Here’s our ceremony that I wrote for our beach wedding-it’s pretty long…
This beautiful setting should remind us that, like the ocean, human life is an ebb and flow. The life of the spirit and emotions moves in cycles. To be in a relationship does not guarantee an eternal summer. To make a sincere and honest commitment does not promise an end to all struggles. What a good relationship does offer, much like this ocean, is the opportunity for renewal. It recognizes the abiding, shared hope that after every fall and winter, spring and summer will come again. You are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in the world whom you love the best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities and love. At the end of this ceremony, legally you will be husband and wife, but you still must decide each and every day that stretches before you that you want to be married. Honor this decision daily.
May you always need one another, not so much to fill the emptiness as to help each other know your fullness. May you want one another but not out of lack. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. Look for things to praise, often say ‘I love you’ and take no notice of small faults. May you have happiness, and may you find it in making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.
As an expression that you are joined together in love, will you please hold each others hands in your own, so you may feel the gift that you are about to receive on this day.
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 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 fills your mind. These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy, the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Declaration of Intent
Greg, do you accept Cyndi to be your wife, to love and to cherish, to share your dreams, successes, and challenges, in plenty and in want, in triumph and in failure, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live? I Do
Cyndi, do you accept Greg to be your husband, to love and to cherish, to share your dreams, successes, and challenges, in plenty and in want, in triumph and in failure, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live? I Do
Exchange of Vows
Cyndi, today I give you my heart; I have no greater gift to give. I promise to be true and faithful to you from this day forward in all of life’s circumstances as we face them together. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. When you stumble, I will restore you. Throughout my life, I promise to cherish you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, comfort and encourage you, loving you faithfully and unconditionally through the good times and bad, completely and forever.
Greg, today I give you my heart; I have no greater gift to give. I promise to be true and faithful to you from this day forward in all of life’s circumstances as we face them together. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. When you stumble, I will restore you. Throughout my life, I promise to cherish you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, comfort and encourage you, loving you faithfully and unconditionally through the good times and bad, completely and forever.
Exchange of Rings
Greg and Cyndi, your rings are intimately associated with your intent to honor and treasure the vows you have just spoken. By exchanging rings, resolve to live your vows and not to let them drift in shallow promises. Believe and trust that the words you are about to speak have the capacity to create the marriage, family and life of your dreams, and that the rings you exchange will have the power to return you to your vows. May they give your marriage direction—wherever you go you will return to each other. And let these rings be an everyday reminder of your love and commitment.
Greg, take this ring, put it on Cyndi’s finger and repeat after me:
I, Greg, take you, Cyndi to be my wife, my partner in life and my one true love. With this ring, I pledge my heart, my love, and my life to you today, tomorrow, and always.
Cyndi, take this ring, put it on Greg’s finger and repeat after me:
I, Cyndi, take you, Greg, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love. With this ring, I pledge my heart, my love, and my life to you today, tomorrow, and always.
The engagement ring is a symbol of promise and intention. Now the intention is realized and the promise fulfilled. Greg, please place the engagement ring on Cyndi’s finger over her wedding band to symbolize that the love that brought you together will always protect and sustain your marriage.
Dear Lord, we pray that you will bless Greg and Cyndi as they begin their new journey together. Help them to honor and keep the promises they made here today. May you allow them to be everything to each other; a strength in need, a comfort in sorrow, a counselor in difficulty, and a companion in life. Amen.
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth. Give to one another new experiences of joy. Challenge one another so that you may grow. May the love you hold for each other, now sealed in marriage, continue to mature with the passing years. May you never take each other for granted, but always experience the wonder of your union.
We bear witness to this ceremony you have just completed, and this bond that has been formed today can be broken by none.
Greg and Cyndi, as you stand beside the ocean tide, may your love always be as constant as these never-ending waves that pour near your feet, flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea. Your love came softly upon each others heart, just as the foam comes softly upon the sand, and just as there will never be a morning without the ocean’s flow, so there will never be a day without love for each other. Your love will be as dependable as the tide; as these waters nourish the earth and sustain life, may your constant devotion nourish and sustain you until the end of time.
May the sun bring you new energy by day; May the moon softly restore you by night; May the rain wash away your worries; And may you live the days of your lives in peace, love, and happiness.
Declaration of Marriage
Now that you have given yourselves to each other and have shown your affection and trust by the giving and receiving of rings, along with the sun, the moon, and the sea, I have the pleasure of announcing you as husband and wife.
Greg, you may kiss your wife!