After my wonderful daddy ‘gave me away’ and sat down, the ceremony continued with a reading by my aunt and godmother.
She read ‘Union’ by Robert Fulghum. When I’d looked for readings during the planning process it was the one that took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Every line of it was SO true for us and our relationship. I tried to keep myself from crying while she read, but when my aunt and I made eye contact her voice caught and tears streamed down my face. From here on is our actual ceremony text:
“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held riding in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those sentences that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped for, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.”
Pastor M: David, Laura, I have so enjoyed getting to know you as we’ve had our times meeting together. You make me smile when I see you. Your smile makes me smile; I love your heart and I love who the Lord has made you both to be. You’re a great couple and I know the Lord has blessed you with each other.
Many of those who are gathered in this room today have known you far longer than I have and since your earliest days have loved you. They’ve watched you develop. They’ve lived life with you. And they’ve prayed for the Lord to bring you to Himself and then to bring you to godly marriage. Laura, David’s family has prayed for you since long before they knew you. And David, Laura’s family has prayed for you since before they even knew your name. But, undergirding it all, before the foundations of time, the God of all glory eternal in the heavens has ordained this day – The day when you are joined together to become one flesh. To His glory, you and your marriage will now be a living example of Christ and His Church.
The words of God to us from Ephesians 5: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body of which he is the Savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church, for we are members of this body. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I’m talking about Christ and the church.”
This wedding ceremony, as holy, special, and glorious as it is today, ultimately redirects our view to the wedding of the lamb and His bride, the church. As Jesus loved His church and gave himself up for her to make her holy and blameless, so you also David are charged to love Laura in that same way. And just and Christ and his body, the church, are joined together as one – So today, you two become one flesh in God’s eyes.
David and Laura, because of your commitment to Jesus as Messiah and because I believe that you truly desire to be all he intends you to be in your life together, I can confidently proclaim that you are bound together today in Christian marriage. Marriage where Jesus reigns preeminent, where His word and His ways are held high, where Christ-like love and submission is given and received, and where you live all of life – the remainder of your days on this earth – together for His eternal purposes and to His praise.
Would you please turn and face one another? We now come to the vows, and the vows are a statement of your intent, a promise you make. You should understand that the vows that you are about to repeat are bounding upon you in the eyes of God and of these witnesses.
David, we’ll begin with you as you repeat these vows** to Laura:
I, David, take you, Laura, to be my wife before God who brought us together and all of these witnesses. As we enter upon the privileges and joys of life’s most holy relationship and begin together the great adventure of building a Christian home, I will look to Christ as head of our home as I have looked to Him as head of the church. I will lead you and share all of life’s experiences with you by following God through them. I will love you in sickness and in health, in poverty as in wealth, in sorrow as in joy, and will be true to you by God’s grace, trusting in Him so long as we both shall live.
And Laura, if you’d repeat these vows to David:
I, Laura, take you, David, to be my husband before God who bought us together and all of these witnesses. As we enter upon the privileges and joys of life’s most holy relationship and begin together the great adventure of building a Christian home, I will look to you as head of our home as I have looked to Christ as head of the church. I will follow you through all of life’s experiences as you follow God. I will love you in sickness as in health, in poverty as in wealth, in sorrow as in joy, and will be true to you by God’s grace, trusting in Him so long as we both shall live.
The rings that you are about to exchange now are a symbol. A symbol is simply a reminder of something bigger than itself. As the symbol of the cross represents God’s love and his provision of salvation through Jesus, the small rings that you are about to exchange are a symbol of something more profound – Something much bigger than a circle of precious metal. Because from this day on, these rings will serve as a simple and practical reminder that you, Laura, belong to David and that you, David, belong to Laura and that the God who created you now looks upon you as one flesh. And we pray that these rings will also remind you that you are encircled and surrounded by family and friends who are here for you, to help you, to share wisdom with you, and to pray for you. All of us here want you to know how much we love you two. May I have the rings please?
Let’s ask the Lord to bless these rings. Father, we thank you for the symbolism inherent in these rings – That they remind us of commitment, they remind us of unity, they remind us of so many things. They remind us of your unending love for us in Christ and your provision for us. This day, these rings will take on new significance as they remind David and they remind Laura of their commitment to you and to one another. We pray you’d bless these rings now in Jesus’ name. Amen.
David, if you would take this ring and place it on Laura’s finger and repeat these words to her: With this ring, I thee wed and seal my vow of faithful love to you. All my worldly goods, with thee I share and all that I am, I pledge to you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Laura, if you would take this ring and place it on David’s finger and repeat these words to him: With this ring, I thee wed and seal my vow of faithful love to you. All my worldly goods, with thee I share and all that I am, I pledge to you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
*All pictures in this post were taken by Brandi Coldwell of Lola Jo Photo Design*
Need to catch up?
We started on Thursday.
We decorated Friday morning.
We got pretty!
We had our first look!
The guys had their turn.
The girls stole the show.
We got some fun bridal party pictures.
We took bride & groom portraits.
We took care of the formal portraits.
We took pictures with the kiddos.
We spent time hanging out waiting for the ceremony to start.
The grandparents and parents were seated.
It was finally time for the processional.
A step back to the playing of the slideshow.
The ceremony started. (Part 1)
**We wrote our own vows and combined parts from several different sources that we found online. Unfortunately I’m not sure exactly where all of it came from, but hope that ours can be a source of inspiration for other couples writing their own ceremony! For us, traditional vows just didn’t hold the meaning they do for some people after seeing multiple divorces happen within our family.