A sample wedding ceremony
LOCATION: Outdoor Venue
To be played as families process.
2. PROCESSION OF THE FAMILIES
The groom’s family assembles in one corner of the Gardens.
On the diagonal corner, about 200 metres away, the bride’s family assembles.
Both families, accompanied by music, meet at midpoint, at the podium where the celebrant and Groom await and the ceremony began with Bride leading followed by attendants. The symbolism is wonderful, for it is clear that it was not just two persons but two families, two networks of people, coming together. (Adapted from Dally Messenger)
Ushers then conduct family/ older people etc to the reserved front row seating.
All parents to sit in front rows..
3. PROCESSION OF BRIDE
After processioning with the person giving her away, and attendants casting rose petals along the path to the ceremony podium, Bride stands to one side of the podium. Bride joins Groom, holds his hand, gives flowers to witness. Bride stands next to her mother holding her hand on the other side to Groom. Catherine- witness, stands to one side.
Celebrant says: Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to this celebration of the wedding of Groom and Bride. This wedding ceremony between Groom and Bride is creating a new family structure and this wedding is celebrating a family event. This is a warm and wonderful occasion to celebrate this new family. Bride, as Bride’s child, is very important to Bride and Groom.
Celebrant addresses couple: This is your wedding and today strengthens the relationship between you both, and reflects your emotional bond . (Adapted from http://www.jennifercram.com.au/index.html)
5. ACKNOWLEDGMENT/WELCOME TO COUNTRY
6. INTRODUCTORY STORY.
Celebrant says: How do couples meet? Everyone loves to know! Whilst some of you here may know this story for the Bride and Groom, not all of you may do so. Eg .When the Bride and Groom met it was clear that the connection would continue andso it did! And so now we come to today!
7. GIVING AWAY
Or the presentation of the bride.
Celebrant asks: ‘and who gives this bride in marriage’. The person giving away the Bride steps forward and says ‘I am’ taking Bride’s hand and giving it to Groom. He steps back and is seated.
Celebrant: And now a reading from Bride’s mother and her husband (they read alternate paragraphs)
The great medieval philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, when asked to define true love, said that it was ‘to will the good of the other person’. If you truly love someone you want their success, their happiness, everything that is best for them. In the history of the world great lovers have died for the one or the ones they love.
Nothing like that is called for here but Groom and smantha do want you to know why they are marrying today. They could have chosen simply to live together. This seemingly is a ‘safer’ course, would give them more options, sustain their freedom, and with fewer risks. They have thought about this, and have decided that for them it is not enough.
They see this ceremony today as a stronger commitment to their relationship. They call you together, their friends and family, to make this commitment clear to you and to call on your acknowledgement and support. They publicly call on each other to take the relationship much more seriously.
Groom and Bride recognise that they are very happy with one another. They recognise that they would not be happier with anyone else — that no distant fields are greener.
There is another element in all this. They love each other. With the philosopher, they will each other’s good. They will each other’s success, fulfilment and happiness. They know the main danger in a marriage relationship is the danger of taking each other for granted, of not appreciating each other enough. So they want to stay aware of each other.
They know they must communicate with each other and be open to communication. This, they know, is a lot harder than it sounds. Words must be said softly, listened to carefully.
Their relationship must be sustained by the will to express it — the loving word, the loving smile, the loving embrace, the loving favour, the giving with graciousness and generosity. They know not to take without giving, give without taking.
A true lover knows what the demands of love sometimes cost the partner — so they will be sensitive, be appreciative. And they remind themselves today that they must do these things without dominating, without smothering, without suffocating the other.
They have assessed happily that their relationship is for life. They have found each other, they like each other, they love each other, they want it to last, they intend it to last, they will it to last.
More than that, they will it to get better, they will it to get deeper. They want to be husband and wife. They want people to look at them and quote, as it were, the poet, Homer, who said, 800 years BCE ‘There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends’.
“I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
10. THE ASKING/VOWS
Celebrant says: Repeat after me “I call upon the persons here present” Groom repeats,
Celebrant: “to witness that I”, Groom”, Groom repeats
Celebrant: “take you, Bride,” Groom repeats
Celebrant : “to be my lawful wedded wife.” Groom repeats.
Celebrant says: Repeat after me “I call upon the persons here present” Bride repeats,
Celebrant: “to witness that I”, Bride”, Bride repeats
Celebrant: “take you, Groom,” Bride repeats
Celebrant : “to be my lawful wedded husband.” Bride repeats.
11. RING CEREMONY
The couple stay in the same position. The celebrant takes the bride’s ring from the witness, and gives it to the groom, who holds it over the tip of the appropriate finger, and repeats the words, phrase by phrase, after the celebrant. The groom then slides the ring onto the bride’s finger. If there are rings for both, this procedure is repeated by the bride.
Groom: Bride, This ring I give you, it is my personal gift, my personal promise of love and trust, and pride that you are my wife.
Bride: Groom, This ring I give you, it is my personal gift, my personal promise of love and trust, and pride that you are my husband.
12. BLESSING/PRAYER FOR THE COUPLE
Today we celebrate this marriage, and that you protect this new family and keep them always in your care…” (Adapted from http://www.dfwx.com/officiates.html Mark Ovard)
Groom’s parents: 1 Corinthians 13.
14.DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE
Celebrant: I now declare Groom and Bride husband and wife.
During signing of the Marriage Certificate.
16.PRESENTATION OF THE CERTIFICATE
Marriage certificate is given to the couple.
17. CELEBRANTS CONCLUSION
Acknowledgments to relevant people and instructions to audience. Celebrant, on behalf of Bride and Groom, invites all the parents to walk with them to the photographic area after the ceremony.