~Our Renewals~ Hey my WBC family! I've been a little hush- hush lately. Our 14th wedding ann...
I never could have done this without the ladies on here. I wanted a ceremony that really reflected who Mark and I are, and that represented our families, our personalities and our cultures. I think I achieved a great balance in this ceremony and the readings we chose.
I got a ton of this from bananapants' ceremony - girl you inspired me beyond belief and your ceremony was breathtakingly beautiful. I am sure you will recognize alot of this because it was in yours! I hope you don't mind, I looove your words!
Here we go without further ado...
Before we begin, Mark and Natasha, and all of us present today, take a few deep breaths. Leave any stress and negativity behind and fill yourselves up with love, happiness and joy. Settle into these surroundings and be present in this moment. For many years to come you will remember this day, and yet beyond the fragrant flowers, beyond the carefully selected music and beyond the expressions of joy and encouragement from family and friends, you will remember the words said here today. May these words always bring you to a peaceful and joyful place when you feel worried or stressed and may they provide wisdom and strength that you need to handle any forthcoming challenges.
Life is a story. It has a beginning, middle and an end. And like a story, it is best experienced with people that you love. You are all here because you are a part of Mark and Natashas story. Each of you bring something special to their lives, and have a special place in their hearts. Welcome all of you and thank you for being here. Mark and Natasha also want to acknowledge their grandmothers that cant be here today for health reasons, specifically their grandmothers LA, FP and SBi. Also family who could not be here for any other reason, they are thought of at this moment. Let us take a moment to honour these dear ones.
Mark and Natasha, your wedding today is an exquisite and beautifully choreographed first step of your journey together. Your marriage will lead to many places, including ones you cannot possibly ever imagine. Wherever it takes you, there will be surprises, and it will take you where you had not expected to go. As you begin this new chapter in your lives, remember your pasts have led you to today, and your love will lead you to tomorrow.
It is a wonderful thing to look ahead and envision what your life will be like together. However, a marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its trials and triumphs. Life holds indescribable happiness in store for you both, and unavoidable pain as well. The most important part about marriage, the most important part about today, is the commitment that you are making to each other. You have chosen each other freely, joining your life with your partner through all of lifes surprises, good and bad.
With full understanding of this, you have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.
And when you do find yourselves in challenging times, reflect on this advice:
1. Let your love be stronger than anger
2. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break.
3. Look for the best in your spouse rather than the worst
4. Confide in your spouse and ask for help when you need it
5. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship
6. Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindness you bestow on others.
7. When you say I love you, mean it.
Marriage requires that both people work to help each other learn, grow and prosper. If each of you are more responsible for what you think, feel, say and do, are aware of the others feelings and desires and are willing to give it will go a long way to making your marriage thrive. Be patient, understanding, honest and open. Constantly communicate and be willing to admit you are wrong.
Natasha and Mark have carefully chosen a few short readings to be read to you today, reflecting their familys culture, religion and their personality and beliefs as a couple.
Reading 1 Seven Steps
Reading 2 Dr. Seuss
Reading 3 Christian reading
Reading 4 Maya Angelou poem
Declaration of Intent
Natasha and Mark, do you come with joy and anticipation to this moment when you will be legally joined in marriage? Do you pledge to treat each other with kindness, respect and compassion, to listen to each other and to speak to each other with honesty, today and always?
Couple: We do.
Blessing of the Hands
Now please join hands and look at the hands of your partner.
These are the hands of your best friend, 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 alongside 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; the hands that will help you hold your family as one.
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 your 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 of your hands!
Please repeat after me.
Mark, I love you. You are my love and my friend and today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you and to comfort you in times of sorrow or struggle. I promise to love you in good times and it bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple and when our love is an effort. I promise before God to cherish you, be faithful to you and to always hold you in the highest regard. These things I give to you today and all the days of our life.
(Repeat for Mark.)
Exchanging of the Rings
One usually describes the wedding ring being a perfect circle, with no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings do have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metal is liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. Hot metal is poured into a mould, cools and then painstakingly polishes. Something beautiful is made with raw elements. Love is like that, its hot and dirty work. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
May I have the rings please?
Mark I love you and with this ring, I promise to be a loving and caring wife to you. I promise to cherish you always and place our marriage above all else.
Natasha I love you and with this ring, I promise to be a loving and caring husband to you. I promise to cherish you always and place our marriage above all else.
Mark and Natasha have taken a lot of time to ensure that their ceremony reflects who they are as a couple. But their marriage is not only joining their lives together, it is also bringing their families together. Just as their families shaped the two of them, their families will also help shape their marriage. In that spirit, Mark and Natasha would like to ask their mothers to join them in a small ceremony that will unite them and their two families. Would Ms. AP,JH and SB please join us?
Today as Mark and Natasha have sealed their commitment to each other with the exchange of rings, they have made a commitment to each other and to each others families. They recognize the significant role that family plays in their lives. Who better to represent a family than a mother- she is the heart of a family. We would also like to acknowledge Ms. LA at this time, as she is a mother and much more to Mark. Unfortunately she cannot be with us today but she is in our hearts. The mothers who are here - J, S and A have played instrumental roles in getting Mark and Natasha to where they are today, and will continue to do so in their marriage and future. They will now join Mark and Natasha in this commitment to each other by contributing a part of each individual person into one blended family. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of this sand, each representing a member. As each individuals sand is poured into the familys one united 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 become the bond with your family.
Natasha and Mark, in the presence of your family and friends who have joined here to share this moment of joy in your lives, you have declared your deep love and commitment. You have formed a union based on friendship, partnership, respect and honour. Therefore, by the authority vested in me by Govt of Ontario, it is my joyful responsibility to officially declare your union as Husband and Wife. You may now seal your marriage with a kiss.
And here are the readings we chose.
Reading #1 - Hindu 7 steps
Saptapadi or Saat phere is an important part of a Hindu marriage ceremony, undertaken by the bride and the groom around a sacred fire. Fire or Agni is considered sacred and vows taken in front of Agni are considered to be unbreakable - with Agnideva (God of fire) as the witness as well as to seek his blessings. Thus the process of saat phere consists of circumambulating the fire seven times while reciting certain significant vows/invocations (one made by the bride and another made by the groom) with each phera (circumambulation).
The vows taken in each phera are as below:
1. With the first phera, the couple invokes the Gods for the plentitude of pure and nourishing food and a life that is noble and respectful.
2. With the second phera the couple prays for physical and mental strength and to lead a healthy and peaceful life.
3. The third phera is taken for the fulfilment of spiritual obligations. The Gods are invoked for blessing the couple with spiritual strength.
4. The fourth phera is taken for the attainment of happiness and harmony through mutual love and trust and a long joyous life together.
5. The fifth phera is taken to pray for the welfare of all living entities in the entire universe and for begetting noble children.
6. The sixth phera is for bountiful seasons all over the world. The couple prays for bountiful seasons and seeks that they may go through these seasons together, just as they would share their joys and sorrows.
7. With the last phera they pray for a life of understanding, loyalty, unity and companionship not only for themselves but also for the peace of the Universe.
Having exchanged these vows of love, duty, respect, fidelity and a fruitful union the couple agree to be companions forever. The process of saat phere acquires more significance in that the couple prays for the peace and well being of the entire universe.
Gracious God, Richly Bless...
Gracious God, richly bless
in the promises that they have made to each other.
Grant that the courtesies, the thoughtfulness,
and the self giving which already
have laid the foundation for their love,
build the home which is raised on it.
May they be loyal and engaging companions to each other,.
and may they be loving and wise parents.
And in this world
where there is much disillusion and disappointment...
where love brings delight
and also wounding in the fraility of our ways...
make them a visible symbol of the love that does not wane when
the evening comes but is fresh with each new day.
And as you bless this special couple this day,
bless each union represented here.
Forgive us where we have not been good news
and glad days for each other.
Perfect our imperfect love with the joy that comes from above,
and may we grow ourselves and grow in affirmation of the other.
May the Lord bless you and take care of you:
May the Lord be kind and gracious to you:
May the Lord look on you with favour and give you peace.
In joining your lives may God grant you both...
Love... to afford each other a special quality of time together.
Joy...in the accomplishments of one another.
Understanding...that your interests and desires
will not always be the same.
Friendship...based on mutual trust.
Courage...to speak of a misunderstanding
and to work on a solution
before the setting of the sun.
Compassion...to comfort each other in pain and sorrow.
Foresight...to realize rainbows follow rainy days.
Imagination...to keep with you part of the child you used to be.
Mirth...from your sense of humor.
Awareness...to live each day with the knowledge
that there is no promise of tomorrow.
May God bless you and keep you
in the Palm of His hand.
Touched By An Angel - Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
Oh the Places youll go Dr. Seuss
Congratulations! Today is your day.
You're off to great places! You're off and Away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And you are the couple who'll decide where to go.
You'll look up and down streets.
Look em' over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
You're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you'll want to go down.
In that case of course, you'll head straight out of town.
It's opener there, in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along. You'll start happening too.
Oh, the Places You Will GO!
You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing the sights!
You'll join the high flyers who soar to great heights.
You're off to great places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting. So....get on your way!