When I first spoke with this couple on the phone and they said they wanted to have the Unbreakable Vow in the wedding ceremony I immediately know they were a couple I wanted to marry! After meeting with them in person a few months later I know I really wanted to perform their wedding ceremony and have the challenge of personalizing their wedding ceremony with them. I had already written another unbreakable vow that I will be performing with another couple in a few weeks, but they are two totally different couples and have two totally different ceremonies!
This is very much a customized ceremony. While the body of the ceremony is based on my modern romantic ceremony, most of the ceremony is tailored for the couple. We worked together over several months with the editing. Their wedding day was AMAZING!
This is an incredibly long ceremony due to the 4 readings. This it not a normal length for a ceremony. This entire ceremony with the couple's personal vows was about 45 minutes. That is not something I recommend unless you know your audience! This ceremony was definitely engaging and the guests enjoyed it!
Good Afternoon! Thank you for gathering here together with Bride and Groom to celebrate their relationship and their choice to enter into marriage. We are here to celebrate their love and their relationship and to share with them their delight in finding love with one other, and support their decision to be together from now until the end of time. As today is May the fourth, we are here hoping that the force will be with them always as they make their unbreakable vow!
While a marriage ceremony is the public and legal joining of two people, it is truly the result of two souls that have already been united as one. Knowing that they have this deep love and commitment to one another, Bride and Groom are entering into their marriage, with thought and reverence, honoring their love for what it has been, what it is, and what it will become. In doing that, they give thanks for the past, which brought them to this place and look forward with hope to what the future will bring.
There is power in the act of marriage and the commitment to the highest form of love in a relationship. Corinthians One says that love is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful, not irritable or resentful, not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its’ own way. It does not rejoice in the wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes in all things and endures all things. Love never ends.
By basing your marriage in such an unconditional love, you create an environment to share your lives, standing together to face life and the world, hand-in-hand open and ready for whatever our lives may bring. Your lives will bring you expansion as individuals. That expansion will continually define and redefine you as a couple. To be successful, you will need strength, courage, patience and a really good sense of humor. So, let your marriage be a time of waking each morning and falling in love with each other all over again.Over time, your love for each other will deepen as you are enriched by growth and change. What will come, will come, and with love, you will face it as it does.
Moment of Silence
Bride and Groom thank you all for being here today. Thank you for making the journey from near and far to be here for this evening of celebration. At this time, We would like to take a moment to remember those who are not with us here today. Those who were unable to be here and those who have gone on to greater things. We know that they are here with us in spirit.
Presentation of the Bride and Groom
The marriage of Bride and Groom brings together two different families and their two unique story lines. Today, a new chapter in their lives begins to unfold. Although this relationship was formed out of the love these two have found in each other, their marriage will ultimately be blessed by the support of their families. At this time, I formally ask for that blessing.
Groom’s Mother and father, do you offer this couple your goodwill?
Do you welcome Bride as a member of your family and give her your
love and affection?
Parents: We do.
Bride’s Mother, do you offer this couple your goodwill?
Do you welcome Groom as a member of your family and give him
your love and affection?
Parents: We do.
As these two people join together in marriage, they ask for the
support and love of not only their families, but of their friends as
well. On this day, they ask that you be more than only friends of
Friends and family and honored guests, will you recognize this special union as well? Welcoming the marriage of Audrey and Pete into your lives?
Today is a celebration. A celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it for forever. You don't have to have a ceremony to have a marriage. And when you think about it, the whole thing is kind of weird, right? You're standing on a stage, looking fancy, holding flowers, and being stared at by pretty much everyone who has meant anything to you in the past twenty-something years. So why do we do it? The marriage ceremony has been an important feature across nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society. We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so critical, we acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others.
Why this moment? Why does this one matter beyond all the rest?
Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It's the great unifier — our one universal truth. That no matter who we are, where we've come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we're doing right. That's why you both are standing here. That's why you all are here to watch them stand up here. We have all loved in our lifetimes, and in this moment, we are reminded that the ability to love is the very best part of our humanity
All of us here today have our own love stories. Some are short, others long. Some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part. There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing — and others that are exciting and full of adventure.
“For Bride and Groom they met at a time in which it was most unexpected to find love. Even more unexpected was to find love in a dingy graduate student office at Purdue University. But they did. And from that moment to today they have grown as individuals and as a couple. They’ve had adventures, sad moments, and joyous occasions with one another.”
And that brings them here. A time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought them here. And a time to look ahead at all the moments that are still to come.
I'm here — we're all here — because we want those moments for you. We're here to hope with you, to support you, to be proud of you, and to remind you that love isn't happily ever after, love is the experience of writing your story. It's not one moment — not even this moment. It's every moment. Big ones like saying "I love you," moving in together, getting engaged — but mostly a million little ones that come in between the big moments. Falling asleep next to one another, making dinner together, spending holidays with your families, binge-watching Netflix shows, getting a big hug when you get home from work… These everyday moments fuse together into one big experience.
And even though this experience is so incredible, words fail us when we try and explain it. That's just the way it is with love — it's meant to be felt, not described.
But trying to describe love is one of our favorite pastimes. We use the words we have to write stories, and poems, and songs about love. And even though we describe love in different ways — and even though love can look different from one person to the next — we all know it when we see it. And we see it here.
You fell in love by chance, but you're here today because you're making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You've chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter.
You're about to make promises to each other that you intend to keep. You're going to vow to take care of each other, to stand up for one another, and find happiness in the other. There's a simple premise to each of these promises: you're vowing to be there. You're teaming up and saying to the other, "Every experience I am going to have, I want you to be a part of."
All of the readers are in the ceremony so they will be at the rehearsal and they will intro the readings themselves.
The first reading is:
James Kavanaugh’s “To Love Is Not to Possess”
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one's self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one's self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another—and to one's inner self.
Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
These are the things I learned…
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad. Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Declaration of Principles from Babylon 5
The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not English, Korean, or Greek.
It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust.
It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice.
It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.
And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says we are One.
No matter the blood, no matter the skin,
No matter the world, no matter the star,
We are One.
No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,
No matter the loss, no matter the fear.
We are One.
Here, gathered together in common cause
We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.
We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation,
And the fire that will light the way to your future together.
The Fourth Reading
The Blessing of the 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 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 temporarily comes your way.
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 give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
This new journey will be at times richly rewarding and extremely
difficult, but, most importantly, it will be a journey you take
together. Marriage is much more than your signatures on a legal
contract. You are promising and have asked all of these people you
love to watch you make this promise, that you want to be with each
other and only each other for the rest of your lives, and that you will
do everything in your power to honor the promises you are making
Groom, from this day onward, do you choose Bride to be your wife,
your best friend and your only love? To live together, play together
and laugh together; To work by her side and dream in her arms; To
fill her heart and feed her soul; To always seek out the best in her;
Always loving her with all your heart, until the end of your forever?
Groom: I do
Bride, from this day onward, do you choose Groom to be your
husband, your best friend and your only love? To live together, play
together and laugh together; To work by his side and dream in his
arms; To fill his heart and feed his soul; To always seek out the best
in him; Always loving him with all your heart, until the end of your
Bride: I do
You Exchange the vows you’ve written for each other here.
The rings please…
The rings are the universal symbols of marriage. They mean many things. From now on you will wear these rings and they will remind you... They will remind you of the endless circle that they are. Like love, there is no beginning and no end. They will remind you daily that you are married. Sometimes they will remind you of the commitment that you have made - for better or worse. But, may they always remind you that there is one other person in the world that has pledged to love you forever, through thick and through thin and with all that they have.
Groom, please repeat after me....
Bride, I give you this ring with all that I am and all that I ever will be. Wear it and know that I love you always. With this ring, I marry you.
Bride, please repeat after me....
Groom, I give you this ring with all that I am and all that I ever will be. Wear it and know that I love you always. With this ring, I marry you.
Unity Ceremony - The Unbreakable Vow
Now, we come to the part we call the unity ceremony, It’s an act that couples do to symbolize their joining together and it looks to the future of their marriage. A unity ceremony can be fun or meaningful or both. Today, Bride and Groom have chosen a little of both! They have chosen to do the Unbreakable Vow inspired by Harry Potter.
As we all know, our love for movies and literature can truly last a lifetime and the reasons why we love them are because of the deeper messages they carry that speak to us. To be fair, Bride loves the world of Harry Potter and Groom loves all things Star Wars. As you may see in the subtleties of the socks of the groomsmen. And well, today is May 4th. They will forever remember their wedding day when someone says “May the 4th be with you.”
What both The World of Harry Potter and the World of Star Wars have in common, is this force. The force can be the spiritual world one may live in or it may be the literal magic that witches and wizards naturally harness to cast spells. In this case, on the day of a wedding, that force is Love. We all have access to the power of the force and we are free to use it any way we like. We can channel our power for good or bad or both.
Bride and Groom, over the lifetime of your marriage, you will always be changing and with each change will come decisions. Changes will happen to you personally and the changes each of you make will influence the dynamics of your marriage. You do not know what those changes will be or how they will truly affect you. Will it be a positive change? Or not?
We do know that your marriage is based in love, a magical force. It’s been proven time and time again that when we surrender to the power of love, things will always turn out well in the end. And sometimes you may need the faith and encouragement that it will.
So, that was the serious part. Now the fun!
In the magical world of Harry Potter, when one makes the unbreakable vow they are vowing with their life that the will do what they will say. If they break the vow, they will die. In reality, I believe that if we truly love someone and hurt them, a little bit of us dies inside because what we do to another, we do to ourselves.
We do not know what that magical incantation is that one says when making the unbreakable vow. We know it’s not Abracadabra or Alakazam! We do know that the two people making the vow hold hands and look at one another and there is a third person with a wand that asks questions and as they are answered, the bond is made. This is very fitting in a wedding ceremony. Two people making promises and an officiant between them witnesses and facilitating the promises. Although, I have no magical power that will make a marriage last, I can help you invoke your own magic, and, hopefully, more than kindle the flame of your love that will make it burn bright for years to come. It is your own personal commitment that will dictate your outcome.
Earlier in the ceremony, you were asked the typical questions of marriage, do you, take this person to have and hold…. And you answered with “I do.” You made a public commitment that you are entering into this marriage right here, right now. As I ask you the questions of the Unbreakable Vow, the answer is “I will.” You are basically saying, when the time comes to make a decision you will make the decision based on your union as husband and wife and the love and trust your marriage is based on.
So now, I ask you to join your left hands together. I have cords here made of white, gold, green, gray, and blue. Each color symbolizes different meanings; white for truth and peace, gold for wisdom and strength, green for prosperity and health, gray for balance and respect, and finally blue for fidelity and steadfastness. I now tie your hands together to physically symbolize the spiritual bond of the Unbreakable Vow. May these values be ever present as you uphold your unbreakable vows.
I stand back a bit, ask questions, as as you answer them,
We are gathered here to witness the the union of two faithful souls.
What’s coming will come, Will you meet it when it does?
I ask you, Bride and Groom, do you agree that you are only as strong as you are united and weak as you are divided?
Will you remember that there is no try? There is only do or do not.
Knowing that indifference and neglect often do more damage than outward dislike, will you promise to pay attention to one another, celebrating your diversity and continually learn from one another?
If you ever find your lack of faith disturbing will you take action to remedy it?
When you face any dark and difficult times that lie ahead, knowing you have a choice between what is right and what is easy, will you promise to choose what is right?
At some point, 20 or 30 years from now, if you ever question your love for each other, after all this time, will your answer be Always?
Then I declare you bonded for life!
Final Blessing and Pronouncement
Life and love are the greatest gifts bestowed upon humanity.
May your union grant you patience, tolerance, and understanding
as well as the passion and excitement every marriage should possess.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you support one another, as a sign of mutual independence.
May you continually rediscover your love in one another, as the greatest gift of all.
It is my great pleasure to acknowledge your union as “Husband and Wife.”
You may now seal your marriage with a kiss!!!
I am open to marrying any couple. It is my goal to meet each couple where they are and help them to have a positive wedding experience. In order to meet you where you are, I approach every wedding with an open mind - I don’t know anything about you until you tell me and that’s only if you choose to tell me. Wedding ceremony scripts have been written for years for brides and grooms. Now, bride and bride or groom and groom are very common. Some couples are choosing to forego traditional gender roles altogether and are using the terms spouse or partner. If you have made the choice to use non-traditional pronouns, please let me know and I am happy to honor your preferences. Any wedding ceremony script can be changed to reflect your personal preferences.