Sample Ceremony



Walking InHow your ceremony might go..

Perhaps you are wondering how a ceremony written by me might sound. Of course, the reasonance of a person’s voice, the pace, light and shade of the delivery all help to create the right atmosphere and significance for your day.

The ceremony below is not anyone’s in particular but I have used some ideas from weddings that I have celebrated before. Keep in mind as you read it, that this is just an example and your ceremony will be written in a unique and personal style reflecting who you are as a couple.

Entry of the Bride and Bridesmaids :

Music : ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ – Anne Murray

The Introduction
Hello everyone, Welcome……we gather as family and friends of Paul and Carolyn….to share in their joy today at becoming husband and wife. It is a happy day….. a day to celebrate love…….to celebrate joy……a day to celebrate all that life can be, and it is even more poignant when it is shared with those whom we love…..
When our children are born….we have so many hopes for their future. We watch over their early years as the foundations of their personality emerge…..we foster strengths and we encourage their growth in the cornerstones of what we as a family stand for …..we are sometimes anxious….but many times we are filled with joy in the love that we have for our children……Fundamentally ….we only want them to be happy and to prosper in the world…to have loving relationships and to build families of their own. And today…for Paul’s parents….James and Connie…and for Carolyn’s parents…..Richard and Joanne….this is one those very happy days seeing a fulfilment in their roles as parents ….
And so I ask……..who brings these young people…Carolyn and Paul to be married today…….
Parents to respond…’We Do ‘

The Blessing of the Rings :
The gifting of a ring …..each to the other…….is the tangible and physical symbol of the solemn vows that Carolyn and Paul will make publicly to each other today ….thereby becoming husband and wife……..These rings are imbued with all that is precious between them….. In the wearing of these rings……..may they constantly to remind you of the sacred promises you will make to each other……………….and of the optimism…….pride and joy you are feeling today.
How appropriate it would be then………………for each of us …to have the opportunity to pass our good wishes …..our love…..our gladness into the very substance of these rings…….And to end……that just what we are going to do………From Paul and Carolyn come these precious rings………….As the ceremony progresses…..please pass them from hand to hand……..giving a moment of thought and reflection to all that you wish these two gorgeous people.

The Monitum (Required to be stated by The Marriage Act)
And so I need to introduce myself…….my name is Melissa Laird and I am here today in the capacity of a Civil Marriage Celebrant…………In that capacity……I am duly authorised by law to solemnize marriages according to law…… Before you are joined in marriage in my presence…….and in the presence of these witnesses…….I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship in which you are now about to enter………Marriage according to the law in Australia……is the union of a man and a woman …..to the exclusion of all others……..voluntarily entered into…..for life.

Reflecting on MarriageReflecting on Marriage
So how do two people come to this point in their lives…what crossroads do they reach….when living without each other is not something that either wish to contemplate……but even more than that…when two people….as Paul and Carolyn do….want to formalize that union…to make a statement to all that… we are a couple…husband and wife…united…committed…..together.
It is a fascination to me….how and when that transition occurs. We meet many people in the course of our lives…school mates…work colleagues….friends of friends…even conversations on R.S.V.P.!!!……Some of our relationships will be long and sustaining…other people will come into our lives for a relatively short period of time.
But there will be a few people in our lives ….sometimes only one or two…with whom that relationship will be quite unique….deeply intimate….profoundly rich…in the sharing of each other’s life. How does this moment occur….when does this moment occur…..what switch is activated…so that one day…..sometimes much to our complete surprise…we realise…’Yes…he is the one’…. or …’I just cannot imagine my life without her’
And I think this is the point where a relationship truly begins to unfold…..For at this point..a couple begin to have confidence in what exists between them…as Paul and Carolyn do…..It is a time when a deepening of trust emerges….and a belief in a future….together….A future which promises many things……..a future that will at times both challenge them…and nourish them….as individuals and as a couple….but more importantly……there is a faith……..that the central core of what exists between them….that love, commitment and dedication…each to the other will be what sees them through.

Paul and Carolyn’s Story :
So how did the story of Paul and Carolyn’s love begin…..now many will know that at the beginning these two had a fairly rocky start….It wasn’t love at first sight….In fact I think we could fairly safely say that …..they could barely stand the sight of each other. The working environment ..particularly when one person is your boss…does not always lead to a harmonious and smooth beginning. Both Paul and Carolyn , by their own admission are passionate and opinionated people……they know what they like and what they believe.
But who could have guessed, when they were paired together at a staff training week-end in Lorne, that a conversation would begin where the two of them let down their guard a little and each came to understand how much they in common with the other. And that conversation has continued to this day..
Both Paul and Carolyn are keen skiers and coupled with a love of travel, they have journeyed around the world enjoying the slopes of Aspen, Whistler and St Moritz to name a few…and of course..as many of you know….it was high on slopes of Snowmass in Colarado that Paul finally proposed to Carolyn….Although she says….she has an inkling that it was coming because of the suspicious way in which he acting. And of course …Carolyn said ‘Yes’.
I asked both Carolyn and Paul to tell me what it was that each loved about the other. Do you remember what you said ?…
Paul said of Carolyn that :

  • He loves that she speaks her mind and is passionate about what she believes
  • That she is a fantastic cook…
  • That he knows what a wonderful mother she will make for their children
  • But although he has tried..Paul cannot get her to barrack for the Bombers !!

And Carolyn said of Paul that :

  • He is a very hard worker and never stops trying the achieve his best
  • That she loves the way he makes her laugh
  • That she loves that Paul is the last thing she sees going to bed at night and the first thing she sees waking up in the morning
  • And although she has tried…she has been unable to get Paul to barrack for the Magpies !!

Carolyn and Paul have strong views on the type of family that they wish to create…of a home which will provide a strong foundation and sense of belonging for their children..a life which will encompass the company of good friends…loving family and great times.
When I first met with Carolyn and Paul to discuss their wedding day…………..it was very important to them…that everyone was included who is part of their life….They wanted no-one was to be left out of sharing their memorable day. All of you are linked in some way…… and they are delighted you are here to share in their joy….and to party and to celebrate with them. However with that privilege……also comes some responsibility. Carolyn and Paul……have counted on your support and encouragement …….and your participation in their life for a number of years already……Yet the two of them, will continue to require your love and involvement in the years to come. Our family and friends are the ones who share the journey with us….they provide the framework on which we hang our lives…..they delight in our joys…..they weep at our sorrows…………..they provide consolation, advice and comfort…..Our family and friends share our good times and ……our not so good times. Over the coming years…….you will continue to share in Carolyn and Paul’s hopes and dreams……………………..and enjoy the fulfilment of their life together.
The Blessing of the Hands :
Carolyn to hand her flowers to her Matron-of-Honour, Sally and then Carolyn and Paul are to face each other and take each other’s hands.
‘These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times, wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a simple touch.’

The Rev. Daniel L. Harris

And so we come to the moment in the day…where Paul and Carolyn will make their promises to each other…thereby forging the bonds of marriage and becoming husband and wife……These promises are not entered into lightly….but in the belief that their marriage will be a life-long partnership based on the principles of love…..trust …understanding and forgiveness…It is an unfolding vision ….offering not only the growth and deepening of them as a couple ….but also ensuring the healthy progression of each as individuals…..Love is the glue which links and bonds all aspects of their life together.

The Wedding Vows :
Paul……….I call upon the persons here present to witness that I……..Paul Leonard Robinson….take thee……….Carolyn Louise Granger..to be my lawful wedded wife…. …..Carolyn…you have brought much joy to my life……. and I have found my home with you….You have brought a comfort and reassurance ……..of all that is good and true …..You are my best friend and my soul mate…… I promise to love, protect and support you…… in sickness and in health…..in sorrow and in joy…so long as we both shall live.
Carolyn………..I call upon the persons here present to witness that I…….Carolyn Louise Granger ….take thee….Paul Leonard Robinson………to be my lawful wedded husband…. Jon…you have brought much joy to my life ……..and I have found my home with you….You have brought a comfort and reassurance …….of all that is good and true …..You are my best friend and my soul mate…… I promise to love, protect and support you…… …….in sickness and in health…..in sorrow and in joy…so long as we both shall live.
Exchanging of the Rings :
As this ceremony for Paul and Carolyn has progressed, their wedding rings have passed from hand to hand…from friend to family …family to friend…each pause giving time for a new and unique wish to be imparted into the very substance of each ring. I now call for the return of these rings… and ask that each of you….. one to the other…now place these rings on your hand.. not only as a sign to all that you are husband and wife…but more importantly..as a symbol of the solemn vows that you have exchanged today.

Paul : Carolyn…..I place this ring on your finger today as a symbol of my promises…so freely and willingly given….It’s circle of gold……shining….strong and resilient…signifies my love and commitment to you.

Carolyn: John…I place this ring on your finger today as a symbol of my promises…..so freely and willingly give…..It’s circle of gold……..shining…strong and resilient…..signifies my love and commitment to you.
I will invite you to kiss each other here

Some advice from a Generous Heart – Read by Carolyn’s sister, Sarah
Give yourself to one another completely
Be generous in your giving….and make no conditions for these gifts
Love one another constantly and fully
Be humble in your acceptance of your partner’s love
Be honest with each other
Be thankful for each other’s love and strive to develop it’s richness day by day
Respect each other in every way
Be patient with each other’s weaknesses and accept each other for what you are…not what you wish another to be
Communicate constantly with each other
Be calm…patient…tolerant and reasonable in your communication
Be capable of good listening
Share with one another….misfortune and fortune alike
Be compassionate…and express your love for one another constantly
Know your limitations and be as honest with yourself as you are with one another
Fuse your souls into one another and happy for the love you have been so fortunate to find in one another.

The Declaration :

Ladies and Gentlemen…Paul and Carolyn have come together today with an open heart and good intention. They have shared their love for each other ..what they believe to be the foundations of their relationship….and of their hopes for the future. Their marriage today is bound by the solemn vows they have given…. symbolised in the exchanging of rings.
It gives me great pleasure to declare that they are now husband and wife. Please join me in congratulating the happy couple.

Signing of the Registry Documents :
Music : ‘Love me tender…love me true’ – Elvis Presley

Presentation of the Bride and GroomPresentation of the Bride and Groom :
Our wedding day is meant to be one remember for the rest of our lives…A day of great significance…a point of reference in the year to come…Our wedding day is also meant to be a day of great fun…..much laughter ……and joyous celebration. So as this ceremony comes to a close…I would to wish the two on you…on behalf of everyone here…..a wonderful life together…
May I introduce to you…Paul and Carolyn Robinson

Music to conclude : ‘You’re the one that I want ! ‘ – John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

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