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Sample Ceremonies

Weddings at Findhorn

Clicking on the headings below will open a few examples of ceremonies and how they can be constructed. It is not exhaustive but offered as inspiration to help you create your own ceremony when discussing your own preferences with our celebrant.

As these examples are taken from various ceremonies officiated over by our celebrants, you will probably find some wording duplication as similar wording can be woven into different ceremonies.

Short and Sweet

Judi:
Leonie and David today you celebrate one of life’s greatest moments and give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, as you join together in vows of marriage.

A quote from Rainer Rilke
For one human being to love another human being; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. Loving at first does not mean merger, surrender and uniting with another person. Love is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in ourselves, to become a world in ourselves for the sake of another person. Love is a great, demanding claim on us, something that chooses us and calls us to vast distances.

Vows

Judi:
Will you David, take Leonie to be your wife? Will you treasure your friendship and love her always? Will you trust her and support her in all that you do and keep your heart and mind open to her? Will you love and support her physically and, for better or for worse, stand by her faithfully?

David: I will.

Will you Leonie, take David to be your husband? Will you treasure your friendship and love him always? Will you trust him and support him in all that you do and keep your heart and mind open to him? Will you love and support him physically and, for better or for worse, stand by him faithfully?

Leonie: I will.

Exchange of rings

David:
Leonie, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment. May it remind you always of the promises we have made here today.

Leonie:
David, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment. May it remind you always of the promises we have made here today.

Judi:
Leonie and David, just as two very different threads woven in opposite directions can form a beautiful tapestry, so can your two lives merge together to form a very beautiful marriage. To make your marriage work will take love. Love should be the core of your marriage, love is the reason you are here. But, it also will take trust – to know in your hearts you want the best for each other. It will take dedication – to stay open to one another; to learn and to grow together even when this is not always so easy to do. It will take faith – to always be willing to go forward to tomorrow, never really knowing what tomorrow will bring. And it will take commitment – to hold true to the journey you both now pledge to share together.

Leonie and David, with the exchanging of rings and vows, the declaring of your love for one another and acceptance of each other as husband and wife, I now declare you to be Husband and Wife.

Congratulations, you may kiss the bride.

Thank you for such a beautiful ceremony. I found the experience daunting but your kind words on the day made it so much easier.Susie and Blair

Include Some Readings

Judi:
Welcome everybody.

Before we start, James and Jenny would like to express their gratitude to you all for coming so far to be with them today. They have both fallen in love with this beautiful part of the country and it means a lot to them to be married here. However it means more to them that they celebrate their union with their family and close friends around them. Your willingness to travel here means they have the best of both worlds, so please accept their heartfelt appreciation.

This ceremony is but an outward sign of their inward union of heart, mind and spirit, a celebration of the joining of two souls already attuned to one another. We are here to bear witness to the entry into the closer relationship of husband and wife of these beloved friends who are already one in spirit.

Reading by Catherine: Oh The Places You Will Go

Congratulations! Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes,
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the couple who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look em over with care.
About some you will say, “We don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
You’re too smart to go down, any not so good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t worry . Don’t stew
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The places you will go!

Judi :
Jenny and James, you have come here to make public your love for each other; to give notice of your truth; to declare your choice to live and partner and grow together – out loud and in the presence of these witnesses, out of your desire that we will all come to feel a very real and intimate part of your decision and thus make it even more powerful.

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 point of marriage is not to create commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his or her solitude, and thus shows the other the greatest possible trust.

Reading from Jules : Corinthians 13
Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offence.

Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over other men’s sins, but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to it’s faith, it’s hope and it’s endurance.

May the love you share be as timeless as the tides and as deep as the sea.

Judi:
Marriage requires devotion, the ability to listen, the wisdom to know when we are wrong and the humility to be able to put things right. Above all, it requires unquestioning love.

Marriage is a fluid relationship that assumes many different forms throughout the years, a relationship that is always growing or changing.

If you are growing as individuals, different today from yesterday, and if you can communicate this growth emotionally, philosophically and physically, your marriage over the years will remain vital and creative.

As well as the strong love and respect that Jenny and James have for each other, they share similar principles and priorities. Their relationship enables them to face life positively and constructively, and they now wish to live with the commitment and understanding that marriage represents.

James and Jenny, please remember as you take on this commitment to each other that there are certain styles of living together that will enable your relationship to grow and flower… caring and supporting each other through the joys and sorrows of life; developing and maintaining co-operation and mutual respect; cultivating the qualities of trust and understanding.

You have found in each other happiness, fulfilment and love. As a consequence of this you now wish to affirm your relationship, and offer each other the security which comes from legally binding vows, sincerely made and faithfully kept.

Will you please face each other and join hands.

James, will you take this woman, whose hands you hold, choosing her alone to be your wedded wife? Will you live with her in a state of true matrimony? Will you love her and comfort her through good times and bad, in sickness and in health? Will you honour her at all times, and be faithful to her?

James : I will.

Jenny, will you take this man, whose hands you hold, choosing him alone to be your wedded husband? Will you live with him in a state of true matrimony? Will you love him and comfort him through good times and bad, in sickness and in health? Will you honour him at all times, and be faithful to him?

Jenny : I will.

Judi:
As you take these vows, I would like you to remember that:

To love is to come together from the pathways of the past and then move forward, hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of the future; ready to risk, to dream, and to dare. Always believe that all things are possible with faith, love in God and faith in, and love for, each other.

Will you repeat after me?

I, James, take you, Jenny, to be my wife, to love and cherish, from this day forward as long as we both shall live.

I, Jenny, take you, James, to be my husband, to love and cherish, from this day forward as long as we both shall live.

Judi:
I understand you have brought rings as a token of your sincerity? Please place the rings on each others fingers.

These rings are a symbol of an unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver, for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no place for loneliness for you, for you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, to enter into the days of your togetherness, and may your days be good and long together.

James and Jenny, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in matrimony and have promised your love for each other by these vows, the joining of your hands and the giving of these rings, by the authority given me by the Registrar General of Scotland, I now declare you to be Husband and Wife.

Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.

It is my privilege to present to you Mr and Mrs Jim Smith.

We want to thank you again for making our wedding celebration so wonderful! You took so much care and made our wedding unforgetable… We will always remember our special day, it was so emotional! You are really gifted with your talent.Charlene and Mirko

Handfasting with Readings

Judi:
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Judi Buttner and on behalf of Adrian and Helen I would like to welcome you all to Rua Reidh Lighthouse in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

It means a great deal to them to have their family and friends present to share with them in their happiness and to witness their marriage vows.

Your willingness to travel here means a great deal to them, so please accept their heartfelt appreciation. Adrian and Helen have chosen this special place because they wanted their marriage to feel right for them. Choosing as always their own individual approach rather than following tradition, they have created this service to reflect their true and honest feelings and to create their special day.

It is more usual at this time to ask ‘Who gives the bride in marriage?’, but I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing.

Helen, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Helen: Yes, I do.

Judi:
With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you?
Grant (son): She comes with me, her son, and is accompanied by all of her family’s blessings.

Judi:
We will begin the ceremony by lighting a candle for those who cannot be physically with us. We also wish to remember Charles Miller, John Chapman and Ashleigh Chapman. We will be thinking of them throughout the day.

Helen:
Reading – The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of your hearts longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow; if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or if you have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from it’s presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon ‘Yes’.

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest where or what or with whom you shave studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Judi:
Marriage shows a desire by two people to share themselves and their experiences with each other, it shows a willingness to accept each other for who they are as individuals. In this partnership you are making a commitment to developing cooperation, friendship and mutual respect, caring for each other and supporting each other. This calls for honesty, patience and, of course humour. This ceremony is a symbol of Adrian and Helen’s love for one another and of their desire to share this love with their family and friends. The commitment is for life through all the joy and challenges that lie ahead. Their marriage is an affirmation of their commitment to each other and signifies the beginning of a new life together.

Also remember that a successful marriage requires closeness and distance, the closeness of a couple growing together and enough distance to allow each partner to be individual. A good partner in such a marriage will be loving and caring and, above all, a best friend.

It is in this spirit that Adrian and Helen are now before us. In each other’s company they have found a deep happiness, fulfilment and love. They now wish to affirm their relationship with this marriage.

Adrian and Helen, nothing is easier than saying words, and nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed again tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that and the tomorrow after that.

Will you now join hands for the rite of handfasting.

Handfasting was the word used throughout the Celtic lands of Scotland and Northern England to refer to a commitment of betrothal or engagement. It was a ceremony in which the couple publicly declared their intention to marry. It is a ritual in which the bride and groom’s hands are tied together – hence the phrase tying the knot.

Grant can you please lay the ribbon over your mum and Adrian’s hands.

As this knot is tied so your lives are now bound. Into this cloth, into its very fibres, we put all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together. With the fashioning of this knot do we tie all the desires, dreams, love and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for as long as love shall last. By this cord will you be bound to the vows you are about to make.

Bless these hands that will hold one another in passion and love. Bless these hands that will provide for one another and seek shelter for one another. Bless these hands that will hold your children and will comfort them in grief and hold them in affection.

Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad and watch your strength grow as your bond together becomes forever stronger.

Ellie
Reading – I Love You, by Roy Croft

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out:
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Vows
I, Adrian, take you, Helen, to be my wife, my soulmate and one true love. I promise to love you completely, honestly and without restraint, in the best of times and in the worst of times, in life and beyond.

Will you take me to be your husband, so that I can love you forever, and be your best friend. Will you dance with me, even when there’s no music, watch the sun set and the moon rise with me, will you sing in one room while I smile in another, and go with me on long walks and feed the ducks and will you especially promise not to lock me in the back garden while you go shopping? Can we travel the world together, have many adventures, and grow old together gracefully, or disgracefully, whichever suits us best? Will you marry me today?

Helen: I will.

I, Helen, take you, Adrian, to be my husband, my soulmate and one true love. I promise to love you completely, honestly and without restraint, in the best of times and in the worst of times, in life and beyond.

Will you take me to be your wife, so that I can love you forever, and be your best friend. Will you dance with me, even when there’s no music, watch the sun set and the moon rise with me, will you sing in one room while I smile in another and take me on long walks to feed the ducks, and get me frogs for the garden? Can we travel the world together, have many adventures, and grow old together gracefully, or disgracefully, whichever suits us best? Will you marry me today?

Adrian: I will.

Judi:
As you cannot always be physically joined we will now exchange rings. (Removes the cord)

The exchange of rings is one of the deepest and oldest symbols of marriage. To give a ring in marriage is to say that your love has no beginning and no end. These rings, given by each of you to the other, shows that you are always together in spirit. 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.

Adrian: As I have given you my hand to hold, I have given you my life to share. This ring symbolises my love for you.

Helen: As I have given you my hand to hold, I have given you my life to share. This ring symbolises my love for you.

Judi:
There is nothing more lovely in life than the union of two people whose love for one another has grown throughout the years. 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.

As a representative of the Registrar General of Scotland and the Findhorn Foundation I now pronounce you husband and wife. Adrian, you may kiss your wife.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different that yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

And now is a time for blessings and well-wishing for your new life together.

Toby:
This day I married my best friend – Author unknown.

This day I married my best friend
The one I laugh with as we share life’s wondrous zest,
As we find new enjoyments and experience all that’s best.
The one I live for because the world seems brighter as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter
The one I love with every fibre of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

Mum:
Extract from a Native American Wedding ceremony – Author unknown

May the sun bring you new happiness by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night;
May the rain wash away your worries
And the breeze blow new strength into your being;
And all the days of your life
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there will be no more loneliness.

Oliver:
Tribal Wish of the Iroquois Indian – Author unknown

May you have a safe tent,
And no sorrow as you travel.
May happiness attend you in all your paths.
May you keep a heart like the morning,
And may you come slow to the four corners
Where man says goodnight.

Sue:
Apache Blessing – Author unknown

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for each other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Judi:
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

The Scottish Quaich of Loving Cup is a traditional way of involving family and friends in the ceremony. As the final part of this ceremony, and as their first act as a married couple, Adrian and Helen will drink from their quaich and invite you all to join them in doing this to celebrate their marriage. The couple asks that as you take a sip you make a wish. While the quaich is being passed around, we will be signing the legal documents.

Grant and Oliver pass around the Quaich.

Signing of the schedule.

Presentation of the couple.

We wanted to thank you for all the time you spent preparing for our wedding and conducting such a beautiful ceremony. The whole experience was so wonderful, to be able to choose our own personal words meant a lot to us.Ann and Ian

Handfasting with a Story

On behalf of James and Jemma, I would like to welcome you here to Eilean Donan castle in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. It means a great deal to them to have their beloved friends and family present to share with them their wedding day.

Your willingness to travel so far means a great deal to them, so please accept their heartfelt appreciation and gratitude, not only for being here today but also for all the love and support you have given them over the past nine years.

Judi: Who accompanies this bride to her husband to be?

Mum: I do.

Judi: Does she come with your blessing?

Mum: Yes she does.

Judi: The west coast of Scotland is very dear to James and Jemma and the beautiful surroundings of Eilean Donan castle where not chosen at random by these two who stand before me.

James’s family have holidayed in this area for over 30 years. So for their first holiday together as a young couple James invited Jemma to join the family here in Kintail. It was on this holiday that James brought Jemma here to witness the magic of Eilean Donan castle, and of course Jemma knew it was love at first sight, she also commented it would be her dream to one day get married here.

And so, in August 2009 when on holiday with friends, unbeknown to Jemma, James had a diamond ring and a sneaky plan to head to Eilean Donan Castle before being homeward bound.

In James’s head, his plan for a romantic proposal on a mountain overlooking the castle was perfect, but in reality it didn’t quite work out that way.

At the first location James picked, a small debate took place as James was trying to usher Jemma out of the car in order to secretly manoeuvre the ring into his pocket, but Jemma refused to get out. Finally when James won the argument, Jemma stormed out of the car to go and look at the view. Unfortunately, when they reached the mountainside, James realised he had parked a mile too far away and they couldn’t see the castle.

So they drove on to another point. James, who was now very nervous, desperately hoped it was the right place. They both walked over to a mound and found a stunning view looking down on Eilean Donan, it was here they both smiled and embraced each other and the view. James decided this was the perfect time to pop the question. He didn’t however get down on one knee as they stood on and were sinking into, a massive bog. However, with all that had happened, nothing could take away the magic of the moment or the realisation that they where now starting this new chapter in their lives together. Which brings us here today.

Getting married is a declaration of two people’s love. It defines a relationship and signifies a beginning of a new life together. It shows a desire by two people to share themselves and their experiences with each other. It shows a willingness to accept each other for who they are as individuals.

Will you now join hands for the rite of handfasting.

Gill, will you please lay the Tartan over James’ and Jemma’s hands.

As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound. We bless into this binding, imbue into its very fibres, all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together. With the fashioning of this knot do I tie all the desires, dreams, love and happiness wished here in this place to your lives. By this cord you are thus bound to the vows you will be making. May this knot remain tied throughout your lives together. May your hands be drawn together in love, never to be used in anger. May the vows you will speak never grow bitter in your mouths.

In the joining of hands and the fashioning of a knot, so are your lives now bound, one to another.

Bless these hands that will hold one another in passion and love. Bless these hands that will provide for one another and seek shelter for one another. Bless these hands that will hold your children in affection and comfort them in grief.

Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which bring strength to this union. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad, and watch your strength grow as your bond together becomes forever stronger.

But because you cannot always be physically joined (remove cord for exchanging of rings), we will now exchange vows and rings.

James and Jemma, there is magic and mystery in marriage. It will continuously surprise you. It will ask of you strength and wisdom. Acknowledging this, do you happily choose to make the promises of marriage in this company of friends and family.

James and Jemma together: Yes.

Nothing is easier than saying words. And nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and decided again tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that, and the tomorrow after that.

I shall now ask you to make your marriage vows.

James, will you take Jemma to be your wife, your soul mate and your one true love? Will you promise to love her completely and honestly without question? Will you make her laugh in times of trial, be her strength in times of need and a friend to her always? Will you love her from the sunrise to the shine of the moon and the stars? Will you climb mountains and have adventures together and support her and your future family? Will you grow old together gracefully or disgracefully, which ever suits you best?

James: I will forever.

Jemma, will you take James to be your husband, your soul mate and your one true love. Will you promise to love him completely and honestly without question? Will you promise to be there for him from this day forward and be his best friend as well as his wife? Will you make him laugh when needed, be strong when required and pretend to obey him at least once in a while? Will you grow old together gracefully or disgracefully, which ever suits you best?

Jemma : I will forever.

Friends and family, now that you have heard Jemma and James recite their vows, do you promise from this day forward to encourage them and love them, to give them your guidance, and to support them in being steadfast in the promises they have made. If so please respond with a resounding ‘We do!’

Congregation: “We do!”

We have now come to the exchange of rings which is the traditional way of sealing the vows you have just made.

A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe, of wholeness and perfection, and peace and love. It is worn on the third finger, because of an ancient Greek belief that a vein from that finger goes directly to the heart. These rings mark the beginning of a long journey together. Wear them proudly, for they are the symbols which speak of the love that you have for one another.

Jemma, repeat after me:
I give you this ring as a measure of my love, as a symbol of my heart and as a reminder of the vows we made today. I promise to be yours forever.
(Jemma gives James the ring)

James, repeat after me:
I give you this ring as a measure of my love, as a symbol of my heart and as a reminder of the vows we made today. I promise to be yours forever.
(James gives Jemma the ring)

Jemma and James, now that we have witnessed your love for each other and seen you accept each other as husband and wife, symbolised by the exchange of vows and rings, I ask the whole congregation to pronounce you husband and wife. Please repeat after me: ‘We pronounce you husband and wife.’

By the authority vested in me by the Registrar General of Scotland, I acknowledge and declare that you are husband and wife. James You may now kiss your bride.

Thanks so much for making our day so perfect. We were really impressed with your professionalism and thankful that you really cared so much with the planning and grateful when we could not find our papers at the 11th hour and you kept your cool. Will definitely recommend you to any future weddings.Kenny and Synove

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

Something a Little Different

Judi:
We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of David and Karen. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two who stand before us, we can hope to leave with them the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time.

The law of life is love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing; without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, David and Karen have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

Others would ask at this time ‘Who gives the bride in marriage?’, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing.

Karen, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Karen: Yes, it is true.

Judi:
With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you.
Karen’s father: She comes with me, her father, and is accompanied by all of her family’s blessings.

Judi:
Please join hands with your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say. 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. Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you unease, for the Gods are with you always.

David, I have not the right to bind thee to Karen, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.

David: It is my wish.

Judi:
Karen, if it be your wish for David to be bound to you, place the ring on his finger.
(Karen places ring on David’s left ring finger.)

Karen, I have not the right to bind thee to David only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in his hand.

Karen: It is my wish.

Judi:
David, if it be your wish for Karen to be bound to you, place the ring on her finger.

(David places the ring on Karen’s left ring finger. David and Karen hold hands and the Chief Bridesmaid, Claire, binds their hands with cord and secures it with a knot.)

Judi:
David, repeat after me:
I, David, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee Karen to my hand, my heart, and my spirit, to be my wife. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.

Judi:
Karen, repeat after me:
I, Karen, in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood, and the love that resides within my heart, take thee David to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my husband. To desire and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.

Judi:
(Handing the chalice to David) May you drink your fill from the cup of love.

(David holds the chalice to Karen while she sips then Karen takes the chalice and holds it to David while he sips. The chalice is then handed back to Judi who sets it on the table.)

(Next Judi takes the plate of bread, giving it to David. Same procedure repeated with bread – groom feeding bride and bride feeding groom.)

By the power vested in me by the Registrar General of Scotland, I now pronounce you husband and wife. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you.

Closing down the ceremony
(David and Karen turn to each other and kiss. They then leave the room. The little bridesmaids will be holding the broom for them to jump. After this Claire will cut the cord to leave the knot attached. At this time the flute player will be playing a tune.)

Thank you so much for the wonderful wedding ceremony, you did an amazing job and it was perfect… The service was all we wanted and so much more, we loved the softness and informality of the whole ceremony and you did a wonderful job of portraying that to everyone.Daren and Ruth