Theme Weddings

 

Theme Weddings

Theme Weddings

Leah & Hal – New York City’s Central Park is a popular place for elopements! I was lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve with these two Texas love birds. As beautiful a couple on the inside as they are to look upon. They have a firm foundation and I doubt that even the sky is not high enough to be their limit! Photo thanks to “As You Wish” Photography

~ New York City’s Central Park Ceremony ~

“This place that Leah and Hal have chosen for their wedding day is ripe with so many wonderful and appropriate metaphors. It is a place of peace and renewal amid the activity of the busy city. One of the statues proudly wears a plaque that says “Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable” Can you think of a better analogy for a good marriage? The security and trust that their love provides is the firmest of all foundations from which to move forward into making their dreams a reality. This park, like their relationship, did not happen by accident. It was created. Care and attention went into it’s planning. The things that were brought in were as carefully chosen as the things that were decidedly left out and even the smallest of details are celebrated with wrought iron for strength and durability. Space and closeness, art, form and function have all grown together in a place that originally had no purpose. The Gilded Age of this parks inception was one of wonder, invention, and naturalists. There was a sense of hope for the future, of a spirituality that includes a social responsibility, a goal of deriving pleasure by giving joy to others, and reverence for all life were in the minds of those who planned this place. Nature has always inspired a connection to something larger than ourselves. In marriage we gladly accept that love is the greatest thing in our lives and that through surrendering to it we ourselves are become infinite and limitless.”

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Theme Weddings

Jeanie and Jason – North Carolinians who wed at the Historical Chapel in Woodbury to be with friends and Family. Photo thanks to “As You Wish” Photography

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~ Vineyard Wedding ~

“What beauty Janine and Bob have chosen to share with us on their wedding Their love and the vineyards are themselves beautiful in nature, as pristine as a new beginning. Each vine and the fruit that it bares is unique unto itself, yet it is the human care and nurturing that they receive over time which enables them to thrive and to reach their full potential. The process of wine making likewise tales great care and dedication. As with a good marriage, all the ingredients brought in are as carefully chosen, as the things that are decidedly left out, to create a unique and vibrant spirit with it’s own personality.

That we are here during the season of the harvest is also speaks to the core of our beings. The harvest has always been the time in which the earth’s bounty has been collected and celebrated and shared with loved ones, much in this same way do Janine and Bob allow us to partake in their joy this day. It also serves as a reminder that of all the wondrous blessings poured forth upon the earth, our Bride and Groom have chosen to take unto themselves each other above all else.

Today is one year to the day that Janine made Bob the happiest man in the world by accepting his proposal of marriage and agreeing that they should indeed spend the rest of their lives together. They met through friends and their relationship progressed quickly. Bob knew who he was, what he believed and what was important to him. Janine found his strength of character very attractive.

For Bob it was not only the fact that Janine was a woman who knew what she wanted but her kindness that captured his heart. There is an unmistakable connection and a certain spark they share when their eyes meet. They look at one another as if they just know that they share something very special, so much so that I’m sure had many of you suspecting this day would come even before our Bride and Groom themselves. They have just completed building a house, are looking forward to making it a home, and building a marriage and a lifetime together.

Thomas Merton once said:
‘The beginning of love,
is to let those we love be perfectly themselves,
and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves
we see in them.’

This is what Janine and Bob have found in each other, hope to give to their children some day, and are thankful beyond words to receive from all of you who have loved them and supported them through everything that it has taken them and us all to be here this day.

~ Ring Vows and Sharing of Wine ~

“Within a marriage each person is both their own and each others. Their personal integrity does not diminish by their union. In fact it is enhanced and supported by this new creation that is their marriage. You will see this beautifully exemplified in the sharing and combining of wines that Janine and Bob have incorporated into their ring vows.

Marriage is a joint venture, to be embarked upon wholeheartedly with full expectation that in order for it to be a long and happy marriage, there are certain things that you will have to work on together. It is with this in mind that I ask…

Do you vow to keep open your hearts and minds that neither words nor the lack of them shall ever cause a silence to dwell between you that your love cannot bridge?”

Janine and Bob: “We do.”

“Do you vow to ever remember to take joy in life, and in each other, never forgetting it is the matters of the heart that are real?”

Janine and Bob: “We do.”

“Do you vow to share whatever burdens the mundane world may present, in that overcoming them together your spirits shall grow towards a common hope, dream and reality?”

Janine and Bob: “We do.”

“Do you vow to love and cherish each other keeping sacred above all else, the place your hearts hold for one another?”

Janine and Bob: “We do.”

“Bob will you now place the ring on Janine’s finger and repeat after me?”

“All that I am, All that I do.
All that I shall dream shall be ours together.
I take you as my wife, my friend, my lover
From this day forth.”

Bob places the ring on Janine’s finger

“And will you now toast to your beautiful bride and drink in of the promise that you have made to her?”

Groom picks up his glass, toasts and drinks in of the promise that he had made to her then pours one third of his wine into the center chalice and places his glass back on the table

“Janine will you now place the ring on Bob’s finger and repeat after me?”

“All that I am, All that I do. All that I shall dream shall be ours together. I take you as my wife, my friend, my lover From this day forth.”

Janine places the ring on Bob’s finger

“And will you now toast to your new husband and drink in of the promise that you have made to him?”

Bride picks up her glass, toasts and drinks in of the promise that she has made to him then pours one third of her wine into the center chalice and places her glass back on the table

“If you will now pick up the center glass, the one that was just an empty vessel before the strength of your promises to one another, and drink of one another’s vow, of your shared commitment, and take these in that they, as your marriage, may become a part of the very essence of who and what you are.”

Bride and Groom then together pick up the center chalice, each with both hands on the chalice, they then together drink from it as celebrant continues, then return it to the table

“As the wines in the glass have intermingled their essence so do your spirits join as you drink of each others love. Neither of you shall ever again thirst for total Love, understanding, or companionship, for as food and drink nourish the body so does Love nourish the soul. In this manner so shall each of you be as sustenance to the other.”

“Now that you’ve made your vows and promises of love and faithfulness before these witnesses, and exchanged rings of commitment as a testimony to that love, it is my honor and privilege to declare that you are united as one in love and marriage, for all of the days that you walk the Earth. You may now seal your bond with your first kiss and embrace as husband and wife!”

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Theme Weddings

Emily & Kevin – With just a touch of red to honor their Chinese ancestry they were married in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

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~ Fire Island Lighthouse ~

“Today is a celebration of love and of life! A celebration not to create a bond or a union, but rather to rejoice in all that Makaria and Thomas already share. The location of today’s ceremony is not only beautiful but also ripe with meaning.

The author David Mitchell once wrote: ‘After all, what is the ocean but a collection of drops?’

So I ask you now what is a good marriage but a collection of moments, both great and seemingly insignificant, that take a lifetime to collect. Moments that are created in love, celebrated, and shared in the privacy of two hearts, become something so vast and all encompassing that like molecules of water, they integrate with every aspect of life. They fill the body and soul with memories, bringing a richness and fullness to life. Every act of kindness, every loving glance, every touch every kiss holds in it a drop of life. When those drops are held in love and marriage the rewards are so far reaching that there is nothing beyond that grasp of a husband and wife joined by this all powerful force.

The fact that we are at a lighthouse is also symbolic in that the light of love and the strength of the promises made this day shall be as a beacon through the dark times when it is sometimes hard to find our way through the cold and night to the safety and shelter that is the harbor of a good marriage.

addressing Bride and Groom

Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other. Seemingly your relationship will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken word. May that power bring you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy and happiness that this world has to offer.”

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Theme Weddings

Sandra and Michael – They chose a mix of Beach and Renaissance at the Sunken Meadow Pavilion.

~ Sandra and Michael ~

“Good afternoon and welcome! As we will be beginning shortly I would ask that those of you with telecommunications devices, Cell phones, beepers and such, if you will please turn them off or switch them to vibrate at this time.

What you are about to witness today is a celebration of love and of life. The words and traditions you will hear and see reflected in this ceremony are based on our Bride and Groom’s connection to each other, and to the divine nature that is alive in all things, from the world around them to their relationship itself. It speaks of the importance of Friends and of Family, and the honor rightly given to these things, as well as the highest of honors that they pay unto each other this day as they lay the groundwork for that which shall be their life together.

Michael if you now join me with your Best Man Eric and your Groomsmen James, Keith, Robert, and Donald, your beautiful Bride awaits!”

Processional begins
The entrances are made
With all in place we begin!

~ Declaration of Intent ~

“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. A couple who wed are joined not only by the mutual affection and love they share, but also by their hopes, dreams and by their resolve, come what may, to remain together through time. The promises and vows that they make together shall aid them in this pursuit, and guide them into their common future. Therefore a wedding is more than a celebration of the Love which lives in our Bride and Groom’s hearts today. It reaches into the future and proclaims their intentions for that which tomorrow shall hold, fixing like a star on the horizon their worthy goal. I will ask you now if you are prepared to make these promises.

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.

Sandra, is it true that you come here today of your own free will and accord?“

Sandra: “Yes, it is true.”

“With whom do you come,
and whose blessings accompany you?”

Leopoldo: “She comes with us, her mother and Father,
and is accompanied by all her family and friends blessings.”

“Sandra, Will you love Michael, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your journey?”

Sandra: “I will.”

“Michael, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Sandra to be your wife, that
you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”

Michael: “I have.”

“Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your journey?”

Michael: “I will.”

“Living by these promises that you make today, may your future be blessed even beyond that which all of those who are gathered here, who love you both so dearly, would dare to wish for you.”

~ Traditional Celtic Blessing ~
by Ed Fitch

“Please join hands with your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say.

Above you are the stars,
below you are the stones,
as time doth pass, remember…
Like a stone should your love be firm
like a star should your love be constant.
Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect
guide you in your marriage,
let the strength of your wills bind you together,
let the power of love and desire make you happy,
and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable.
Be close, but not too close.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with one another,
for storms will come, but they will pass quickly.
Be free in giving affection and warmth.
Have no fear and let not the ways nor the words
of the unenlightened give you unease,
For your Love shall be with you now and always.”

~ Elemental Blessing ~

“Since ancient times, people have communed with nature to learn more about themselves by example. Since it is within nature that we all do abide, we ask for Sandra and Michael the blessings of Nature’s Elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. We do this that they may fully come to understand the lessons each element has to offer. The attributes of which are examples of those aspects they mirror not only within divinity but within ourselves as well.”

“We ask the spirits of Air to keep open the lines of communication between this couple. May their future be as bright as the dawn on the horizon. As Air flows freely to and from and through us all, may their hearts and minds and souls come to know the world and each other in this manner. Seeing not only with their eyes, may they together grow wise with wisdom.”

“Spirits of Fire, we ask that Sandra and Michael’s passion for each other and for life itself remain ever strong and vital, fortifying each day with a vibrancy rooted in boldness, and courage. As Fire clears the way for new growth, may they know that this power is theirs: to create change and bring about the richness and quality that comes with a true love of life.”

“We ask the Spirits of Water, that their love for each other and the comfort of loved ones, like the serenity of the deep blue ocean, be the oasis that forever surrounds our Bride and Groom. May they be well loved, and love well, letting the surety with which Water makes its journey to the sea, flowing over rocks or around trees, even turning into vapor and riding a cloud, ever serve as a reminder that with love all is well and will endure.”

“Spirits of Earth, we ask that you give unto those you see standing before you this day, the rock solid place to stand and fulfill his destiny. May their journey mirror the vast planes and fertile fields, expansive and alive. May they find the right seeds to sow to ensure a bountiful harvest. And when they look up at the Northern Star, may they know that it is as bright and constant as their love for each other as well as the love of the divine is for them.

May Eternal Love forever continue to shine upon
And from Sandra and Michael,
Blessing them with prosperity and abundance,
Health and happiness, joy and peace
In both the physical and spiritual world
All the days of their journey.”

~ Binah number IV ~
by Ly de Angeles

Christopher steps forward to deliver the reading

“Love is in detachment from the strings
that end up tying tighter than love was ever meant to be.
Love without fear of what may come tomorrow-
for that is what love is.
It belongs to no one but yourself
and cannot be taken or given as a token of or a gift.
Your worries and fears have nothing to do with love-
they are either extensions of the world around you
or your own shortcomings.
Compare them not to love
or you will lose your choice in the matter of love…
…And if love be not free and exhilarating
then it is not love but demand and desire
for that which you are not.
Love allows,
It is a perspective of self-self in reflection and glory,
mirrored in a feeling that is beautiful to feel.
Anything else is not love but obligation…
and that is something else to be dealt with.”

~ The Sand Ceremony ~

“Will you now step up to the altar and hold close to your heart the bag of sand representing the essence of all that you are and all that you possess. As you do so, embody the grains with all your hopes and dreams for the future. Bring to mind all that you are, all that you aspire to be and all the particles that make you unique and wonderful in the eyes of your beloved.”

Bride and Groom each take their own bag from the altar

“Within a marriage each person is both their own and each others. Their personal integrity does not diminish by their union, in fact it is enhanced. Their hopes and dreams remain their own, as individual as each grain of sand. Yet they have a new life ahead with endless possibilities and new dreams that are theirs together.”

Addressing the Bride and Groom

“Will you now join the contents of that which you hold in the palm of your hand, join your essences, and create this physical representation of the sacred place in which souls touch.”

Bride and Groom intermingle their sand

~ Presentation of The Rings ~

“May I have the rings please?

A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace. In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle, in which, wherever you go, you will always return to one another and to your togetherness. The circle, is one of nature’s simplest forms. The arc of the rainbow, the halo of the moon and the smallest of raindrops simulate the circle. Even when a stone is cast upon a pond, it generates waves in ever expanding circles. Consider this marriage as being two stones meeting the water simultaneously. The ensuing waves interlock, and the growth of the enlarging circles show the combined energies of the lives of Sandra and Michael. The joining of these two lives will be symbolized in the exchange of rings.”

~ Ring Exchange ~

“Michael, I have not the right to bind you to Sandra, only you have this right.
If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.”

Michael: “It is my wish.”

Michael places the ring on Sandra’s finger

“Sandra, I have not the right to bind you to Michael, only you have this right.
If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in his hand.”

Sandra: “It is my wish.”

Sandra places the ring on Michael’s finger

~ Ring Vows ~

“Michael as it is your wish for Sandra to be bound to you, repeating after me,
will you now give voice to that which is in your heart:

I Michael,
In the name of the spirit of Love that resides within us all,
By the life that courses within my blood,
And the love that resides within my heart,
Promise that I shall not seek to change thee in any way.
I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways
As I respect myself.
I take thee Sandra to my hand,
My heart and my spirit, to be my chosen one.
To desire thee, and be desired by thee,
Without sin or shame,
For naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee.
I promise to love thee wholly and completely
Without restraint, in sickness and in health,
In plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond,
Where we shall meet, remember, and love again.”

“Sandra as it is your wish for Michael to be bound to you, repeating after me,
will you now give voice to that which is in your heart:

I Sandra,
In the name of the spirit of Love that resides within us all,
By the life that courses within my blood,
And the love that resides within my heart,
Promise that I shall not seek to change thee in any way.
I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways,
As I respect myself.
I take thee Michael to my hand,
My heart and my spirit, to be my chosen one,
To desire thee, and be desired by thee,
Without sin or shame,
For naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee.
I promise to love thee wholly and completely
Without restraint, in sickness and in health,
In plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond,
Where we shall meet, remember, and love again.”

~ Cakes and Ale ~

Celebrant hands chalice of mead to the Bride and Groom saying

“May you drink your fill from the cup of love.”

Groom offers chalice to bride while she sips
then bride takes chalice and holds it for groom while he sips.
The chalice is then handed back and put on the altar.
The plate of bread is then offered to the couple.

“As food nourished the body so does love nourish the soul.
In this way shall each of you be as sustenance to the other.“

The Groom feeds the Bride, the Bride feeds the Groom
and the plate is placed on the altar.

~ Handfasting ~

“As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound. Woven into this cord, imbued into its very fibers, are all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together. With the fashioning of this knot do I tie all the desires, dreams, love, and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for as long as you both shall live.”

Bride and Groom’s hands are bound

“By the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce that you are now as your hearts have always known you to be, Husband and Wife. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you.”

“You may kiss your beautiful Bride!”

~ The Broom & Sword ~

“Both in every day and magikal terms brooms are used for sweeping away the remnants of the past which no longer serve us, while 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 life shall help them to achieve the quality of life they aspire to.”

Maid of Honor lays down Broom
Best man crosses it with his sword

“Now putting the past behind you,
and remembering always that the power
to create your tomorrow is your own,
jump together into your common future!”

Couple jump, kiss again, and exit to greet their guests

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Theme Weddings

Lilli & Kevin – Married at the Merchant’s House Museum in a ceremony with an 1880’s flair to it… Yet as timeless as love itself.

~ Lilli and Kevin’s Victorian Wedding ~

~ Opening Words ~

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Lilli and Kevin. They have come here today because they share a commitment to nurturing the love between them, and to maintaining it as an integral part of their lives. For Lilli and Kevin, the Merchant’s House Museum was the perfect place for them to have their ceremony. Kevin and his family have a strong connection and a rich history with New York City, going all the way back to when it was called New Amsterdam. One of the first recorded marriages in Queens was in the mid 1600’s and that couple were the ancestors of Kevin. This house wasn’t always a museum, it was a home where real people lived and loved and raised their family. As the world changed around the generations of those who lived here the ideals of love, and home and family remained the same as did the promise of marriage. For marriage is a gift and a blessing that takes a conscious act of will to maintain. This is done over and over as a couple reach for one another in spirit so often that it becomes natural for them to do so before taking action or making decisions. This interweaving of spirit has the aspect of strength that two joined together brings, as well as the vulnerability that comes with trusting one another with all the intimacies of self that make you each unique and wonderful in one another’s eyes. Marriage is a promise that says “You will always come first in my life.” This is an ideal that Lilli and Kevin already live by. Yet there is something about making their promises of love and faithfulness publicly that truly makes their marriage real, and brings them more joy than words can express.”

~ Declaration of Intent ~

“Today we speak in terms of ideals. However this ceremony also needs to have a practical side that speaks of how as the years pass Lilli and Kevin shall remain close to one another in spirit. It is with this in mind that I will begin by asking you to make your promises together….

Do you pledge to one another your openness and honesty, That your love for one another shall be in the foreground of your thoughts always, guiding your actions, and that you will leave no parts of self unknowable to one another?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Do you pledge to continue to love one another wholly and fearlessly, that you will share in each other’s laughter, and work together to spark creativity and inspire passion in all aspects of your life together?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Do you pledge that you will always be there to comfort, soothe, and heal one another, that you will stand together when the future is unclear, proving that times may change but your love is constant?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Do you pledge that your home will always be a place of warmth and welcome, a safe haven and sanctuary to body, mind, and spirit, that shall sustain and nourish your roots as you grow into all that is and shall continue to be your life together?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Living by these promises that you make today, may your lives together be blessed with love and laughter, wisdom and wonder”

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

“Lilli and Kevin would like to thank you all for taking the time, and making the journey, and for all the preparations that were made on their behalf to ensure that they were surrounded by the love of family and friends as they made their marriage vows. It is also their wish that we remember Kevin’s parents Clifford and Marie Geiger, and all those who although they could not be here physically, we know are here in spirit, wishing Lilli and Kevin a lifetime of happiness.

Tonight’s gathering was planned to be a particularly intimate one, with each one of you invited because of the special place that you hold in Lilli and Kevin’s hearts and lives. For Lilli and Kevin this ceremony isn’t about all the pomp and circumstance that a wedding traditionally inspires. It is about being married and marriage in the larger sense has always spoken about family and community. It is with you that they have shared the most important moments and relationships of their lives. Born or chosen you are those they call family, and those whom they love most in the world. That you have chosen to come here and make sure that you were the ones, who would be able to hold the memory of this most special of all days in your hearts for them… this means the world to Lilli and Kevin. They thank you for your presence here today, and through all the days that it has taken to make this one a reality.”

~ Lilli and Kevin ~

“As many of you know Lilli and Kevin have been together for seven years. Actually it was Nikki, Cody and Woofie that brought them together. There really is something about the way that a person cares for their animals that reveals the quality of their character. Lilli had caught glimpses of Kevin on the street before they met, and had felt an instant attraction to him. As they got to know one another her fondness grew into love. For Kevin, he saw Lilli’s huge heart with it’s generosity of spirit and ability to love being so great that it was almost as though he could see it with his very eyes. He knew she would be kind and caring as he knew that she was someone that he wanted in his life. Although neither of them were expecting to fall in love, there was a connection so strong that it was as though they had been made for one another. It is said that “like attracts like” and there is no doubt that Lilli and Kevin were both ready to give and receive the unselfish and unconditional love they were offering to one another.

They have come a long way since those early days and one of the things they appreciate most in their relationship is the way they have of complementing and balancing one another. Where Lilli is possessed of a passionate and fiery spirit, Kevin’s Nordic ancestry gives him a sense of calm and cool, which when they are together makes for the perfect temperature for good judgment. They know when to be serious and when to have fun and have found that together they are both better than either was alone.

For Lilli and Kevin marriage is the next step in the natural progression of their relationship. It shows their desire to care for one another in all ways and their commitment to continuing to evolve together spiritually and emotionally through the seasons of life. Marriage is a promise that joyously and publicly affirms what Lilli and Kevin have known in their hearts for some time… that they are of one spirit and today they accept personal responsibility for making all the right decisions to ensure that it will stay that way.”

~ An Excerpt From:“Elonora” ~
by Edgar Allen Poe

“Being fans of Edgar Allen Poe, Lilli and Kevin have chosen to share with us a reading from “Eleonora“, first published in 1842. They liked that the time period was consistent with our surroundings, that it is “somewhat autobiographical” and has a “relatively” happy ending for Poe!”

“Hand in hand about this valley, for fifteen years, roamed I with Eleonora before Love entered within our hearts. It was one evening at the close of the third lustrum of her life, and of the fourth of my own, that we sat, locked in each other’s embrace, beneath the serpent-like trees, and looked down within the water of the River of Silence at our images therein. We spoke no words during the rest of that sweet day, and our words even upon the morrow were tremulous and few. We had drawn the God Eros from that wave, and now we felt that he had enkindled within us the fiery souls of our forefathers. The passions which had for centuries distinguished our race, came thronging with the fancies for which they had been equally noted, and together breathed a delirious bliss over the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass. A change fell upon all things. Strange, brilliant flowers, star-shaped, burn out upon the trees where no flowers had been known before. The tints of the green carpet deepened; and when, one by one, the white daisies shrank away, there sprang up in place of them, ten by ten of the ruby-red asphodel. And life arose in our paths; for the tall flamingo, hitherto unseen, with all gay glowing birds, flaunted his scarlet plumage before us. The golden and silver fish haunted the river, out of the bosom of which issued, little by little, a murmur that swelled, at length, into a lulling melody more divine than that of the harp of Aeolus-sweeter than all save the voice of Eleonora. And now, too, a voluminous cloud, which we had long watched in the regions of Hesper, floated out thence, all gorgeous in crimson and gold, and settling in peace above us, sank, day by day, lower and lower, until its edges rested upon the tops of the mountains, turning all their dimness into magnificence, and shutting us up, as if forever, within a magic prison-house of grandeur and of glory.”

~ Presentation of the Rings ~

“May I have the rings please?

Officiant is given the rings

These beautiful bands are unbroken circles, symbols of eternity, with neither end, nor beginning. They are to remind you not only of the endless love you profess for one another this day, but of the precious gift of trust, honesty and commitment that you place in one another for all of your tomorrows. Lilli and Kevin, from this day forward you will wear these rings as a sign that no matter where you go and what ever you do, there is someone in this world who loves you more than anything else, who whether near or far is always by your side. May these rings forever shine as a symbol of enduring strength and beauty in a sometimes fragile world.”

~ Ring Vows ~

“Kevin do you give yourself to Lilli in marriage
To love as your wife and best friend
from this day forward.
Do you promise to encourage and inspire her,
and to comfort her in times of sorrow and struggle.
Do you promise to love her in good times and in bad,
when life seems easy and when it seems hard,
when your love is simple, and when it is an effort.
Do you promise to cherish her,
and to always hold her in highest regard
Today and for all the days of your life?”

Kevin: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Kevin places the ring half way on to Lilli’s finger

“This ring I give you
In token of my love and devotion,
And with my heart,
I pledge to you all that I am.
With this ring, I marry you
and join my life to yours.”

Kevin places the ring the rest of the way on to Lilli’s finger

“Lilli, do you give yourself to Kevin in marriage
To love as your husband and best friend
from this day forward.
Do you promise to encourage and inspire him,
and to comfort him in times of sorrow and struggle.
Do you promise to love him in good times and in bad,
when life seems easy and when it seems hard,
when your love is simple, and when it is an effort.
Do you promise to cherish him,
and to always hold him in highest regard
Today and for all the days of your life?”

Lilli: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Lilli places the ring half way onto Kevin’s finger

“This ring I give you
In token of my love and devotion,
And with my heart,
I pledge to you all that I am.
With this ring, I marry you
and join my life to yours.”

Lilli places the ring the rest of the way onto Kevin’s finger

~ Handfasting and Pronouncement ~

“And now that you’ve made your vows and promises oflove and faithfulness before these witnesses, and exchanged rings of commitment as a testimony to that love, it is my honor and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife. You may now seal your promises with a kiss.”

Bride and Groom kiss and exit to greet their guests

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~ Lori and Bob’s Handfasting ~

“Good afternoon and welcome! As we will be beginning shortly I would ask that those of you with telecommunications devices, Cell phones, beepers and such, if you will please turn them off or switch them to vibrate at this time.

What you are about to witness today is a celebration of love and of life. The words and traditions you will hear and see reflected in this ceremony are based on our Bride and Groom’s connection to each other, to all of you, and to the divine nature that is alive in all things, from the world around them to their relationship itself. As this may be the first time that some of you are attending a handfasting Lori and Bob some of the elements you will see are familiar in all but their context.

The circle in which you all stand is a sacred space for a sacred event to take place. Much of the symbolism of the chuppa and the wedding band hold true in the circle, the sacred womb from which the two are born again as one and the symbol of eternity.

Although for many the sacred and the mundane meet and coexist as often as is humanly possible, marriage is very much a sacred union, for it is a union of souls in which the bride and groom pledge unto one another their higher selves and all that is divine within them selves. In the Earth based traditions it is considered the marriage of the God and Goddess within.

You will also hear an elemental blessing. All the worlds religions still parallel the agricultural calendar, because the natural world speaks its lessons softly and constantly. In the blessing we simply ask to understand and be able to see the how the attributes of each element can help us on our journey

Almost all cultures and faiths have a sacred meal of communion with the divine. During a wedding it has the added meaning of feeding on and drinking in of the promises that a couple has made.

Those of you who have been to a Greek Orthodox ceremony will undoubtedly recognize the symbolic binding of the hands at the end of the service that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony¨ and to “Tie the knot¨ This custom has also been known the world over through many different periods in history. Often in the middle ages the hands of the bride and groom were bound because rings were only for the very rich while love knows no bounds.

Those of you who are fans of the Renaissance period will be happy to see the jumping of broom at the closing of the ceremony which symbolically sweeps clean the past reminding our Bride and Groom that the power to create the future ahead and the quality of life that they both so richly deserve is their own.

Lori and Bob, if you will now join me we will begin!¨

~ Declaration of Intent ~

“A wedding is more than a celebration of the Love which lives in our Bride and Groom’s hearts today. It reaches into the future to proclaim the couple’s intentions for that which their tomorrow shall hold. A couple who wed are joined by their firm resolve that come what may, they remain together through time. Yet very little is said as to how they shall accomplish their goal of living a long and happy life together, and of how as the years pass they shall remain close to one another. It is with this in mind that I now ask…

By the Air that is your breath, Do you pledge to one another your openness and honesty, That the union of your souls shall be in the foreground of your thoughts always, guiding your actions, and that you shall leave no parts of self unknowable to one another?¨

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“By the Fire that is your Spirit, Do you pledge your love to one another wholly and fearlessly, without restraint, and do you vow that you will continue to work together to spark creativity and inspire passion in all aspects of your life together?”

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“By the Water that is your blood, Do you pledge that you will always be there to comfort, soothe, and heal one another, And that you will stand together when the future is unclear, proving that tides may change but your love is constant?”

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“By the Earth that is your body, Do you pledge to one another a stable home that will always be a safe haven and sanctuary to body, mind, and spirit a place that shall sustain and nourish your roots as you branch forth and grow into all that is and shall be your life together?¡¨

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“May the promises you make this day lead to the fulfillment of your dreams.”

~ Lori and Bob ~

As you all know Lori and Bob have been together for eight years. They already share all aspects of life with one another. This makes today¡s celebration one that marks not a new beginning, but a continuing journey. As the Yin and the Yang share the circle of life each with a drop of the other residing deep within, so have Lori and Bob become. Their differences are a source of strength because they are guided by the purest of motivation. They wish only for the happiness and well being of the one whom they each love most in the world. They honor one another as man and woman, partner, lover friend and acknowledge that the life force or spirit within each of them as unique, beautiful and divine in nature. Ritual is designed to cause a change in our lives, yet this only happens when we are emotionally and spiritually connected to the ritual itself. There is a power in the spoken word that harnesses the energy of thoughts and feelings, bringing them into manifestation. And there is nothing more powerful that to be able to look into the eyes of your beloved and say to them; no matter what the years may bring I will be by
your side.” and to really mean it with every fiber of your being. Lori and Bob have come to the point in their relationship where they are ready to speak and live by these ideals for countless tomorrows. And this dear friends is what we are truly here to celebrate.”

Invocation

“Lord and Lady, descend and shine upon us,
She who is all knowing, all loving, all accepting,
Mother of all living things.
He who is mighty as the ancient Oak and bold as the Sun,
Without whom there would be no life.
Come join with us now,
And continue to bestow your blessings upon this couple,
That they may become one in truth,
And forever revel in the magick that is Love.”

Drawing Down the God and Goddess

“In the drawing down of the God and Goddess into this man and woman, we bring the Divine Spirit which dwell without us together with the Divine Spirit that abides within us. To become the embodiment of the God and Goddess also serves as a reminder that as above, so below.

Bride bows her head

Lady Lori, I ask you to call upon
all that is divine within you,
Let it come forth and shine.
In you dwells the essence of the Great Mother
and the divine feminine principle of the Universe
You are She who has been worshiped and adored
for centuries and throughout the ages
You are wife, mother, lover, friend,
prophet, and confidant
In you is everything that any one
could ever aspire to be and more.
In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace.
Shine dear one and show your true nature as Goddess.

Groom bows his head

Lord Robert, I ask you to call upon
all that is divine within you,
Let it come forth and shine.
In you lives the essence of the Gods
The active force that has sparked and powered all life
You are He who has been worshiped and adored
for centuries and throughout the ages
You are husband, healer, protector,
visionary, friend, and confidant
In you is everything that any one
could ever aspire to be and more.
In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace.
Shine mighty one and show to all the God within.”

The Challenges

“To reflect the unique spirit that is Lori and Bob’s marriage this ceremony needed to reflect an honesty about what their future shall hold. There is a phrase bantered around allot unconditional “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust”. To speak of this within the context of a marriage, within the context of a loving, caring committed relationship, the idea of “perfect” means expecting and accepting imperfection, and human frailty. What “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” really says is: “I expect and I accept that on occasion you will anger me as I will anger you, and that you will hurt me as I will hurt you, but I know in my heart that between us there is love and affection and friendship that is stronger. And I trust that no pain is ever caused out of ill will, or malice, or pettiness just as I trust that we are together for a reason and that we shall never through each other away. I trust that at our best we will live together in love and joy and harmony, and at our worst we will fight with and for each other for the greater good, and that we will do this without fear of abandonment.” This is the sentiment reflected in the challenges you will now hear.”

“Lori and Robert, I bid you now to look into each other’s eyes.”

“Robert, Will you cause her pain?”
Bob: “I May.”

“Is that you intent?”
Bob: “No.”

“Lori, Will you cause him pain?”
Lori: “I may.”

“Is that you intent?”
Lori: “No.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Lori, Will you share his laughter?”
Lori: “Yes.”

“Robert, Will you share her laughter?”
Bob: “Yes.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive
in each other?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Lori, Will you burden him?”

Lori: “I may.”

“Is that you intent?”
Lori: “No.”

“Robert, Will you burden her?”
Bob: “I may.”

“Is that your intent?”
Bob: “No.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits
may grow in this union?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Lori, will you share his dreams?”
Lori: “Yes.”

“Robert, will you share her dreams?”
Bob: “Yes.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Robert, will you cause her anger?”
Bob: “I may.”

“Is that you intent?”
Bob: “No.”

“Lori, will you cause him anger?”
Lori: “I may.”

“Is that your intent?”
Lori: “No.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?”

Lori and Bob: “We will.”

“Lori, Will you honor him?”
Lori: “I will.”

“Robert, Will you honor her?”
Bob: “I will.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?”

Lori and Bob: “We shall never do so.”

“And so you are bound by these vows. Have you chosen an outward symbol to represent your inner connection?”

Lori and Bob: “We shall wear rings.”

The Rings

“May I have the rings please?”

officiant is given the rings

“Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple. Round like the sun, like the eye, like arms that embrace. Circles, for love that is given comes back round again and again. Therefore, may these symbols remind you that your love, like the sun, illumines; that your love, like the eye, must see clearly; and that your love, like arms that embrace, is a grace upon this word.”

Sword and Chalice and Ring Exchange

“My Lord Robert, if it is truly thy desire to become one with this with this woman: Then present unto her a symbol of thy pledge, and a token of thy love.”

Groom drops to one knee, and presents his Sword with the Ring resting upon it

“Lady Lori, you are the most gracious and lovely one that Bob has ever seen, for he understands the essence of thy true self. The beauty which radiates around thee can only be rivaled by the beauty which radiates from within thee. The pledge of his sword is as the pledge of his soul. It is his prowess, his fire, his passion, his strength and courage, His ability to protect, defend and care for thee. With the strength of his blade and the endurance of its steel to represent what is in his heart, take from him now as his beloved, the band that rests there on, and choose him to be your own.”

Bride takes the wedding band from the sword

Lori: “I accept the pledge and the eternal promise of thy wedding band and thy blade.”

Bride takes sword from Groom and places the blade from left shoulder to right shoulder to the top of his head. The motion, as in bestowing knighthood upon him while saying:

Lori: “For the boy thou were,
For the man thee art,
And for the Husband thou shall be to me,
I do choose you to be mine own”

Bride returns the sword, Groom rises to sheathe it, bride returns the wedding ring which the Groom places on her finger

Robert: “With this ring I thee wed.”

“Lady Lori, if it is truly your desire to become one with this man:
Then present unto him a symbol
of thy pledge and a token of thy love.”

Bride bows before Groom and presents Chalice with the ring inside

“Lord Robert, in the eyes of this woman thou art the only man in the world. Yours is the voice of sound reason and unwavering support. You the spark to the bonfire of her passions and yours are the arms in which she would have lay down to rest. The pledge of her chalice is the pledge of all that is within her, Her felicity and devotion. The place in her heart where two souls can be sheltered and nourished, that they may grow together, ever closer, and flourish as the leaves on the trees and the fruits of the vine. As the depth and bounty of her chalice foretell the richness of your future together, drink to her now and do choose her as thy own.”

Groom takes Chalice removes the ring and pours the wine into it

Bob: “I accept the pledge of your chalice
For the girl thou were,
For the woman thou art
And for the wife that thee shall be to me,
I toast and drink to thee!
And do choose you to be mine own!”

Groom makes toasting gesture, drinks and returns chalice and the wedding band to the Bride. Bride then places the ring upon the Groom’s finger

Lori: “With this ring I thee wed.”

Cakes and Ale

“As the Lord and Lady are separate yet one, so have your pledges made you. Drink now of one another’s love and know that you will never again thirst in your heart or in mind, for what each of you lacks the other has to give and the well spring of love flows eternally for those who drink often of it’s waters.

Groom takes the Chalice from the altar and gives the bride a sip

Robert: “May you never thirst”

Bride gives the Groom a sip from the chalice

Lori: “May you never thirst.”

Bride and Groom are given the loaf of Bread Groom feeds his Bride

“As food nourishes the body so does love nourish the soul remember to partake often of your love that it may sustain and strengthen all aspects of your life together.”

Robert: “May you never hunger.”

Bride feeds the Groom

Lori: “May you never hunger.”

Handfasting

“Is it also your wish today that your hands be fasted in the ways of
old?”

Lori and Bob: “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.”

Traditional Pagan Blessing written by Ed Fitch is read

“Above you are the stars, below you are the stones.
As time passes, remember…
Like a star should your love be constant,
Like the earth should your love be firm.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with each other,
For storms will come, and they will go quickly,
Forced to dissipate in the light of your love.
Be free in giving of affection and of warmth.
Have no fear, and let not the ways
Or words of the unenlightened give you unease.
For the Old Gods are with you,
Now and always!”

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!”

The Broom and Sword

“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. Sarah and John 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!”

Couple jump, kiss again, and exit to greet their guests

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Theme Weddings

Amy & Jim – Married in Flushing Queens. They had both Western and Chinese influences through out the day making it wonderfully diverse and rich in flavor and culture.

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~ Beach Wedding ~

Opening Words

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Monica and Gary. The ideals of love and commitment are as old and as universal as time and life itself. For if life has meaning to us at all, it possesses it because of love. Monica Gary wanted very much for their ceremony to be held outside, as nature has always inspired a connection to something larger than ourselves. In marriage we gladly accept that love is the greatest thing in our lives and that through surrendering to it, we ourselves become infinite and limitless. Yet there is the practical side of just how two people grow together within a relationship, and it is with this in mind that Monica and Gary chosen to share with you these words written by Anne Morrow Lindberg in her book “Gift From The Sea”.

‘When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly
what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.’

Monica and Gary, may the promises you make this day lead to the fulfillment of your dreams and a lifetime blessed with love and laughter, with wisdom and wonder”

Welcoming of the Guests

“Our Bride and Groom would like to thank you all for taking the time and coming out on a Wednesday night to be with them. When Monica and Gary closed their eyes and thought of who means the most to them in the world and who should be here, there were no extras and no almosts, it was you they saw. They had actually considered eloping but the idea of doing this without all of you made the idea shine less brightly than it does tonight. Some family we are born into and others earn that title through their actions. You have all been there for them from the beginning, sharing your love and support, your laughter and tears. Monica and Gary see each and everyone of you a unique and irreplaceable gift that has made their life rich beyond measure of the material world.”

Sand Ceremony

“Monica and Gary, will you now step up to the altar and hold close to your heart the container of sand representing the essence of all that you are and all that you bring to this union. As you do so, embody the grains with all your hopes and dreams for the future. Bring to mind the strength of your promises, the honesty and integrity with which you make them, and all the particles of personality that make you unique and wonderful in one another’s eyes.

Bride and Groom come to behind the altar
and each take their own container of sand in hand

Within a marriage each person is both their own and each others. Two individuals choosing to create a new life with endless possibilities and new dreams that are theirs together. Will you now pour the sand that is to represent the foundation of your love which is to support and nurture, your marriage and your family

Bride and Groom begin to pour their sand

And will you continue to pour bringing to mind the strength of your promises, the truth, honesty and integrity with which you make them’

Bride and Groom continue to pour their sand

Think of your hopes and dreams for the future

Bride and Groom pour the rest of their sand into the container

And please seal the vessel as a reminder that there is nothing more important nor more sacred than the bond that you share as husband wife.”

Presentation of the Rings

“May I have the rings please?”

Officiant is given the rings

“It is believed that all life came from the ocean, and that the placing of these rings will be a new life for each of you. The circle is a perfect figure without end and without beginning, water also shares many of the same qualities as the circle. It rises with heat, falls to nourish the earth and flows through our bodies. It can be as light as mist, solid as in winter, or as vast as the sea. Yet no matter what form it may take, or how far or near it is to it’s source, the nature of water always holds the promise of reunion. For water is water, and all waters are one. Let your rings remind you that like water, whether near of far, you are loved. In struggle and agreement, you are of the same flesh and that your togetherness is your destiny”.

Ring Vows

“Monica and Gary have chosen to write their own vows. Gary, will you now tell Monica what is in your heart?”

Gary speaks his heart

“Will you now place the ring on your beautiful Bride’s finger
and repeat after me please?….

“All that I am, All that I do.
All that I shall dream shall be ours together.
I take you as my wife, my friend, my lover
From this day forth and into the fullness of time
Where we shall meet and remember
And Love again.”

Monica, will you now tell Gary what is in your heart?”

Monica speaks her heart

“Will you now place the ring on Gary’s finger
and repeat after me please?….

“All that I am, All that I do.
All that I shall dream shall be ours together.
I take you as my husband, my friend, my lover
From this day forth and into the fullness of time
Where we shall meet and remember
And Love again.”

Closing Words and Pronouncement

“Monica and Gary have chosen to conclude their ceremony with “The Canticle of the Sun” written by St. Francis of Assisi

“Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits
with colored flowers and herbs.

May you always see your selves as a vital part of one another and all life.
May you nurture in one another understanding and a sense of wonder.
May each day you share bring your spirits closer to oneness.
And may your days be filled with happiness.

You are now as your hearts have always known you to be. Husband and Wife!
You may kiss your beautiful Bride!”

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Theme Weddings

Annmarie and Albert – Full blown and beautiful was their Renaissance Wedding at the Riviera in Massapequa. They chose a Handfasting with personal vows that left not a dry eye in the house.

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Christina and Ray wanted to be married by Santa just before Christmas 2011. At 6 foot 3 inches tall and 300 pounds, one of my officiants Thomas Dikeman, fit the bill to a tee! We wrote the ceremony together with Chris and Ray. Getting the right balance of theme and meaningful came naturally as can be seen in the exchange of rings and pronouncement.

~ The Santa Ceremony ~

~ Opening Words ~

“Ho, ho, ho and an early Merry Christmas everyone! We are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Christina and Ray. Christmas is the time of year that our hearts and thoughts turn to family. Christina and Ray wanted their wedding day to be an intimate and relaxed event, full of holiday spirit, as though you were all in their living room with them…. but as Christina said “they needed a bigger living room” so here we all are! Christina and Ray consider themselves to be truly blessed to have both come from such large and wonderful families. They are especially grateful for not just their own children, but for all the children gathered here… For children are the hope of all our tomorrows, and a strong marriage is the foundation from which their greatest influence will come. One of the greatest gifts that Christina and Ray received from their parents was their unconditional love and support, and this is what they hope to give to the next generation.

For Christina and Ray the promises they make this day are a lifelong commitment to one another, to family, and to community. To stand before all those we love most in the world, and promise to love another person openly and trustingly, without limits or preconditions, and to do this for a lifetime… This is perhaps the bravest thing two people will ever do. It is a promise that they have made over and over again to one another in the privacy of their hearts. And Santa knows this to be true for he hears these things. It is also a promise to each and everyone of you here, a promise that the person you love will be well cared for.

And so today, Christina and Ray bestow upon one another all the honor and respect that mirrors the place they hold in one another’s hearts and lives… All the honor and respect that comes with the title of husband and wife, titles that say to the world. “This is the one person that I choose, to be my own, to hold above all others, today and for all the days of my life.”

~ Reading: “A Few Days Before Christmas” ~

“T’was just before Christmas, and all through this place
The halls were bedecked with crystal and lace;
The family had gathered from near and from far,
We’re so happy to see that here they all are;
Though Santa is busy this time of the year,
Just like all of you, I’m happy to be here
For the giving of gifts, is special indeed,
Yet it’s the gift of True Love, that’s the one we all need
The couple arrived in a spiffy new carriage
With their thoughts on nothing but love, and marriage.
They are here to make promises lasting forever,
Building a new life! What a worthy endeavor!
They have each chosen their partners for life,
He is her husband, she is his wife,
Tonight there will be dinner, dancing and cake,
But first let us hear the promises they’ll make.”

~ Personal Vows ~

“Ray will you now tell Christina what is in your heart?”

Ray speaks his heart

“Christina will you now tell Ray what is in your heart?”

Christina speaks her heart

~ Presentation of the Rings ~

“Ho, Ho, Ho, May I have the rings please?

Santa is given the rings

In the days of old, when bells tolled, they would ‘ring out’ joyous news. The same way those bells let everyone know that something important has happened, so will this ring upon your finger tell the world that each of you belong to someone very special, who loves you more than anything else, who whether near or far is always by your side. May these rings forever shine as a symbol of enduring strength and beauty in a sometimes fragile world.”

~ Ring Vows ~

“Ray do you take Christina to be your lawfully wedded wife?
To have and to hold, From this day forward,
For better or for worse, For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish,
Until death do you part?”

Ray: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

“I Ray, take you Christina, to be my wife.
I promise to always remember,
that you are a gift, and a blessing in my life,
and I will cherish our love forever.”

Christina, do you take ray to be your lawfully wedded husband?
To have and to hold, From this day forward,
For better or for worse, For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish,
Until death do you part?”

Christina: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

“I Christina, take you Ray, to be my husband.
I promise to always remember,
that you are a gift, and a blessing in my life,
and I will cherish our love forever.”

~ Pronouncement of Marriage ~

“Mrs. Claus and I have been married since the beginning of time and we have learned that big jobs take many hands. So accept the help of those who love you. We have learned that days pass quickly, but not so quickly that one should ever pass without a show of how much you mean to one another. Be it a cup of hot cocoa on a cold night or a moment of hand holding for no reason other than to touch, always remember to warm one another’s hearts and thoughts. We learned that reindeer can fly, that there is no limit to what can be accomplished and that there is no greater magic in all the world than that of love! So keep your love first and foremost in your thoughts remembering that simple or grand, every day can be a holiday when Love guides your course.

You are now as your hearts have always known you to be, Husband and Wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!

Bride and Groom kiss

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

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theme-8

~ Andie & John / The Sky Dive Wedding ~

They say that a picture paints a thousand words and Wow is all I can say about Andie and John. Their ceremony is below an in case anyone is thinking of jumping into their marriage these two adventurers made the Leap of Faith at Sky Dive Long Island

~ Opening Words ~

“Dearly adventurous, today with the aid of this aircraft, we soar almost to the heights that your hearts rise to on wings of their own.

Marriage has been called a “Leap of Faith”, it begins with trust. Trust in many bright tomorrows, trust that no matter where life takes you, you will always be by one another’s side and trust that although there is uncertainty in the world, you will each be a constant source of love and inspiration in one another’s lives.

Marriage is a promise to be together in harmony and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. To empower each other and allow your relationship to evolve to it’s highest purpose. To sing and dance together and be joyful. To care for one another, share your lives with one another and to unite in spirits with every part of your being.

Today you promise to keep your union to the foreground of your thoughts always, and through all of your moments together, so that in the triumphs and trials that lie ahead, you will you will feel just as you do now happy to be in love and married to one another, remembering always that as long as you are together, everything will work out just fine.”

Bride and Groom exit the plane to exchange their rings on solid ground

~ The Ring Vows ~

“John, do you take Andie
to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Do you vow to love her and care for her
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to her
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help her when she needs help,
and to turn to her when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?”

John: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beautiful bride’s finger
and repeat after me please?”

“I John take you Andie to be my wife.
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life.”

“Andie, do you take John
to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Do you vow to love him and care for him
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to him
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help him when he needs help,
and to turn to him when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?”

Andie: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on John’s finger and repeat after me please?”

“I Andie take you John to be my husband
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life.”

~ Closing Words and Pronouncement ~

“May you always remember to appreciate every moment that you share, living your life in the
present moment which is beautiful and irreplaceable as it stretches away beyond the limits of the
past, hinting of the horizons of all your tomorrows.

You are now as your hearts have always known you to be,
Husband and Wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!”

Bride and Groom kiss!

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~ Pirate Nuptials ~

“Ahoy, Land lovers! Or shall I say Land of Lovers? For who here today cannot feel the emotion of this event touching their heart? Guided by the stars, Rebecca and Brad have set their sights on
the horizon and are about to begin their most glorious adventure yet! Today we will hear their promises to mark a course and share the wheel. The wind that fills their sails today is not hap
hazard. It is a gift. The same way that fire is kindled by wind, keeping the fire and passion they feel for one another burning bright will propel them through the seas of life. They know indeed there will be battles to fight, and there may even be times when a mutiny seems inevitable, particularly when the little crew come aboard, so shiver your timbers if you must, but through bad grog and good fortune remember it is all yours together to protect and cherish. So sail from land to land, day to day, experience to experience with your love and your promises as the sea you call your home shining as bright as a gold dubloon in your hearts always!”

“I Rebecca take you Brad to be my husband
My mate for life
As we sail the seas of life
I promise to grow with you in wisdom and love
I shall chart no course that shall put the ship in jeopardy
And be true to you in word and deed
For as long as the sea meets the horizon.”

“The theft of a heart is a serious matter, yet yours are each placed in one another’s hands for safe keeping. May the promises you make this day lead to a treasure chest that overflows with riches beyond measure of the material world. May your love provide you always a safe harbor through storms, May the sun never set on an unkind word between you and the dawn forever rise on many bright tomorrows.

I now pronounce you are each both Captain and First Mate, husband and wife. You may steal your first kiss!”

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Theme Weddings

~ Kellie and David’s Baseball Ceremony ~

~ Opening Words ~

“Welcome family and friends we are gathered here today to witness as Kellie and David knock it out of the park with the biggest promises that two people can ever make to one another! For today they become husband and wife.

Have you ever noticed how much baseball is like marriage? Both endeavors usually begin with two sides, a crowd, some sort of ceremony and organ music. Both have traditions. Both have expectations. Both have rules. Both are known for their somewhat measured pace, pastimes that can seem almost routine until there is a sudden outbreak of excitement and drama and perhaps a comeback or rally. Elation, dejection, joy, surprise all of life’s emotions are encompassed in both. In baseball the players have an obligation to live up to the examples of the hero’s who have gone before them. In marriage the couple strives to make their parents proud by living up to the example they saw growing up of what it means to be in a strong and happy marriage. How many times has a baseball diamond been compared to holy ground? A park to a cathedral? While the theme that Kellie and David have chosen reflects their fun loving nature, make no mistake as to the sanctity of the promises they make this day.

Kellie and David, today you accept the responsibility that the promise of marriage brings. It is a promise not to live life by accident or individually. But to look at it together, by choice, as a team, remembering that your lives are forever intertwined and that one another’s happiness is an essential part of your own.

Marriage means that you have achieved a certain level of success, that deserves new levels of recognition and commitment. Although you have felt yourselves married in your hearts for sometime now, marriage in the larger sense has always been about family and friends. There is something very important about publicly making your promises to one another, in front of everyone here, who have an emotional investment in the two of you and in your happiness. Marriage is a promise to every one here, that the person they love will always be well cared for.”

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

“Kellie and David would like to thank you all for taking the time and making the journey and for all the preparations that were made on their behalf to ensure that they were surrounded by the love of family and friends as they made their marriage vows. With such an intimate gathering there is no doubt that you are the people Kellie and David love most in this world. They described you all as fun loving, outgoing, caring and supportive, and the fact that they know all of you are almost as happy to be here right now as they are themselves, means the world to Kellie and David. You have been there watching them grow together and as individuals, encouraging them through difficult times and celebrating their successes. To see all of you gathered here now for no other reason than to show them how much you love them and to offer your support as they begin this new chapter in the journey of their lives, it is one of life’s most humbling and inspiring moments. Kellie and David thank you for your presence here today and they want you to know that whether you live near or far, that not a single one of you is ever far from their hearts.”

~ Kellie and David ~

“As many of you know Kellie and David first met at the tender age of sixteen, in of all places chemistry class! And while the chemistry between them was undeniable, they were each so young, with learning and growing to do on their own. And so they took some time to find and to better themselves. All the while, the three years they spent together never left their hearts…. Okay, if truth be told, Kellie in her words was thinking, “that bridge was burned…” But David kept calling anyway… And as their friendship rekindled, they realized what they once had and what the people they had each become could have. That was almost four years ago and since that decision to proceed forward was made, things have flowed easily and naturally for them.

In Kellie, David has found a woman who makes him feel safe and secure. He loves the way that she can always make him laugh, and the way the warmth of her smile brightens his every day. She is caring, considerate, and selfless in the way that she puts the needs of those she loves above her own. Kellie has a gentle way of reeling him in when he “gets out of hand” and can read him like a book. She also has all of the wonderful qualities that will someday make her a great mother to their children. And the fact that Kellie is beautiful inside and out… this is something that David promises will never go unnoticed in his eyes.

With David Kellie feels loved and safe. She loves that David is caring, passionate, funny and how easily they share in one another’s laughter. David is honest, is always there for her, and thinks nothing of placing her needs above his own. Kellie admires his work ethic, determination, and his outgoing personality. David is handsome and smart, with goals and direction, and he is in Kellie‘s words; “unique in all the world” for the way he sees things and for the fact that from this day forward he will be the one that she proudly calls her husband.”

~ Sand Ceremony ~

“Kellie and David have chosen to include in today’s ceremony a visual representation that answers the ago old question… Can a Mets fan and a Yankee fan live a long and happy life together? Marriage is more than peaceful coexistence. It is appreciating and admiring one another’s differences and strengths. The blue and orange sand represents, not only their favorite teams, but Kellie and David as individuals choosing to join together and create something larger than themselves. Below the center container is a real Home Plate, symbol of hearth and home, the place to which they will always return, and the life that they share. It has been signed by their parents and everyone of the bridal party, Kellie’s side in Mets orange and David’s in Yankees blue, as a symbol of how Kellie and David and their marriage are supported upon the earth by the love of their family and friends. As the sand is poured it will make a pattern that is unique to Kellie and David as a couple. Guided by their love for one another the marriage relationship they are creating will also be unique and beautiful, fitting them both as perfectly as these grains of sand will fill this vessel. Kellie and David, will you please step to behind the table and pour your sand?”

Music begins
Bride and Groom step behind the table
then intermingle their colored sand
and return to place as the music concludes

~ Presentation of the Rings ~

“May I have the rings please?

Officiant is given the rings

These beautiful bands are unbroken circles, symbols of eternity, with neither end, nor beginning. They are to remind you not only of the endless love you possess for one another this day, but of the precious gift of trust, honesty and commitment that you place in one another for all of your tomorrows. Kellie and David, from this day forward you will wear these rings as a sign that no matter where you go and what ever you do, there is someone in this world who loves you more than anything else, who whether near or far is always by your side. May these rings forever shine as a symbol of enduring strength and beauty in a
sometimes fragile world.”

~ Ring Vows ~

“David, the love, laughter, and friendship you share
has been the foundation upon which all that is good in your lives has been built.
Do you promise to nurture your friendship and the love that has blossomed from it,
by sharing openly your thoughts and feelings and ideas,
by truly listening, respecting, and supporting one another,
by together sharing your successes and learning from your mistakes?
Do you promise to encourage one another always to be more than you could be alone?
Do you promise to do these things, in the spirit
of love and joy and hope that brings you here today,
And do you take Kellie to be your wife?”

David: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

David places the ring half way on to Kellie’s finger

“This ring I give you in Friendship, Loyalty and Love.
I promise to walk neither in front of nor behind,
but beside you, and to love you always.
As we advance through the cycles of life
I promise to grow with you and not away from you,
I pledge to you, that as this ring encircles your finger,
So shall my love forever embrace you.
Whenever you look at this ring,
Remember that my promise is eternal,
And that I shall love you always.
Even when the Yankees lose to the Mets.”

David places the ring the rest of the way on to Kellie’s finger

“Kellie, the love, laughter, and friendship you share
has been the foundation upon which all that is good in your lives has been built.
Do you promise to nurture your friendship and the love that has blossomed from it,
by sharing openly your thoughts and feelings and ideas,
by truly listening, respecting, and supporting one another,
by together sharing your successes and learning from your mistakes?
Do you promise to encourage one another always to be more than you could be alone?
Do you promise to do these things, in the spirit
of love and joy and hope that brings you here today,
And do you take David to be your Husband?”

Kellie: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Kellie places the ring half way onto David’s finger

“This ring I give you in Friendship, Loyalty and Love.
I promise to walk neither in front of nor behind,
but beside you, and to love you always.
As we advance through the cycles of life
I promise to grow with you and not away from you,
I pledge to you, that as this ring encircles your finger,
So shall my love forever embrace you.
Whenever you look at this ring, Remember that my promise is eternal,
And that I shall love you always.
Even when the Mets lose to the Yankees”

Kellie places the ring the rest of the way onto David’s finger

“I have in my hand another very special ring, Kellie’s engagement ring. The diamond is from her Grandmother Catherine’s own engagement ring. The ring speaks of family blessing and of all the love stories that have graced both families. David, please put this ring on Kellie’s finger, above her wedding band, so that your marriage will always be protected by the generations of love that have brought you to this today.”

~ Pronouncement and Presentation ~

“Yogi Berra once said; “Love is the most important thing in the world. But baseball is pretty good too.”

For you two this is opening day on your marriage. May the seasons of your lives bring more sunshine than rain. The love and support of the crowd to cheer you on. The presence of mind to remember that winning takes Practice, Dedication, Perseverance, and above all Patience. Remembering that even Babe Ruth himself only hit three and a half balls out of ten…. So although neither of you will always be perfect, today you have promised to never lose sight of the fact that you are perfect for one another.

And now that you’ve made your vows and promises of love and faithfulness before your biggest fans, and exchanged rings of commitment as a testimony to that love, it is my honor and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!

Bride and Groom kiss

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Mr. and Mrs. David and Kellie Drago!”

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