Wedding Wednesday: Our Texas Wedding Ceremony and Vows

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If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that our wedding ceremony was the most important thing during The Boy and my wedding planning. When we had our quickie ceremony in Alaska back in July of 2011, I wrote the entire ceremony the night before so that my sweet daddy could officiate it before he passed away. I wrote that sucker at 11 o'clock the night before the wedding and truly, truly loved it.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that our wedding ceremony was the most important thing during The Boy and my wedding planning. When we had our quickie ceremony in Alaska back in July of 2011, I wrote the entire ceremony the night before so that my sweet daddy could officiate it before he passed away. I wrote that sucker at 11 o'clock the night before the wedding and truly, truly loved it.

Wedding Wednesday: Our Texas Wedding Ceremony and Vows
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

In fact, I loved it so much that I barely changed it for our Texas ceremony in May of 2012. I swapped out the two readings that my mom and older sister did for different ones that The Boy's brother and my little sister could do. I also changed out the two sets of vows we exchanged for ones that reflected out common goals and wishes for our marriage (our first readings and vows reflected the importance of marriage in society and it's power to make people and their communities stronger).

Wedding Wednesday: Our Texas Wedding Ceremony and Vows
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

One of the other really cool choices we made was to have The Boy's mom officiate this ceremony. We love her and thought that having my dad marry us in Alaska and his mom marry us in Texas was, frankly, bad ass. Also, since we were already legally married – there was no worrying about having an officially recognized by the state of Texas person to do it. Also, as in our first ceremony, I left a section at the end for The Boy's mom to say a few words on her own (which, like in our Alaska ceremony, ended up being my favorite part of the whole thing).

Another small change, about a minute before the ceremony started my little brother (who was escorting me down the aisle) asked if, when the officiant asked "Who is it that escorts this woman to this man?", if he could say "Her family and I do." instead of "I do." I think he really wanted to subtly include our dad in that moment.

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Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

I've gone ahead and posted a download of our entire ceremony for y'all - just in case anyone wants to use it (or a portion of it). It’s in Word so alter it as you see fit. It's also in full after the jump.

Download Wedding Ceremony Vows

Download Wedding Ceremony First Reading

Download Wedding Ceremony Second Reading

Our Texas Wedding Ceremony and Vows

PROCESSIONAL:

“Forever” – The Dropkick Murphys

THE OPENING:

OFFICIANT: Friends and family, I invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.

A MOMENT.

OFFICIANT: We are gathered here today in the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to Cris and The Boy. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.

OFFICIANT: Who is it that escorts this woman to this man?

ESCORT: Her family and I do.

ESCORT IS SEATED.

OFFICIANT: Cris and The Boy, although life is a gift given to each of us as individuals, we also learn to live together in harmony. Love is a gift to us from our family and friends. Through these gifts of love we learn to ourselves to gift it back. Learning to love and live together is one of life's greatest challenges and is the shared goal of a married life.

OFFICIANT: Today is truly a glorious day as today both of you are blessed with the greatest of all gifts – the gift of abiding love and devotion. All present here today – and those here in heart – wish both of you all the joy, happiness, and success that the world has to offer.

FIRST READING:

OFFICIANT: We will now hear a reading from the bride’s sister.

READER: A Passage from Winnie the Pooh

If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart. I'll always be with you.

THE VOWS:

OFFICIANT: In this sacred and joyful celebration, we ask every blessing of this moment; a confirmation of the wisdom of your choice; great happiness on the path that is set before you; discretion, kindness, and caring as you walk upon it, strength to live out your purpose, grace and peace through each step of your journey, and beloved family and friends to support you.

TURN TO CRIS.

OFFICIANT: Cris, do you take The Boy to be your husband, your constant friend, and your faithful partner from this day forward? Will you cherish your union and love him more each day than you did the day before? In the presence of your family and friends, do you offer your solemn vow to be his faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. Do you promise to love him unconditionally, to support him in his goals, to honor and respect him, and to laugh with him and cry with him? Will you trust him and respect him, regardless of the obstacles you may face together? Do you promise to love and support him through whatever life may bring you?

CRIS: I will.

TURN TO THE BOY.

OFFICIANT: The Boy, do you take Cris to be your wife, your constant friend, and your faithful partner from this day forward? Will you cherish your union and love her more each day than you did the day before? In the presence of your family and friends, do you offer your solemn vow to be her faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. Do you promise to love her unconditionally, to support her in her goals, to honor and respect her, and to laugh with her and cry with her? Will you trust her and respect her, regardless of the obstacles you may face together? Do you promise to love and support her through whatever life may bring you?

THE BOY: I will.

THE RINGS:

OFFICIANT: These are the rings that Cris and The Boy will wear for the rest of their lives and that express the love that they have for one another. Let us take a moment and send our prayers, our thoughts, and our love into these rings, so that as they wear them, they will carry our love with them as well.

A MOMENT.

OFFICIANT: May we have Cris’s ring?

RING BEARER HANDS CRIS’S RING TO MARY.

THE BOY HOLDS CRIS’S LEFT HAND.

OFFICIANT: The Boy, please repeat after me. Cris, marrying you means that I accept you for the person that you are…

THE BOY: Cris, marrying you means that I accept you for the person that you are…

OFFICIANT: and that I do not wish to change you into someone else…

THE BOY: and that I do not wish to change you into someone else…

OFFICIANT: It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times…

THE BOY: It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times…

OFFICIANT: It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do…

THE BOY: It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do…

OFFICIANT: It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with…

THE BOY: It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with…

OFFICIANT: Marrying you means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine…

THE BOY: Marrying you means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine…

OFFICIANT: It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go…

THE BOY: It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go…

OFFICIANT: It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me…

THE BOY: It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me…

OFFICIANT: I take you to be my wife from this time onward…

THE BOY: I take you to be my wife from this time onward…

THE BOY PLACES THE RING ON CRIS’S FINGER.

OFFICIANT: May we have The Boy’s ring?

RING BEARER HANDS THE BOY’S RING TO MARY.

CRIS HOLDS THE BOY’S LEFT HAND.

OFFICIANT: Cris, please repeat after me. The Boy, marrying you means that I accept you for the person that you are…

CRIS: The Boy, marrying you means that I accept you for the person that you are…

OFFICIANT: and that I do not wish to change you into someone else…

CRIS: and that I do not wish to change you into someone else…

OFFICIANT: It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times…

CRIS: It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times…

OFFICIANT: It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do…

CRIS: It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do…

OFFICIANT: It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with…

CRIS: It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with…

OFFICIANT: Marrying you means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine…

CRIS: Marrying you means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine…

OFFICIANT: It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go…

CRIS: It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go…

OFFICIANT: It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me…

CRIS: It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me…

OFFICIANT: I take you to be my husband from this time onward…

CRIS: I take you to be my husband from this time onward…

CRIS PLACES THE RING ON THE BOY’S FINGER.

SECOND READING:

OFFICIANT: We will now hear a reading from the groom’s brother.

READER: Paul Newman’s Letter to his wife, Joanne Woodward, on their Wedding Day

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

THE CLOSING:

Officiant’s thoughts

OFFICIANT: Cris and The Boy, as the two of you have joined this marriage; I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as unique individuals and that you respect the thoughts, ideas, and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together – as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort, and refuge. May your marriage be strengthened by your love and respect.

THE DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE:

OFFICIANT: In front of the assembled witness, friends, and family – I now pronounce you husband and wife.

OFFICIANT: You may now kiss.

CRIS AND THE BOY KISS.

OFFICIANT: Friends and family, may I now present to you – Cris and The Boy!

THE RECESSIONAL:

“Perfect” – Sara Evans

AFTER THE WEDDING PARTY LEAVES THE CEREMONY LOCATION

OFFICIANT: Friends, we invite you to enjoy a short cocktail hour up by the house while the photographer takes a moment to work with the wedding party.