Did You Know

Sea Otters hold hands when they sleep so they won't
Drift away from each other,
One smile, can start a friendship
One word, can end a fight.
One look, can save a relationship
One person, can change your life.  

"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity"
Albert Einstein

The tradition of the bridal shower may date back to the late
nineteenth century. At a gathering of a bride and her friends, a guest
put a number of small gifts inside a parasol and opened it above the
bride's head. Word soon spread in the fashionable press and the bridal
shower was born.

Flowers have been used at weddings since time immemorial. The bridal
bouquet probably originated in ancient times when pungent herbs and
spices were thought to ward off evil spirits and protect the bride
from ill health and bad luck. The ancient Romans wore floral garlands
symbolizing new life, hope, and fertility. In the Victorian era,,
bridal flowers were specially chosen for their traditional

African slaves in America were forbidden from marrying. In a bid to
create a new ritual to sanctify the joining of two people in symbolic,
if not legal, matrimony, the practice of "Jumping the Broom" was
conceived. The bride and groom took vows in the presence of a witness.
A broom decorated with ribbons was jointly swept then placed on the
floor to be jumped over. The broom represents several important ideas;
it is, first of all, indicative of the literal and metaphorical
threshold that the couple is about to cross in getting married.
Moreover, starting a new life with someone requires a certain "leap of
faith" symbolized by the joint leap over the broom. And finally,
brooms are associated with the hearth, the center of the home.
 The Jumping of the Broom may also be incorporated into your own ceremony.

There are several theories as the why the wedding band is worn on the
third finger. One states that the third finger cannot be held out
straight alone. It needs the support of the middle and little fingers
either side, which gives the ring---and the union---protection.

A Cherokee bride and groom must approach a sacred fire and be blessed
by the officiating priest. After some traditional songs, the bride and
groom are each covered in a blue blanket. Later, when the blankets are
removed, and a single white one placed on the couple, they are
officially joined in matrimony.

It is believed the origin of the blue garter began many years ago when
the hem of the bride's gown was stitched in blue representing good
luck. The stitching later became the blue garter.

The Canada Goose, Swans and Mourning Doves mate for life.

"Be the change you want to
see in the world"



Sand Ceremony

Love is the eternal force of life

Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage

Although you will be sharing one life, never forget you are two separate people.

Cherish and affirm your differences

Love each other

Keep your commitment primary

Together you will laugh and cry, be sick and well, be happy and angry
share and grow. Grow sometimes together and sometimes separately

The pouring of the sand symbolizes the importance of the individuals
within the marriage and the joining of two lives into one entity

The neutral sand symbolized that the marriage is based on the strength
of the individuals.

Each pour their own sand one on top of the other and then combine the
pouring to symbolize two lives joined as one together forever.

Children my also be included in the Sand Ceremony

Unity Candle Ceremony

Parents may be included in the Candle Lighting Ceremony by lighting
two tapers at the beginning of the ceremony. The Mothers of the Bride
and Groom are asked to come forward and light the two outside tapers.
It may also be any family representative. In addition, you can also
involve your children in the candle lighting ceremony.

Unity Candle Ceremony Continued after ring exchange

The bride and groom will now be asked to light the center candle with
the two candles already lit and the minister shall say to those in

"Name/Name, now symbolize their union by lighting a common candle as a
sign that a new family is born today. May their love burn bright and
may their life together be a light and an example of love in the

The minister will then say to the bride and groom: "Name/Name Take the
candles representing your individual lives and together combine your
light with the center candle to symbolize the strength and beauty you
bring to one another as husband and wife".

When the bride and groom return the Minister will say:

"Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out. The two of
you now have a fire that represents love, understanding and a
philosophy of life. It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.
The new fire represents a new beginning, a new life, a new family. The
fire should keep burning, you should stay together. You have lit the
fire for life, until old age separates you". (Excerpt from a Navajo
Wedding Ceremony)

The Wine Cup Ceremony

Throughout the ages, wine has been used for celebration. Wine has
signified life and life of plenty. Drinking wine from a common cup has
been the mark of a deeper sharing. May Name/Name be blessed by life
and may this cup of wine be a symbol of you life long commitment to
each other in mind body and spirit. (The Officiant will then pass the
cup to the groom who then passes the cup to the bride and says.)

"Many days you will sit at the same table and eat and drink together.
Drink now and may the cup of your lives be rich and running over."

Breaking of the Glass

Name/Name Have chosen to perform the breaking of the glass, a Jewish
custom in a wedding ceremony. The breaking of the glass serves to
remind the bride and groom that their marriage vows are an
unchangeable act, just as permanent and final as the breaking of the

Blessing of the Hands

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 alongside 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 fills your mind. 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 help you to hold your family as one. These are
the hands that will give you strength when you need it. 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.

"We all want to fall in love
Because that experience makes
Us feel completely alive."



Apache Prayer

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 loneliness for you, for each of you is
companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, but there is only one
life before you. May happiness be your companion, may beauty surround
you both in the journey ahead and through all the years to come. Go
now to your dwelling place to enter into your days together. May your
days be good and long on the earth.

Author Alain Huneault (Edited)

From The Prophet

Our children are gifts entrusted to us, not as objects to be
controlled but as human beings, each unique in personality, each
separate in identity. Consider these words:
"You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have
their own thoughts. You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot
visit, not even in your dreams
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

Author Kahlil Gibran

A Quotation from St. Paul's letter to the Romans followed by a Poem from Dante Alighieri

"Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast what is good; love
one another with mutual affection; out do one another in showing

The first quote is self explanatory, but from the poem we can take the
following interpretation

When you are in love with someone, you can not do anything but love
this person, you can not force your heart to do anything different.
Those who truly love during their lives continue to do so even after

Why Marriage

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me;
Who will not hold them against me, Who loves me when I am unlikable.
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the Divine potential of me.

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love and friendship

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to the list of achievements

Because Marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole

Because knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

Author: Mari Nichols-Haining

The Art of Marriage

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 each day'. It is
cultivating flexibility, understanding, and a sense of humour. It is
having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world. It is forming a circle
of love that gathers in the whole family
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating your love for
each other in many thoughtful ways. It is doing things for each other
in the spirit of joy. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is
finding room for the spirit. It is not only marrying the right
partner, it is being the right partner.

Author Unknown

"Love is the eloquent speaker and I the
avid listener"


Vows and Ring Exchange


"In the presence of our family and friends"

  1. I take you (Name/Name) to be my wife husband, to laugh with you in
    joy, to grieve with you in sorrow. To grow with you in love and from
    this day onward I will share my life with you.
  2. I choose you (Name/Name) to be my wife husband. I promise to be
    true to you in good and bad times and in bad, in sickness and in
    health, in joy and in sorrow. I will love you and honour you all the
    days of my life. This is my promise to you.
  3. Name/Name I accept you as my partner in marriage. I promise
    to share my life openly with you. I promise to care for you. I promise
    to encourage you in the fulfillment of your dreams, throughout the
    changes in our lives.
  4. This could be the vows you both write, if you choose to do so .
  5. Name/Name I choose you to be my wife/husband; to have and to hold
    from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in
    sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, to love and to cherish,
    and to faithful to you alone, as long as we both shall live.

"As a child, your best friend is the most important person in your world. As an adult, your best friend is the person you marry"

Ring Exchange

  1. Name/Name I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you. I
    promise to accept you for who you are, my best friend, the one I live
    for, the one I care for, and the one I love with all my heart, this
    day and forever.
  2. Name/Name With this ring I pledge to you this day, my love,
    my trust, my loyalty, and my under standing.
  3. Name/Name As an equal partner, I give myself to you in
    marriage. I accept you as you are and I will not seek to change you to
    my own design. I pledge you my love and I give you this ring as a
    symbol of that pledge.

 "The circle of the ring speaks of love freely Given It has no beginning and has no end"


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I Do Wedding Celebrations
Joanne McClory | Wedding Officiant in Ontario