OUR WEDDING CEREMONY
On this page I would like to offer a few suggestions as well as give you a copy of what our ceremony service format was.
I found out that a few things HAD* to be included, but most of the service was up to us.
Our celebrant gave us the "must have" stuff as well as sample formats.
Chris & I went through these as well as all the info I could find on handfasting ceremonies & came up with our own unique wedding service.
Alot of our service was taken in full or part from the book
Handfasting and Wedding Rituals by Raven Kaldera#
Feel free to use some of our ideas to help you along with yours.
Our Service Format
Monitum from the Marriage Act*
Parental Love Blessing# (read by Chris' mother)
The asking* (our own words)
The vows* (our own vows adapted from a popular 6 corded binding)
Childs Wedding Blessing# (read by a friends daughter)
Parental Blessing# (read by my mother)
Declaration of marriage*# (our own words)
Musical Element Quarter Casting
Air: Hits Gong (read by brother)
For Behold! We gather here with words of blessing to celebrate the joining of Chris & Sonja. We sing their happiness to the heavens, to be carried on the winds all over the world.
Fire: Rings Bell (read by friend)
For Behold! We gather here with warm hearts to celebrate their passion for each other. We rejoice in the glow of their love.
Water: Plays Rainstick (read by friend)
For Behold! We gather here with tears of joy in our eyes to celebrate the force that makes two separate people flow onto one path. We shower them with an ocean of our delight.
Earth: Beats Drum (read by sister)
For Behold! We gather here to watch their commitment grow like trees reaching for the sky. We honor their persistence & wish them hope for the future.
Spirit: Shakes Rattle (read by friends children)
For Behold! We gather here to witness the union of two bright & powerful spirits joining their lives together. May you never hunger nor ever thirst.
Friends & family, we are gathered here to celebrate love in all its forms, but especially the love that makes a commitment between two people. This kind of love is not afraid to make promises. It is not afraid to work & to struggle. It seeks not only to be but to continue. It is based not only on the pleasures of the present but on the hopes of the future. This is the kind of love that creates an anchor between two people, one that they can float away from and then find their way back safely. It also anchors a home & family & along with other such great loves creates the bonds of a community we celebrate & applaud the love & the promises of Chris & Sonja. May they always be a living hope for the future & for all of us.
Monitum from the Marriage Act
I, (celebrants name), a civil marriage celebrant am duly authorised by the law to solemnise this marriage according to the laws of this country. Before you Christopher & you Sonja are joined together in marriage in my presence & in the presence of these, your family & your friends, I am bound, as you know, to remind you publicly of the solemn, the serious and the binding nature of the relationship into which you now are about to enter.
Marriage as most of us understand it is the voluntary & full commitment of a man to a woman & a woman to a man. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, & it is entered into with the desire, the hope & the firm intention that it will last for life.
Parental love blessing
Long ago, love made you
And laid you in our arms
Through the years love grew you
Until you came into your own
Today, love joins you together
As you willingly take this bond
And the love you grew from will always bless you
As you begin the cycle anew
Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony & the institution of marriage.
With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends & family, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.
The promises made today & the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years & lives of each soul's growth.
Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?
Couple: "Yes, we seek to enter"
I bid you look into each others eyes.
Chris, Will you cause her pain? "I may"
Is that your what you intend? "No"
Sonja, Will you cause him pain? "I may"
Is that what you intend? "No"
Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it? "We will"
Sonja, Will you share his laughter? "Yes"
Chris, Will you share her laughter? "Yes"
Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other? "We will"
Sonja, Will you burden him? "I may"
Is that your intent? "No"
Chris, will you burden her? "I may"
Is that your intent? "No"
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? "We will"
Chris, Will you share her dreams? "Yes"
Sonja, Will you share his dreams? "Yes"
Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes? "We will"
Chris, Will you cause her anger? "I may"
Is that your intent? "No"
Sonja, Will you cause him anger? "I may"
Is that your intent? "No"
Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union? "We will"
Sonja, Will you honor him? "I will"
Chris, Will you honor her? "I will"
Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor? "We will"
Childs Wedding Blessing
May the sun shine on all you days
May the moon bless all your nights
May you aways remember to say something nice
And forgive each other when you fight
May the dark be warm and welcoming
And always give way to the light
All things turn in circles. The earth spins in a circle and turns around the sun, and the sun turns around the galaxy. Time turns in circles of birth and death and rebirth yet again, and the planets do also spin in this way. And, like all things, marriages move in cycles as well. Sometimes the fires will burn brightly, and sometimes they will die down to coals and then spring up again in bright flames. Sometimes love is warm as the spring, and sometimes it becomes winter cold with troubles and disruption. By taking on the symbol of the circle, you make the promise to remember always that all things come around; to keep faith in spring while enduring winter, to never lose hope that the ashes will flame again, and that your love will be renewed.
Now take these rings that symbolise the circle of life and the cycle of death and rebirth. A never ending symbol with no beginning and no end.
One ring to show our love
One ring to bind us
One ring to seal our love
And forever to entwine us
(we each took turns to say this elvish love verse as we placed the wedding ring on the others finger)
With these cord
I bind thee hand to hand
And heart to heart
That you may know
And all can see
That you are one
Today and forever
(The celebrant said this as he bound our hands together with our ribbons)
Parental Wedding Blessing
Juno, lady of marriage, bless my child
Venus, lady of love, bless my child's beloved
Ceres, lady of the fields, may their fortune grow
Jupiter, lord thunderer, may luck always be with them
Mars, lord protector, defend their vow
Mercury, lord of words, bless their promise
Sun above, witness our joy
Moon riding the sky, light their nights
Earth below, mark this day forever blessed
Declaration of Marriage
Friends and family, Chris and Sonja have declared before all of us that they will live together in marriage. They have made special promises to each other, symbolised by the taking of vows, exchanging of rings, and joining of hands; I now declare them husband and wife. We thank you for your presence and blessings, and open the magic circle.
I hope you have found this helpful.
I stock some books on Handfasting, which can be found in my online store
I spent alot of time searching the internet for info - pagan wedding, handfasting, medieval wedding, wedding vows, etc..
I hope these pages have inspired you to have the best posssible handfasting you can have - the only thing you need is imagination & lots of love!