Personalised wedding ceremonies Sarah and Jackson Unity vase ritual

When Sarah and Jackson came to see me they had definite plans in their mind of what kind of ceremony they wanted.  I was thrilled that they placed so much importance on the ceremony and they had obviously given it a lot of thought.  They wanted something a bit quirky and upbeat.  Sarah even told me about a website which had inspired her.  Sarah was born in America, Jackson was born in Australia and they both have Irish ancestors  so they wanted their Irish heritage incorporated into the ceremony as well.  We spent a lot of time planning the ceremony and I really enjoyed the challenge.  I realised that most of the weddings I had conducted were a more traditional style so it made me think outside the box.

They were married at Chateau Wyuna on a beautiful summer’s day.  The ceremony was held near the rock pool on the stunning property and they had a large bridal party.  They preferred their guests to enjoy the ceremony without being distracted by taking photos and asked me to announce this at the beginning of the ceremony.  They also wanted the inclusion of the unity vase/ritual to unite the families and cultures.  Sarah and Jackson and their parents all placed items of significance into the vase as the symbol of the joining of the families.

The ceremony started with the introduction of all of the wedding party.

…….It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the beautiful Chateau Wyuna: standing with me here is the stunning bride Sarah, accompanied by her beautiful bridesmaids Rachel, Elizabeth, Sonya and Stephanie; and the handsome groom Jackson, his dashing groomsmen Mat and Jeremy and the gorgeous grooms woman, Aimee.  And at the bottom of the stairs we have Gemma and Tate the ring bearer.

 

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First of all I would like to acknowledge that this occasion is being held on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people, and pay my respect to their elders both past and present.

Today is a celebration. A celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it for forever.

You don’t have to have a ceremony to have a marriage. And when you think about it, the whole thing is kind of weird, right? You’re standing on a stage, looking fancy, holding flowers, and being stared at by pretty much everyone who has meant anything to you in the past twenty something years. So why do we do it? The marriage ceremony has been an important feature across nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society. We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so critical, we acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others. Why this moment?

Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great unifier – our one universal truth. That no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. That’s why you both are standing here…………

And even though this experience is so incredible, words fail us when we try and explain it.  That’s just the way it is with love – it’s meant to be felt, not described. But trying to describe love is one of our favourite pastimes……..

So today, we have some words about love, coming from some of the people who love you the most. I’d like to introduce Sarah’s Aunt Denise who will read a poem, before Sarah’s father, Jeff, gives an Irish Blessing.

Denise will be reading a poem that Jackson liked in high school, and wrote the last stanza in an anniversary card to Sarah one year. They both think it’s beautiful and have grand plans to use the quote in an art piece for their home!

Thought is Surrounded by a Halo – Gwen Harwood

Show me the order of the world,

the hard-edge light of this-is-so

prior to all experience

and common to both world and thought,

no model, but the truth itself.

 

Language is not a perfect game,

and if it were, how could we play?

The world’s more than the sum of things

like moon, sky, centre, body, bed,

as all the singing masters know.

 

Picture two lovers side by side

who sleep and dream and wake to hold

the real and imagined world

body by body, word by word

in the wild halo of their thought

 

Jeff: I’ve been fortunate enough to give an Irish Blessing at most of my children’s weddings, and both Sarah and Jackson have Irish heritage. This blessing is one Sarah really loves

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.

May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.

May the saddest day of your future

Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May your hands be forever clasped in friendship

And your hearts joined forever in love.

Your lives are very special,

God has touched you in many ways.

May his blessings rest upon you

And fill all your coming days.

……………

The Asking

Will you, Jackson and Sarah, be each other’s partners from this day forward? will you bring out the best in one another, share your happiest moments together, and love each other absolutely – for the rest of this lifetime and for whatever may come next?

Sarah and Jackson: we will

The Asking

Sarah and Jackson would now like to incorporate a ritual of the unity vase to unite the joining of the families and cultures.  Jackson will begin by pouring Australian dirt into unity vase. [pours Australian dirt into unity vase]

Sarah’s parents – Laura and Jeff; and Jackson’s parents – Mary and Nick, will now place some items of significance to symbolise the joining of the families.

– Sarah’s mum will place some stones she collected from a park where her father  (Sarah’s grandfather’s) ashes are scattered

(Laura places stones)

– Sarah’s dad will place some dried impatiens – his mother’s favourite flower

(Jeff places dried impatiens)

-Jacksons mother will be placing some seashells from the Gold Coast where she grew up

(Mary places seashells)

-Jacksons father will place a prayer book he was given by his father, which symbolizes the role music and the church played in his education and formative years.

(Nick places prayer book)

The Vows

You fell in love by chance, but you’re here today because you’re making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You’ve chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter.

You’re about to make promises to each other that you intend to keep. There’s a simple premise to each of these promises: you’re vowing to be there. You’re teaming up and saying to each other “every experience I am going to have, I want you to be a part of”

Jackson and Sarah:

…………Personal vows: (read from card)

Ring exchange

You’ve both chosen to wear rings as a reminder of these promises. People often say wedding bands are a perfect circle, with no beginning and no end. But these rings did have a beginning. The metals were formed a long time ago deep within the earth, the meteorite long before that.

Eventually a series of lucky events caused the meteorite to fall from space, and the metals to rise to the surface, where someone collected them. Metal was then liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees – moulded, cooled, and painstakingly polished, something beautiful was made from raw elements.

Love too comes from humble beginnings, and through a combination of serendipity and effort, imperfect beings shape it into something extraordinary. It’s the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all. As you look at these rings over the years, I hope you remember that. You’ve created something invaluable, and just as I know you’ll protect these rings, I’m confident you’ll protect the commitments you’ve made to one another.

Jackson, please place the ring on Sarah’s finger and, holding it there, please say: 

Sarah,

Let this ring be a symbol of our love,

May it represent our today, our tomorrows,

Our future and our past.

Sarah, please place the ring on Jackson’s finger and, holding it there, please say:

Jackson.

Let this ring be a symbol of our love,

May it represent our today, our tomorrows,

Our future and our past.

…………

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me the greatest pleasure to present to you – the newlyweds, Jackson and Sarah!

www.annarichards.com.au

 

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