A wedding can be as simple as saying “I do” and sitting down together at a table with me as I fill in the Officiant’s section of the License, or it can involve a ceremony of your choice and/or creation.
Browse through the sample ceremonies. Feel free to use or change any parts, to draw from other sources, or to come up with something completely unique. Your ceremony should be personal and meaningful to you, and I am happy to work with you to make it just what you want.
You can view the sample ceremonies as a
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Make It Personal
While I can provide you with a ceremony, you may prefer to create your own. The standard ceremony includes an introduction and welcome, a main body in which readings, songs, prayers and sharings may take place, the exchange of vows and rings or other symbols of commitment; the pronouncement; and the closing. There are a number of ways to personalize this basic format:
Light a candle together or drink wine or juice from a shared cup.
Exchange something other than or in addition to rings as a symbol of your commitment and love: handmade or purchased gifts, earrings, bracelets, poems, tattoos, etc.
Share readings, poetry, or quotations that have special importance to you both
Have friends or guests share thoughts or stories about you
Sing or play special music, or have those gathered join you in a song of your choosing
Create a small altar with special objects on it. You can bring a cloth to drape on a table, flowers, candles, feathers, stones, incense, shells, photos, mementos from when you first met, objects to symbolize your dreams and goals for your future together, etc.
Incorporate a blessing or benediction at the end of the ceremony.
If you have children, you may wish to give them some small part in the ceremony-to present them with flowers or other tokens of their part in your married life, or have them contribute something of their own-a poem, a song, etc. One possibility is to recite a family vow together included a family vow for all to say, for example:
“Together, we promise to love and respect our newly created family, brought together in love. Rich or poor, healthy or sick, happy or sad, we commit ourselves to each other today. Let us celebrate the happiness we have found together and promise to work together as we establish family ties that will not be broken.”
Hints for Writing Vows
You can always use the traditional vows to love and cherish in sickness and in health. However, if you’d like something more personal, here are ideas:
Have your vows reflect your personalities. Are you humorous, straightforward, romantic, serious, earthy, intellectual, spiritual? Let your vows show your style.
Be thorough yet concise-it is best speak your vows clearly and directly, without rambling. Remember, you may be nervous. Lengthy vows give you more to stumble over.
Write them down and give the officiant a copy. You may want to memorize them but it is easy to forget your lines during such a powerful moment.
Try sitting down with pencil and paper for twenty minutes, and writing your vows straight from your heart. Think of your vows as a gift you are giving to your beloved, and let them flow from that.
“I will love you when we are together and when we are apart; when life is peaceful and when it is chaotic; when you are proud of me and when you are disappointed in me; in times of work and times of play; I will honor your goals and your dreams and help you fulfill them.”
“These vows come from my heart. I pledge to love you forever, to be open, honest and faithful to you. I promise to be your best friend, to laugh, cry, sing and dance with you; to nurture your spiritual growth and to support your dreams; to listen and honor your words and feelings; and to work through conflicts to resolve our problems. I will allow you freedom and room to grow into the person you are yet to be. I promise to help create a home filled with reverence for learning, loving, generosity, and serenity.”
“Here before our friends and God, I promise to stay by your side, sharing our tomorrows and all that they will hold, good times and bad, sickness and health, happiness and despair. I will always be faithful to our love and to you, my lover, teacher, and best friend.”