A ceremony script that harnesses the power and the beauty of nature #Ceremony Advice#ceremony script#readings Updated Nov 5 2016 (Posted Apr 15 2015) Guest post by McKenzie Binder Photo by Wild About You Photography Like many non-traditional brides, I decided to write my own ceremony script. It was easy to write many of the sections based on inspiration from Offbeat Bride and other websites; most of the pieces in a ceremony script are fairly standard and easy to copy. However, I wanted to add a few sections that were more romantic and personal than what I could find online. In particular, I wanted to highlight the importance of nature and beauty in my ceremony, and I couldn't find anything that addressed that. So, I decided to write those sections myself. If other couples are looking for something similar, I wanted to offer what I came up with as inspiration. Feel free to copy or use this as a basis for your own ceremony scripts… Opening Please be seated. I am McKenzie's aunt Tamra, and I will be the officiant for today’s ceremony. Welcome family and friends. We are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the marriage of Coady and McKenzie. We are not here to mark the start of a relationship however; we are here to recognize a bond that already exists. Coady and McKenzie have spent the last seven years together, so we have come together to bear witness to the bond that has grown between them. Today, they will affirm this bond formally and publicly. But this affirmation of love would be empty if they could not share it with their most beloved friends and family members. As Proust said, “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Coady and McKenzie hope that they can mark their transition to husband and wife not only by celebrating the love between themselves, but by also celebrating the love between all of us–including the love of their parents, siblings, extended family, and best friends. Without that love, today would be far less joyous. Thank you all for being here. Introduction What a truly special day today is! Only rarely do any of us take the time to travel far away to meet all of our closest friends and family for the sole purpose of celebrating. We usually spend our time concerned with the routine of daily living. We wake up, go to work, eat lunch, watch television. We worry, plan, work, drive. But for a few moments every so often, we get to experience something transcendent. When we witness pure beauty, we pause, amazed. We revel in the feeling, deep and beyond words, indisputable and timeless. It leaves us breathless and fulfilled and amazed. No matter how much we think of ourselves as rational, logical human beings, we have an irresistible drive to forget reason and simply feel something spiritual. Those are moments to be cherished. Coady and McKenzie experience that when they see the beauty of nature. In their eyes, there is something more than the trees and the meadows and the rocks; there is something deep, sacred, and more striking. When they witness the mountains together, it evokes awe and splendor. It is indescribable and immense. This is the same feeling that they discovered by falling in love with one another. When you are in love, you get to grab a piece of transcendence and take it with you in your daily life. You don’t have to trek to a river valley or to the top of a mountain to feel something important and indescribable; you can feel the beauty and enormity of the mountains within your own heart. And that is really why we are here today. Because love is enormous, and to take even a tiny piece into yourself and be able to experience and understand it is the greatest gift in the world. Today, we take the time to celebrate sublime moments in our lives and to remember just how important love is to all of us. When we were children, it was easy to see magic in the world; now we need days like this to remind us. Jennifer, the maid of honor, will now read “Love’s Philosophy” by Percy Shelley. Reading #1: “Love’s Philosophy” by Percy Shelley "Love’s Philosophy" The fountains mingle with the river And the rivers with the ocean, The winds of heaven mix for ever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single, All things by a law divine In one another’s being mingle— Why not I with thine? See the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven If it disdain’d its brother; And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea What are all these kissings worth, If thou kiss not me? Charge to the Couple Coady and McKenzie, for the past seven years, you have built a strong foundation for your relationship based on honesty and respect. You have found joy in one another’s company, and you have become better, more fulfilled people because of your connection. You have been able to stay together through the varied challenges of high school, college, and your careers, because of your shared values, humor, history, and unconditional love for one another. As long as you maintain these qualities, you will have a long and successful marriage. However, when a relationship matures, it is natural to become complacent. It is important to remember not to take your partner for granted or to neglect your relationship because your relationship so far has been easy. Instead, give priority to the tenderness, gentleness, and kindness that you each deserve. Remember to write love notes, give each other massages, and kiss in the rain. Take time to feed ducks at the park and take walks together. Share your passions, and discover life’s deeper questions. Pursue new experiences, grow together, and most importantly, laugh often. There will be difficulties ahead, but if you face them as a couple, with a strong sense of love, perspective, and mutual support, you will not only survive, but thrive. A brief moment in time and the stroke of a pen are all that is required to create the legal bond of marriage, but it takes a lifetime of love, commitment, and laughter to make a marriage durable and eternal. The process of marriage does not begin or end today; it is a lifelong pursuit. Your relationship already has all of the necessary components for success, but you must to maintain that from here forward by remembering what is important in your relationship and why you are making this commitment to one another today. Coady and McKenzie, as long as you are both respectful of each other, you will make it through the numerous changes and chapters that your lives will take. As long as you honor the promises that you will make to each other today, you will create a life of love and happiness. Sam, the best man, will now read “When I Am With You” by Rumi. Related Post A non-traditional, non-religious, non-boring wedding ceremony script (that involves alcohol!) We twisted some traditions and added our own flair (champagne toast! unity box full of letters! serenade!) to create a beautiful ceremony that I am happy to share with others. Read More Reading #2: “When I Am With You” by Rumi "When I Am With You" When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you're not here, I can't go to sleep. Praise God for these two insomnias! And the difference between them. The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along. We are the mirror as well as the face in it. We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity. We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. I want to hold you close like a lute, so we can cry out with loving. You would rather throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror, and here are the stones. Related Post Steal this super-simple wedding ceremony script We got married a few months ago, and we wrote the ceremony and vows ourselves. I wanted to share them with you guys in case any of you were looking… Read More Vows Officiant: Coady, do you take McKenzie to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part? Coady: I do Officiant: McKenzie, do you take Coady to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part? McKenzie: I do Rings Then it is time to exchange rings. Wedding rings are a tangible symbol of the vows that you have just made to each other. Wear them every day to remind yourselves of the promises that you have made. In addition, realize that when you place the wedding rings on each other’s fingers, you are releasing the past, bringing only those memories, desires, and hopes which will belong to each other into your future life together.” Officiant: Coady… [He reaches over to Sam, gets McKenzie’s ring] Coady: With this ring, I thee wed. [Places ring on finger] Officiant: McKenzie… [She reaches over to Jen, gets Coady’s ring] McKenzi: With this ring, I thee wed. [Places ring on finger] Related Post Our short, agnostic, stars and moon wedding ceremony script I wrote this ceremony script with the help of Offbeat Bride, and I am really happy with the results. My very non-religious, scientific-minded fiancé is very happy with it as… Read More Certificate signing Coady and McKenzie, will you please come forward and sign your names to the certificate of marriage? With this act, your marriage becomes legally binding in the eyes of the State. Declaration of Marriage By the power vested in me by the great State of Colorado, I hereby pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride. Family and friends, I present to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Shawcroft. Related Post Egalitarian feminist pluralistic ceremony script for your equality-focused ceremony (includes READINGS!) When you want to focus on equality and feminism, it can be hard to find a wedding ceremony script that holds water. This one ROCKS our egalitarian socks. This feminist… Read More Related Post Steal these wedding vows [updated for 2021!] I just finished the Offbeat Bride book and adored it! Now, do you have any ideas for vows?! Read More McKenzie Binder McKenzie Binder has been with her fiance for seven years, and they are planning on getting married in Colorado in June 2015. She is an insurance agent and accounting specialist, and her fiance, Coady, is a teacher. PREVIOUS Erica & Sean's peaceful and elegant guests-included elopement NEXT Is PIY the new DIY? Why printables are the easier DIY wedding invitation Show/Hide comments [ 8 ] "…When they witness the mountains together, it evokes awe and splendor. It is indescribable and immense. This is the same feeling that they discovered by falling in love with one another." I LOVE this!!! Reply Thanks for sharing! I love the Rumi poem and your other nods to mother nature 🙂 Sounds like your wedding will be really special & magical! Reply I just wanted to thank you guys for your lovely comments! Hopefully this will make writing your own scripts easier or spark an idea. Reply Wow!!! This post was so awesome and inspiring, I can't wait to steal from it. I have tears in my eyes, just imagining how it would feel to be a part of such a beautifully written ceremony. Thanks so much for posting this!!! Reply This is beautifully written and speaks about love exactly as I see it in my own relationship. It has definitely helped me get through my writers block for drafting my own script. Thank you so much for posting it! Reply This ceremony script is so powerful and beautiful! You guys did an amazing job. I was looking all over the internet at other wedding ceremony scripts and none of them resonated with me as much as this one did. Thank you so much for sharing this – it provides much needed inspiration for my own ceremony. Reply Thank u! This is so beautiful & exactly what I was looking for. I will personalize & costumize this 1!!!! So well written, I am crying now, thank u 🙂 Reply McKenzie, thank you for sharing these beautiful words! They have inspired my fiancé and me as we start crafting our own ceremony script. Yours must have been truly lovely wedding. Wishing you and Coady the best. Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.