Our Wedding Ceremony! (Ideas for the brides- and grooms-to-be.)

So I asked our officiate to send us a copy of our wedding ceremony, and here it is! As a note, there are many quotes in this, and there are a couple of places where it says things like “Crescendo” and there were drumbeats there… we said we wanted a fun ceremony and boy did we get it!

This is being posted so people who missed it can at least read it (since we forgot to film it), and to give couples looking at writing their own ceremony ideas. It was kind of non-standard….

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A LONG POST, and I have taken out names as I see fit and replacing them with a random number of XXXXs. Some is quoted material, and quotes have been sourced as best we could. Ceremony not written by me.

Wedding ceremony:

~Drumming starts and the wedding party dance in to the drumbeat. First flower girl and ring bearer, then two bridesmaids, then the two groomsmen, then two more bridesmaids, then Josh and his parents, then the bride’s parents and then the bride.

~Native American flute played.

Good afternoon everyone.  Welcome to the marriage of Joshua XXXXX XXXXXX and Nichole XXXX XXXX.  We welcome you to this moment in your lives and to the place you have come to in each other’s hearts.  We join with you on this day, as you commit before the Creator and humanity that from this point forward you shall live as one.  I remind all of our guests that you have been invited here for a holy purpose, not just to witness, but to participate fully with your thoughts and prayers, asking the Creator to bless this couple and their married life.  You are here because this couple feels close to you and asks that you join with them in this dedication of sacred purpose.  You represent symbolically all the people in the world who will be touched in any way by the life of this couple.  You represent their friends and family, now and forever.  They have chosen this act of marriage and this public, holy ceremony in which to proclaim it.  Let us pray:  We thank-you Creator, for the beautiful gift of love.  Thank-you Creator for bringing Joshua and Nicole together. We ask that You always guide their way, and that they turn to you in all that they do.  We ask that you shine your light upon this couple through all their days during their life together.  Amen.

Who brings this groom to the ceremony?…..~Josh will say “I do”(He comes of his own free will to this ceremony, and to walk beside his beloved.  We are his parents,XXXXX and XXXXXX XXXXX, and walk along side them to encourage and guide them along the way and support them on their chosen journey together…….

Who  brings this bride to the ceremony?  ~Nichole will say “I do”……She comes of her own free will to this ceremony, and to walk beside her beloved.  We are her parents, XXXX and XXXXXXX XXXXX, and walk along side them to encourage and guide them along the way and support them on their chosen journey together…..

Add quote:  Out of the mouths of babes: …..  ***When asked why love happens between two people eight year old Harlen  said  “I think you’re suppose to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t suppose to be so painful.   And when asked what’s falling in love like, nine year old Roger  said, “Like an avalance where you have to run for your life. : Joshua and Nichole have made it through the initial stages of their relationships with their lives and not afraid to go forward.   We are gathered here in love on this special day, in this holy place to witness the union and commitment of these two bodies, of these two hearts, of these two minds, and of these two spirits of Joshua XXXXX and Nichole XXXXXX.  Add quote:  ***As eight year old, Bobby says when asked about love, “Love will find you even if you are trying to hide from it.  I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me”.   Joshua and Nichole found each other.   And marriage is about finding each other over and over again as time goes on and as your relationship deepens.   As you live and grow and come into a deeper understanding of yourself and each other, and as you live through life’s challenges that will change you,  it can be a celebration of continuing to rediscover and find each other,  over and over again.  You will continue to grow as people for all time and thus will not be the same people that are standing here today.  A good marriage will celebrate the personal growth that each of you will make during your journey together.  * “Love is based on our capacity to trust in a reality beyond fear, to trust a timeless truth bigger than all our difficulties.  Love is without demands.  Sometimes love means standing firm, sometimes love means letting go, sometimes love means letting be.  Love blossoms whenever we step beyond our fears and rest in the generosity of the heart.”

This marriage ceremony has started out as a fun and joyous beginning to their life together as they danced down the aisle to their place at the alter.  As they will dance through their life together with all the different moves, with all the different beats, with all the different notes that they will experience as committed dance partners.  There will be crescendos  and their will be pauses and there will be making music together, as they will be creating some new symphonies for themselves and as they eventually bring a new song or songs into this world.  And that will depend on how many crescendos they will have, if you get my meaning.  Our hope for them is that they will be co-conductors in this symphony of life, in this symphony of love and that they will never lose sight of what brought them here to this point in time to this holy place for this holy union.

I am sure you have all noticed how children naturally dance without worrying about what anyone else thinks.  They naturally dance to their own beat and it might be the beat of a different drum than what others  expect, what others think that they should do.  Children often get it right as we, as adults often lose sight of lessons we learned as children or how we acted as children.   ***As 7 yr old Kenny says about marriage,  “It gives me a headache to think about that stuff, I don’t need that kind of trouble.”  There are ways to avoid some of the pitfalls of married life.  From the writing of Robert Fulgrum in “Everything I need to know about life, I learned from kindergarten”, there are many good lessons. These words of wisdom can be keys to a good marriage.  Share everything, play fair, don’t hit people, clean up your own mess, flush, say you’re sorry when you hurt someone, live a balanced life, when you go out in the world, hold hands and stick together.  Be aware of wonder.  What are some other attributes of children???  Kids don’t hold grudges, they say what they feel, unconditional love, they have no prejudice, and are not judgmental, they are honest, very inquisitive, they roll with the punches, don’t worry about tomorrow, and they like to play.  Did I mention that they like to play?  If  Josh and Nikki can continue to keep the child alive in their marriage then they will be walking on a path that leads to a loving and harmonious life.  They will be able to overcome any of the challenges that all marriages face and they will be able to bring children into a loving and balanced life.  * “ Love is a blessed mystery.  It is like gravity: vast, invisible, the unstoppable force that connects all things.  We long for this love.  We long to love and be loved.  Wherever we are , we can awaken to it. “ So be like the children and let your love naturally flow from the unending source of your being.

Joshua and Nichole please face your friends and family.  But a marriage is not an island unto itself.  There are two families that are now connected by this union.  And the families stretch out like ripples on the water as it does when a pebble is thrown in.  And as these two people are now thrown into each others family, there is something all of you can do.  Because we all need the support of the family and extended family as well as our dear friends.  So I want us all to make a commitment to supporting Joshua and Nichole as they go through their life together.  I want us to be like the Sequoia tree.  Most trees stand against the wind because of their deep roots.  Not so of the giant Sequoias like we have in southern Oregon and California.  They grow in groves and although their roots are shallow, they entertwine under the surface of the earth supporting and holding each other up when winds are strong.  So I would like all of you to hold up your hand and repeat after me.  I will be there for Joshua and Nicole when the winds get too strong. I will encourage them and help them find their strength together.  I will encourage them and remind them of their love for each other.  I will encourage them in this new community of family and friends.  I will help them stand against the wind in love until calmer times arrive.  Families and friends, I thank-you for your love.

And now Joshua and Nicole will speak their vows that they have written for each other.


Nikki’s Vows:
It has been six and a half years since we decided we were a couple, two days after a dance where a half-heard phrase got my attention. It was something everyone said they saw coming. Something I didn’t. It started a friendship, with playful discussions, serious talks, and silly games. You have been my best friend, my comfort, my safe place, and my love. It has grown from where it started, and now here we stand, about to be legally bound for life. You are already my husband in spirit and heart and after today the rest of the nation will acknowledge it, legally, and will forevermore

As my husband, I need you to know that I may never have the right words to tell you how much I love you or why I love you. I can give a long list of reasons but none of them will be right. I could write a book about how wonderful you are and never fully explain what it is that draws me to you and keeps me by your side, inspiring such wonderful love.

No matter how much you piss me off, how much you annoy and tease me, how much you make me absolutely angry, I still love you. And you know, I tick you off, too. I am selfish and stubborn, silly and weird. We are both growing and learning, and neither of us is perfect. I told you I was imperfect three and a half years ago in Seattle when I got on my knees and asked you to marry me.

Despite the fact I lack it, I will try to be patient with you and ask you to be patient with me as we grow and change together. As we encounter the good times and the harsh realities of life, as we go through frustrations and excitement, I will be by your side, and will walk this path of life together. And I hope this journey is a long one with many, many years ahead.

I promise to hold you when you cry, to stand beside you when you feel weak and small, to protect that smile of yours that I love so much, with all I have. I promise to keep your heart feeling loved and cared for. I promise to work to reduce the small hiccups and fights that all couples have along the way and keep them from happening often. I promise to take care of you when you are sick and when you are will, to remember to take the time to care for your small needs and your large ones.

You captivate my heart, make me laugh, make me smile. One of my favourite quotes is by Marylin Monroe, “If you cannot handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” You have definitely seen my at my worst and in complete pieces and shambled and stood beside me. I promise to do the same for you to the very best of my abilities.

From this day forward, I vow and promise to be the best wife that I can be. Let us share our love with the world, and make this legal today with these two words, “I promise.”

Josh’s Vows: TBA (TO BE ADDDED)

* “Love and compassion appear as selfless service.  Yet, in marriage, we do not serve the other, we serve “us”.  Love’s communion brings us together in a whole.  Compassion does not see the world’s pain as other, it is shared, it is ours.*  Your vows bring you together as one.  So be it in your marriage together.

Exchange of Rings:

***And when 8yr old Dave was asked why lovers hold hands, he said,  “They want to make sure their rings don’t fall off because they paid good money for them.” (Dave, 8)

Throughout the world, rings are a sign of eternity, are true emblems of the endless spiritual love that links two people together, spirit to spirit, and soul to soul.  For as circles they have no beginning or ending.  Rings also signify completeness.  Each of you was complete in yourselves before your partner came into your life.  These rings then signify a further level of completeness in your lives together.  The substance of which they are made is s symbol of connection and is said to mirror the soul.  Right now, they are perfect, even as your love is.  Over the years they will accumulate slight nicks and scratches, even as your relationship will.  Indeed, their beauty will be enhanced through these nicks and scratches, even as your relationship is strengthened and deepened by working through the nicks and scratches.  The rings will remain symbols of Eternity, completeness, and your soul connection.  These rings are the symbol of your pure love and promises, which you will share as husband and wife.

Repeat after me Joshua:

** “With all my love, I have chosen you as my wife.  It is my heart’s desire to be with you throughout my life, and I shall love you always.  Nichole, I give this ring from my heart to your hand.

With this ring,
I give you my promise that from this day forward
You shall not walk alone
May my heart be your shelter
And my arms be your home
May the Creator bless you always
May we walk together through all things.”

Nichole, repeat after me….

** “With all my love, I have chosen you as my husband.  It is my heart’s desire to be with you throughout my life, and I shall love you always.  Joshua, I give this ring from my heart to your hand.

With this ring,
I give you my promise that from this day forward
You shall not walk alone
May my heart be your shelter
And my arms be your home
May the Creator bless you always
May we walk together through all things. “

Final words:

In this place, at this time you have made your vows, your commitment to each other in love, in front of these witnesses, alongside this beautiful river, in sight of the birds and the trees, the plants and the rocks, and all creation.  And they will carry your message of love, through the water, through the air, from bird to bird, from tree to tree until it goes around the earth and comes back to you full circle like the wedding rings on your hands.  That is how powerful your spoken words of devotion are here in this holy place, at this sacred time.  Your love and commitment to each other changes everything in this world, it blesses everything, above you to the universe, it blesses the earth you stand on, and all around you will be blessed as your love radiates out.  That is how strong love is.  And the world will know that Joshua and Nicole have made a promise to each other through their love for all time.

Let us pray:

Dear Creator, **”Please bless this couple.  May their love be nurtured by you, always and forever.  May this marriage be held in your hands and ministered unto by your Angels.  We dedicate this love to you.  May it serve your purposes; may it increase your dominion.  May they always be gentle with each other and  lift up each other, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.   Help them serve each other in lovingkindness and forgiveness.  May this man grow strong in the arms of this woman.  May this woman grow glorious in the love of this man.  May the earth be brought closer to heaven through this love.  May all the world be blessed hereby.”   May they continue to let their inner child be a part of all they do.   Thank you Creator.  Amen

** “And now may the joy of this day and the beauty of this place, with the love of your hearts’ for each other…open the glorious door to your new sanctuary as a married couple. “

***As 7yr old Doug says about kissing,  “You learn it right on the spot when the gooshy feelings get the best of you.

Joshua and Nicole, You may kiss your bride and you may kiss your groom.

And now it is my great honor and pleasure to present to you for the first time as husband and wife,  Joshua XXXXX XXXXXX and Nichole XXXXXX XXXXXX.

~The eagle feather on Nichole’s right side is switched to the left to signify they are married. Josh and Nichole dance/run down the aisle, followed by the bridal party in reverse order and ending with the officiate.


*The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace  by Jack Kornfield

**Illuminata by Marianne Williamson

***Kids’ Thoughts on Love by Laurie  Pawilk-Klenien, Suite 101.com

Ceremony created by Heidi Katchia Van Vliet,  Ordained Minister for the International Assembly of Spiritual Healers and Earth Stewards,           July 2010

I hope you enjoyed reading this ceremony and got ideas. Our officiate wrote our ceremony and we each wrote our own vows. They took FOREVER to write.

Happily Married!


About N B

Artist, critic, friend, and rambly-ponderer.
This entry was posted in Family, Friends, Wedding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Our Wedding Ceremony! (Ideas for the brides- and grooms-to-be.)

  1. That sounds really lovely! I just wish I could have been there to be part of it. Also, can you give me your address again? I’ve misplaced the envelope you gave me. Which probably means I’ll find it as soon as you give me your address, but you should give it to me again anyway, just in case.

    • N T says:

      I emailed it to you!

      I do wish you could have been there instead of orientating. But you know, it is okay. You are off doing something amazing!

  2. Pingback: Anniversary Fun, July 2012 (days 1 and 2) | Forward! Life Awaits.

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