Once Upon a When

...your wedding...YOUR way!!

With all of my engaged couples, we will sit down and go over your ceremony options from beginning to end. My goal is to make sure you are 100% happy with your wedding ceremony.There are many options available and many inclusions such as a rose ceremony, unity candle ceremony, sand ceremony and the list goes on. Below is a sample ceremony for a couple that wanted a simple ceremony that included a family blessing.
NonDenominational Blessings

Welcome Family and Friends. We have been invited to hear James and RosaLee as they promise to face the future together, accepting whatever may lie ahead. For the world that has been created for them, with its beauty and grace that is all around, with the strength that it offers and the peace that it brings, makes them truly grateful.


Who brings RosaLee to stand beside James and join him in marriage? 


Please be seated.

With great affection for James and RosaLee, we have gathered together to witness and bless their union in marriage. To this sacred moment they bring the fullness of their hearts as a treasure to share with one another. They bring the dreams which bind them together in an eternal commitment. They bring their gifts and talents, their unique personalities and spirits, to unite together into one being as they build their life together. We rejoice with them in thankfulness to the Lord for creating this union of hearts, built on friendship, respect and love.

James and RosaLee, today, October 5th, 2011, is the beginning of a beautiful and marvelous chapter in the love story of both of your lives. Today you are getting married, and by doing so, you are creating a huge love, not only involving your hearts, but also the hearts of your beautiful families. All of those who are present here today hope that you will enjoy the wonderful happiness that is reached when love is shared.



James and RosaLee would like to present a rose to their mothers Donna and Cheryl; as a small token of gratitude for their love and support, while acting as a symbol of their own unique beauty and grace that has blessed them both. (present flowers, embrace, return to original position)

Real love is something beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. It is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as about your own. But real love is not total absorption in each other; it is looking outward in the same direction --together. Love makes burdens lighter, because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger so you can reach out and become involved with life in ways you dared not risk alone.

 

Nothing is easier than saying words and nothing harder than living them day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow. At the end of this ceremony you will be husband and wife, but you still must decide each day that stretches out before you, that you are committed to being married.


James and RosaLee will now pronounce their vows to one another with deep conviction not only in their love but in their unyielding desire to fulfill these vows for the rest of their lives: 


(Repeat after me format)

 

I love you RosaLee as I love no other. All that I am I share with you. I take you to be my wife through health and sickness, through plenty and want, through joy and sorrow, now and forever.  
 
I love you James as I love no other. All that I am I share with you. I take you to be my husband through health and sickness, through plenty and want, through joy and sorrow, now and forever. 

May we have the rings please? 

The wedding ring is a symbol of eternity. It is an outward sign of an inward bond which unites two hearts in endless love. And now as a token of your love and of your deep desire to be forever united in heart and soul, you Steven, may place a ring on the finger of your bride and repeat after me.    

"RosaLee, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to you." 

By the same token RosaLee, you may place a ring on the finger of your groom and repeat after me.      

"James, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to you."

 

(Pinky Promise)

 

 James and RosaLee, we have heard you promise to share your lives in marriage. We recognize and respect the covenant you have made. It is not a minister standing before you that makes your marriage real, but the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here before your friends and relatives. Because James and RosaLee have desired each other in marriage, and have witnessed this before our gathering, affirming their acceptance of the responsibilities of such a union, and have pledged their love and faithfulness to each other, sealing their vows in the giving and receiving of rings, I do proclaim that they are husband and wife. 


James, you may kiss your bride.

 

Please join me in our closing prayer:

Our Father, we ask for your blessings upon the marriage of James and RosaLee and their son, Stephen. Fill them with such love that they may build a home where no one is a stranger. We hope their son Stephen, a further declaration of their love, will find all his tasks in life, including the task of being human, easier because they approach those tasks together as a family. We, as friends and family, wish that their union will bring a fullness of joy and love. Today, tomorrow and forever. Amen.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is my honor to present to you

Mr. and Mrs. ____________________!

With Irish Blessings

(You may be seated.) Welcome! Good afternoon, family and friends. We have come here today to celebrate the wedding of Shannon and Michael

On behalf of our couple, thank you for joining us. They are delighted that you have come to share in their joy on this special day. By your presence, you celebrate with them the love they have discovered in each other. And you support their decision to commit themselves to a lifelong relationship.

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. By making this commitment today, Shannon & Michael’s relationship will become stronger, better, and deeper.

Today, these two people standing before you will demonstrate their devotion to each other by dedicating themselves to a life together. And they show their respect for each other by setting forth to honor the vows they have created. Today, their lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one.

 

 

 

II. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF FAMILY & FRIENDS

Today represents not only the joining of Shannon & Michael, but also the joining of their families and friends. Together, they would like to recognize their parents on this occasion. They offer their profound gratitude for all the love and care their parents showed in raising them; providing them with the good examples and foundations that they will carry on as they begin their family.

Parents, the unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts.

Without you, this day would not be possible. They are blessed to share their wedding day with you, their family and friends, and thank each of you for making the long journey here. As much as today it is a celebration of Shannon & Michael’s marriage, it is also a celebration of their love, which is built upon the years they have spent together and all the experiences encompassed by that time.

III. REMEMBRANCES & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Shannon & Michael have also asked that we take a moment to honor those loved ones who are not with us today. Shannon’s Nana, Donna, was always her biggest sounding board and often loudest critic. She loved Michael, so he must be a good guy, right Nana?

Michael’s older brother John was his best friend, and is missed every day. How do you like these apples, John! I got the girl!

Please take a moment of silence for those we have recognized.

[Moment of silence]

And now a reading. I wish to read from e.e. cummings poem, “i carry your heart.” Our couple finds special meaning in the words, and I feel it is a great example of the relationship between the two.

IV.  READING: “I Carry Your Heart”

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart 

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

V. GROUP DECLARATION OF SUPPORT
Now, I ask that these friends and family declare their support and that you turn and acknowledge them, as they acknowledge you. As family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds Shannon & Michael. Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other.

Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support, not your judgment. Encourage them when encouragement is needed, and listen to them when they ask for advice. In these ways, you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today.

Do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage and bless this family created by their union? Please answer by saying: WE DO.

[Guests: WE DO.]

Thank you.

And now a reading.

VI.  READING: “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, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all 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 are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that 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, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

VI. MARRIAGE STATEMENT OF INTENT/CONSENT

Now please turn to each other and share the vows you have written.

VII. VOWS

Couple delightfully recited their own vows that were not written beforehand! Simply said what was in their hearts & minds at the moment! Everyone wept with joy – they were too adorable for words!

 

VIII. Official Vows

With those promises in mind, Michael, please repeat after me.

“I, Michael, take thee Shannon, to be my wedded wife- to have and to hold from this day forward. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. Till death us do part. According to God’s holy law. And thereto I give thee my troth.”

Shannon, please repeat after me:

“I, Shannon, take thee Michael, to be my wedded husband- to have and to hold from this day forward. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. Till death us do part. According to God’s holy law. And thereto I give thee my troth.”

VIII. RING EXCHANGE

Blessing of the Rings

Let these rings be a sign that love has a past, a present, and a future, through you and within you. Michael, take Shannon’s ring and place it on her finger and repeat after me:

Shannon, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows and a token of my affection. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.

By the same token, Shannon, you may place a ring on the finger of your groom.

Michael, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows and a token of my affection. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.

IX. IRISH BELL RINGING

As part of an Irish tradition, I ask that each one of you take this wedding bell and give it a good hearty ring while thinking loving thoughts.

[Pause for bell ring]

This bell is to be kept in the home you build together as a reminder of the vows and promises you have made today.

When you hear the sound of the bell not only will you be reminded of your wedding day, but you will know someone is thinking loving thoughts of you.

XI. BENEDICTION 

Now, may the love that has brought you together
Continue to grow and enrich your lives.
May you meet with courage the problems that arise to challenge you
And may your relationship always be one of love and trust.
May the happiness you share today be with you always
And may every word you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives.

X. PRONOUNCEMENT

Michael & Shannon, we have heard your promise to share your lives in marriage. We recognize and respect the vows you have made before each one of us as a witness. In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, and in accordance with the laws of the state of Texas, it is my honor and delight to declare you henceforth to be husband and wife. You may seal your vows with a kiss.

And with that they jumped the broom.

The end! Just kidding, the best is yet to come…!