SAMPLE CEREMONIES

SPIRITUAL AMERICAN WEDDING

 

WELCOME

A warm welcome to all!

As we prepare to begin this ceremony, please check once more to make sure that your cell phones are turned off.

 

On behalf of Jane&Leonardo, I welcome you to this celebration of their marriage. Your presence here today is very important to them. They are truly grateful that you have come to share this very special moment, not just to bear witness to their marriage but to celebrate with them. They want you to know that they have a deep pride and derive immeasurably joy from your presence in their lives.

 

And now, please rise to welcome the couple.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Impressionist artist, Claude Monet said:

“It is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives his subjects their true meaning.”

Let us create an atmosphere that invokes the full meaning of every word and gesture shared today. Let us use the artist eye and experience this ceremony with all our senses so we may carry joy from this place – out into the world.

The invitation is for each of us to be fully present. Leonardo and Jane practice gratitude as a way to stay positive and fully present in their lives. Please join them for a moment, by closing your eyes and considering in your mind allthat you are grateful for in your life.

It is with infinite gratitude that we are gathered here today!

Together we can create the energy to bless this lovely couple.

 

Love is like a garden, it needs to be nurtured and tended.

It has been said that in the garden, thoughts and dreams grow as freely as flowers. We are going to use this ceremony as an opportunity to create a beautiful garden. Let it be a garden of thoughts and dreams and let each flower contain all of our heartfelt wishes for Jane and Leonardo.

A poem for their garden of love.

 

“Secret Garden”

by  JTH

 

You have planted a seed in the secret garden of my soul, that I will water everyday and give it love to grow.

 

I will nurture it and take care to give it all that it needs, and grow a symbol of our love from this sacred seed.

 

As I watch it blossom I think of you here with me, and dream of the blessed day when together we shall be.

 

If you are ever lonely or sad and blue, step into our secret garden where I wait for you.

 

Come share in the splendor that our love has grown, and in my arms by this rose let our secret be known.

 

Jane and Leonardo both knew from the first date that they had met a person to whom they would love deeply… It is this deep love and their dedication to become husband and wife that has brought us here tonight.

Their first few dates were magical. From the first moment they laid eyes on each other they felt a deep heart connection…It was as if they had always known each other. Their conversations came easy and there was a comfort and joy in being together. They discovered that they shared many of the same values, and goals in life.

 

Jane and Leonardo have both come to understand  that self-awareness, living in the present moment and letting your walls down are the keys to finding lasting love.

Loving someone involves respecting them, listening to them deeply, trying to understand them, and having the strength to give them love unconditionally without expectation of anything in return. Although they both came to these conclusions by very different paths, now they see the world in very similar ways and are both ready for this commitment to each other and to their beloved children.

They both feel truly blessed and honored to have found the perfect partner to live an Extra-ordinary life, full of adventure, fun and love.

 

I would like to read a poem by George Eliot, dedicated to Jane&Leonardo

“To Be One With Each Other”

 

What greater thing is there for two human souls

than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen

each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,

to share with each other in all gladness,

to be one with each other in the

silent unspoken memories?

 

The Charge

 

Before you, Leonardo and you Jane,

are joined together in marriage in my presence

and in the presence of these witnesses,

as your Celebrant I am bound to remind you

of the solemn, the serious and the binding nature

of the relationship into which you are about to enter.

 

Marriage is a voluntary commitment,

made in the deepest sense

to the exclusion of all others,

and is entered into with the desire,

the hope and the firm intention

that it will last for life.

The Asking

 

Having heard what marriage will demand of you. I ask you,

Leonardo, do you take Jane to be your wife?

Will you love her in good times and in bad,

In sickness and in health

In abundance and in want

For as long as you both shall live?

 

Leonardo: “I do”.

 

Jane, do you take Leonardo to be your husband?

Will you love him in good times and in bad,

In sickness and in health

In abundance and in want

For as long as you both shall live?

 

Jane :      “I do”.

THE VOWS

Will you join hands Please

Jane to Leonardo

Leonardo

I love you.

I wish to join our lives

I wish to be your partner and for us to be companions on our journey through life.

With deep understanding and love

I vow to be dedicated to you and our spiritual growth .

By doing this we can become more together than we are apart.  Our relationship can be a vehicle for self discovery, we can help each other realize our own full potential.  Doubt can be transformed into faith,  sorrow can be transformed into happiness, fear into confidence, want into abundance and generosity

and Individuals can become

a family.

I offer you a life of love, respect and friendship

I offer myself who will try to understand more than longing to be understood.

I will listen not only to your words but to the silence between them to hear your heart.

I will look into your eyes and see beyond them and try to meet you

soul to soul.

I will try to be the best me so I can be the best for you

I will be faithful to you

I will honor you

I will cherish you

I will protect and support you and our children

I will always put you first in my life.  I will strive to give you the best parts of my life.

I know the love I give you will return to us as a couple and a family.

Love generates Love.

I will love you with all my heart, completely exposed and defenseless. I will try not to build walls around it and I will strive to tear down all the walls that I have unconsciously built through the years of my life.   Through doing this my bare self will be revealed to you un-obscured by the fears that can separate us and we will find

connection and intimacy

I promise to accept you for who you are in every way, perfect and imperfect

and accept life for everything that it has to offer, the good as well as the bad the status quo and its inevitable changes. I will have the courage to love without guarantees or expectations. Through acceptance I will never fill our lives and our relationship with resentment

 

I will strive to find balance in all things, and realize contentment, knowing that I have everything I need within myself for happiness and I will allow our relationship to flow like a river through the twists and turns of life.  By doing this I will fill our lives with serenity.

 

I will strive to live in the now with awareness and in my presence find

inner peace that I can bring to our union.

I promise to stand by you

through the ups and downs,

through the rolling sea of turmoil and happiness of life

and as our lives change their seasons

I will always be there for you

Leonardo to Jane-

Jane

I love you.

I wish to join our lives

I wish to be your partner and for us to be companions on our journey through life.

With deep understanding and love

I vow to be dedicated to you and our spiritual growth .

By doing this we can become more together than we are apart.  Our relationship can be a vehicle for self discovery, we can help each other realize our own full potential.  Doubt can be transformed into faith,  sorrow can be transformed into happiness, fear into confidence, want into abundance and generosity

and Individuals can become

a family.

I offer you a life of love, respect and friendship

I offer myself who will try to understand more than longing to be understood.

I will listen not only to your words but to the silence between them to hear your heart.

I will look into your eyes and see beyond them and try to meet you

soul to soul.

I will try to be the best me so I can be the best for you

I will be faithful to you

I will honor you

I will cherish you

I will protect and support you and our children

I will always put you first in my life.  I will strive to give you the best parts of my life.

I know the love I give you will return to us as a couple and a family.

Love generates Love.

I will love you with all my heart, completely exposed and defenseless. I will try not to build walls around it and I will strive to tear down all the walls that I have unconsciously built through the years of my life.   Through doing this my bare self will be revealed to you un-obscured by the fears that can separate us and we will find

connection and intimacy

I promise to accept you for who you are in every way, perfect and imperfect

and accept life for everything that it has to offer, the good as well as the bad the status quo and its inevitable changes. I will have the courage to love without guarantees or expectations. Through acceptance I will never fill our lives and our relationship with resentment

 

I will strive to find balance in all things, and realize contentment, knowing that I have everything I need within myself for happiness and I will allow our relationship to flow like a river through the twists and turns of life.  By doing this I will fill our lives with serenity.

I will strive to live in the now with awareness and in my presence find

inner peace that I can bring to our union.

I promise to stand by you

through the ups and downs,

through the rolling sea of turmoil and happiness of life

and as our lives change their seasons

I will always be there for you

RING VOWS

Before we begin the ring ceremony, the significance of the diamond engagement ring must be mentioned. It was designed by Leonardo, with the help of his very creative, artistic daughters. Leonardo wanted to create a unique ring that would have symbolic representation for their relationship, as well, to be a design that he knew Jane would love.

The center stone represents their relationship. The four side stones represent the children. The diamond is one of the hardest substances on earth, as such it is a symbol of strength and longevity. The unique design of the setting creates waves crashing against the diamonds. The waves against the diamonds represent that although life can be challenging and tumultuous that it is not able to penetrate or destroy their solid, grounded love and commitment. The tiny diamonds that lie within the curling waves remind us that even within the turmoil we can find beauty and light.  The waves also represent the vast ocean and the depth of Love in their relationship.

 May I have the rings, please:

These wedding bands are extra special as they have been exclusively designed by Leonardo and Jane as their first creative project together to symbolize their love and commitment to working together to create beauty in this world.

 

Traditionally, the passage to the status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings.

These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love.

Love freely given has no beginning and no end; no giver, and no receiver.

For each is a giver, and each is a receiver

 

May the beauty and the substance of these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken today.

 

Leonardo, please take Jane’s ring; and, as you place it on her finger repeat after me:

 

I give you this ring:

Wear it with love and joy.

As this ring has no end,

Neither has my love for you.

 

Jane, please take Leonardo’s ring: and, as you place it on his finger repeat after me:

 

I give you this ring:

Wear it with love and joy.

As this ring has no end,

Neither has my love for you.

FAMILY UNITY CANDLE

Celebrant:

It is love that has brought us together this evening. The love that these two wonderful people have for each other and the love that they have for their children.  This marriage is joining not only of two individuals but of two families.

(Priya invites both moms)

May I begin the unity candle ceremony by requesting the bride and groom’s mothers to come forward and light the eternal light candle.

 (Judy will light Leonardo’s and Emma will Light Jane’s candle.)

Thank you mom’s. Please be seated.

Each of you here will be connected to the others in a slightly different way after today. This wedding will create a new family unit consisting of the six people standing before you. Jane and Leonardo have chosen to have their children stand with them, to symbolize that they will be not just a couple but a whole family.

(Priya invites the children closer to us to make a circle.)

These lighted candles that Leonardo and Jane hold represent their individual lives.

They light their own childrens’ candles from them, just as a parent gives life to their children and the children become individuals themselves.

All six light the unity candle together with their six candles representing the union of their families.

The six candles are replaced into their holders still burning representing that all their individual lives continue even as we are united.

(MANDOLIN PLAYS while the couple and children light candles)

 

Thank you. Please be seated!

 

MARRIAGE BLESSING

 

Celebrant:

Jane and Leonardo, on behalf of your family and friends we bestow this loving wish on your wedding day…

May your love grow stronger each day, sending roots deep with profound awareness of each other and with new beginnings every season of your life together.

May you find constant reward and challenge as you pursue the ongoing adventure of learning who you are and where you want to go.

May you always have a special sense of your mission in life together, and may you never tire of the endless possibilities of exploring your shared existence and the zest for life.

And in many, many years from now, may you hold each other’s loving hands, look to one another and be able to say, “Because of you, I have lived the life I always wanted to live – because of you, I have become the person I always longed to be.”

 

Declaration of Marriage

We who have come together in this place have heard the willingness of Leonardo and Jane to be joined in marriage. They have come of their own free will and in our hearing have made their covenant. They have given and received a ring as a seal to this promise. I am delighted to pronounce them husband and wife.

Kiss

It is said that great joy is released into the universe at the moment of the nuptial kiss. You may kiss one another.

(MANDOLIN PLAYS AT KISS TILL THE NEXT ANNOUNCEMENT)

Recessional

ANNOUNCEMENT: May I please ask all of you to be seated until the bride and groom walk towards the stairs above the garden.

The wedding party can proceed to the stairs after 5 minutes, while the guests remain seated.

MANDOLIN PLAYS

(After we kiss. Rachael &Leonardo join hands and walk down the right side aisle. The kids will follow with the girls first then Sebastian last, one by one. )

(The guest will remain in their seats as the wedding party lines up at the top railing above the garden looking down at the guests.)

ANNOUNCEMENT: May I ask all of you to please rise and walk up the staircase side.  At the top of the stairs there will be one girl on each side to greet you with a bag of seeds to throw “blessings” at the couple after they join hands in the circle.

After taking the seed please proceed towards the garden and make one huge circle. The seeds signifies showers of blessings as they step into their new lives as one big family.

Thank you & God bless

 

(The guest will be guided into a circle,then with a celebratory gesture of throwing their hands up while holding hands, the bride and groom will run through the center, while the guest throw seeds at them.Then when R & R get to about the center of the circle,  the wedding party will join them running after them and then all the guests will follow R & R toward the front of the castle to wave them off on their horse and carriage.Then the guests and the wedding party will proceed to cocktail hour.)

 

INDIAN & JEWISH WEDDING 

Welcome. We are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Samuel and Bijal. Samuel and Bijal and their families want to thank all of you for sharing this momentous day with us.

 

Our first purpose for being here today is to recognize and honor the deep love of Bijal and Samuel. It is important that we celebrate the joy Bijal and Samuel have found together, to mark its importance to them and to all of us.

 

Our second purpose for being here is to pledge our support for them throughout their marriage and their lives. Samuel and Bijal have benefited so much from the guidance and love you have all provided to get them to this day. They hope that this support will continue after their marriage and into the years beyond.

 

So, again, thank you for coming to witness Samuel and Bijal declaring their love and commitment.

 

Let’s welcome the bride

 

Processional

 

Bijal will walk down the aile with her father . Bijal stands on the right side of Samuel. Bijal’s father stands next to Bijal.

 

Celebrant: Do you approve to give your daughter’s hand in marriage to Samuel Goldberg?:

 

Mr. Singh: I Do

 

[Mr. Singh hugs Bijal and Samuel and takes a seat on the right side of the aile.]

 

Celebrant: Thank you Mr. Singh

 

Introduction

 

As quoted by Sir Hugh Walpole,

The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase.
This inner progressiveness of love between two people is a most marvellous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

It is love that conquers all barriers, and covers all distances. It is love that has brought us here together to celebrate the commitment that these two wonderful people would like to promise to each other.

Bijal and Samuel’s hopes for future is to continue to love each other more each day, and remember that it was for true love that they decided to marry each other.

On this glorious day, Bijal would like to thank her parents for giving her the best life possible, filled with love, support, opportunity and discipline. Samuel would like to take the opportunity and thank his parents for everything that they have done for him.

 

REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY

Celebrant: Bijal & Samuel would like to begin their wedding ceremony by remembering and honoring Mr. Prakash Singh, Bijal’s paternal uncle who departed to the other world in March 2011, and Samuel’s grandparents. They are here with all us in spirit and must be very happy on this wonderful day of Bijal & Samuel’s  wedding celebration.

 

Celebrant: I begin the ceremony by asking for blessings from the creator.

We pray to Lord Ganesh before every new beginning

OM Sree ganeshya namaha

 

EXCHANGE OF GARLANDS

Celebrant: We have come here to wed Bijal and Samuel. Today they build together the foundation of their marriage in the presence of their friends and family. We will proceed with exchange of garlands which signifies mutual acceptance and honoring  each other.

May I ask Mrs. Singh and Mrs. Goldberg to come forward to present the lovely garland to their children.

[(At this point, the couple will be standing in front of the fire pit under the mandap, both mothers come forward to present garlands to their children to exchange.]

Celebrant: Samuel please garland Bijal and Bijal you can garland Samuel. Take your time and do not give in so easily. Samuel this is your chance to tease Bijal and Bijal you can have some fun with this ceremony.

THE JOINING OF HANDS

 

Celebrant: May I ask Mr. Singh to come forward and give his daughter’s hand in marriage to Samuel.

May I request Mr. & Mrs. Singh to apply kumkum (red powder) on the bride and groom’s forehead and give flowers.

 

[There will be few flowers in hand for joining of hands ceremony]

 

Mr. Singh, please place Bijal’s right hand in Samuel’s right hand.

(The bride’s father will give her hand in Samuel’s hand, and I will tie hands with thread or a red or pink color scarf.)

Celebrant: There is an ancient Indian ritual that joins the hands of the bride and the groom on their wedding day. The couple’s hands are tied together symbolizing their spiritual union. Samuel & Bijal please join hands.

 

 (Please stand for circling)

 

THE SEVEN SACRED CIRCLES

 

Celebrant:

In Indian tradition, the Bride and Groom take seven circles to symbolize the beginning of their journey through life together. These circles represent principles and promises to each other. It is said that if the Bride and Groom walk seven circles together, they will become lifelong friends. Samuel and Bijal will circle the sacred fire (Fire Pit), which is meant as a symbol of purity.

 

Bijal & Samuel, when you are ready, please take the first step and repeat after me.

 

  1. Step One: (sharing)

We promise to respect each other and care of each other’s well being, both material and spiritual.

 

Please take the second step.

 

  1. Step Two (Family Dharma)

Together we will protect and provide for our family.

 

Please take the third step.

 

  1. Step Three (Harmonious life)

We take an oath of trust and loyalty to each other.

 

Now the fourth step.

 

  1. Step Four (Growth)

We will fill each other’s lives with the most important human values: love, compassion, understanding, sacrifice, and service.

 

The Fifth step.

 

  1. Step Five (Restatement)

Let us reconfirm our four vows of love, family duty, harmony and growth.

 

  1. Step Six (Spiritual Development and social obligations)

We will perform all acts of righteousness.

 

  1. Step Seven (Eternal Bond)

Now with these seven steps, we are related as husband and wife and our bond is eternal. Let our love and friendship become eternal.

.

 

(At this point you will both be standing till I ask you to sit)

 

SITTING RITUAL

 

Weddings are supposed to be fun and exciting. Another Indian ritual is to find out if Samuel can be faster than Bijal or vice versa. Let’s see who sits first now….

 

(You both will be seated now)

 

Celebrant: Now I will untie the hands

 

SWEET EXCHANGE

 

Now I may ask Bijal’s mother to bring sweets for the couple

May I ask the couple to feed each other sweets.

Like the sweetness in this Mithai, May your like be filled with sweet words and sweet moments.

 

SINDOOR

May I ask Samuel’s dad Mr. Goldberg to come forward and bring sindoor for the bride. The jewel of a bride on her wedding day is sindoor(the red powder) which is applied by her husband on the wedding day. The sindoor signifies that Bijal is a married woman and belongs to Samuel. Please apply sindoor on Bijal’s hair.

[Samuel applies sindoor to hair parting of Bijal]

MANGAL SUTRA

[After the sindoor ceremony, I ask the groom’s parents to bring forward the mangalsutra for the bride.the groom’s parents stay there and groom;s mother assists the groom ]

Followed after sindoor is the mangalsutra which symbolizes Samuel’s everlasting commitment to Bijal. May I ask both the parents to come forward and shower their blessings on their children.

[I present flowers to both the parents]

[Samuel puts Mangalsutra (necklace) in Bijal’s neck, and parents shower the couple with flowers.]

Celebrant: I would like to dedicate this verse to the couple on behalf of both the parents.

When children find true love

Parents find true joy.

Our blessings to you two,

May your joy and ours last forever. 

 

MONITUM

 

Celebrant:

Now I, Priya Navani, a Civil Celebrant,

am duly authorized by the law

to solemnize this, Samuel and Bijal marriage,

according to the laws of New Jersey

 

WEDDING BLESSING:

I would like to present the couple with wedding blessings by the author Ta’shia Asanti

 

On this sacred day, I wish you, the bride and groom,

All the joy that will fit into your hearts, all the love

That can flow from your eyes and the passion of the

multitudes. May your roads be paved with kindness and

consideration, and your lives be filled with hope and peace.

 
Ring Vows:

Bijal, please take Samuel’s hands.

These rings are symbols of your married love. Wear them faithfully and joyously as a sign of your commitment to each other.

Bijal, please repeat after me
VOWS

 

Having taken the seven steps together,

I assure you that I will never change

from the path of my love and friendship with you.

To laugh with you in joy

To grieve with you in sorrow,

To grow with you in love,

This I promise from my heart,

With my soul

For all the days of my life

and beyond the bounds of time.
 
(Bijal gives Samuel his wedding ring at the end of her vows.)

Samuel, please repeat after me:
Having taken the seven steps together,

I assure you that I will never change

from the path of love and friendship with you.

To laugh with you in joy

To grieve with you in sorrow,

To grow with you in love,

This I promise from my heart,

With my soul

For all the days of my life

and beyond the bounds of time.

Samuel then gives Bijal her wedding ring at the end of his saying his vows.

Declaration

Because Samuel and Bijal have pledged their love and commitment to each other before these witnesses, I declare that they are husband and wife.