Welcome the Elements

Judi:
Today we witness the marriage of Ian and Ann in the beautiful surroundings of Eilean Donan Castle. Ian and Ann have chosen to have a very intimate wedding to allow themselves to express there commitment and love to each other in a way that has the most meaning for them both. The promises they will make today will be made for the rest of their lives.

(To Ian and Ann)
Ian and Ann, you have come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognise a bond that already exists.

Yours is a story of two people whose journey allowed your paths to cross more than once. Through your lives, you have discovered that taking that journey together could lead to a kind of happiness that few find. You have been given a gift of a second chance of happiness that many people search for all their lives. You know that after the uneven path in life over the last 12 years that you were apart from each other, love is everlasting and endures.

This marriage is one expression of the many varieties of love. Love is one, though its expressions are infinite. Real love is something beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. It is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your life partner as about your own. Real love is not total absorption in each other; rather, it is looking outward, in the same direction, together. Love makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It also makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can be involved with life in ways you dare not risk alone. The purpose of marriage is that you may always love, care for and support each other through the joys and sorrows of life. Getting married is making a commitment to life; to developing and maintaining cooperation, friendship and mutual respect. It requires trust, understanding and encouragement. Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Candle Ceremony
Unity candles – one for Ian, one for Ann. Ann and Ian stand before the candles.

Judi:
These candles symbolise your individual lives. The two distinct flames represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. Everything you have ever experienced, everything you have ever done and everything you have ever learned has brought you to this moment as you now stand before these witnesses to take each other as husband and wife.

Along with your life experience has come the joy of relationship to other people with whom you have created a bond of love and caring, your family and friends. As you take this moment to light the candle that symbolises you as an individual, please also remember those you love who are not present in person today but present in your hearts.

(Light candles)

Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.

With full awareness, know that in this moment you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul’s growth.

Judi: Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Ian and Anne: Yes, we seek to enter.

Judi: Please join hands and look into each others eyes. (Drape binding over hands.)

In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.

Face North (Judi lights candle)
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North. Firm foundation on which to build fertility of the fields to enrich your lives, a stable home to which you may always return.

Face West (Judi lights candle)
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake, the swift excitement of the river, the refreshing cleansing of the rain, the all encompassing passion of the sea.

Face East (Judi lights candle)
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind and body. Fresh beginnings with the rising of each sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.

Face South (Judi ights candle)
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home, the heat of the heart’s passion, the light created by both to lighten the darkest of times.

Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasises those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.

Vows
Ian, will you cause her pain?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

Ann, will you cause him pain?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

*To Both*
Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Yes

Ann, will you share his laughter?
Yes
Ian, will you share her laughter?
Yes

*To Both*
Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
Yes

Ann, will you burden him?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

Ian, will you burden her?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

*To Both*
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
Yes

Ann, will you share his dreams?
Yes
Ian, will you share her dreams?
Yes

*To Both*
Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?
Yes

Ian, will you cause her anger?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

Ann, will you cause him anger?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

*To Both*
Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?
We will

Ann, will you honour him?
I will
Ian, will you honour her?
I will

*To Both*
Will you seek to never give cause to break that honour?
We shall never do so.

Do you, Ann, take Ian to be your husband?
Ann: I do
Do you, Ian, take Ann to be your wife?
Ian: I do

(Judi ties knot in binding.)

Judi:
The knot of this binding is not formed by this cord but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the cord, for as always you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.

(Remove the binding and place down on the table.)

Judi:
A circle is a symbol of the sun, the Earth and the universe. It is also a symbol of the eternity of truth, love and life, of that which has no beginning and no end. May these rings be a daily reminder to you of your vows to each other and your resolve to live together in unity, love and happiness.

Blessing of the Rings.
(Ann and Ian Light Air Candle)
The blessings of air upon these rings and your love, that you share communication and creativity.

(Ann and Ian Light Fire Candle)
The blessings of fire upon these rings so that you share passion and the intensity of life together.

(Ann and Ian Light Water Candle)
The blessings of water upon these rings so that you remain empathetic and compassionate.

(Ann and Ian Light Earth Candle)
The blessings of earth upon these rings and your love that you share health and sexuality.

Ian and Ann, as a symbol of your love and respect for each other, it is now time for you to exchange rings.

Ian please repeat after me:
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.
I promise to care for you with love and friendship,
To support and comfort you through good times and troubled times,
To love you above all others
For as long as love endures.
(Place ring on finger)

Ann please repeat after me:
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.
I promise to care for you with love and friendship,
To support and comfort you through good times and troubled times,
To love you above all others
For as long as love endures.
(Place ring on finger)

There is nothing more lovely in life than the union of two people whose love for one another has grown throughout the years. Marriage creates a spiritual link unique unto itself, which binds you closer than any spoken or written words. Ian and Ann, by the giving and receiving of rings you will be known to all as husband and wife. You have given your marriage vows to each other and these vows take a lifetime to fulfil.

And to complete this ceremony, Ian and Ann will light a candle symbolising their life together. They will do this using the two candles that were lit in the beginning of the ceremony that symbolise their individual lives. All three candles remain lit, as even though marriage brings us into a close and intimate bond, as we share life’s journey together, we will always remain unique individuals.
(Light candle)

By the authority given me by the Registrar General of Scotland and the Findhorn Foundation, it gives me great pleasure to declare that you are now husband and wife.
(To Ian) You may kiss your wife.

Judi:
Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time doth pass, remember…

Like a stone should your love be firm, like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable.

Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come but they will pass quickly.

There is nothing more lovely in life than the union of two people whose love for one another has grown throughout the year’s. Make your home a haven of rest and peace, a place of happiness for all who enter it, where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company; a place for music and for laughter, for growing, sharing and love.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life, the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you.

We wanted to thank you very sincerely for the wonderful ceremony you conducted. All our guests told us (repeatedly) how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how unique it was. I suppose marriage across cultures can be a tricky business, but not when conducted with so much sensitivity and warmth as you did. You really helped to make our day as fabulous as we hoped it would be and more!!

Steve and Gail