How your ceremony might go
Perhaps you are wondering how a ceremony written by me might sound. Of course, the reasonance of a person’s voice, the pace, light and shade of the delivery all help to create the right atmosphere and significance for your day.
The ceremony below is not anyone’s in particular but I have used some ideas from weddings that I have celebrated before. Keep in mind as you read it, that this is just an example and your ceremony will be written in a unique and personal style reflecting who you are as a couple.
Entry of the Bride and Bridesmaids
Music : ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ – Anne Murray
Hello everyone and welcome. We gather as family and friends of Paul and Carolyn to share in their joy today at becoming husband and wife. It is a happy day, a day to celebrate love, to celebrate joy, a day to celebrate all that life can be, and it is even more poignant when it is shared with those whom we love…..
When our children are born, we have so many hopes for their future. We watch over their early years as the foundations of their personality emerge. We foster strengths and we encourage their growth in the cornerstones of what we as a family stand for. We are sometimes anxious, but many times we are filled with joy in the love that we have for our children, fundamentally we only want them to be happy and to prosper in the world, to have loving relationships and to build families of their own. And so today for Paul’s parent, James and Connie, and for Carolyn’s parents, Richard and Joanne, this is one those very happy days seeing a fulfilment in their roles as parents.
And so I ask … who brings these young people…Carolyn and Paul to be married today.
Parents to respond…’We Do ‘
The Blessing of the Rings
The gifting of a ring each to the other is the tangible and physical symbol of the solemn vows that Carolyn and Paul will make publicly to each other today, thereby becoming husband and wife. These rings are imbued with all that is precious between them. In the wearing of these rings may they constantly to remind you of the sacred promises you will make to each other and of the optimism, pride and joy you are feeling today.
How appropriate it would be then, for each of your family and friends to have the opportunity to pass their good wishes, their love into the very substance of these rings, And to end that just what we are going to do. From Paul and Carolyn come these precious rings. As the ceremony progresses, please pass them from hand to hand giving a moment of thought and reflection to all that you wish these two gorgeous people.
The Monitum – (required to be stated by The Marriage Act)
And so I need to introduce myself as required by law. My name is Melissa Laird and I am here today in the capacity of a Civil Marriage Celebrant. In that capacity am duly authorised by law to solemnize 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 in which you are now about to enter. Marriage according to the law in Australia is the union of two people, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others.
Reflecting on Marriage
So how do two people come to this point in their lives What crossroads do they reach when living without each other is not something that either wish to contemplate, but even more than that, when two people, as Paul and Carolyn do, want to formalize that union. To make a statement to all that not only are they are a couple but husband and wife …united, committed, together.
It is a fascination to me just how and when that transition occurs. We meet many people in the course of our lives : school mates; work colleagues; friends of friends; even conversations on R.S.V.P.!!! Some of our relationships will be long and sustaining, other people will come into our lives for a relatively short period of time.
But there will be a few people in our lives, sometimes only one or two, with whom that relationship will be quite unique: deeply intimate and profoundly rich in the sharing of each other’s life. How does this moment occur, when does this moment occur, what switch is activated, so that one day, sometimes much to our complete surprise, we realise’Yes…he is the one for me ’…. or …’I just cannot imagine my life without her’.
And I think this is the point where a relationship truly begins to unfold. For at this point.a couple begin to have confidence in what exists between them, as Paul and Carolyn do. It is a time when a deepening of trust emerges and a belief in a future together. It is a future which promises many things. A future that will at times both challenge the, and nourish them, as individuals and as a couple. But more importantly, there is a faith that the central core of what exists between them, that love, commitment and dedication, each to the other will be what sees them through.
Paul and Carolyn’s Story
So how did the story of Paul and Carolyn’s love begin. Now many will know that at the beginning these two had a fairly rocky start. It wasn’t love at first sight. In fact I think we could fairly safely say that they could barely stand the sight of each other. The working environment, particularly when one person is your boss, does not always lead to a harmonious and smooth beginning. Both Paul and Carolyn , by their own admission are passionate and opinionated people. They know what they like and what they believe.
But who could have guessed, when they were paired together at a staff training week-end in Lorne, that a conversation would begin where the two of them let down their guard a little. Each came to understand how much they in common with the other and that conversation has continued to this day.
Both Paul and Carolyn are keen skiers and coupled with a love of travel, they have journeyed around the world enjoying the slopes of Aspen, Whistler and St Moritz to name a few, and of course as many of you know, it was high on slopes of Snowmass in Colorado that Paul finally proposed to Carolyn. Although she says she had an inkling that it was coming because of the suspicious way in which he acting. And of course, Carolyn said ‘Yes’ and here we are today.
I asked both Carolyn and Paul to tell me what it was that each loved about the other. Do you remember what you said ?…
Paul said of Carolyn that :
- He loves that she speaks her mind and is passionate about what she believes
- That she is a fantastic cook…
- That he knows what a wonderful mother she will make for their children
- But although he has tried..Paul cannot get her to barrack for the Bombers!!
And Carolyn said of Paul that :
- He is a very hard worker and never stops trying the achieve his best
- That she loves the way he makes her laugh
- That she loves that Paul is the last thing she sees going to bed at night and the first thing she sees waking up in the morning
- And although she has tried…she has been unable to get Paul to barrack for the Magpies!!
And so we come to the moment in the day…where Paul and Caroline will make their promises to each other…thereby forging the bonds of marriage and becoming husband and wife……These promises are not entered into lightly….but in the belief that their marriage will be a life-long partnership based on the principles of love…..trust …understanding and forgiveness…It is an unfolding vision ….offering not only the growth and deepening of them as a couple ….but also ensuring the healthy progression of each as individuals…..Love is the glue which links and bonds all aspects of their life together.
Will you Paul … take Caroline to be your Wife…. to share your life with her, and do you pledge that you will love, honour and care for her… with tenderness and affection…. through all the varying experiences of your life?
Paul to reply : I will
Will you Caroline …. take Paul to be your Husband…. to share your life with him, and do you pledge that you will love, honour and care for him… with tenderness and affection….. through all the varying experiences of your life?
Caroline to answer : I will
The Wedding Vows
Paul : I call upon the persons here present to witness that I .. Paul David McMahon …. take you.. Caroline Maree Findlay …. to be my lawful wedded wife.
Caroline, you have brought so much joy to my life and I have found my home with you. You have brought a comfort and a reassurance of all that is good and true. You are my best friend and I promise to be true to you, to cherish you, to protect you. and to share my thoughts, my hopes and my dreams with you; to be there for you always with an open heart and an open mind.
Caroline : I call upon the persons here present to witness that I …… Caroline Maree Findlay … take you.. Paul David McMahon…. to be my lawful wedded husband.
Paul, you have brought so much joy to my life and I have found my home with you. You have brought a comfort and a reassurance of all that is good and true. You are my best friend and I promise to be true to you, to cherish you, to protect you. and to share my thoughts, my hopes and my dreams with you; to be there for you always with an open heart and an open mind.
Exchanging of Rings
Caroline .. this ring I give to you as my personal gift. My personal promise of love. Of trust and pride that you are my wife. May this ring forever be to you a symbol of my love and of the promises we have made to each other today.
Paul .. this ring I give to you as my personal gift. My personal promise of love. Of trust and pride that you are my husband. May this ring forever be to you a symbol of my love and of the promises we have made to each other today.
Ladies and Gentlemen…Paul and Carolyn have come together today with an open heart and good intention. They have shared their love for each other ..what they believe to be the foundations of their relationship….and of their hopes for the future. Their marriage today is bound by the solemn vows they have given…. symbolised in the exchanging of rings.
It gives me great pleasure to declare that they are now husband and wife. Please join me in congratulating the happy couple.
Signing of the Registry Documents
Music : ‘Love me tender…love me true’ – Elvis Presley
Presentation of the Bride and Groom
Our wedding day is meant to be one remember for the rest of our lives. A day of great significance, a point of reference in the years to come. Our wedding day is also meant to be a day of great fun, much laughter and joyous celebration. So as this ceremony comes to a close, I would to wish you both, on behalf of everyone here, a wonderful life together.
May I introduce to you…Paul and Carolyn McMahon. ** (Paul and Caroline as husband and wife)
Music to conclude :
‘You’re the one that I want !’ – John Travolta and Olivia Newton John