Ceremony Framework

Ceremony Framework

Some Typical Elements and possible Structure:

  • Opening instructions; Phones off/social media instructions/photography
  • Music
  • Entrance
  • Welcome/Opening/Invocation/ ring warming
  • Honouring of family members not present/lighting of memorial candle (optional)
  • Reading/music
  • Minister’s address
  • Lighting of unity candle/ Sand Ceremony/ Other.
  • Joining of hands, and/or handfasting
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Exchange of rings
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • First Kiss
  • Signing of register
  • Poem/reading
  • Final blessing/Closing Words
  • Recession/ Exit/ Music

Other options:

1) Immediately afterwards – announcement regarding photos or drinks?

2) Next steps – who’s to do what, by when?

SUGGESTED WORDINGS

Exchange of vows:

  1. Traditional: X, do you take Y to be your husband/wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health, and to love and cherish all the days of your lives, (and beyond)?
  1. I, X, take you, Y, to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love. I promise to encourage you, inspire you, and love you through the good times and the bad. I will forever be there for you, to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down, and to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in life together.  
  1. D you X, take Y to share a relationship of love, tenderness and laughter, to confide in and trust above all others, to respect and stand by her/him in everything as an equal partner but above all else to love and cherish her/him?
  1. I, X take you Y, to be the wife/husband of my days, the companion of my home, the friend of my life. We shall bear together whatever trouble and sorrow life may lay upon us, and we shall share together whatever good and joyful things life may bring us. With these words, and all the words of my heart, I marry you and bind my life to yours
  2. I, X take you, Y, to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife for as long as I live. What I possess in this world, I give to you. I will keep you and hold you, comfort and tend you, protect you and shelter you, for all the days of my life and beyond.
  1. I X vow to love you, Y, in all of your forms, now and forever. I vow to love you so that no matter what challenges may carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love.
  1. X: Y, I love you unconditionally and without hesitation. I vow to love you, encourage you, trust you, and respect you. As a family, we will create a home filled with learning, laughter, and compassion. I promise to work with you to foster and cherish a relationship of equality knowing that together we will build a life far better than either of us could imagine alone. Today, I choose you to be my husband/wife. I accept you as you are, and I offer myself in return. I will care for you, stand beside you, and share with you all of life’s adversities and all of its joys from this day forward, and all the days of my life.
  1. I, X take you, Y to be my husband/wife.I promise to always be your biggest fan and your partner in crime. I promise to create and support a family with you, in a household filled with laughter, patience, understanding, and love. I vow not just to grow old together, but to grow together. I will love you faithfully through the difficult and the easy. What may come, I will always be there, each one believing that love never dies. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.
  1. I, X, choose you Y to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what things I will discover. I will respect you as a person, a partner, and an equal. There is little to say that you haven’t already heard, and little to give that is not already freely given. Before you asked me, I was yours and I am devoted to you in every way. I marry you with no hesitation or doubt, and my commitment to you is absolute. Do you take me to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife?
  1. Today I will marry my friend, the one I will live with, dream with and love.

    I take you to be my husband/wife.

    From this day forward I will cherish you,

    I will look with joy down the path of our tomorrows,

    knowing we will walk it together side by side, hand in hand and heart to heart.

    I promise to love you above all others and to value your friendship as a precious gift.

    I look forward to raising our family and building our relationship.

    I promise to stand beside you in sickness or health, in times of prosper and decline, in peace and in turmoil, as long as we both shall live.

  1. I, ____, take you, _____, to be my beloved wife/husband, to have and to hold you, to honour you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, to laugh with you in the good times, to comfort and solace you in the difficult, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, with my soul, for all the days of my life.
  1. Celtic Wedding Vow

    You cannot possess me for I belong to myself

    But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give

    You cannot command me, for I am a free person

    But I shall serve you in those ways you require

    and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.

    I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night,

    And the eyes into which I smile in the morning

    I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup

    I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care

    I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine

    I shall not slander you, nor you me

    I shall honour you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in

    private and tell no strangers our grievances.

    This is my wedding vow to you

    This is the marriage of equals.

  1. I, _______, take you, _________, in marriage;

    To be my life partner;

    To walk, run, and dance this new path together;

    To love, care and share;

    To let the winds dance between us;

    Let the fires burn within us;

    And the waters flow through us;

    On our sacred journey together.

  1. I, _______, ask you, ______,

    To be my partner, my lover, my friend and my wife/ husband.

    I declare my intention to give you my deepest friendship and love

    In the ups and the downs

    Not only when you remember who you are

    but when you forget

    Not only when you are acting with love

    but when you are not.

    It is my intention to be with you for life

    In a partnership of body and soul

    Sharing all that is good within us

    With all those whose lives we touch.

    (Celebrant:)_______, do you choose to accept _______’s request that you be his wife/ her husband?

EXCHANGING OF THE RINGS

(Choose any combination of these, or feel free to adapt/create your own)

The rings signify the coming around of the cycle of life;
From sickness to health,
From want to plenty,
From despair to joy, 
From difficulty to possibility;
From aloneness to love
From this day forward,
You shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter,
And my arms will be your home

  1. X: Y, I give you this ring, as a sign of my love and commitment. Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you.
  1. X: Y with this ring, I give you my heart. I promise that from this day forward, you will not walk alone. My arms will be your shelter, and my heart will be your home.
  1. X: Y I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you, and a reminder that I will always love you as my partner, my lover and my best friend, until the end of my days.
  1. X: Y I ask you to wear this ring today, so that every day, in every way, you will be carrying a reminder of me, and my love for you.

  2. X:Y, With this ring I marry you, and I bind my life to yours.

CEREMONY INFORMATION SHEET

Full Legal Name of Bride:

Full Legal Name of Groom:

Names to be used in ceremony (if different):

Mobile:

Landline:

E-mail:

Home address:

Date & Time of Ceremony:

Address of Venue:

Contact Person on site & Phone no:

Estimated numbers attending:

Who is in your bridal party? Please give names and relationship to you- please include ages for children, and any special requirements for elderly/ differently-abled people:

What parents/ grandparents will be present?

Are there any deceased or absent family members you would like to honour during the ceremony?

Are there any sensitive issues between you as a couple, or family members, regarding the ceremony? (Please feel free to contact me in confidence if there is something I should be aware of)

Who will be reading/singing/performing any roles during the ceremony?

Any children of the Bride/Groom? If so, would you like to include them in the ceremony?

How long would you like your ceremony to last?

Anything you particularly want or do not want to include in the ceremony?

Are there any particular faith path(s) you were raised with/would like to incorporate?

Any other information or ideas?

Please also send any readings or poems you have chosen and would like to incorporate.

wedding celebrant
hse registered solemniser

❤️ MATTERS OF THE HEART ❤️

(Answer separately for best results!)

This section gives you space to take time out to reflect on your relationship in the lead up to your marriage.

Take your time filling it out, there is plenty of time and no rush. 

It also gives me an insight into your relationship and your values, which I will work into your Wedding Ceremony script. Enjoy!

How did you meet?

When did you realise this was the person you wanted to marry?

What was your experience of the proposal?!

What qualities do you most admire in her/him?

Would you like to share any funny/touching/revealing stories about her/him?

How does your fiancé(e)’s presence enhance your life?

How do you view marriage in general, and your upcoming marriage in particular?

And if those questions are overwhelming- they can all be summed up in your answer to this:

  • Why this person?
  • Why now?

Optional (and highly recommended!): Write for each other a life pledge- include a promise and a vision for your life together. Tell your partner just how he/she has affected your life. Express your gratitude. Seal this letter, and exchange it with your beloved on your wedding night- then keep it safely forever.

Take your time mulling over these questions and letting them sink in. You can return this in your own time, don’t worry- I will remind you in good time if you haven’t done so in the lead up to your wedding!

Happy planning!

Karen xxx

SUGGESTED WEDDING READINGS

Clementine Von Radics  -Mouthful of Forevers

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.

This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.

And I will not be afraid
of your scars.

I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.

The Key to Love

by Anon, 1st Century BC, China

The key to love is understanding …
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness ….
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing …
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving …
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect …
realizing that you are two separate people,
with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all …
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients
that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process
that demands a lot of work …
but the rewards are more than worth the effort …
and that is the key to love.

My Love – Linda Lee Elrod 

When I met you, I had no idea
how much my life
was about to be changed…
but then, how could I have known?
A love like ours happens
once in a lifetime.
You were a miracle to me,
the one who was everything
I had ever dreamed of,
the one I thought existed
only in my imagination.
And when you came into my life,
I realized that what I
had always thought
was happiness
couldn’t compare to the joy
loving you brought me.
You are a part of everything
I think and do and feel,
and with you by my side,
I believe that anything is possible.
(this day) gives me a chance
to thank you for the miracle of you…
you are, and always will be,
the love of my life.

IRISH READINGS

Scaffolding, by Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

The Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths 
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W. B. Yeats

Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Old Irish Wedding Vows:

You cannot possess me, for I belong to myself

But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give

You cannot command me, for I am a free person

But I shall serve you in those ways you require

and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.

I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night

and the eyes into which I smile in the morning

I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup

I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care

I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine

I shall not slander you, nor you me

I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in private

and tell no strangers our grievances.

This is my wedding vow to you. This is the marriage of equals.

Irish Wedding Blessing

Is tusa mo realt gach oíche,

Is tusa an ghile gach maidin,

Is tusa scéal gach aoi

Is tusa an tuairisc ó gach teorainn bo

Ní thitfidh aon olcas ort, ar chnoc ná bhruach.

Is ngort ná ghleann, ar sliabh ná cuan,

Ní thuas, ná thíos, ní san fharraige,

Ná ar chladach, sna spéir

Ná faoin uisce.

Is tusa ceartlár mo chroí

Is tusa an aghaidh i mo ghrian

Is tusa an cláirseach i mo cheol

Is tusa an coróin i mo chomhluadar


You are the star of each night,

You are the brightness of every morning, 

You are the story of each guest,

You are the report of every land.

No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,

In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.

Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,

Nor on shore, in skies above,

Nor in the depths.

You are the kernel of my heart,

You are the face of my sun,

You are the harp of my music,

You are the crown of my company

Alternative format:

Is tusa mo realt gach oíche – You are the star of each night, 

Is tusa an ghile gach maidin – You are the brightness of every morning, 

Is tusa scéal gach aoi- You are the story of each guest

Is tusa an tuairisc ó gach teorainn bo – You are the report of every land. 

Ní thitfidh aon olcas ort, ar chnoc ná bhruach – No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank

Is ngort ná ghleann, ar sliabh ná cuan- In field or valley, on mountain or in glen. 

Ní thuas, ná thíos, ní san fharraige – Neither above, nor below, neither in sea, 

Ná ar chladach, sna spéir- Nor on shore, in skies above, 

Ná faoin uisce – Nor in the depths. 

Is tusa ceartlár mo chroí – You are the kernel of my heart

Is tusa an aghaidh i mo ghrian – You are the face of my sun, 

Is tusa an cláirseach i mo cheol – You are the harp of my music, 

Is tusa an coróin i mo chomhluadar – You are the crown of my company

Reading adapted from Plato’s Symposium

Once upon a time, human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. Due to the power of these original humans, the gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. So, in a manner not unlike the powers that be do so today, Zeus divided the humans in half. He split their power, so that he and the other gods may do what they wish.

But the gods are not completely efficient. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one.

This parable is meant to evoke how ancient is the desire of one another implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

When separated, having one side only, we are always looking for our other half. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We should pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

Scientific Romance:

If I became lost in

the multiverse, exploring

infinite parallel dimensions, my

only criterion for settling

down somewhere would be

whether or not I could find you:

and once I did, I’d stay there even

if it was a world ruled by giant spider-

priests, or one where killer

robots won the Civil War, or even

a world where sandwiches

were never invented, because

you’d make it the best

of all possible worlds anyway,

and plus

we could get rich

off inventing sandwiches.

ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

Today is a day you will always remember,
The greatest in anyone’s life;
You’ll start off the day just two people in love
And end it as husband and wife.

It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey,
With moments to cherish and treasure;
And although there’ll be times when you both disagree
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure.

You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past,
When the secrets of marriage were spoken;
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken.

So live happy forever as lovers and friends
It’s the dawn of a new life for you;
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
From the moment you whisper “I do”.

And with luck all your hopes and your dreams can be real
May success find its way to your hearts;
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
But today is the day it all starts.

Reflections on a good marriage:

A good marriage must be created

It is having mutual sense of values and common objectives 

It is standing together facing the world 

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family

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 finding room for the things of spirit 

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful 

It is not only marrying the right partner

It is being the right partner 

Love, by Roy Croft:


I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being in love means,
After all.

Extract from Captin Corelli’s Mandolin, by Luis de Bernieres

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. that is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

When I am with you ~Rumi

When I am with you, I stay up all night.

When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute, so we can cry out with loving.
You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.

-Jalalud’din Rumi, 13th Century Mystical Poet.

 – From “First Poems,” by Rainer Maria Rilke

Understand, I’ll slip quietly

Away from the noisy crowd

When I see the pale

Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.

I’ll pursue solitary pathways

Through the pale twilit meadows,

With only this one dream:

You come too.

Sonnet XVII, by Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close

Sonnet XVII, by Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close

I will be here, by Steven Curtis Chapman.

If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we’ll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.
And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we’re older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We’ll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I’ve made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.

This Day I married My Best Friend:

 

This day I married my best friend
the one I laugh with as we share life’s wonderous zest,
as we find new enjoyments and experience all that’s best.
the one I live for because the world seems brighter
as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.
the one I love with every fibre of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.


That Still and Settled Place

In that still and settled place
There’s nobody but you
You’re where I breath my oxygen
You’re where I see my view
And when the world feels full of noise
My heart knows what to do
It finds that still and settled place
And dances there with you

For Dog Lovers:

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride together.
When loved ones come home always run to greet them.
When you want treats, practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps together and stretch before rising.
Be loyal.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout…
Run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk together.
Love each other unconditionally.

Untitled Wedding Poem

To keep your marriage brimming

With love in the loving cup

Whenever you’re wrong, admit it

Whenever you’re right, shut up.

Ogden Nash

 

Untitled Wedding Poem

A good marriage must be created.
It is having mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
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 finding room for the things of spirit
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful
It is not only marrying the right partner
It is being the right partner.

By Wilfred Paterson

A marriage
Makes of two fractional lives
A whole
It gives to two purposeless lives A work, and doubles the strength Of each to perform it
It gives to two
Questioning natures
A reason for living
And something to live for
It will give a new gladness
To the sunshine
A new fragrance to the flowers A new beauty to the earth
And a new mystery to life.

Mark Twain

Summers Day

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May And summer’s lease hath all too short a date Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d
And every fair from fair sometime declines
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade When in eternal lines to time thou growst
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare

Untitled Wedding Poem

Oh, the comfort
The inexpressible comfort
Of feeling safe with a person
Having neither to weigh thoughts
Nor measure words
But pour them all out, just as they are
Chaff and grain together
Knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them Keep what is worth keeping and then –
With the breath of kindness –
Blow the rest away

Anon

The One 
When the one whose hand you’re holding 
Is the one who holds your heart 
When the one whose eyes you gaze into 
Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
Is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together 
Make the whole world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in 
puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
You’ll share your whole life through. 

Apache Wedding Blessing

Now you will feel no rain,

For each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

For each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no more loneliness,

For each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two bodies,

But there is one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place,

To enter into the days of your togetherness.

And may your days be good and long upon the earth

wedding celebrant

Foxtrot from A Play, by WH Auden.

The soldier loves his rifle,
The scholar loves his books,
The farmer loves his horses,
The film star loves her looks.
There’s love the whole world over
Wherever you may be;
Some lose their rest for gay Mae West,
But you’re my cup of tea.

Some talk of Alexander
And some of Fred Astaire,
Some like their heroes hairy
Some like them debonair,
Some prefer a curate
And some an A.D.C.,
Some like a tough to treat’em rough,
But you’re my cup of tea.

Some are mad on Airedales
And some on Pekinese,
On tabby cats or parrots
Or guinea pigs or geese.
There are patients in asylums
Who think that they’re a tree;
I had an ant who loved a plant,
But you’re my cup of tea.

Some have sagging waistlines
And some a bulbous nose
And some a floating kidney
And some have hammer toes,
Some have tennis elbow
And some have housemaid’s knee,
And some I know have got B.O.,
But you’re my cup of tea.

The blackbird loves the earthworm,
The adder loves the sun,
The polar bear an iceberg,
The elephant a bun,
The trout enjoys the river,
The whale enjoys the sea,
And dogs love most an old lamp-post,
But you’re my cup of tea.

This next piece is lovely in the lead up to exchange of vows. I (or a guest) can read this part, you both speak your vows, and then everyone present pronounces you husband and wife, YAAY!!)

Union, by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance 
of acquaintance to this point of commitment. 
At some point, you decided to marry. 
From that moment of “yes” to this moment of “yes”, 
you have been making promises and agreements 
in an informal way. 
All those conversations that were held driving in a car
or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences
that began with “When we’re married” and continued
with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night
talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, 
and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you take today are a way of 
saying to one another, “You know all those things 
we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it
all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this
moment in time. 
Before this moment you have been many things to one another-

acquaintance, friend, companion, lover , for you have learned much from one another in
these last few years. 
Now you shall say a few words that take you across
a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the
same between you. 
For after these vows, you shall say 
to the world, this- is my husband, this is my wife. (Easily adapted to fit preferred pronouns!)

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE MATERIAL

I CAN HELP YOU WITH

Wedding Ceremony

Let’s create your fabulous ceremony filled with love and laughter.

Celebrant Training

Learn how to perform all kinds of ceremonies including baby welcoming, marriage including legal support and funerals.