Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Ceremony script critique

SaintPaulGalSaintPaulGal
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edited March 1 in Ceremony and Vow Ideas
First of all: hi!  I haven't been around in a while because my office randomly started blocking The Knot.   :/  I'm working from home today, so woo!

I sat down last night and did a draft of my ceremony script.  The wedding isn't until July so I have some time, but I will feel good knowing that this part is taken care of. A close friend of ours will be officiating, and she will say whatever we want. Mutuality and love without the syrupy-sweet fairy tale trope are kind of our guiding forces.

Some is my own original writing and some is adapted from other ceremony scripts I found online.  What do you all think?  

**********

Officiant down the aisle

Groomsmen down the aisle 

GROOM + parents down the aisle

Bridesfolk down the aisle

BRIDE + parents down the aisle

Officiant: Family, friends, and fellow travelers on the path of life: welcome!  We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, and to cherish the words which shall unite GROOM and BRIDE in marriage.

Marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, who trust in that love, who honor one another as individuals, and who have decided to spend the rest of their lives together.

This ceremony will not create a relationship that does not already exist between you. It is a representation of how far you have come in the past five years. It is symbolic of the promises you will make to each other to continue growing stronger as individuals and as partners throughout the years ahead.

Today, your lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one.  The nature of this coming together is expressed in the poem Union by Robert Fulghum.

“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –

This is my husband. This is my wife.”

With this in mind, we proceed to the declaration of intent.

Do you, GROOM, take BRIDE to be your wife, offering her your love and encouragement, your trust and respect, as together you create your collective future?

GROOM: I DO

Officiant: Do you, BRIDE, take GROOM to be your husband, offering him your love and encouragement, your trust and respect, as together you create your collective future?

BRIDE: I DO

Officiant:  The couple has prepared vows to seal the occasion 

GROOM:  GROOM VOWS (with this ring…)                          

BRIDE:  BRIDE VOWS  (with this ring…)

Officiant:  GROOM and BRIDE, you have expressed your love to one another through the commitments and promises you have just made. It is with these in mind, and by the power vested in me by the state of Minnesota, that I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You have kissed a thousand times, maybe more.  But today the feeling is new.  You are no longer simply partners and best friends.  I invite you now to share your first kiss as husband and wife.

Before we close today, we will look back on an old German tradition.  In Bavaria, it was customary for the bride and groom to conclude their wedding ceremony by jointly sawing a log in half.  The log symbolizes the first challenge they must confront together in their marriage.  Neither spouse can wield the saw alone; it is only together that they can accomplish the task at hand.  Will you bring in the log [2 wedding party members carry log on sawhorse, one additional carries saw].  GROOM, hold this end of the saw.  Use it with the full force of your being, giving and receiving in equal measure.  BRIDE, hold this end of the saw.  Use it with the full force of your being, giving and receiving in equal measure. [we saw the log.]

Their work is done, and my work is also at an end.  I now present to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. GROOM and BRIDE!

**********

Anything you think should be changed/adapted/added/deleted?

SP29sparklepants41cowgirl8238

Re: Ceremony script critique

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    I love it!!!!!
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I am not a huge fan of additional things like the log ceremony, but if you and/or your FI are German and it is something normally done at weddings, ok. Also "fellow travelers" kind of strikes me as eh. I'm assuming everyone attending your wedding is either family or friend so think it is unnecessary. I think the rest of the ceremony sounds great.
    charlotte989875
  • SP29SP29
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    Sounds great!
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited March 1
    Since the ceremony actually does create a legal relationship between you that doesn't already exist, I think you need to drop that line.

    I'd also change "symbolic vows" to just "vows."

    Otherwise, this is beautiful.
    CMGragainlovesclimbingInLoveInQueenscowgirl8238
  • I agree with Jen and BeachMusic; change symbolic vows to just vows, and unless you (and/or. Your FI) are Bavarian German the log ceremony is odd to me. If you are then cool. And not a huge fan of the "fellow travelers", but other than that it's great!
    InLoveInQueens
  • I get where you are coming from on the "symbolic vows" thing, but can/should I modify it when it is a direct quote?

    We are both predominantly German.  Not in a "what sort of wedding was this? where the hell was the log ceremony" sort of way, but Germanic enough that the idea feels like a cool connection to our heritage rather than a random cultural appropriation.  (Can "dominant" cultures appropriate from other dominant cultures?)

    I'll drop "fellow travelers."  I just had it in there because I generally find lists of threes more pleasing than lists of two things.  "Friends and family, welcome..." sounds sort of abrupt to my ear.  Is that just me?  Anyone have a better idea for the first sentence? 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited March 1
    "This ceremony will not create a relationship that does not already exist between you. It is a representation of how far you have come in the past five years. It is symbolic of the promises you will make to each other to continue growing stronger as individuals and as partners throughout the years ahead."

    I don't understand the bolded at all!  If this is a legal wedding ceremony, it does create a legal relationship that does not currently exist.  I find it very confusing, and I would wonder if this was really a wedding, or just a commitment ceremony.  I would omit this whole paragraph.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    charlotte989875STARMOON44lovesclimbingInLoveInQueens
  • I'd get rid of the log thing. It's not your tradition you're just randomly using it. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • I also find the log thing kind of weird. But I've never been to a German wedding before. If you're going to do it, be sure to use a smaller log so it doesn't take all day! It also makes me a little nervous to be using a saw while in a beautiful wedding gown! 
    OurWildKingdomILoveBeachMusicInLoveInQueens
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited March 2
    On further thought, I find this just plain wrong:

    "Marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, who trust in that love, who honor one another as individuals, and who have decided to spend the rest of their lives together."

    Marriage is not a promise.  It is a legal state that exists between two people, uniting those two people together.  Until recently, many people could not join in matrimony, but could only make promises.  This is why I think that this is important.  Here is a non-religious traditional text that explains how important this is:

    Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of friends and family to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in holy matrimony. The union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind is intended for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but solemnly, deliberately and joyfully.

    I would update this text by substituting "two people" for "husband and wife", and "this man and this woman".

    Here is a different text, but I find it less romantic. 
    Friends, we have come together today to witness the marriage of __________ and __________. The legal requirements of this state having been fulfilled, and the license for their marriage being present, I must ask of each party if they come of their own free will and accord.

    I do like your vows.  I don't get the log thing, though.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    "This ceremony will not create a relationship that does not already exist between you. It is a representation of how far you have come in the past five years. It is symbolic of the promises you will make to each other to continue growing stronger as individuals and as partners throughout the years ahead."

    I don't understand the bolded at all!  If this is a legal wedding ceremony, it does create a legal relationship that does not currently exist.  I find it very confusing, and I would wonder if this was really a wedding, or just a commitment ceremony.  I would omit this whole paragraph.
    I would't. I think it makes sense. 
    It creates a legal relationship between you both and government and other institutions that recognise your marriage e.g. church; privately it doesn't create a new relationship. 
    SP29
  • How about this, to incorporate both sentiments:

    "This ceremony will grant you all the rights and responsibilities of a legal union, but it will not create a relationship that does not already exist between you..."
    CMGragainSP29
  • If this marriage doesn't change anything why'd I get all dolled up for your wedding? I'd cut the sentence entirely. 
    CMGragain
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    edited March 2
    I am curious how big this log is . . .

    All kidding aside, with some tweaks to the script, you'll be golden.
    greeninspringcharlotte989875cowgirl8238
  • Late to the party, but I just want to say that I love the log thing (my FI comes from a German family, so I am not unfamiliar with the tradition).  Since my family is almost exclusively Scandinavian (Norwegian to be exact) we are exchanging swords at our ceremony (along with rings and the usual vows).  I'm really into genealogy/ancestry and I think it's lovely to incorporate old world traditions into modern weddings :smile:  
    OurWildKingdom
  • From a grammar perspective, I would change "one another" to "each other" every time because "one another" is for groups of three or more, and "each other" is for two.
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
    OurWildKingdom
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