick toll on our mental state so be generous with compliments for each other. Be attentive and helpful, and enjoy each other. With your kind words, thoughtful actions and tenderness towards one another you can make your marriage and home a safe haven.

Last, but perhaps most important:

(3.) Make truth the unfailing bedrock of your lives together.

A happy and 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 make a home together that is both sheltering and welcoming; that you have many long years to delight in each other’s company and to feel gratitude for having found one another to love.

The relationship between the two of you will keep growing and changing--realize that you are two separate people with different ideas and personalities; and that you don’t belong to each other, but rather you belong with each other.

By entering into this covenant, you offer what is of most value to each other--your joy, your dreams, your tenderness, and your love. Even your disappointments, when faced together, can be a path towards greater understanding. Meghan and Phillip, remember that your love for one another is the source of strength that will be needed through the good and bad times you will undoubtedly face.

Love is the source of unity--an understanding so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person, accepting the other person just the way they are and not trying to change them to be something else. Love is the source of sharing--giving and taking in daily situations and being patient with each other’s needs and desires. Love is also the source of security--knowing that the other person will always be by your side regardless of what happens.

So, Meghan and Phillip love deeply, but not possessively. Love you do not hurt each other. Love generously ...without thought of getting in return. Love highly... so your eyes see only the good. Remember love is stronger than your conflicts and bigger than life’s changes.

Meghan and Phillip please turn to each other and share the vows that you have so thoughtfully written.


Meghan’s vows

Phillip’s vows

Ring Exchange

May I have the rings, please?

A ring is an unbroken circle, a symbol of unity, of unending love, as love given freely has no beginning and no end. May these rings remind you of the vows you have taken today.

(Phillip to Meghan, as he slides the ring on her finger)

[With this ring, I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.]

(Meghan to Phillip, as she slides the ring on his finger)

[With this ring, I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.]


Meghan and Phillip, we have heard your promises to share your lives in marriage. We recognize and respect the vows you have made today before each one of us as witness. In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, it is my privilege and delight to declare you husband and wife.

Phillip, you may now kiss your bride.

I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Nesom.

Any input you all have is always appreciated!

1 comment:

sprinkles said...

Very nice!

It's kind of sad to have to remind people to turn their cell phones off for a wedding. But you know if you don't that someone will talk all through the ceremony.