UNITY CANDLE 1
(To involve mothers, have them light the outer candles)
____________________ and _____________________, 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.
(light candle together then stand before me again)
The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.
UNITY CANDLE 2
A sacred marriage comes about when two souls are guided through their love for each other, to join their hearts, minds, bodies and daily lives together into a new entity that is greater than either individual alone. A sacred marriage bond creates a synergy and a blessing that radiates outward to the world, and that can be seen and felt tangibly as the presence of light and love.
Today, that is represented through the lighting of the Unity Candle. "From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls are destined for each other and find each other, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being."
(Light Unity candle)
"BRIDE and GROOM, you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and the exchange of a kiss, and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one, representing you, BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, GROOM, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be."
FAMILY UNITY SAND 1
To Bride, Groom and Children, this wedding is a celebration of family. They have chosen to signify their union as a family with a sand ceremony.
I will pour the first colored sand representing the foundation of their marriage based on their faith in God and the support of family and friends.
Groom will pour a 2nd colored sand. Representing his commitment to support and protect this family for years to come.
Bride has sand in 3rd color. Representing her promise to nurture and love this family.
And Child has sand the color of 4th color, because she is the brightness in their lives and will grow up in a loving home.
(proceed to pour sand. Music optional)
FAMILY UNITY SAND 2
Just as we have now bound (Bride/Groom) and (Groom/Bride) to one another, we will now celebrate the unification of (other family/child/children) into this covenant. The couple will first pour their sands into the vase, showing that their marriage is the foundation of this family. Their sands mix together and symbolize their bond of love and respect that can never be separated. As (family member/child/children) now add their sands, we are reminded that though we are all different people, it is our individuality which adds a unique color to the tapestry of the family. Like the sands poured before it, so these sands will also mix and be unable to be separated.
FAMILY UNITY SAND 3
Now we will celebrate the creation of a family. The (three/four/etc.) vials of sand here represent (Bride/Groom), (Groom/Bride), and (child/children/family members). As each pours in the sands, they show how the individual colors create a beautiful masterpiece of love and mutual respect. Just as the sands are forever intermixed, so are the lives of the people being celebrated today. As we join this couple in marriage, we are also reminded of the significant role that (child/children/family members) play in this marriage. Today, a new unified life is shared within this family.
FAMILY UNITY SAND 4
Just as we have now bound (Bride & Groom) to one another, we will now celebrate the joining of (Children Names) into this marriage. The two of you will first pour your sands into the vase, showing that your marriage is the foundation of this family. Your sand will mix together and symbolize the bond of love and respect that can never be separated. As(Names of Children) pour their sand into the vase, they show how the individual colors create a beautiful masterpiece of love and mutual respect as a family. Each may keep a portion of their individual sand and pour however much they would like to add to the Unity.
FAMILY UNITY SAND 5
Today you are also making a commitment to your children. You have brought to this ceremony vials of sands representing each of your lives up until this point. Bride and Groom, please begin pouring your sands into this vessel to represent the foundation that you are building together. The children’s sand will now join yours, showing that they are joined inseparable from the two of you, surrounded by your love and caring for each other and for them. As you will always be reminded when you look at this vessel, each sand still retains its unique color—as do each of you retain your unique personalities, but the grains of sand will never again be able to be completely separated, as your lives will be from this day forward.
SHARED WINE 1
"A Toast to Life"
The years of your lives are as a cup of wine poured out for you to drink. The grapes when they are pressed, give forth their good juices for the wine. Under the wine press of time, our lives give forth their labor, and honor and love.
This cup contains within it the sweet wine of happiness and hope. This same cup, at times, holds the bitter wine of sorrow and despair.
One who drinks deeply of life invites the full range of experience into his or her being.
This cup is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life.
As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge that your lives have become one vessel into which all your sorrows and joys, all your hopes and fears will be poured, and from which you will receive mutual sustenance.
Many days you will sit at the same table and eat and drink together.
Drink now, and may the cup of your lives be sweet and full to overflowing.
Celebrant passes goblet to Groom. He sips from it and then passes it to Bride who does likewise.
SHARED WINE 2
To celebrate your first drink as a married couple, and to signify you coming together as one, please drink to the love you have shared in the past.
(Bride drinks first, then Groom)
Officiant: Drink to your love in the present, on this your wedding day.
Bride drinks first, then Groom)
Officiant: And now drink to your love in the future and forever more.
Bride drinks first, then Groom)
SHARED WINE 3
"This Loving Cup is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge to one another that your lives, separate until this moment, have now become one.
(Minister hands the Loving Cup to Bride and Groom. )
1.DRINK FOR LEARNING AND RESPECT OF EACH OTHER’S CULTURES AND TRADITIONS AND UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN NATIONS.
2. DRINK FOR SUPPORTING PHYSICAL AND SPRITUAL WELLNESS FOR EACH OTHER AND FAMILY, FRIENDS AND EVERYONE IN THE WORLD.
3. DRINK FOR BRINGING BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR EACH OTHER, FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS TO COME, AND UNIVERSE SURROUNDING.
(The Bride and Groom sip from the Loving Cup and hand it back to the Minister)
As you have shared the wine from this Loving Cup, so may you share your lives. May you explore the mysteries of the Loving Cup and share in the reflection of love in one another's soul. From love all things proceed and unto love they must return.
May you find life's joys heightened, it's bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched by blessings upon you and by the love of family and friends."
(OPTIONAL TO ADD TO ANY CEREMONY)
Bride & Groom, please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush you cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
LOVE LETTER WINE BOX CEREMONY
Here's an idea that will certainly grab the attention of the guests, add some pizzazz to your ceremony and incorporate a new twist into your celebration.
Here is what you will need:
•A wooden wine box •a bottle of your favorite wine •two love letters sealed in separate envelopes •a small hammer and several nails.
A few weeks before the wedding, take some time to each write a letter to one another, expressing your thoughts about the good qualities that you found in your future partner, the reasons for falling in love with them and your hopes and dreams for the future. In other words, you write a "love letter" to each other and place it in a sealed envelope, with the name of your partner on the outside. Do not read what the other has written.
Be creative with the box by putting foam inside to support the wine bottle. Line the inside with satin material. You can also include CDs of your favorite music, favorite pictures of you together, and other mementos making it your own romantic time capsule. Keep the box in a place of honor as a constant visual reminder of your love and commitment to each other. The box can be a life preserver in years to come.
The Wine Box should be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary.
There is only one other reason the box should be opened before your anniversary. If there should come a time when you hit a bumpy road in your relationship, before you give up or make any irrational decisions, open the Wine Box. The hope is that there will never be a reason to have to open the box except on your anniversary!
Hit a rough spot in your relationship? Sit down together, open the box, uncork the wine and unseal the envelopes that you wrote for one another before your wedding, go to separate rooms and quietly read the love letter.
Even if you are not seeing eye-to-eye at that very moment, it will remind you of all the reasons you choose this person as your partner and all the things that helped shape the life they've created together. Never take your blessings of being together for granted.
The romantic sentiments you wrote, the declaration of love, the clear thoughts about why you chose this person as your life partner will help put you back on even ground. This is the perfect ritual to remind you of your wedding day and your intention to love and cherish each other in good times and bad for as long as you both shall live.
Toward the end of your ceremony the Officiant will state the purpose of the "Love Letter & Wine Box Ceremony."
The Officiant will elaborate on the reasons for the sealed love letters, place the sealed envelopes in with the wine bottle and will speak about the exercise that you went through. It should be emphasized that the letters have not been read by the Officiant or by anyone else.
The box will then be nailed shut. The Officiant begins with the first nail, followed by the Bride and Groom sealing the box shut. You can have each member of your wedding party step up and nail the box shut.
Your guests will be pleased to have been a witness to something so unique and different at your wedding ceremony.
Near the guest book have a dish of polished stones. Ask each guest to write their word of Blessing or Wish upon the stone and place it along the aisle or within a circle.
Words that represent the wish or blessing they wish to bestow upon your marriage such as prosperity, love, affection, children, success, etc
Then instruct them to place the stone along the aisle for the bride to walk down or place the stones up front to form a circle for the ceremony.
Explain that these stones will then also encircle your home and marriage for years to come.