Sharon and John’s Wedding

sharonjohn“If stuck for ideas, Celebrants are an excellent place to start.”

Our Marriage Ceremony…. We all know Coolangatta one of the main holiday destinations on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, but not many of us know an even older Coolangatta in New South Wales. We were married in Coolangatta, south of Sydney, where lies just a few houses and at least one historic vineyard, its chapel and servant quarters used in the 1800′s. We believe both these towns were named after the “Coolangatta” ship that sailed along the eastern coast about two centuries ago.

We chose this location for its rustic appearance, and we chose a local celebrant for her excellent knowledge of the area. When one considers that celebrants probably attend to 50 odd weddings a year, they naturally tend to accumulate a lot of knowledge in the process. Knowledge that will help us city-folk out in the long run.

If stuck for ideas, celebrants are an excellent place to start. Find a celebrant that has a wealth of knowledge and the rest should fall into place, at least as far as the marriage ceremony is concerned anyway.

Marriage Celebrants can also be useful to provide details on what works and what doesn’t.  For example, our celebrant suggested filling the small chapel with 100′s of candles and they did indeed set the right ambiance, especially in such a medieval place. This was only known because she had conducted several weddings in this exact chapel before – the sort of helping hand you need when you’re trying the plan the perfect wedding.

The celebrant also shared with us her past manuscripts. Needless to say, ours (the one below) is probably an entry in her collection today being looked over many more newbies. These manuscripts were extremely helpful. We considered most ideas from these to form our own template then wrote our own components to personalize our own ceremony, with such changes as our own introduction to suit the chapel and vineyard, our feelings towards each other, writing our own poem and selecting our own versus’.

What we also found useful, was to set a theme for our wedding and build upon this. Our theme was “to stand the test of time” and the historic surroundings was quite symbolic to this theme. Of course setting themes is not mandatory, but it does help in setting ideas up as you plan and also makes it clearer for others to understand your message. Why not have a message apart from just getting married? Ceremonies these days are much more flexible than what has been performed in the past so may be worthwhile considering it if you hadn’t planned to.

This is how we set out our marriage ceremony.
Please feel free to use any part of our marriage ceremony vows, however if you decide to print and distribute any part at your wedding, I can’t give you any advice on copyright. We have taken out names etc. to help you construct your own template.

Best Wishes!
Sharon and John

Overview of our Marriage Ceremony
Marriage of (Bride) And (Groom) on (date)
Handel, La Rejouissance
Giving of the (Bride)
Our Love Story
Candle Ceremony
Reading No. 1
Traditional Irish Blessing
Reading No. 2
Once In a Lifetime
By Nancy Brilliant
Hands of the Bride and Groom
Declaration of Marriage
Signing of the Register
Final Blessing
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

Full Details of our Marriage Ceremony Vows

Marriage of (Bride) And (Groom) on (Date)
[Celebrant] Welcome. 
Thank you for coming here today to share in (Bride) and (Groom)’s special moment. We are on a picturesque estate, overlooking the ocean and are surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. What a beautiful and unique setting we are in. This quaint little Chapel warms our souls from its burning hearth. Look around, this Chapel is truly a place of harmony and peace – its vintage demonstrates its ability to stand the test of time.

(Bride) and (Groom) have chosen this place for special reasons. This Chapel symbolizes their wishes for harmony and peace in their life, their warmth of love and the desire for their relationship to stand the test of time. In this place, (Bride) and (Groom) will express their love and devotion to one another and formally declare their love and commitment in the deepest sense, with the desire, hope and firm intention, for it to last a lifetime.

It is their admiration for you as family and friends that they have invited you here today to not only witness their marriage but also to share in their first treasured moments as friends, husband and wife.

Giving of the (Bride) [Celebrant]
Who gives this (Bride) away?
(Bride’s Father): I do [Sits down]

Our Love Story
[Celebrant] – Introduction about their love story – these are (Groom)’s feelings.
(Bride) is indeed a special person. A warm and loving soul mate, a sincere and loyal
partner. Someone (Groom) respects and admires for her true values and honesty.
Without (Bride), (Groom) feels incomplete and his decision to be here today is based
on his desire for commitment, not just a relationship, but also a meaningful and
loving life together.

[Celebrant] These are (Bride)’s feelings.
(Bride) feels that in (Groom), she has found a trusted lover, a partner for life,
and a kindred soul. (Groom) is (Bride)’s best friend and confidant. (Groom) is very
caring, romantic and loyal, he has a great sense of humour, and is very supportive
and family oriented — these are qualities (Bride) most admires in (Groom). (Bride)
feels that marriage is more than being in love –- it is a continuance of their
devotion and commitment to one another, of sharing of their goals, hopes and dreams.
(Bride) loves (Groom) with all her heart and soul.

Corinthians 13:4-7
[Celebrant] Reading.
Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over other’s sins, but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance.

Unity Candle Ceremony
[Celebrant] – Bride and Groom instructed to light main (middle) candle with
peripheral candles.

The two lighted candles symbolise your lives. I ask that you each take one candle
and together light the centre candle. Lighting the centre candle represents your
lives joining as one from today.

Joining as one
[Celebrant] This is a poem written by (Groom).
Both candles flicker, each starts to dance,
Inter-twining in rhythm, a sense of romance.
Flickering their flame, full of fire,
Symbolizing their life, their bond, their desire.
Joining as one, in unison so bright,
Finding each other, embracing their light.
They radiate warmth, breath the same air,
just to discover, a new future to share.
- John 2002

Reading No. 1
[Celebrant] – (Groom) has Irish descendants, please announce that it was (Groom)’s
wish to have this Irish Blessing read at their Wedding by (Sister in Law).

Traditional Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness,
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Reading No. 2
[Celebrant] – Ask (Bride’s Mother) to read.
Once in a lifetime, by Nancy Brilliant
Once in a lifetime,
You find someone who touches,
Not only your heart,
But also your soul.
Once in a lifetime,
You discover someone who stands,
Beside you, not over you.
You find someone who loves you,
For who you are,
And not for who you could be.
Once in a lifetime,
If you are lucky, you find someone,
As you have now found each other.

Hands of the (Bride) and (Groom)
[Celebrant] – has (Bride) and (Groom) face and hold hands.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love.
Both holding each other on their wedding day, as each will promise to love the other
for the rest of their life.
These are the hands that will open their hearts and love and cherish each other
through life.
These are the hands that will wipe the tears from their eyes: tears of sorrow and
tears of joy.
These are the hands that will comfort through illness, and share in the delights of
These are the hands that will hold their children in tender love.
These are the hands that will work together, to build their future, as they laugh
and cry together, as they share their innermost secrets and dreams. And it is these
hands that will carry them to their destiny.

Declaration of Marriage
[Celebrant] – Ensure (Best Man) has rings ready.
(Groom), do you take (Bride) to be your wedded wife and to live together in
(Groom): “I do”
Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honour and keep her. For better or worse,
for richer or poorer, in sickness and health?
(Groom): “I do”
And forsaking all others, be faithful only to her? So long as you both shall live?
(Groom): “I do”
[Place Ring on Finger]
(Bride), do you take (Groom) to be your wedded husband and to live together in
(Bride): “I do”
Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him. For better or worse,
for richer or poorer, in sickness and health?
(Bride): “I do”
And forsaking all others, be faithful only to him? So long as you both shall live?
(Bride): “I do”
[Place Ring on Finger]

Announced Married
[Celebrant] Ladies and Gentlemen, (Bride) and (Groom) have declared before us their lifelong commitment. They have symbolized this by the joining of their hands, taking their vows and exchanging their rings. I now pronounce them as husband and wife.
(Groom), You may now kiss your (Bride)!

Signing of the Register and Certificates

Final Blessing
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring.
May you always need one another but not to fill an emptiness.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you have happiness, and find it with one another.

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.

Marriage is the blending of hearts and the union of two lives as one. Your marriage
must stand, not by the authority of the state nor by my words, but by the strength
of your shared love and the power to make it stand the test of time. It is love
that brought you here today and it is only love which will make it a glorious union.

On behalf of all your families and friends here today, I pass on our blessing and
best wishes for you both – forevermore.

(Groom) with (Bride)
Following, (Best Man) with (Bridesmaid)