I love when couples choose to get married at home. Surrounded by family and friends on the family land in a beautiful place to exchange vows. A hand fasting is a pagan ritual. Paganism is an earth based religion so it is fitting that if you have a connection with the land that you would lean towards Paganism. But, well, Indiana farm country is also part of the bible belt, so handfastings can be awkward for family and friends who don't "get it." This script was written to try and find a happy medium.
Ron and Shelbi’s Handfasting
click here for more handfasting ceremony scripts
Shelbi and Ron would like to take a moment to thank you all for being here with them today. You have shared in some of their best and worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows.
We’d also like to take a moment to remember those who are not here today. We know they are here with us in spirit
There is a term that we hear often at events such as this with very little explanation. The term is “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” or “Unconditional Love” In the case of a marriage, and in the case of all loving, caring, committed relationships the ideal that this speaks of is not about perfection, but of expecting and accepting imperfection and human frailty.
It means that a couple must say to one another: ‘I accept and I expect that on occasion you will anger me as I will anger you, and that you will hurt me as I will hurt you; But I know in my heart that between us there is love and affection and friendship that is stronger. I trust that at our best we will live together in love and joy and harmony and at our worst we will fight, with and for and beside each other, for the greater good without fear of abandonment.
For the divinely inspired desire to be together for a lifetime in indeed something well worthy of fighting for. And these dear friends are the promises that you have been invited to bear witness to this day.
This may be the first time that some of you are attending a handfasting. Shelbi and Ron thought you might be interested in the symbolism of what you will see today.
The circle in which you all stand is symbolic of the cycles of life, the womb of the Great Mother, a sacred place created for mortal and divine interaction, in which any negativity from the mundane world can be left outside and all the love and joy we feel for Shelbi and Ron contained within.
Marriage is very much a sacred union, for it is a union of souls in which the bride and groom pledge unto one another their higher selves and all that is divine within themselves.
In the Earth based traditions, it is considered the marriage of the God and Goddess within.
If you are a Princess Bride or Braveheart fan - they were hand fasted.
Those of you who have been to a Greek Orthodox ceremony will undoubtedly recognize the symbolic binding of the hands at the end of the service that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the knot.”
This custom has also been known the world over, through many different periods in history. It was observed the world over long before there were legalities to marriage . During the Middle Ages to be seen in public holding hands was a sign that a couple were exclusive to one another. And while rings were for the very rich, love knows no bounds and a simple cord such as a vine would do just fine.
Some couples practice handfasting once per year as part of their personal spiritual practice. They reaffirm their commitments and love each time to keep the importance of their relationship fresh.
Shelbi and Ron chose the handfasting ceremony to honor their Germanic heritage. Today, they’ve chosen their own ribbons with colors and meaning important to them. The ribbons will be a part of their home for their lifetimes as a memory of today, all of you, and the promises they are making today. We are also personalizing this handfasting in order to bind the family as one. As you can see, traditions, and love, get better with age.
The actual ceremony begins with an Elemental Blessing.
Since ancient times, people have communed with nature to learn more about themselves by example. Since it is within nature that we all do abide, we ask for Bride and Ron the blessings of Nature’s Elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. We do this that they may fully come to understand the lessons each element has to offer. The attributes of which are examples of those aspects they mirror not only within divinity but within ourselves as well. The place they have chosen to do this surrounded by the fresh air, the water of the lake, the freshness of the earth around us and, (the fire of the candles lit here)if not actual fire, the fire that burns within for each other.
We ask the spirits of Air to keep open the lines of communication between this couple. As Air flows freely to and from and through us all, may their hearts and minds and souls come to know the world and each other in this manner.
“Spirits of Fire, we ask that their passion for each other and for life itself remain ever strong and vital, fortifying each day with a vibrancy rooted in boldness, and courage.
We ask the Spirits of Water, that their love for each other and the comfort of loved ones, like the serenity of the deep blue ocean, be the oasis that forever surrounds our Bride and Groom.
Spirits of Earth, we ask that you give unto those you see standing before you this day, the rock solid place to stand and fulfill their destiny. May they find the right seeds to sow to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Father, Mother, Divine Spirit whose presence is felt in all things and at all times we ask your continued blessings upon this couple, upon their union and upon their family and friends who have gathered here to celebrate this joyous event with them. May they become one in truth and forever revel in the magik that is love.”
Drawing Down the God and Goddess
“In the drawing down of the God and Goddess into the Bride and Groom, it connects them with the divinity within themselves, reminding us that in marriage it is our higher selves and the best that we have to give, that we offer to one another.
Moreover, you cannot "draw down" the God or Goddess. They are within you and we ask that arise within you and part of you.
Shelbi bows her head
Shelbi, I ask you to call upon all that is divine within you, Let it come forth and shine. In you dwells the essence of the Great Mother and the divine feminine principle of the Universe. You are She who has been worshiped and adored for centuries and throughout the ages. You are wife, mother, lover, friend, prophet, and confidant. In you is everything that anyone could ever aspire to be and more. In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace. Shine dear one and show your true nature as Goddess.
Ron bows his head
Ron, I ask you to call upon all that is divine within you, Let it come forth and shine. In you lives the essence of the Gods, the active force that has sparked and powered all life. You are He who has been worshiped and adored for centuries and throughout the ages. You are husband, healer, protector, visionary, friend, and confidant. In you is everything that anyone could ever aspire to be and more. In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace. Shine mighty one and show to all the God within.
The ring, a circle, is one of nature’s simplest forms. The arc of the rainbow, the halo of the moon and the smallest of raindrops simulate the circle. When a stone is cast upon a pond, it generates waves in ever expanding circles. Consider this marriage as being two stones striking the water simultaneously. The ensuing waves interlock, and the growth of the enlarging circles show the combined energies of the lives of Ron and Shelbi. The interlocking of these two lives will be symbolized in the exchange of rings.
Ron, please repeat after me:
Shelbi, I give you this ring as a sign of my devotion and love and with my all my heart I promise to you all that I am. With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.
Shelbi, please repeat after me:
Ron, I give you this ring as a sign of my devotion and love and with my all my heart I promise to you all that I am. With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.
Is it also your wish today that your hands be fasted in the ways of old?
Shelbi and Ron: It is.
Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind...
Tartan/chord is held aloft
The role already taken by the song your hearts share shall now be strengthened by the vows taken. All things of the material world eventually return to the Earth unlike the bond and the connection your spirits share which is destined to ascend to the heavens.
May you be forever as one in the passion and fire of you Shelbi and Ron’s hands are bound You are now as your hearts have always known you to be,
Husband and Wife.
You may kiss the bride!”
Apache Wedding Blessing
Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies, But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
As a wedding officiant, I want every couple to the the wedding ceremony they want. Since I started giving couples tools to create their own ceremonies I haven't performed the same ceremony twice. Here are some of the ceremonies.
Rachel and Dominic's Traditional Wedding Ceremony Script with a Prayer from Grandpa. Valle Vista, Greenwood, IN
DaWonda and Dorothy's Same-Sex Christian Wedding Ceremony Script. Featuring a Unity Candle of Remembrance, Family Sand Ceremony and Jumping the Broom!
LaKieta And Josh's Wedding Ceremony Script. Wood Burning Unity Ceremony. Falls Park Gazebo, Pendleton, IN.