Showing posts with label civil ceremony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label civil ceremony. Show all posts

Sunday 5 March 2023

Wording for a Wedding Ceremony - Pagan Elements & Handfasting

If you're the kind of couple who haven't attended many weddings, it can be difficult to come up with ideas when it comes to thinking about your own wedding ceremony. It's easy to get caught up in planning the party, the food and the cake, but many forget that it is at the ceremony they actually become husband and wife. It is the words they say to each other and the declarations made in front of their guests that will be looked back upon as the years pass.

Usually your celebrant or officiant will provide you with plenty of options to consider for your ceremony, but a ceremony that has been personalised with some of the things that are truly special to the couple and reflect who they are always leave those in attendance with a sense of connection and sincerity. 

Today we thought we would bring you an actual ceremony that was put together by a couple who wanted to incorporate some Pagan elements to their day. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to bringing you some more ceremony options.





The Ceremony


Welcome:

(Warming of the rings) On behalf of Andrew and Kathryn I would like to welcome you here today to celebrate with them as they pledge their commitment to one another in marriage. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being here and showing them your support.

 

Introduction:

We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of Kathryn and Andrew. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls, has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two, who stand before us, we can hope to leave with them the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time.

 

The law of life is, love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

 

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Andrew and Kathryn have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

 

Giving of the bride:

Celebrant: Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family's blessing.

 

Celebrant: Kathryn, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

 

Kathryn: Yes, it is true.

 

Celebrant:  And with whose blessings accompany you. 

Bride's attendant: She’s accompanied with her father’s blessings.

 

Envoking the elements:

In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart's passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.

 

Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.

 

Any Legally Required Words

 

Reading: Why Marriage? - Mari Nichols-Haining

Why Marriage? Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body .

 

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, who won't hold them against me, who loves me when I'm unlikable, who sees the small child in me, and looks for the divine potential of me.

 

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who is thankful, with someone I feel blessed to hold.

 

Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love in friendship.

 

Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness, I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage together we create our marriage.

 

Because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless.

 

  

The Handfasting:

Celebrant:  

Please join hands. As your hands are joined, so now are your lives.

Above you are the stars

below you are the stones

as time does pass

Remember

Like a star should our love be constant

Like a stone should your love be firm

Be close, but not too close

Posses one another, but be understanding

Have patience with one another

For storms will come, but they will go quickly

Be free in the giving of affection and warmth

Make love often, and be sensuous with one another

Have no fear and let not the ways or words

of the unenlightened give you unease for the Gods are with you.

 

Vows: 

I ask you now to exchange your vows. We’ll start with you Andrew.

 

Andrew:  I ask all present to witness that I, Andrew James Lane, take you, Kathryn Cameron, to be my lawful wife. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honour and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfilment as an individual for the rest of my life. I am honoured to call you my wife, my soul mate and I will love you unconditionally forever and some more.

 

And now it’s Kathryn’s turn.

 

Kathryn:  I ask all present to witness that I, Kathryn Cameron, take you, Andrew James Lane to be my lawful husband. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honour and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfilment as an individual for the rest of my life. I am honoured to call you my husband, my soul mate and I will love you unconditionally forever and some more.”

 

Celebrant:  Andrew and Kathryn have made their vows to each other in the presence of those dear to them; I then take this cord and bind them to those vows.

 

(Celebrant ties the ribbon around hands).

 

The Asking/Exchange of Rings

Celebrant Kathryn and Andrew, as these circles are designed without an ending, they speak of eternity. May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love glowing with increasing lustre through the years. Bless these rings which you give to each other as the sign of your love, trust, and faithfulness.

 

Celebrant: Andrew will you take Kathryn to be your wife and soul mate, to travel through all your lives together, to love, laugh, cherish, communicate and understand each other as long as love may last?

 

Andrew; I Will.

 

Celebrant to bride;

Kathryn will you take Andrew to be your husband and soul mate, to travel through all your lives together, to love, laugh, cherish, communicate and understand each other as long as love may last?

 

Kathryn; I Will.

 

Bride and groom say together

“Heart to thee, soul to thee, always and forever, so mote it be.

 

Celebrant: So mote it be

 

Guests: So mote it be.

 

Announcement:  Now that you have joined yourselves in marriage, may you strive always to meet this commitment with the same spirit you now exhibit. We all bear witness to this ceremony you have just performed, may the gods bless this union, and may the majesty of this earth protect you in your joined lives together. You may now kiss your bride.

 

Signing:

We will now be taking a few minutes to sign the legal paperwork. Please Feel free to take photos.

 

Presentation:

Having said that It now gives me great pleasure to introduce to you for the first time as a married couple……Andrew and Kathryn Lane.

 


Saturday 31 December 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Cup of Life Ritual

We love sharing our ideas for wedding rituals and traditions that can be easily performed without too much hassle. This one, The Cup of Life, is idea behind it is really lovely.

The ‘Cup of Life’ is a symbolic ritual that signifies the bride and groom as individuals coming together as one through the sharing of wine.



Requirements: Goblet, Bottle of wine

An open bottle of wine is placed along with a glass on a nearby table. The cup is representative of ‘life’ while the wine represents the good times and bad with both sweet and bitter elements. The sentiment is that any bitterness is lessened and any sweetness is doubled or heightened because it is shared.

Example:

‘Glenn and Pauline have chosen to include a symbolic gesture in their ceremony today called ‘’Sharing the cup of Life’ Glenn could you please pour the wine and take a drink and then hand the cup to Pauline to drink.

This glass of wine is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share this wine, you promise to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness the cup of life may hold for you should be sweeter because you drink it together; and whatever drops of bitterness it may contain should be less because they are shared. We wish you all the blessings that life can bring-joy and gladness, love and companionship, happiness and prosperity all the days of your life’

The ‘Cup of Life’ is a simple and easy ritual/tradition to perform and is always well received by guests.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - A Family Unity Sand Ceremony


One of the most popular rituals performed in wedding ceremonies today is the ‘Unity Sand Ritual’. The rite can be performed by the couple alone, but is more often used when there are children from previous relationships or when the couple already have children of their own. The Unity Sand Ritual is a wonderfully unifying ritual; simple yet meaningful.

Requirements: A sand kit including - clear glass vase or goblet and different coloured sand in ornamental bottle for each person involved.

The glass vase is placed in the centre of a small table at the ceremony’s location. To add a personal touch it can be accessorised, or engraved with the couple’s initials or names and the wedding date.

Two of the smaller vases, containing different coloured sands, are placed either side of the central vase, one for the bride and one for the groom. These sands can be in the wedding colours.

During the sand ceremony, the celebrant will verbally direct the couple to take turns to pour the sand from their individual vases into the central vase, creating a layered effect. If children are participating, they will then be invited to pour their own colours, to mark their inclusion as part of a loving family.

Finally the couple will pour the remainder of the sand into the vase at the same time so that the two colours combine and can’t be separated, symbolising the unassailable strength of their union. A poem or reading can be recited at the same time as the sand is poured.

Tip: If the ceremony takes place at a beach the celebrant may take some sand from the ground and pour it as the final layer to represent the location where the couple solemnised their family’s unity and commitment.

Example:

‘Jane and Daniel have chosen to include a symbolic ritual in their ceremony today called the Unity Sand Ritual. Could I ask Rebecca and Shane to bring Brayden and Sarah forward.

Jane, Daniel, Brayden and Sarah, today you are making a life-long commitment to share the rest of your lives with each other as a family. The relationship that you each have with the other members of this family is symbolized through the pouring of these four individual containers of sand; One, representing you Jane and one representing you Daniel and all that you were, all that you are and all that you will ever be. The other two representing your two beautiful children Brayden and Sarah and all that they have been and have meant to you and the unlimited potential for what they may become.

As each of you hold your sand, the separate containers represent your individual and unique lives up to this point. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one. I ask you now to individually pour half of your sand into the container. We will start with you Daniel.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be.

I now ask that you all pour your remaining sand into the container together. May this togetherness never be broken and may your lives always be blended and intertwined with each other’s in happiness, hope and prosperity.’

Here is a little video of what this might look like:



 




Sunday 11 December 2022

Modern Giving of the Bride Wording

In this day and age many couples still like the idea and tradition of the Giving of the Bride, but perhaps not what is stands for or the wording that goes with it. 

If the bride wants someone to escort her down the aisle, she can choose instead to modify the wording to a more modern version. 



Any wording can be used, but here is a sample we prepared for you as an idea:

Celebrant addresses person escorting bride (attendant)

Cel     Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family's blessing.

           Celebrant: Rachel, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

           Rachel: Yes, it is true.

           Celebrant:  And with whose blessings accompany you?

           Bride's attendant: She’s accompanied with her father’s blessings.



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Thursday 24 November 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - A Box of Memories - Gorgeous for Wedding & Anniversary

 

This has to be one of our all-time favourites!

The ‘Box of Memories is a beautiful way for a couple to capture their thoughts and feelings about marriage and most importantly, about their love for each other.



Requirements: A wooden box, nails, a bottle of wine, 2 glasses and 2 handwritten letters

In the days leading up to the wedding, the couple select a decorative wooden box and some nails, making sure that it is large enough to hold a bottle of wine and 2 glasses and sturdy enough to stand the test of time. Together also, they select a bottle of their favourite wine and 2 glasses that can be placed in the box in advance.

On the eve of the wedding, each takes a little time out from the busy-ness and excitement, and spends a few minutes writing a letter to their soon-to-be partner expressing their feelings, what they are thinking, what they love about them and their hopes and dreams for the future. The letters are then sealed in an envelope.

During the ceremony, the celebrant will explain to the guests what the couple have done, and as they watch both place their sealed letters into the box and hammer in the nails one by one in turn, will tell them of their plans to open the box on the day the 10th wedding anniversary, when they will share the wine and read the letters.



Example Wording:

Jasmine and Daniel your commitment to each other today is obvious and evident to all of us as you stand before us now. With your vows declared and your rings exchanged, you have made a public demonstration of your commitment and love, but there is something more that you have chosen to do as a reminder of this day, that will be a source of great comfort and joy.

(Couple walk over to the table with the box, hammer and nails)

‘In this box you have placed some items that you have lovingly chosen together. A strong and sturdy box that has plenty of room for all the things you need and is sturdy enough to stand the test of time, just as your marriage will be. Inside you have placed 2 glasses and a bottle of wine, whose sweetness will remind you of all of the happy times you shared together, when you open it together on your 10 year wedding anniversary. I ask you now to please place the letters that you have written for each other on the eve of this day and seal the box with the nails.’

(Couple begin to hammer the nails)

‘May this box be a reminder of the love you shared today and upon its opening – on your 10 year wedding anniversary, as you sip the wine, let it serve to rekindle every bit of spirit and joy that is present in your heart as you stand here today. As you read the letters, let the words contained in them stay with you forever, through whatever storm may come, and be forever grateful to have shared it with all of those you hold dear.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Monday 24 October 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Giving of the Bride

 

It is almost certain that everyone would be familiar with this wedding tradition. Even though it has become commonplace at most wedding ceremonies, many would be surprised by the extent of the numerous variations to this theme. 

The Giving Away of the bride has a long history. In Roman times, it was the custom for a young woman to be under the authority and protection of the head of her household; this would usually have been her father or elder brother. When she married, that responsibility was then passed to her husband. This was the origin of the ‘Giving away’ ceremony.

Times certainly have changed, but we retain this ancient custom with a somewhat new cultural meaning. Nowadays it is considered as the perfect occasion when the father- daughter relationship is acknowledged. It also allows the families and friends of the Bride and Groom to show their approval and support for the union. 

Below are 2 examples of common wording, and in a later post we'll share with you a more modern version for those that don't like the wording/concept of 'giving away'.

Examples:

1. Celebrant addresses person giving bride away:

‘Who brings this woman to be married to this man?’

Person replies: ‘I do’ (Then steps forward and joins the other guests.)

 

2. If both the Bride’s and Groom’s parents are involved, the celebrant will ask them to stand, and addresses the guests as follows:

‘Who brings this man to stand beside this woman?’

Groom’s Parents ‘We do’

‘And who brings this woman to stand beside this man?’

Bride’s Parents ‘We do’

‘Are you willing now and always to support and strengthen this marriage by upholding both Lindsay and Lisa with your love and support?’

All parents: ‘We are’

 

3. When the father is the giving the bride away, the celebrant may say:

‘When thinking about this moment people will often ponder on what are the real values in life, and come to decide what it is that really matters — it is human relationships. One of the deepest, yet understated relationships in life is that between the caring father and his loving daughter, and one of the rare occasions that this relationship has the opportunity to be openly acknowledged is at a wedding ceremony.

(Insert Father’s name) represents his family and all of us here today, but in a special gesture on this important occasion he symbolises his own personal love for his daughter and their journey together to this point.

So mindful of these values and of that love I now ask him, who brings this woman to be married to this man?’

Father: ‘I do’

He then joins the other guests

 

The Wedding Gurus xx

Look out for future posts and modern versions of this topic.

Friday 14 October 2022

Placement of the Wedding Ring

Have you ever asked yourself why the wedding ring is placed on the third finger of the left hand?

We recently pondered the same question and in response, we decided to go in search of where this idea may have originated. As you can imagine there were many interpretations and we have outlined our favourite 3 for you.

 

In Western Culture it was thought to originate from the Greek physicians in the third century B.C where they were misled to believe that a vein of blood ran from the third finger of the left hand straight to the heart. A slightly misguided interpretation of the human anatomy, yes, but you can understand their logic of placing the ring that symbolises love and commitment on the part of the body that was thought to be in direct connection to the heart. In fact, this vein was later named ‘vena amori’ or vein of love.

 

The Chinese have a beautiful interpretation and we have outlined this below showing the representation of each finger :

 

Thumb represents your parents

Index finger represents your siblings

Middle finger represents yourself

Ring finger represents your life partner

Little finger represents children

 

Now, this idea is not based solely on just guessing what each finger may represent, there is actually a really sweet theory behind it.

 

Basically, if you place your palms together in front of you and bend your middle fingers down so that they are knuckle to knuckle (see pic) the significance becomes clear.





Your thumbs (which represent your parents) are easily separated as you are separated from them as you move off to marry.

 

Your index finger (which represents your siblings) is also easily separated signifying how you will separate from them in your life, creating your own families.

 

Your middle finger - is removed as it represents yourself.

 

Your little finger (representing your future children) is easily parted also representing that they too are not with you forever.

 

If you try however to separate your ring fingers (representing your life partner) You cannot. Why? because you are tied together as one for eternity. The sentiment behind this theory is beautiful in that the inability to separate these two fingers is exactly where the rings should be placed reminding us of this everlasting unbreakable bond.

 

A final theory (culture unknown) puts forward the idea that the third finger cannot be held out alone, it needs the support of both the middle and little fingers on either side. So what does this signify, well it gives the ring finger union, support and protection thus representing a happy and healthy marriage and life together.

 

The Wedding Gurus xx


Sunday 9 October 2022

Silent Flower Ritual

The silent flower ritual is one of the simplest and most basic rituals that may be included in a wedding ceremony, but its significance and emotional depth are long remembered.




The silent flower ritual brings significance to the roles of the mothers on this special day, that may otherwise go unspoken and to all that they have contributed to the lives of the couple present. In nurturing, loving and caring for each of them and in being there to share this special day with them.

Once the guests are assembled and the groom and celebrant are waiting for the bride, the entrance music begins and the bride enters carrying her bouquet with 2 loose long stem flowers. As she approaches her groom on her father’s (or whoever is escorting her) arm, she lets go of him and walks silently over to her soon-to-be mother-in-law and hands her one of the flowers, giving her a kiss on the cheek. She then walks over to her own mother handing her a flower also and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

No words are said during the ritual and the bride then returns to her escort’s arm and continues to her groom.

The ritual, though silent, is very meaningful and brings a tear to the eyes of guests and of course the mothers.  It is a truly wonderful way of honouring the mothers' role in the lives of the couple and their importance on this day. The mothers are always very pleased, particularly when they are not aware that it is going to take place.

The Wedding Gurus

xxx


Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Dove Release

In this post we've chosen to bring you a look at the Dove Release which can be a beautiful and symbolic addition to any wedding ceremon...