Disclaimer: This post is long but is mostly just the script from our ceremony and vows. You can use it as a resource for ideas or inspiration of what you may like (or may not want to do). But to make it a quicker read for those of you who are not interested, I highlighted words in red that are the parts that are my favorite and my reason for sharing this with everyone. It's of course also a way for me to journal our ceremony script for my own memories.
I was never a big fan of the simplicity of 'You may now kiss your bride.' It had to mean something that you get to kiss at this very moment, right? And so when I was browsing videographer's blogs for ideas for our ceremony, and heard a pastor speak those words - "You may now claim your bride with a kiss," I immedidately added that into our ceremony script! Yes, I have the entire thing already written out and have handed it off to our officiant (my junior high school pastor) for his review and thoughts. :)
Side note: I asked my pastor if he minded me basically giving him a pre-written 'script' for our wedding ceremony and he said he actually likes it when brides do this because it ensures that they will get what they want and makes less work for him other than throwing in a brief message and some personal touches about the couple. This is why I love him! You should not think twice about asking your vendors, even your officiant, for what you want at your wedding!
Ok, so I wanted to keep a lot of the traditional touches of the wedding ceremony but also make it personal to us, unique and different from your uber-traditional vows, and not super duper long. I am hoping the entire verbal part of the ceremony only lasts about 20-30 minutes max!
Here's my ceremony script that I pieced together with personal thoughts, internet research and some other traditional inclusions. Please note that I am including both personal promises (letters me and Mr Fix It will write to each other) and both traditional (sort of) vows, so you will see the promises I have written for Mr Fix It, but obviously he has not written anything yet :) Also, of course all of this is subject to change:
Processional and wedding party entrance. Guests are instructed to take their seat…
WELCOME & PURPOSE
OFFICIANT: Family & friends, we are gathered here today to watch as before our very eyes God miraculously joins Stacey and John as one in marriage. Stacey and John, after nearly six years together, today has finally arrived. Today, we share your excitement about the commitment that you will make to each other in a few moments and about the life together that you will build.
PRESENTATION OF THE BRIDE
OFFICIANT TO BRIDE'S FATHER: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
FOB: With our blessing, her mother and I do.
OFFICIANT: And John, do you accept Stacey as God’s perfect gift to you? I do
(Father kisses Bride on cheek, shakes Groom’s hand and then passes Bride’s hand to Groom where Bride and Groom join together in front of pastor)
WORDS ON MARRIAGE
Amos 3:3 verse
In the book of Ruth, there are witnesses who see the marriage of Boaz & Ruth and pronounce a blessing on them...(incorporate family & friends into ceremony as witnesses.)
WORDS TO BRIDE & GROOM
Stacey and John, you have known each other for six years, from your first date as acquaintances to this moment of intimate commitment. Along the way, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes until this moment of yes, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. Some of those agreements didn’t come easy and had to endure a little wrestling…but all those conversations that were held riding in a car or sitting in your living rooms—all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”—those late-night talks that centered around “someday”… All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The vows you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at each another—and remember this moment. Before today, you have been many things to each other—companion, confidante, friend. Now, after you say these few words, things will never be quite the same between you. For after these vows you will say to the world: This—is my husband. This—is my wife.
(Officiant asks Julie to take Stacey’s flowers for her.) Stacey and John, take each others’ hands and know that these are the hands of your best friend. 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 fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes— tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family together. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it and will hold fast together in prayer. 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.
OFFICIANT: John & Stacey have chosen to write their own personal promises to one another before taking their marriage vows. Stacey, you may begin.
STACEY: I used to think that love was only real love if you were swept off your feet, carried off on horseback and kissing in the waves on a beach somewhere. But God in His grace has taught me through you what true love is really all about. You make me feel things that I don't think I've ever really felt before. I feel safe and secure when I am with you, I don't worry or fear anything because I know you will always protect me. I feel pride and hope when I talk with you, for you always encourage me, build me up and share your dreams with me. I feel accepted and appreciated when I listen to you for you know all my faults and flaws and yet you manage to put up with them and tease me about them. I have come to understand that I can still feel swept away by your own little ways of always letting me know that you care for me and want to be with me and I appreciate those things so much; even when you try to act like Fabio and think you’re being sexy and seductive with your silly French or Italian accent. I'm not sure which one you think you're doing. I do not question or doubt your loyalty or love for me. But most importantly, I appreciate you and the future you share with me.
For years now, I have placed all of my faith, hope and trust in my Lord, Jesus Christ and the belief that His plans for me are good and that He has a future for me that I could never dream for myself. And now, you are the conclusion to a prayer that I thought would never be answered the way I hoped for.
And so today, it is with all of my heart and soul, that I place all of that faith, hope and trust in you as well and in your love for me and Jordan, your provision for us, and your role as the spiritual leader and head of our household.
I promise you on this day, that you can forever be certain of my loyalty to you, that you will never have to doubt my love for you, and you can stand confident in my trust in you. God has confirmed and I will always be sure that my place is right by your side for the rest of my life.
I am so proud to be able to tell everyone I know and will meet that I am your wife and your partner on this path that God has directed us down. Thank you for loving me as no one ever has or ever will and for taking me as your wife from this day forward.
OFFICIANT: Ecclesiastes 5:1-5 (Words about vows) John, please make your vows to Stacey:
JOHN VOWS: By the grace of God, I John, take you, Stacey to be my wedded wife; I promise with God's help to be your faithful husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, in sickness and in health, in poverty as in wealth, in sorrow as in joy, to love and to serve you as Christ commands until death parts us or Christ returns. I pledge before God & these witnesses to place your good before mine. I promise to honor and cherish you. I promise to hug and kiss you each morning and every evening and in the moments throughout the day whenever I look at you and feel so led. I promise to be a patient, encouraging step-father to Jordan, caring for her and providing for her as my own and loving her with all my heart forever. Joyfully and willingly I commit myself to you and you alone. I promise to love, lead and lay down my life for you, as Christ did for His bride.
STACEY VOWS: By the grace of God, I Stacey, take you, John, to be my wedded husband; I promise with God's help to be your faithful wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, in sickness and in health, in poverty as in wealth, in sorrow as in joy, to love and to serve you as Christ commands until death parts us or Christ returns. I pledge before God & these witnesses to place your good before mine. I promise to honor and cherish you. I promise to hug and kiss you each morning and every evening and in the moments throughout the day whenever I look at you and feel so led. Joyfully and willingly I commit myself to you and you alone. I promise to love, trust and support you, as the church is called to follow her groom, Jesus Christ.
PRESENTATION OF RING TO JORDAN
OFFICIANT: Stacey & John will soon be exchanging rings as a sign of their commitment to one another. Before they do so, they have also decided to present Jordan with a token of their commitment to her as an example of a Godly, loving commitment to their marriage and their role as her mother and step-father.
(Stacey & John present ring to Jordan and place on her finger.)
OFFICIANT: Jordan, do you promise to love and respect your mother’s new husband? Do you promise to support their marriage and new family? Do you promise to accept the responsibility of being an important, supportive, contributing member of this family, and to encourage them and support them in your new life together? (Jordan's answer)
OFFICIANT: Stacey & John will now share in taking their first communion as husband and wife. (Words on communion.)
(As Lyle leads them to communion table, vocalist, Charlie, sings “All of the Words” by Kutless)
THE RING CEREMONY
OFFICIANT: The wedding ring is a symbol of fidelity, commitment and confirmation of the vows you have spoken. The unending circle symbolizes that your love will never cease. For those of you who are here today with your spouses, Stacey and John would like to offer you the opportunity to renew your vows to one another with a simple quiet signal of your wish to do so. If you would like to renew your vows to your husband and wife today, then simply hold each other’s hands while Stacey & John exchange their rings. When John is done saying his vows to Stacey and places the ring on her hand, husbands, squeeze your wife’s hand. And wives, when Stacey has finished saying her vows to John and places the ring on his hand, please squeeze your husband’s hand to re-affirm the vows you have spoken to one another.
OFFICIANT: John, have you chosen a ring to give to Stacey? Yes
OFFICIANT: May I have the ring? (Officiant holds out Bible to Best Man who lays ring on book, Officiant offers ring to John who takes ring off of book)
OFFICIANT: John, place the ring on Stacey’s finger as you repeat after me...
"Stacey, I give you this ring, as a symbol of our union. When you look at this ring, may you be reminded of my love, fidelity and my lifelong commitment to you. Please wear it, as a sign to the world, that you are my wife for with this ring, I thee wed."
OFFICIANT: Stacey, have you chosen a ring to give to John? Yes
OFFICIANT: May I have the ring? (Officiant holds out Bible to Maid of Honor who lays ring on book, Officiant offers ring to Stacey who takes ring off of book)
OFFICIANT: Stacey, place the ring on John’s finger as you repeat after me...
"John, I give you this ring, as a symbol of our union. When you look at this ring, may you be reminded of my love, fidelity and my lifelong commitment to you. Please wear it, as a sign to the world, that you are my husband for with this ring, I thee wed."
Blog post on this to come later :)
OFFICIANT: Family and friends, Stacey & John have now demonstrated in your presence their belief in their love and their desire to live together in marriage. They have invited you here today as witnesses and most importantly, supporters of their decision to marry and their new life which you will all be a part of as the years unfold. If you also believe in their love and wish to add your blessing to their marriage, would you respond now by saying “We do.”
CONGREGATION: We do.
OFFICIANT: Jesus said in Matthew 19 that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.
DECLARATION AS HUSBAND AND WIFE
OFFICIANT: John & Stacey, in as much as you have spoken your vows of commitment and love to one another in the presence of God, your friends and family, and each of you has given and received a wedding ring, by the power vested in me by the state of California, it is my great pleasure to declare that you are now husband and wife.
OFFICIANT: John, you may claim your bride with a kiss. (Pause for long passionate WET kiss!!! )
PRESENTATION OF BRIDE AND GROOM
OFFICIANT: Ladies and gentleman, may I introduce to you for the first time ever, Mr. and Mrs. John & Stacey Beever.
BRIDE/GROOM turn to face congregation. Recessional begins to With This Ring by the Platters.
15 hours ago