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Designing Your Ceremony

Facing Your Guests (Modern Format)
Backs Turned (Traditional Format)
Examples of Wedding Vows
Effective Seating
Aisle Runner or Petals
Children in Wedding Ceremonies
The Escorting of a Bride
Taking Parental Vows
The Use of Music
Using a Pedestal
Using a Wedding Carriage
A New Role For Grandparents
Wedding Ceremony Readings
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Ceremonies in Special Places
Ceremonies in Theme
Taking Your Ceremony to Others
Staying in Character
What Name Should I Use?
What if it Rains?
Fibbing Your Start Time
Ceremonies in Candlelight
The Reception Line

The Order of Events

Primary Options:
Read this First
The Unity Candle
Champagne Sharing
The Sand Ceremony
The Blessing Tree
Tying the Knot
Tasting the Elements
Using a Photomontage
The Giving of Roses

Options In Finale:
Butterfly Release
Dove Release
Balloon Release
Tossing Petals
Bubbles in a Wedding Ceremony
Applause Walk

The Five Rules:
Rule One
Rule Two
Rule Three
Rule Four
Rule Five

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Death by Venue
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Wedding Ceremony Readings
A reader shares her reading for the wedding ceremony of George and Marisol at Chateau Bu-she' in Alsip, Illinois

Examples of Wedding Ceremony Readings

When preparing a wedding ceremony reading for a reader, open up the font

to 18 points like this. Notice how it's easier to read?

Your reader shouldn't have to squint at 12 point type when reading in front of 200 guests! Also, to make that reading a little more special- laminate it. Give it the stiffness and consistency of a restaurant menu. It gives what's being read a certain "elegance", which is much different than your reader, stepping up in front of your guests and unfolding some piece of paper out of his or her pocket.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #1. So may this shining hour be an open door through which _______ and ________ will go forth to build that dearest of all relationships, a happy marriage. May the years deal gently with them; walking together may they find far more in life than either would have found alone; and even more fully may they come to know this one supreme truth:
That caring is sharing…
That living is giving…
That life is eternal…
And that love is its crown.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #2. We have come here together that this man and this woman might bear witness before you and to the world of the oneness that has grown up between them; that they might affirm this oneness and this dedication here, as they have affirmed it to each other. As they now exist as one in their own eyes, so may they exist in your eyes. The mysterious union of two persons in marriage has already occurred in them in the giving and receiving of their love. In witness to this mystery, they do pledge their love and the sharing of their lives.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #3. May these two souls
Find a communion of ideal being and perfect grace.
May their love reach the level of every day's
Most quiet need. By sun and candlelight,
May they love freely as men strive for right.
May they love purely as men turn from praise.
May they find strength to meet the adversities;
Tolerance for the prejudices,
Reverence For the Beauties,
Respect for the Truths,
And Faith for the Uncertainties
Which will come their way.


Wedding Ceremony Reading #4. Throughout the memory of man, the founding of a new home has been noted as an act of a high and holy order. It has been celebrated with a service of marriage-in sacred groves, in humble meeting houses, under vaulted arches, in temples with ancient rites, and in bombed-out cellars with hurried words.
Yet neither state, church, nor family relations can by the sole weight of tradition, ceremony, or expectation create a genuine joining of man and woman. Such a wedlock comes only through the ripening of love freely given.
[Speaking to the couple] It is in your power, therefore, and your power alone to bless this service- by the sincerity of your purpose, the strength of your common devotion, and the enduring character of your dedication.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #5. These are two individual souls, who nonetheless embody certain universal and enduring truths: that we need each other, that we can achieve unity only through tenderness, and that the protection of one human being by another is a solemn responsibility.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #6. This marriage is an event in the lifetime of a love. Neither we nor all society can join these two lovers today. Only they could do what they have chosen. They have joined themselves, each to the other. As they have found union with one another, they proclaim that union today and pledge its future. We by our participation in this celebration do but recognize and honor their intention to dwell together as husband and wife.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #7. May your ring be always the symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no giver and no receiver. You are each the giver and each the receiver. May your ring always call to mind the freedom and the power of this love.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #8. And may they look beyond the limits of their own existence to the larger family of humankind, realizing its just claim upon them. For no marriage ought to be celebrated, nor none fulfilled lest a portion of its end be directed toward the ennoblement of all mankind.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #9. To _______and _______who gather to pledge their love and join their lives: May theirs always be a shared adventure, rich with moments of serenity, as well as excitement; vital with problems that test, as well as successes that lift; marked by a sense of personal freedom, as well as mutual responsibility.
May they find in each other companionship as well as love; understanding as well as compassion; challenge as well as agreement.
May the home they establish be an island where the pressures of a cluttered world can be sorted out and brought into focus; where accumulated tensions can be released and understood; where personal needs do not tower over concern for others and where the immediate does not blur more distant goals; where the warmth of humor and love puts both crisis and dullness into perspective.
And above all, may they find an ever richer meaning and joy in the high adventure of lifelong loving and learning together.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #10. In every passing era, new challenges are revealed to those who strive for a larger determination of their destinies. This is as true of marriage as it is for any other part of life's adventure.
A husband and father can no longer expect his position to be one of unquestioned authority. Nor can a woman expect the full measure of those words -wife and mother-to be hers as her due.
Each worthwhile goal must be earned by the degree of insight and unbounded love which we bring to it. So may you continue to grow in separateness and togetherness that your marriage may truly illuminate the challenges of your years.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #11. As we stand here at the altar of life, where life is touched by love, and love by life, we share with these who are taking their marriage vows, their newfound happiness. We see the door open for comradeship and mystery, for growth and fulfillment.
So we pray that each may bring his whole and best self to the other. May they bring intelligence as well as faith, to the task that is set before them. May they maintain enduring trust and respect, remembering that to understand all is ever to forgive all.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #12. What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life, to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #13.Believe in what is yours.
Believe in who you are.
Believe in the richness and the power
of what lies in the depths you share.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #14. Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. There is no comradeship except through union in the same high effort.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #15. A heart alone is not a heart
Until it is one with all hearts
And your body is every star
In a sky full of stars
In the orbit of a movement
From your eyes to all eyes
Gleaming with a patina of loveliness
Whose light is the weight of the earth.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #16. We are gathered here to join __________ and ____________ in marriage. It is fitting and appropriate that you, the families and friends of _____________ and ____________ be here to witness and to participate in their wedding, for the ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which they bring to their marriage have their roots in the love, friendship, and guidance you have given them. Marriage makes us aware of the changes wrought by time, but the new relationship will continue to draw much of its beauty and meaning from the intimate associations of the past.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #17. Not from pride, but from humility
As mortals, with human weaknesses
And strengths
You stand alone today
And promise faith.
Your faith you find as you live,
Each moment consecrated to
A search for Truth
And for that Good
Whose presence you have deeply felt.
From this time, until
The time you must rejoin the
Earth from which you came,
Love the love in you that underlies
Your actions.
And with each other,
Share your wonder at the beauty
That you find
As Man and Wife.

Wedding Ceremony Reading #18. When two individuals meet, so do two private worlds. None of our worlds is big enough for us to live a wholesome life in. We need the wider world of joy and wonder, of purpose and venture, of toil and tears. What are we, any of us, but strangers and sojourners forlornly wandering through the nighttime until we draw together and find the meaning of our lives in one another, dissolving our fears in each other's courage, making music together and lighting torches to guide us through the dark? We belong together. Love is what we need. To love and to be loved. Let our hearts be open; and what we would receive from others, let us give. For what is given still remains to bless the giver-when the gift is love.

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