It’s kind of a long explanation! But here you go.
I converted about a year ago to the LDS church, but was a reform Jew before. LDS members typically get ”sealed” in the temple for time and all eternity. However, one can only go through the temple once you have been a member for more than a year and have been through a series of worthiness interviews. Also, since only worthy church members can attend a temple sealing, my family would not be able to be there if we did it that way.
I wanted it both ways! The big, fabulous wedding with all my family I had always dreamed of , and an intimate, holy experience in the temple with members of my church family. Usually, if you get married outside the temple you must wait a year to do a sealing ceremony. However, since I had not been a member a full year at this time, if we got married before that date we could have a sealing ceremony when I had been a member for a year.
So, we spent many hours writing our own ceremony. We did a unity candle with our moms lighting the tapers and us lighting a special oil candle together with those tapers, had the father of the groom give a prayer, wrote our own vows as well as repeated modified parts of Ruth (1:16-17 I think….) as we exchanged rings.
”Let me be a seal upon your heart,
like the seal upon your hand.
Do not entreat me to leave you,
to return from following you,
for wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you stay, I will stay,
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die,
and be buried there by your side.
This and more may the Lord do to me,
if anything but death parts us.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
We also drank juice from a kiddush cup, had our officiant recite the traditional seven blessings, and broke a glass at the end of the ceremony!
We recently had our sealing ceremony too, and it was so beautiful.