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Monday, July 5, 2010

our ceremony script

I talked last week about the process through which our ceremony came to be. All the research, the reading, the time spent finding the best words for us. I'm so excited to share those words with our guests and to hear them read by our officiant.

By the time this is posted, we will have been married for a few days now, and since we can no longer ruin the surprise for our wedding guests, now is as good a time as any to share our wedding ceremony.

But before I do, I have some serious thanks to pass along. We would not have had the ceremony we did if it weren't for some seriously awesome fellow bloggers and authors: Mrs. Mouse on WeddingBee, Sara at 2000dollarwedding who has compiled a giant list of scripts, Peonies and Polaroids, and Cupcake Wedding for her incredible posts of ceremony scripts which were our best source of inspiration.

And finally, we turned to the printed word. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Judith Johnson's The Wedding Ceremony Planner is amazing. Examples of scripts in all shapes and sizes. Plus, she uses the category method by breaking down the ceremony into sections. It was through this book that we were able to find out perfect vows. Seriously, check it out.

(and if anyone knows of someone whom I forgot to give credit for part of the ceremony, please feel free to let me know)

And so, without further ado, here's ours:

Gathering Words

Welcome! Mr. & Miss FP have brought us together here for an occasion of great joy and a cause for great celebration. Having found each other, they have built the kind of relationship that will serve them well as the foundation for their marriage. They have chosen each one of you to be here with them to witness their wedding vows as they join together as husband and wife.

Marriage is a bold step into an unknown future. It is risking who we are for the sake of who we can be. In marriage, two lives are intimately shared; and the blending of the two must not diminish either one. Rather, it should enhance the individuality of each partner.

Each of us knows that a marriage is not created by a law or a ceremony; rather it occurs in the hearts of two human beings. It grows out of loving, caring, and sharing ourselves with another. This ceremony is not magic, it will not create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in all the commitments Mr. & Miss FP have made to each other, both large and small, in the days since they first met and recognized their connection to one another. So, in witnessing this ceremony today, we are observing only an outward sign of an inward union that already exists between Mr. & Miss FP. This ceremony is a symbol of how far they have come together and a symbol of the promise that they will make to each other to continue to live their lives together and to love each other solely and above all others.

Mr. & Miss FP want to thank each of you for coming today to share in this very special time in their lives. Those of you who have been invited here to witness Mr. & Miss FP's wedding ceremony and to celebrate with them today will play your part in their marriage too. There are only two official witnesses at a wedding but each and every person here today will witness the words that they will speak to one another and the vows that they will make. You should take good care to remember these words; for a marriage needs the help of a community, of friends and family who will be there when needed and will do all that they can during hard times to stand by Mr. & Miss FP and offer their support to them and the new family that they create today. May you always do all within your power to support the union that will be made here today and to nurture the bond between these two people whom you love.


It is through loving, kindness, caring, and sharing that a successful marriage is created. A good marriage takes patience, dedication, humor and forgiveness. In this spirit of patience and dedication, Mr. & Miss FP have asked Mr. FP's mother to read a selection written by C.S. Lewis.

From Christian Marriage: "Being in Love"

If the old fairy-tale ending "and they lived happily ever after…." is taken to mean "They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married," then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, and your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love.

Love in this second sense-love as distinct from "being in love" and it is not merely a feeling. Love is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners receive from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each could easily allow themselves to be "in love" with someone else. "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity but this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.

Moreover, in the spirit of humor in marriage, bride's sister will read an excerpt from the children’s book “I Like You” by Sandol Warburg.

I like you
And I know why
I like you because
You are a good person
To like

When I think something is important
You think it's important too

When I say something funny
You laugh I think I'm funny and
You think I'm funny too

You know how to be silly
That's why I like you
Boy are you ever silly
I never met anybody sillier than me
till I met you
I like you because
You know when it’s time to stop being silly

Maybe day after tomorrow
Maybe never

Oops too late
It’s quarter past silly
If I am a goofus on the roofus
Hollering my head off
You are one too

That's because
You really like me
You really like me
Don't you?
And I really like you back

And you like me back
And I like you back
And that's the way we keep on going
Every day
If you find two four-leaf clovers
You give me one
If I find four I give you two
If we only find three
We keep on looking
Sometimes we have good luck
And sometimes we don't
I like you because I don't know why but
Everything that happens
Is nicer with you
I can't remember when I didn't like you
It must have been lonesome then
I like you because…. Because….. because….
I forget why I like you
But I do
So many reasons
Even if it was way down at the bottom of January
Even if it was no place particular in January
I would go on choosing you
And you would
go on choosing me
Over and over again

That's how it would happen every time
I don't know why
I guess I don't know why I like you really
I guess I just like you…..
I guess I just like you…..

Because I like you

Charge of Marriage

A successful marriage is not something that just happens. It takes work, it takes patience, and it takes time. It takes a commitment from both of you... a commitment to do whatever it takes to make your relationship thrive and not just simply survive.

Mr. FP, will you take Miss FP to be your lawfully wedded wife and travel the rest of life’s road with her? Will you love her, laugh with her, comfort her, honor and protect her, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

I do.

Miss FP, will you take Mr. FP to be your lawfully wedded Husband and travel the rest of life’s road with him? Will you love him, laugh with him, comfort him, honor and protect him, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

I do.


Mr. & Miss FP, the symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this - is my husband, this - is my wife.

I, Miss FP, choose you, Mr. FP
In the presence of our friends and families,
To be my wife/husband and partner
From this day forward;
To love you,
To be a comfort and safe haven in your life,
To hold you close,
To listen deeply when you speak,
To uphold you with my strength,
To weigh the effects of the words I speak
And the things I do,
To never take you for granted,
And to always give thanks
For your presence in my life.

(and vice versa)

Ring Exchange

This is the point in the ceremony when people talk about the wedding bands being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, cooled, and then painstakingly polished. Something beautiful made from raw elements.

Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.

The promises which you have spoken to each other today are inscribed forever in your minds, in your hearts. But words are fleeting so let these rings serve as a reminder of the feelings you have in your hearts at this very moment. These rings are visible, tangible symbols of your commitment to one another and of your emotional and spiritual connection. These rings announce to the world that you have been found. They are a reminder and a celebration of the promises you have made today and in exchanging these bands you knit your two lives together as one. When you look at your wedding band, remember the great gift that you have been given and all that you have in one another. Remember that you have someone to share this life with. Never again will you have to walk alone.

Now, Repeat after me:

Mr/Miss FP, with this ring I am giving you my promise to always love you, cherish you, honor you and comfort you. I promise that I will love you and keep my heart open to you all the days of my life.

Closing Words

Mr. & Miss FP, in the presence of your family and friends who have joined you to share this moment of joy in your lives, you have declared your deep love and affection for each other. You have stated your wish to live together, always open to a deeper, richer friendship and partnership. You have formed your own union, based on respect and honor.

No one but you can declare yourselves married. You have begun it here today in speaking your vows before your family and friends and you will do it again in the days and years to come, standing by each other, sharing all that is sweet and bitter in life. Each tender act, each loving word will be the declaration of what was made here today.

Therefore, it is my joyful responsibility to officially acknowledge your union as "Husband and Wife". You may now seal your marriage with a kiss.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to present to you for the very first time as husband and wife, Mr. & Miss FP.


Maggie said...

Beautiful (and I was indebted to many of those same bloggers). I especially like this part:
"This ceremony is not magic, it will not create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in all the commitments Mr. & Miss FP have made to each other"

because it's so true. You may have already seen it on my blog, but my sister also read an except from "I Like You"! Love that book.


Amberdawn said...

Really lovely :) And I was going to say the same thing, those worse in the gathering words section were my favorite :)

Ms. Bunny said...

More beauty in words. I've bookmarked this post for future ceremony writing needs!

SMK said...

This is so beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and it will certainly be an inspiration for us down the road as well. This was so moving.


cannot wait to hear recaps!

GM said...

I love this! We're writing our own ceremony and your script is wonderful inspiration. We're reading from I LIKE YOU too. Congrats! Looking forward to your recaps.

Unknown said...

This is such a beautiful ceremony script! Thank you so much, it has helped my fiance and I tremendously with our ceremony!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this amazing text. I've definitely used it in writing our ceremony script for this coming september! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible ceremony script. Thank you so much for your inspiring words for my upcoming ceremony.

Anonymous said...

Perfect...im stealing it:)

benilhalk said...

Truly, it’s a gorgeous wedding!! The couple is very charming. Thanks for sharing this awesome post. We are looking for similar wedding venues Los Angeles for our wedding. I must say they had a perfect wedding ceremony.

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