At this time, Groom’s name_____ and Brides name_____ will assemble the Unity Cross, a beautiful sculpture they will display in their home to remind them of the covenant they are making today.
In Genesis chapter 1, we read that God created man in His own image. That means that He created man bold, strong, to be a leader, to be a protector of his wife and family.
(Holding the groom's piece of the Unity Cross, the officiant says: )
The outer form of the Unity Cross represents the strength, leadership, and protection of the man. The book of Ephesians reminds husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, totally and completely giving himself for her.
(At this time the pastor hands the piece to the groom and he places his cross onto the base.)
(Holding the bride’s piece of the cross, the officiant says: )
As well, Genesis (Genesis 2:20-23) tells us that the woman was taken from man. The bride's piece of the Unity Cross represents the beauty and the many capabilities of the woman, designed with intricate, beautiful detail and is placed inside the protection of the groom's cross, completing the sculpture and representing the Two Becoming One.
(At this time, the pastor hands the bride her piece of the cross and she places it into the center of the man's cross.)
To complete this sculpture, representing the couple's covenant, we are placing three pegs to hold it together. These pegs represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, showing God's place in this covenant and the security and completeness that only our Heavenly Father can give.
(At this time the three pegs will be placed into the Unity Cross, completing the sculpture.)
The scriptures tell us that a three-stranded cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Matthew 19: 5-6 says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
BRIDE and GROOM, today you join your separate lives together. The two separate containers of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. They represent all that you are and all that you will ever be as an individual. They also represent your lives before today.
As these two containers of sand are combine into one, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.
BRIDE and GROOM, together as you light this candle of unity, you symbolize the flame of your own individual selves joining to ignite the partnership of marriage. You also bring the warmth, strength and wisdom of your family’s fire as kindling for your own. As BRIDE and GROOM, your flames are separate, yet they feed the same fire. From this day onward, may you bask in the beauty of the light of your love, may its light shine bright and steady upon your path together and may its heat keep you warm through all the days of your lives and beyond.
Bride and Groom approaches the table with a glass bowl of water and two hand towels. You may add flowers or lemon slices in the water. Officiant: Today, in front of your family and friends, you start your life together a new married couple. As with any new endeavor, it is best to start with a clean slate — putting problems big and small behind you. You come acknowledging that the person you have chosen is not perfect, yet fits with you in a way no other person can. Whatever difficulties you may have experienced, today you have decided that your love is bigger than any of them, and you have chosen a life together. Water brings forgiveness and we all need forgiveness. We need to forgive others and we need to forgive ourselves. Officiant: As you wash your hands in this bowl of water, forgive yourself and each other for any pain in the past. Allow yourself to be forgiven for your human imperfections. Couple washes their hands. Officiant: Allowing yourselves to have your hands dried by each other signifies your vulnerability. And we have to be vulnerable — it breaks through isolation and in our own vulnerability, we become more caring and understanding of our mate. In a loving and compassionate marriage, to achieve the greatest intimacy, you must have the courage to be open and vulnerable to each other. They dry one another's hands. Officiant: Do you begin your lives together with grace and compassion? Couple: We do.
Commencing the Ceremony, the Bride and Groom give each other a Rose. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife. In the old language of flowers, a single red rose always meant “I love you”. The Rose ceremony gives recognition to the new and most honorable title of “Husband and Wife”. “Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other. You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose. In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose. Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife. In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage. _________ and _____________, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love. In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words. That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today. __________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”
“Is it also your wish today that your hands be fasted in the ways of old?”
"BRIDE and GROOM: “ It is
“Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind...”
Cords are held aloft
“The role already taken by the song your hearts share shall be now be strengthened by the vows you take. All things of the material world eventually return to the Earth unlike the bond and the connection your spirits share which is destined to ascend to the heavens. “May you be forever as one in the passion and fire of your Bride and Groom’s hands are bound
You are now as your hearts have always known you to be, Husband and Wife. You may kiss the bride!”
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the “little” things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say, ”I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person — it is being the right partner.
Upon conclusion of the ceremony, the guests lines up at the center aisle and forms a line on both sides, facing inward, and stand shoulder to shoulder. The photographer and videographer move to the far end of aisle to follow the bride and groom as they move towards them. With the music playing, and the bubbles flying the bride and groom, hand in hand, begin moving slowly down the aisle. The groom will intermittently shake hands with guests along the way. It is important that the couple do not stop and engage in conversation. That would kill the tempo of the exit. Couple should move slowly and work the audience. Bubbles should be purchased only within a few days of the ceremony, and then only after testing them in the store. Bubbles should not be stored for a long time as they will go flat, whereas bubbles that are fresh are plentiful and lively.
Prior to the welcoming and commencement of the ceremony, the guests are informed of the bell ringing. A special bell is placed on a small table prior to the start of the ceremony. The officiant asks the bride or groom depending on which is ringing the bell in remembrance, to get the bell from the table. There is a special reading and all guests are asked for a moment of silence in honor of the loved one. At that time, the bride or groom rings the bell distinctly three times. Sometimes, the Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom will have their own bell and come forward to join in the bell ringing. This is a special part of the ceremony especially if the Bell Ringing Ceremony is in honor of the Father of the Bride or Father of the Groom.
“Brooms are used for cleaning and sweeping. Therefore that they are used to symbolize the sweeping away the remnants of the past which no longer serve us is appropriate. The sword symbolizes the wielding of power and personal responsibility. As the Bride and Groom jump they are reminded that remaining vigilant over these aspects of the day to day shall help them to achieve the quality of life that they aspire to. <<Maid of Honor>> and <<Best Man>> will you now lay down the Sword and Broom.”
Maid of Honor lays down Broom
Best Man crosses it with the sword
“Now putting the past behind you, and remembering always that the power to create the future ahead of you is your own, jump together into your common future!”
The couple jumps, kisses again, and exits to greet their guests as the circle is quietly broken down.
The Bride and Groom will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each others family.
Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love enriches our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change. Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. After the ceremony, the couple plants the tree in at their home or a special location to symbolize the putting down of roots, longevity and strength in their marriage.
Today we are here to join you in marriage and to share in the joy of this occasion which should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your life. On this day of your marriage, you stand somewhat apart from all other human beings. You stand within the charmed circle of your love; and this is as it should be. But love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather it would serve as a source of common energy, as a form in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward you must come closer together than ever before, you must love one another in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, but at the same time your love should give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destinies, to make your special contribution to the world which is always part of us and more than us. Being assured that you are aware of the meaning of this ceremony, I will now ask you to repeat the marriage vows.
Do you, , take this woman , to be your lawful wedded wife, to love, honor and cherish her through sickness and in health, through times of happiness and travail, until death do you part? (Place the ring upon her finger and repeat after me.) With this ring, I thee wed, and forever pledge my devotion. Do you, take this man, , to be your lawful wedded husband to love, honor and cherish him through sickness and in health, through periods of tranquility and travail, until death do you part?
(Place the ring upon his finger and repeat after me.) With this ring, I thee wed, and forever pledge my devotion.
Today we are here to join you in marriage and to share in the joy of this occasion which should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your life. On this day of your marriage, you stand somewhat apart from all other human beings. You stand within the charmed circle of your love; and this is as it should be. But love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather it would serve as a source of common energy, as a form in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward you must come closer together than ever before, you must love one another in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, but at the same time your love should give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destinies, to make your special contribution to the world which is always part of us and more than us. Being assured that you are aware of the meaning of this ceremony, I will now ask you to repeat the marriage vows. Do you, Groom , take this woman , to be your lawful wedded wife, to love, honor and cherish her through sickness and in health, through times of happiness and travail, until death do you part? I thee wed, and forever pledge my devotion. Do you, Bride take this man, to be your lawful wedded husband, to love, honor and cherish him through sickness and in ealth, through periods of tranquility and travail, until death do you part? repeat after me.) , I thee wed, and forever pledge my devotion.
Congratulations! Since you may have chosen a vow renewal for a variety of reasons, there are a wide variety of words you can say. Many people write their own vows, emphasizing the reasons that they have chosen to "do it all over again." Here are some sample vows that you can personalize:
(Spouse's name), ___ years ago, I pledged my love and commitment to you, but it seems like only yesterday. I promised to love you, honor you, comfort and keep you. I pledge to be by your side in sickness and in health, in times of want, and times of plenty, for better or worse, for the rest of our lives. We have had all of those things, and you have been by my side as we created a family, a home, and a life together.
Today, at the beginning of our ___th year as husband and wife, in the presence of God, and our family and friends, I renew my vows to you, pledging my eternal love for you, and eagerly awaiting what life may bring us.
Renewing Your Wedding Vows After an Infidelity, Illness or other Stressful Time
On our wedding day, I pledged many things to you, including my faithfulness. With great sorrow and regret, I acknowledge that I broke that vow but I realize now the enormity of my mistake. Others come and go, but you are the constant in my life whom I will always love. I believe in this marriage more than ever, and I reaffirm my love and commitment to you.
On our wedding day, I pledged to love you in sickness and in health, and for better or worse. The past year has tested those vows, but our enduring love for one another has prevailed. I come here today to make a fresh start, to renew our vows of love, honor, and fidelity, and to reaffirm my love for you.
___ years ago, I promised to love you for as long as we both should live. I never imagined that I would face losing you so soon, or the depths of despair I would feel at that prospect. Today, we are on the other side of the mountain, and I am so ecstatic that I get to continue life's journey by your side. Once again, I promise to love you, honor you and keep you, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.
Vow Renewal After a Private Wedding or Small Wedding
With great joy I pledged my love and commitment to you on our wedding day. But a loving relationship does not exist in a vacuum. Our family and friends first showed us how to love, helped us grow, and supported us when we found each other. I hope they will continue to love and support us as we love and support them. Therefore, I am delighted today, in the presence of these witnesses, to reaffirm my commitment to you, and once again, to promise to love you, honor you, and comfort you, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better and for worse, as long as we both shall live.
Getting a Church Blessing
Typically the words you will say at a vow renewal are the same words you would say at any type of wedding. The officiant may make remarks about renewal, and any songs or readings may speak specially of lasting love or rebirth. Speak with me in regards to any special requests, I will be happy to accomodate them.
The Wine ceremony usually takes place after the ring exchange. Music during the wine ceremony can add a nice touch, but is always optional. To symbolize and celebrate the blending of your two lives into one, I invite you to perform the Wine Ceremony.
The couple proceeds to the table and each takes an individual carafe and pours some wine into the larger carafe. The Groom then takes the larger filled carafe with the combined wine and pours some in a glass for the Bride.
The Bride then takes the larger carafe with the combined wines and pours some into a glass for the Groom. He may now toast his Bride with, “Now our lives are one” or “To our life together” or “To us” and drinks from the glass. The Bride then toasts the Groom with the same. They place the wine glasses back and turn back to the minister, who states: This ceremony represents your two individual lives, combined like the two wines into one single life. The drinking of the combined wine signifies the commitment you now make to live your lives as one family. May you remember this day of commitment you have sealed with drinking of the new wine joining your lives as one.
The Tasting of the Four Elements is an example of a sharing ritual. It can be quite amusing or charmingly eloquent while its symbolism is incredibly powerful. The expressions on the bride and grooms faces are sometimes priceless and can make for fantastic wedding photos. It demonstrates a commitment to remaining together no matter what life may bring. The ritual is very easy to set up as all you need are four small containers with the following: 1. salty water 2. lemon juice 2. tonic water 3. honey, agave nectar or simple syrup The bride and groom dip their fingers into the bowls and very gently place a small amount on the tip of the other's tongue as instructed. I highly discourage picking up the dish and taking a swig. Ew! I also recommend not using the same finger in each successive dish. By the time you get to the honey, it is not going to taste very good either. Officiant: (Bride and Groom) have pledged themselves to a union founded on love, but with and understanding the success of their union is dependent upon the daily commitments they make to one another. We know not what the future brings, but now they face that future together, hand in hand, heart to heart. Their joys will be multiplied because they share them and sorrows diminished because they stand fast in their mutual support. (Bride and Groom), as your future will have times of sadness and dismay, I ask you to share the taste of salt in anticipation of the comfort you will be to one another as you wipe away the tears. <salt water> As your future will have times of disillusionment and regret, I ask you to share the taste of sour in anticipation of the guidance and support you must be to one another. <lemon juice> As your future will have times of frustration and conflict, I ask you to share the taste of bitter in anticipation of the compassion and tenderness you must freely give to one another. <tonic water> The sweetness of your regard for one another and your marriage endures through all of these three flavors. I ask you to share the taste of this honey to remind you your union is blessed with the sweetness of your love for one another, and this possesses a strength no sadness, regret or frustration has the power to take away. <honey >