(As everyone is gathered around to begin ceremony, David and Jill each light a separate candle.)
We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes to the words which shall unite David and Jill in marriage.
David and Jill, I would ask that you both remember to treat yourself and each other with respect and remind yourself often of what brought you together today. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration and difficulty assail your marriage – as they do to every relationship at one time or another – focus on what still seems right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. This way, when clouds of trouble hide the sun in your lives and you lose sight of it for a moment, you can remember that the sun is still there. And if each of you will take responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
Jill, do you come freely and without reservation? (I do.)
David, do you come freely and without reservation? (I do.)
Jill, do you take David to be your Husband? (I do.)
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him forevermore? (I do.)
David, do you take Jill to be your Wife? (I do.)
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her forevermore? (I do.)
David and Jill have their own vows to make to each other at this point.
(Jill) Today I give you my hand, for I have already given you my heart. Where you go I will go, where you lodge I will lodge, your children will be as my children, and wherever we dwell, there will be home. A wedding is a time of promises. I will not promise to be easy to live with, for we know that is not true. The promises I make to you today are ones I will keep: I promise to listen to what you say and to what you do not say, and to strive to understand the meaning of both. I promise to pay attention to your needs as well as my own, and to the needs of our marriage. I promise you honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, and love.
(David) Today I confirm the gift of my heart, and I give you my hand, and I give you my name. I make you the promises that are the ones I will keep: I promise always to be challenging. I promise to listen to what you say and to what you do not say, and to strive to understand the meaning of both. I promise to pay attention to your needs as well as my own, and to the needs of our marriage. I promise you honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, and love. Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be. And I promise you my arms around you always.
(David - with Jill's ring) I David, take you, Jill, to be my Wife. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in joy and in sorrow, I give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and pledge my faith and love to you. With this ring I take you as my Wife for as long as we both shall live. (places ring on Jill’s finger)
(Jill - with David's ring) I Jill, take you, David, to be my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in joy and in sorrow, I give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and pledge my faith and love to you. With this ring I take you as my Husband for as long as we both shall live. (places ring on David’s finger)(David and Jill turn to face the assembled)
Jill: Even as we are joined in marriage, our children are also joined as brothers and sisters.
David: We have these small tokens for each child as a symbol of our joint commitment to all of them, and of our coming together as one family.
Jill: Lizzie and Sarah, would you please step forward as representatives of yourselves and your siblings and accept these tokens? (Lizzie and Sarah come forward and receive the gifts)
(Judge) David and Jill, as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas, and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together – as from this day forward you shall be each other’s home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect for each other.
Just as two threads woven in opposite directions will form a most beautiful tapestry, so too can your two lives merged together make a beautiful marriage. To make your relationship work will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open to one another – and to learn and grow together. It will take faith in each other to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment to hold true to the journey you pledge to share together.
David and Jill, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families, and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take one of the lit candles and that together you light the center candle. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.(David and Jill light center candle together)
Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings, which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title that may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose. In the past the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” Before you had even met face to face, David gave you, Jill, the gift of a rose. So it is appropriate that for your first gift as husband and wife, that gift should be a rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.(David and Jill exchange roses)
In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose, and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact, today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
(Judge reads the 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.
By the powers vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
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