INTRODUCTION Good evening! Everyone, please be seated. Before we get started, let me introduce myself and explain a little about the ceremony. My name is Lacy. As many of you already know, I am a friend of Derek's and sister to Carissa. and this is the first wedding I have officiated. When they ask me to officiate their wedding, <INSERT FEELINGS HERE> Carissa, Derek and I have worked together to create a ceremony that is meaningful for them and celebrates the love and affection they share with you: their family. You are not here to simply hear words uttered in ceremony, or just to witness the first kiss between husband and wife. So, we ask for your active participation in this ceremony, just as you are active in their lives. You should feel free to clap and cheer and laugh as the mood strikes you. And towards the end, I will ask you to join me, in pronouncing them a married couple.
Carissa, Derek, You're getting married! (*hopefully audience will clap*) Before we start, take a breath and look around you. Your family, have all come here to share in this moment with you. We have brothers, and a sister
aunts, uncles and dearest of all, moms and dads. Thank you all for coming. Today, we bring together not just two wonderful people, but wonderful families.
PARENTS BLESSING Carissa, Derek, I know how important family is to the both of you. You would not be the people you are today without the love and guidance of your parents, and the childhood you shared with your brothers and sister. **turn to Derek's family** You taught your son the importance of family Showed him the value of hard work, You taught him to love cars, but also children, family, and education in his life. **turn to our family** You taught Carissa to never give up on her dreams, taught her to love to read and enjoy quiet moments, Your support has laid the foundation for her future, whatever it may be. **turn back to us** These are just some small examples how your families have shaped your lives thus far. As you make a new life together, you will make with it with your combined family; And know that from this moment forward, every time you talk to your parents, you're going to hear the word "grandchildren" at least once. Would the Mother's please stand and except these roses. **let us give hugs and kisses and I love you's**
BOX, WINE AND LOVE LETTER CEREMONY Before we proceed with the rings and vows,
Carissa and Derek have chosen as a couple to perform a box, wine, and love letter ceremony.
*(reach down and pick up the box from behind the altar*) In my hands, I have a box, a bottle of wine, and two glasses, and Carissa and Derek have love letters from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. They have given much thought to these letters, and they have been sealed in individual envelopes. Neither Derek, nor Carissa has seen what the other has written. Carissa and Derek, should you ever find your marriage enduring serious hardships, as some marriages do, you are to, as a couple, open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then separate and read the letters you wrote to one another on the day you were united as a couple. By reading these love letters, you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other here today and share a new resolve to strengthen your relationship. The hope is, however, that you will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, you are to open it to share and enjoy its contents on your 20th anniversary! Derek and Carissa, please seal the box. (*we put the letters into the box with a lid, and tie the bow on top of it together*)
In this day and age, it sometimes may seem easy to give up on marriage. By showing your unwavering dedication to one another here today, you demonstrating that you are entering your married life deliberately and you will always work hard to keep your relationship healthy and happy.
CHARGE TO THE COUPLE This is the part, in a traditional ceremony, where the holy man offers advice and words of wisdom distilled from thousands of years of religious and philosophical literature. Well, I'm no holy man. And I don't consider myself particularly wise. But, I am your friend and family. And as such, there are a few things I'd like to say to you both. First, keep on doing what you're doing. I've known you both your whole relationship. I remember meeting Derek like it was yesterday. And let me tell you that on behalf of all our family, I am so glad that maybe, now that you're married, Carissa can stop saying, "You know what's awesome about Derek?" We've all shared so many great times together and I've seen the two of you grow, personally, professionally, and in your relationship together. Iâ€™ve also seen you party, have fun, and support and care for each other, But, I said before, I am no wisened, holy man. And for these future challenges, I can offer you no solutions, no particular advice.
But what I can offer you is something perhaps more valuable: a promise. We are here for you. Look around you. We have come to pledge our support for you, to say not only "yes, I am here for your wedding", but also "yes, I am here for your marriage". If you need my advice, a different perspective, or just someone to listen. We are all here for you. And, let me speak for everyone here today, when I say, we all love you both. [pause] And now that we have pledged our support to you, it is time for you each to declare your love and promise to each other.
VOWS Carissa and Derek, please join hands and look at each other. These are the hands of your best friend, of today and every day. These are the hands that will work along side yours as you build your future together. These are the hands that will lovingly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you as you struggle through difficult times. And lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours.
My wish for you today is that you will be able to clear your heads
and try to remember every word and cherish this memory. For most people, this is the most memorable few minutes of their life. So my wish for you today is that you enter into your vows with conviction, with your hearts open.
Derek, please go first: Derek: I Derek, choose you, Carissa, to be my wife (PERSONAL VOWS â€“ self written)
Carissa? Carissa: I Carissa, choose you, Derek, to be my husband (PERSONAL VOWS â€“ self written)
EXCHANGING OF RINGS May I please have the rings? **rings are delivered somehow** Every time you look at your ring, remember this night. Remember the feeling of excitement, the look in each other's eyes, and the love in your heart. As you exchange rings, declare your commitment to one another.
(*You give my ring to Derek*)
Derek, please repeat after me: Take this ring as a token of my love <Take this ring as a token of my love>
which is true and ever-lasting.
<which is true and ever-lasting>
With this ring, I thee wed. <With this ring, I thee wed.> Do you, Derek, take Carissa as your wife, your partner in life and your one true love. Will you cherish your union and love her more each day than you did the day before. Will you trust and respect her, laugh with her and cry with her, loving her faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles you may face together. Do you give her your hand, your heart, and your love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live.
Derek: I will
(*You give Derekâ€™s ring to me*)
Carissa, please repeat after me.
Take this ring as a token of my love <Take this ring as a token of my love>
which is true and ever-lasting. <which is true and ever-lasting>
With this ring, I thee wed. <With this ring, I thee wed.> Do you, Carissa, take Derek as your husband, your partner in life and your one true love. Will you cherish your union and love him more each day than you did the day before. Will you trust and respect him laugh with him and cry with him, loving him faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles you may face together. Do you give him your hand, your heart, and your love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live. Carissa: I will
PRONOUNCMENT Derek and Carissa, before this service you signed the legal paperwork. You have received the blessing of your family and friends, made vows, and exchanged rings. Now, I ask everyone to join me in this pronouncement, saying together, in full voice: And please repeat after me: "We, your family and friends, <we, your family and friends> now pronounce you husband and wife!" <now pronounce you husband and wife!> Derek, you may kiss the bride (*We kiss! Hopefully everyone else cheers.*) I am very happy to introduce, for the first time as a married couple, Derek and Carissa Jarvis!
A mock up of our ceremony and vows.