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The Hands Ceremony

              Bride and Groom , Please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. 

These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future. 

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way. 

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Ceremony of the Sand:

Bride and Groom you have just sealed your bond by the giving and receiving of rings. This covenant is a marital pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage union and in the case, the union of two families. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these individual containers of sand into a single unit. One container represents you, Bride and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be. Another container represents you, Groom, and all that you were, and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. (If there are children then it continues...) The other containers represent each of the children. These containers represent all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these containers of sand are poured into the single container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. You come here today from two different families. From these two families a new family is now created.

Rose Ceremony (Minister explains to guests the beginning and the purpose of celebration.)

You have this day presented one another with a wedding ring. These rings will remain forever a public display of your vows to love, honor and respect one another from this day forward. This exchange of vows and rings and the commitment you have made to one another, gives you the titles of "husband" and "wife." Your first gift to one another in your new status is a single rose, a most appropriate gift because the rose is an everlasting, enduring symbol of love and a single rose will always be a way of saying "I love you."

In some ways it seems you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose, and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways a marriage ceremony is like this.  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, one I hope you always remember, the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

Bride and Groom, I would ask that wherever you make your home in the future, whether it be a large and elegant home or a small and graceful one, that you both pick one very special location for roses, so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot, both as a recommitment to your marriage and a recommitment that this will be a marriage based on love.

Apache Indian Marriage Ceremony:

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 more loneliness; for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two bodies; but there is only one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of togetherness,

And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Unity Candle:

Bride and Groom, the two lighted candles symbolize your separate lives, your separate families and your separate sets of friends. I ask that you each take one candle and that together you light the center candle. The individual candles represent your individual lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining of your two families and sets of friends to one.  Bride and Groom will now extinguish their own candles, thus letting the center candle symbolize the union of their lives. As one light cannot be divided, neither will their lives be divided.