High Vows


I thought I’d share with you something I came across today. most couples want their friends and families to remember their wedding day; however it is definitely taking this a step further when you say your vows atop a high wire!

“Couple married in high-wire wedding at Wookey Hole” – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-32554088

What’s the strangest wedding ceremony you’ve come across?

Personalising The Wedding Ceremony


For me, my favourite part of any wedding is the ceremony. The ceremony IS the wedding to me, the rest of the modern wedding day is just “fluff”. If the worst came to worst it wouldn’t bother me if my wedding day consisted of the ceremony only. I’ve cried at every wedding, except for one, that I have been to and even watching people get married on TV has me welling up.

The H2B and I will most definitely be doing our own personal vows alongside the normal vows (when we get our pack from the registry office closer to the time we will choose which set of their vows we want to use), but I want to do something else as well to really make the ceremony special and unique.

I have previously looked at rose and sand ceremonies, but somehow neither of those feel “us”; so I’ve done some more research on how we can create a more memorable ceremony and one that truly reflects us as a couple. Maybe some of these ideas will help you too.

PLANT A TREE
Before the ceremony, a tree in a pot is placed off to the side of where the ceremony would be taking place. During the processional, both mothers walk in with a small vase full of water and add it to a watering can. During the ceremony, the officiant speaks about the symbolism of the tree and how it relates to a marriage- the stable trunk, the outstretched limbs that offer comfort etc. The water that the mother’s brought symbolizes the love and nurturing that each family provided to bride and groom as they were growing up. When the couple water the tree they are giving the tree love to grow just as their families love will continue to support them in their relationship.

An extra step that can be carried out if for the fathers to bring in a pot of soil from their home town which the Bride and Groom add to the tree pot before pouring the water.

Ideas for the wording of this ceremony
Celebrant: The Bride and Groom will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their Planting a tree instead of unity candles!relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other’s family today. Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love richens our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change. Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.
Bride and Groom, would you please water the sapling?
(Bride and Groom water the sapling.)
Celebrant: Remember to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential – just like this tree. The Bride and Groom will plant this tree in their garden to always be a symbol of their love for each other.

CREATE A TIME CAPSULE
Invite any guest attending to write you a note that’ll be read when opening your time capsule at the agreed time, whether that be on your first, fifth or tenth wedding anniversary. The letters from your guests can include well wishes, advice for married life, predictions of what the next x amount of years will hold for you, favorite memories of you two together, or anything else they’d like to include (you can either include a card about this with your invitations, post about it on your wedding website, and/or have nice stationery and pens available at the venue). People could even put in a gift, or a memento they may have from your relationship together, such as ticket stubs, a photo or even a cracker from your first Christmas together.

You can nominate a member of the wedding party to pass around the time capsule box during the ceremony for your guests to drop in their notes, or have the celebrant/registrar mention the time capsule and then pass it to someone near the front. Once the time capsule has been passed around, (to ensure guests have been given enough time to fill it maybe wait until after you’ve signed the register) seal it up as a couple until your chosen anniversary! To help remind each other of your love for each other put something in the capsule yourselves without showing each other as a surprise for each other when you open it.

This idea really appeals to me, as something different to the usual unity ceremonies but involves all of your guests, and will help them to fill the moment when you are signing the register and posing for photos with your photographer.

Extract from Rev Fullers blog
“I officiated a wedding earlier this year where the bride’s father, an accomplished craftsman, gave them a gorgeous wooden box engraved with the couples names and wedding date he had made himself.

We arranged ahead of time for key individuals to bring something meaningful to place in the box. Each person wrapped their item so the bride and groom would not know what it was and included a letter to the future. We placed this ritual towards the end of the ceremony between a Declaration of Support and  the Blessing of the Marriage.

Today, (Bride and Groom), who began on separate paths, have been joined as one. You, their family and friends are a community of support for (Bride and Groom). Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other. I ask that you always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support and refrain from judgment. Encourage them when encouragement is needed and listen carefully when they seek your advice. In these ways, you can honor this marriage. Therefore I ask, now that you have heard (Bride and Groom) exchange their marriage vows, do you, their family and friends, promise from this day forward, to encourage them and love them, and to help guide and support them in being steadfast in the promises they have made?” If you agree, please say, “We do.”  ~ We do.

Truly blessed is the couple who come to the marriage altar with the approval and blessings of their families and friends. At this time I would like to invite (Names) to come forward and place their tokens of support for (Bride and Groom) into this time capsule, lovingly prepared by (Bride’s) father.

A phenomenal tenor sang a beautiful song he had written for the occasion while their friends and family filled the time capsule. Once the last item was placed in the box, I continued…

(Bride and Groom), happiness is having something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. May you be ever grateful for the presence of this precious person who has chosen to make a life with you, and look with anticipation on the day you will open this box together, your tenth wedding anniversary, (date)! “

The Ceremony and the Vows


For me this is the best part of a wedding. It is the part that makes me smile, and cry at the same time. The words that are spoken, and the promise that is being made between these two people who love each other so dearly truely overwhelms me. This part of the wedding ceremony is not just the legal part that makes the two people man and wife (wife and wife, or husband and husband), but it is the binding contract, the declaration of love, the marriage of two people in its simplist form.

I’ve always said that my favourite part of the heterosexual wedding is when the bride walks down the isle. Most people look at the bride as she walks down, but I can never help but glance at the groom waiting at the end of the isle. It always makes me melt when I see a man shed a tear of joy at the sight of his bride. I say in a heterosexual wedding, as at homosexual weddings the layout isn’t always the same. There isn’t always someone waiting at the end of the isle, as the couple may choose to walk with each other down the isle at the same time, or may both walk down the isle, one just before the other so there isn’t that time for the first one who walked down to look back at their partner as they walk down.

Therefore, I’ve always thought that a couple should take care in choosing their vows.

If you are having a civil ceremony your registra will send a pack with the different options for your vows. My registra sent my pack and there were five options of different vows that we could choose from. If you are having a religous ceremony you will still be able to have some say towards what vows you choose and your religour leader will be able to advise you on this.

Your vows are a way you can make your wedding personal to you for free. It costs nothing to choose your vows. You can choose the vows that you most agree with and like the wording of, or you can decide yo write your own vows for the big day. You can buy books from leading book shops that will help you on writing your own vows such as Five steps to writing memorable vows by Rev. Steve Durkac or A World of Ways to Say I Do by Noah and Jordan Benshea. If you don’t want to invest in a book, there are a host of websites on the net that offer advice on everything from the overal sentimate, to the words and phrases you may want to consider using when writing your vows. Some of these very helpful websites include Confetti and You and Your Wedding. For your H2B there is a fantastic site that can help him write his vows but also in other aspects of the wedding planning and the big day too; iamstaggered.com.

Rose Ceremony

A way that you can add to your wedding ceremony is by incorporating a Rose Ceremony. There are a number of different ways you can do a Rose Ceremony. The best thing to do is to creatr your own ideas by researching the different ways you can do it so it is personal to you.

My favourite way to perform a Rose Ceremony is for there to be two roses, one given to the bride by the groom and one given to the groom by the bride. You could ask your registra/religous sermon to perform the Rose Ceremony or you could ask a relative/friend/member of the bridal party to perform it for you instead of doing a reading. During a wedding ceremony you can have up to three readings, the third reading can be substituted for a Rose Ceremony, as it is often nice to do before the pronoucing of man and wife.

(as read/said by your chosen person)
“Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.

You now have what remains the most honourable title, which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.

Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

Plus (optional)

_________ and _____________, where ever you make your home in the future – pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that this will be a marriage based upon love.

In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.
It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love.

It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.

That rose says the words: “I still love you.”

The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.

__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”

Alternatives to the Rose Ceremony:

There are other ceremonies that you can have as opposed to the Rose Ceremony, some ideas include:

  • Warming of the rings
  • Sand Ceremony
  • Candle Lighting Ceremony

A website that will give you ideas for what can be said during these ceremonies is JULIA DENNY – The Hunter Valley Celebrant.