~ Sample Civil Ceremonies ~
~Justice of the Peace Style Ceremonies ~
Jenny and Jim
Married at
Raphael Vineyards in the heart of Long Island NY's "Wine Country"  
~ Maguy and Rizkallah ~

~ Opening Words ~

"Marriage consists of entrusting our deepest selves into the loving care of another. It is a
public and legal act, as well as, an emotional and spiritual act. The spiritual aspect of marriage
should be embraced openly, seriously, and
completely, as marriage is a conscious act of will. A couple who are wed must continually
renew their will to be joined and accept the challenges that living together in love offer. They
must decide that they will face the fears that are a necessary part of establishing and nurturing
an intimate relationship.

Mauy and Rizkallah commit themselves today, to each other, in sacred trust. They promise to
embrace conflict, as well as peace; to work as well as play; to struggle as well as bask; to give
as well as receive; and to be with, stay with, and move toward one another. They view
marriage as a coming together at all levels of being, mind, body, and spirit. A commitment
includes the willingness to be open and vulnerable; and the courage to take risks.

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

"Amid the hectic pace of today's world it is easy lose site of the important things in life. This
is not so for Maguy and Rizkallah, family and family life are very important to them.
Although I'm sure that you are all very happy to be here with them, they wanted very much to
express how deeply grateful they are to have you both here today and in their lives. All of you
are those nearest and dearest to them. You all supply them with different aspects of that which
they will need to accomplish their goal of living a long and happy life together. Those of you
who have the wisdom of age, it is from you whom they can seek council in times of difficulty.
In the children here, they see the embodiment of their hopes and dreams for the future. And
the rest of you... You are like the personal record keepers of times and places and events in
their lives. Without all of you and the sharing of these events our memories would lose the
scents and colors and the flavor and emotion that keeps them vibrant and alive. Without all of
you the past would fade to black and white over time, so please remember that your presence
here is a vital part in this celebration."

~ Maguy and Rizkallah ~

"In the brief conversations leading up to today, I must say that I was overjoyed to hear the way
in which Maguy and Rizkallah spoke of one another and of their relationship. There was a
kindness of disposition and a tone of admiration in their voices that led me to believe that they
are already at a place in their lives that many couples aspire to. Maguy related how she feels
that she already has a new family here. And Rizkallah spoke with sound resolution in his
voice, that there was no doubt in his mind that Maguy was the one for him. They have been
blessed to have known one another for the last 10 years and they share a common background
and history. Yet marriage is a serious commitment, and even for those as blessed as
themselves it will require work. Marriage is a promise that takes a lifetime to fulfill. There is
not a choice that a couple makes somewhere among the years, whether their journey shall be
one of obligation and duty, or one of fun and joy and excitement. For the perfect balance there
is an aspect of all these things yet they are guided by love, mutual respect, and the deepest of
desires for the happiness and well being of the one whom you each love most in the world. I
was recently at a wedding where the father of the bride told the young couple that â
€œMarriage is not a give and take relationship. It is a give and give relationship, for if both
people give whole heartedly to each other and to the spirit of their marriage, there is never a
reason to take, because all ones needs have already been met. This seems to be a truth that
Maguy and Rizkallah have already found and embrace.

addressing couple

Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other.
Seemingly your relationship will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken
word. May that power bring you all the warmth & closeness, security & comfort, joy and
happiness that this world has to offer."

~ The Rings ~

"May I have the rings please?"

"You are about to present a ring to each other. The wedding ring, a complete circle, is the
symbol of the completeness a husband and wife find in a marriage relationship. The ring has
no beginning and no end, just as true love is never-ending. The ring also is made of precious
metals, just as true love is a precious treasure. As you place the wedding ring on each other's
hand, may it not only remind you of the endless love you possess for one another, but may it
also be a reminder of the precious gift that has been given you to make you complete."

~ Ring Vows ~

"Rizkallah, in committing yourself to Maguy,
you must promise to continue to be sensitive to her needs
and to listen when she explains their nature.
You must promise to be there when she needs you
and to do everything in your power to insure
her security, happiness and peace of mind.
You must promise to share with her your joy of living
and be a loving companion.
Do you so promise?"

Rizkallah: "I do."

"Will you then place this ring upon your beloved's finger
and repeat after me please.....

"I, Rizkallah, take you Maguy,
to be my lawful wedded wife,
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and health, until death do us part."


"Maguy, in committing yourself to Rizkallah,
you must promise to continue to be sensitive to his needs
and to listen when he explains their nature.
You must promise to be there when he needs you
and to do everything in your power to insure
his security, happiness and peace of mind.
You must promise to share with him your joy of living
and be a loving companion.
Do you so promise?"

Maguy: "I do."

"Will you then place this ring upon your beloved's finger
and repeat after me please.....

"I, Maguy, take you Rizkallah,
to be my lawful wedded husband,
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and health, until death do us part."

~ Closing Words ~

"May you have many joys,
and be the light of each other's days.
May all that you are, always be in love;
And may all that is love, always be in you.
May you always see and encourage the best in each other.
May the challenges that life brings your way
make your marriage grow stronger.
May you always be each other's best friend
and greatest love.."

~ Pronouncement and Presentation ~

"You are now as your hearts have always known:
Husband and Wife. You may kiss the Bride!

Ladies and gentlemen may I present
Mr. and Mrs. Rizkallah and Maguy Kassir!"

Bride and Groom kiss again are greeted by their guests!
Sybrina and Michael

They were the first
couple to book the
Historical Chapel, in
Long Island NY. Even
though they first saw it
under construction, while
the restoration was still
in progress, it's charm
was overwhelming.
Their ceremony blended
an African Presentation
of the Gifts with the
Celtic Cakes and Ale. It
was unique and
wonderful and so are
they!
Charlotte and Guy

It took this Bride and Groom
20 years of friendship and
courtship to reach their
wedding day and when it
finally came theirs was a Full
Formal Wedding at Leonard's
of Great Neck NY. Very
religious, and very beautiful,
just like the couple themselves.
And they are now the proud
parents of a beautiful Baby
boy!
Michelle and Dan
They took over their
absolute favorite
restaurant The Jolly
Fisherman in Roslyn NY
and had the wedding of
their dreams! Good Food,
Good Family and Good
Friends was the catch of
the day!
But to one another they
were the catch of a
lifetime.
This next piece is one that I'm particularly proud of. It was written for a couple who had each
lost a parent. They also have a 15 month old son together. They wanted to mention the
importance of these things yet still wanted the ceremony to be very much about them. Here's
how we did it.

"Kelli and Joseph would like to take a moment to remember Kelli's mother Margaret and
Joseph's father Peter. As the future comes from the past it has proven itself an inseparable link
to whom we shall each eventually meet, and love and become. There is a direct and present
connection from one generation to the next, and all that follow. Through the love that our
Bride and Groom share, Margaret and Peter now live on, seeing through little Joey's eyes,
laughing with his voice, touching and feeling with his hands and heart, carrying on a family
tradition of unconditional love that not even death has the power to diminish."

memory candles are lit individually and their lights combined
to light Joey's candle of the future
Kristy &
Ismial
married in
January of
2009 at the
Inn at New
Hyde Park

Photo thanks
to Jack of
A Beautiful
Day
Photography
and Video
Maya & Jasiri

Weddings don't have to cost an
arm and a leg to be beautiful.
One of the things that I love
most about a backyard wedding
is that it really makes your
house a home. Maya and Josh
are a beautiful couple with
beautiful children. Maybe some
day, 20 years from now, one of
their daughters will walk the
same path in grandma's yard that
her parents did for their
wedding. Only this time the
white flowergirl dress will be a
Bridal Gown.  This photo is
thanks to Erika Kuciw of
"Shutter-girl.com"
Alison and Gene
They were one of the
first couples to be
married at
Coe Hall in
Oyster Bay, Long
Island NY, after it
recently became
available to the public.
The ceremony and site
were perfectly
Medieval. And the
couple were perfectly
matched!
~  Diane and Charles ~

~ Moment of Remembrance ~

"It is Diane and Charles wish that as we get started today you all
join with them in a moment to remember those who could not be here
physically, but who are here in spirit and wishing them a lifetime
of happiness."

pause

~ Opening Words ~

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the love
that Diane and Charles share.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that
they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to
minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in
all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken
memories?

Today is the day that they will formally and publicly make their
promises to one another. Although this is indeed a high point,
marriage is a journey not a destination. Marriage is more than any
one single event or promise. It is a series of decisions that have
been made, and will continue to be made over and over again, every
day, that shows each of their care and concern for the one whom they
each love most in the world. Marriage is a promise that is renewed
daily through a couples actions and a responsibility taken on in the
spirit of faith, and hope, and love, that brings comfort in times of
sadness and heightens our greatest joy.

Mark Twain once said that 'marriage makes two fractional lives a
whole. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living. It
brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the
flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life'

Diane and Charles, may the promises you make this day live always in
your hearts and in your home so that all which you share now deepen
and grow through the years, leading you through a lifetime of
happiness."

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

"Diane and Charles would like to thank you all for being here with
them today, and for supporting them through everything that it has
taken to make this day a reality. They know that your taking the
time, and making the journey, took considerable effort for a good
many of you and they wanted you all to know the deep appreciation
and gratitude that they feel in their hearts for this. Without all
of you and the sharing of these events our memories would lose the
scents and colors and the flavor and emotion that keeps them vibrant
and alive. Without all of you the past would fade to black and white
over time, so please remember that your presence here is a vital
part in this celebration. All of you are the most important, and
have been the most influential people in their lives. All of the
time, and conversations, that you have had with Diane and Charles
even before they met have helped to make them who they needed to be
to first find themselves and then each other. You have shared in
their best and their worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part
of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. For all
of you are among the greatest gifts that life has given them. All of
you are those they can call Family and Friend.

~ Diane and Charles ~

"Today is a celebration of love and of life, a celebration not to
create a bond or a union, but rather to rejoice in the one that
already exists. Today marks the continuation of a journey, the next
step in ensuring that all that Diane and Charles share now shall
deepen and grow stronger through the seasons of life.

They shared so many wonderful things on the day we met to discuss
what would be said today. Charles began the conversation with "I
always knew that there was something missing in my life, but that
the person who I would love and adore was out there somewhere. When
I first met Diane it was as if the world stood still and then
everything switched to frame by frame as she and my future came
towards me."

They were introduced under the ruse of buying a house, thank you
Annemarie, and soon realized they shared much in common. Their
upbringings are similar, they are both veterans of a similar journey
through their wild years, and it also seems that there must have
been a series of near misses where their paths almost crossed over
and over again. Were the powers that be being kind to them by
allowing then each to age to perfection, and to gather enough wisdom
to be ready for the kind of relationship that they now share? No one
can say for sure but they now share a connection that is undeniable.
Some couples finish one another's sentences.... Not these two.
One merely thinks a thought and the other articulates it.

Diane loves the way that Charles is patient with her, he reels her
in, calms her down, and makes her relax reminding her that life is
too short to clip around like a Tasmanian Devil. Although usually
guarded with Charles, Diane has no secrets, there has always been an
openness to their relationship, even from the earliest of days. He
loves her creative side, that fact that they are both passionate
people, and the way they balance one another, seeing each of them as
a landscape full of hills and valleys that match perfectly. Not that
the road is always smooth, but it is indeed interesting, and always
well worth the ride.

For them marriage is physically, emotionally and spiritually
supportive joining that offers them companionship as well as the
opportunity to challenge one another to grow together as a couple
and as individuals.

Even heated discussions are welcome because they choose to come
through better than when they started. No subject is ever more
important than their respect and love for one another, so under the
protection of the "seven minute rule", which is the allowable
cooling off period before working things out, they continue reveling
in their triumphs and learning from their mistakes.

addressing Bride and Groom

Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you
are to each other. Seemingly your relationship will be as it has
always been, yet there is a power in the spoken word. May that power
bring you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy
and happiness that this world has to offer."

~ Presentation of The Rings ~

"May I have the rings please?"

Officiant is given the rings

"Diane and Charles have chosen bands that are not identical but
rather complementary, representative of each of them as individuals
within their relationship. They are both classic unbroken circles,
symbols of eternity, with diamonds almost as bright and beautiful as
the love they share, made of platinum. As the rarest and purest of
all the precious metals platinum has both a durability and a
flexibility that make it the perfect choice to symbolize the promise
of a lifetime. For although the ring will age as years pass, it will
never lose it's luster nor it's mass. This is because it is within
the nature of platinum, and of love, to mold itself around all the
bumps and scrapes that life may bring and to still shine on as a
beacon of truth, and beauty in a sometimes fragile world."

~ Ring Vows ~

"Charles, do you take Diane
to be your partner in life love and all things?
Do you vow to love her and care for her
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to her
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help her when she needs help,
and to turn to her when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?"

Charles: "I do."

"Charles will you now place the ring on Diane's finger and repeat
after me?"

Charles places the ring half way on to Diane's finger

"With this ring I promise you
my passion, my compassion, my honesty and my love
This day and forever more"

Charles places the ring the rest of the way on to Diane's finger

"Diane, do you take Charles
to be your partner in life love and all things?
Do you vow to love him and care for him
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to him
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help him when he needs help,
and to turn to him when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?"

"Diane will you now place the ring on Charles's finger and repeat
after me?"

Diane places the ring half way onto Charles's finger

"With this ring I promise you
my honesty my integrity my trust and my love
This day and forever more."

Diane places the ring the rest of the way onto Charles's finger

~ Closing Words ~

"Take into account that great love
and great achievements involve great risk.
And that a loving atmosphere in your home
is the foundation for your life.
Be gentle with the earth, be gentle with one another.
When disagreements come remember always
to protect the spirit of your union.
When you realize you've made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.
Remember that the best relationship is one
in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.
So love yourselves, love one another,
love all that is your life together and all else will follow."

"And now that you've made your vows and promises of
love and faithfulness before these witnesses, and exchanged rings of
commitment as a testimony to that love, you may now seal your
promises with a kiss!"

Bride and Groom kiss and exit to greet their guests!
Marisleidis and Richard

~ Preamble ~

"Good afternoon and welcome! As we will be beginning shortly I would ask that those of you
with telecommunications devices, Cell phones, beepers and such, if you will please turn them
off or switch them to vibrate at this time.

And now without further delay we will begin!"

~ Opening Words ~

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Marisleidis and
Richard. Today is the day that they will formally and publicly make their promises to one
another. Although this is indeed a high point, marriage is a journey not a destination. Marriage
is more than any one single event or promise. It is a series of decisions that have been made,
and will continue to be made over and over again, every day, that shows each of their care and
concern for the one whom they each love most in the world. Marriage is a promise that is
renewed daily through a couples actions and a responsibility taken on in the spirit of faith, and
hope, and love, that brings comfort in times of sadness and heightens our greatest joy.
Marisleidis and Richard. may the promises you make this day live always in your hearts and in
your home so that all which you share now deepen and grow through the years, leading you
through a lifetime of happiness."

~ Declaration of Intent ~

"A wedding is more than a celebration of the Love which lives in our Bride and Groom's
hearts today. It reaches into the future and proclaims their intentions for that which tomorrow
shall hold. A couple who wed are joined not only by the mutual affection and love they share,
but also by their hopes, dreams and by their promises of what will be... The promises and
vows they make this day shall guide them into their common future. I will ask you now if you
are prepared to make these promises.

Marisleidis, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Richard to be your
husband, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?"

Marisleidis: "I have."

"Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your life?"

Marisleidis: "I will."

"Richard, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Marisleidis to be your wife,
that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?"

Richard: "I have."

"Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your life?"

Richard: "I will."

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

"Marisleidis and Richard would like to thank you all for being here with them today, and for
supporting them through everything that it has taken to make this day a reality. They know
that your taking the time, and making the journey, took considerable effort for a good many of
you and they wanted you all to know the deep appreciation and gratitude that they feel in their
hearts for this. All of you are the most important, and have been the most influential people in
their lives. All of the time, and conversations, that you have had with Marisleidis and Richard
even before they met have helped to make them who they needed to be to first find themselves
and then each other. You have shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an
irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. For all of you are
among the greatest gifts that life has given them. All of you are those they can call Family and
Friend."

The Key to Love
by Anon, 1st century China

"Tonight's reading was written in China by an anonymous writer in the first century. It is
amazing how love transcends differences of time and culture to speak to the soul of we human
beings."

"The key to love is understanding ...
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness ....
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing ...
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving ...
with out thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect ...
realizing that you are two separate people,
with different ideas;
that you don't belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all ...
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients
that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process
that demands a lot of work ...

but the rewards are more than worth the effort ...
and that is the key to love."

~ Pledge of Support ~

"When you accepted Marisleidis and Richard's invitation to join them here today, you accepted
also a very special responsibility and role in their lives. By asking you to bear witness to all
that is in their hearts, they share with you precious memories and a knowledge of why and
how all is so right for them. These insights are a tool that may later be called upon in times
when good council is needed. So I must now ask you; Do you promise that you will do
everything in your power to support them in their union? That you will encourage them always
to seek the comfort and strength of their togetherness through the storms and stress that life
will bring. And that you shall use what you have heard and seen here today, to remind them
that the beauty and joy they share this day was meant to last a lifetime."

Guests: "We do!"

addressing Bride and Groom

"Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other.
Seemingly your relationship will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken
word. May that power bring you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy and
happiness that this world has to offer."

~ Presentation of the Rings ~

"May I have the rings please?"

Officiant is given the rings

"The ring finger of the left hand, the side of the body that holds the heart, has been used for
the wedding band because for centuries people believed that there was a vein that ran directly
from that finger to the heart. They also believed that the words spoken during the placing of
the wedding band - symbol of perfection, completion and eternity - would resonate over and
over again, like the circumference of the band itself, through to the heart and soul of both
giver and the receiver of that most monumental of all promises. The promise of a lifetime as
husband and wife."

~ Ring Vows ~

"Richard, do you take Marisleidis
to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Do you vow to love her and care for her
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to her
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help her when she needs help,
and to turn to her when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?"

Richard: "I do."

"Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me?"

Richard places the ring half way on to Marisleidis's finger

"I Richard take you Marisleidis to be my wife
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life."

Richard places the ring the rest of the way on to Marisleidis's finger

"Marisleidis, do you take Richard
to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Do you vow to love him and care for him
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to him
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help him when he needs help,
and to turn to him when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?"

Marisleidis: "I do."

"Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me?"

Marisleidis places the ring half way onto Richard's finger

"I Marisleidis take you Richard to be my husband
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life."

Marisleidis places the ring the rest of the way onto Richard's finger

~ Closing Words and Pronouncement ~

"The vows you have just taken, pledging love,
mean far more than mere words ever can.
May their gentle spirit move in you.
May your years fulfill the beauty
of the feelings expressed today.
And may you always put these vows
above the things that make life smaller.

You are now as your hearts have always known you to be,
Husband and Wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!"

Bride and Groom kiss and exit to greet their guests!
Ginnie and Herb

~ Preamble ~

"Good afternoon and welcome! As we will be beginning shortly I would
ask that those of you with telecommunications devices, Cell phones,
beepers and such, if you will please turn them off or switch them to
vibrate at this time.

Notice if you will the interesting style of entrance that Ginnie and
Herb have chosen. The words Ginnie first described it were `We're
going to be meeting each other half way for the rest of our lives so
why not start now!'

Herb, If you will join me now with your Best Man Jim, your beautiful
Bride awaits!"

With all in place, we begin!

~ Opening Reading ~

"Above you are the stars, below you are the stones.
As time passes, remember...
Like a star should your love be constant,
Like the earth should your love be firm.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with each other,
For storms will come, and they will go quickly,
Forced to dissipate in the light of your love.
Be free in giving of affection and of warmth.
Have no fear, and let not the ways
Or words of the unenlightened give you unease.
For your Love, Faith, and Friendship are with you,
Now and always!"

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

"Although this is their day,
It is also a tribute to all of you.
For knowing you and interacting with you,
Has helped to make Ginnie and Herb
Who they needed to be to find each other.
They would like to thank you for that.
All of you are the threads of which are woven
the tapestry of their lives.
Each one of you is an important piece in the story it tells.
It is the fabric they wrap around themselves,
and take comfort in, when the world seems cold.
And on days like today, when all is right with the world,
That tapestry is proudly spread out and displayed
for everyone to see,
With all the glorious colors and textures your diversity adds.
You all hold a place in their hearts
reserved for those they have chosen to call `Family'
and they are grateful for all of you"

~ Ginnie and Herb ~

"When we first met to discuss what would be said today the bond
between Ginnie and Herb was self evident. They share a wealth of
common history and reference points that few in today's world are
blessed with.

They first met in 1980 at a Halloween party. It was a costume party,
and they were both dressed as vampires. Their friendship grew slowly
and comfortably through the years. Herb being Jim's best friend,
they would always have a link to one another. But the time for them
was never right for anything more than friendship. Were the fates
trying to draw them together all this time? Or perhaps they were
being kind to them by putting off their attraction to one another
till they were both ready for the kind of relationship they now
share and all that is their life together.

They sure have come a long way from the days of Ginnie saying to her
friends "Poor Herb, he thinks we're dating" and Herb in his innate
wisdom responding "Poor Ginnie, she doesn't know we're dating." But
they have done so on their terms, and there is nothing from the past
that they would change. To change the past would create a different
today and this holds no interest for either Ginnie or Herb.

There is a sacred space created when souls touch that allows a
couple to share thoughts and ideas, feelings and emotions with
merely a glance. Marriage is not only a commitment to stay together for a lifetime but a shared
commitment to this connection and to ensuring that the quality of life they now share shall
indeed last a lifetime.

~ Community Blessing ~

"It is important for events such as these to be witnessed and shared
with the community of friends and family, that you all represent.
For it is only in such a sharing, with those we love, that the joy
in our hearts can be amplified. And only with your blessings may we
all truly flourish as a community. This is why as I read the
Cherokee Prayer, Ginnie and Herb now ask for your blessing upon
their union. So please bring to mind not so much all that we would
wish for our Bride and Groom, but that all of their own hopes and
dreams shall come to pass. Think of Ginnie and Herb with a future,
filled with joy and happiness, and let your spirits rejoice, and
remembering that in all that love and emotion that pours forth from
each of you are the hopes and dreams, best wishes and blessings that
are the true gifts that your hearts have come to bestow upon this
couple today."

"Cherokee Prayer"

"We honour all creation as we pledge our hearts and lives together.

We honour mother-earth -
and ask for our marriage to be abundant
and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honour fire -
and ask that our union be warm
and glowing with love in our hearts;

We honour wind -
and ask we sail though life safe
and calm as in our father's arms;

We honour water -
to clean and soothe our relationship -
that it may never thirst for love;

With all the forces of the universe,
we pray for harmony and true happiness
as we forever grow young together."

~ The Rings ~

"The ring, a circle, is one of nature's simplest forms. The arc of
the rainbow, the halo of the moon and the smallest of raindrops
simulate the circle. A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth
and the universe. It is a symbol of perfection and of peace. In
these rings is the symbol of unity, in which your lives are now
joined, so that wherever you go, you will always return to one
another and to your togetherness. As the circle turns again upon
itself, so does marriage turn upon itself for its refreshment and
renewal. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have
taken here today."

~ Ring Vows and Exchange ~

"As marriage is an equal partnership, to be embarked upon whole
heartedly, with full intention of working together to ensure that
yours is a long and happy marriage, I will once again ask you to
make your promises together...

Do you pledge to one another your openness and honesty, That the
union of your souls shall be in the foreground of your thoughts
always, guiding your actions, and that you shall leave no parts of
self unknowable to one another?"

Ginnie and Herb: "We do."

Do you pledge your love to one another wholly and fearlessly,
without restraint, and do you vow that you will continue to work
together to spark creativity and inspire passion in all aspects of
your life together?"

Ginnie and Herb: "We do."

Do you pledge that you will always be there to comfort, soothe, and
heal one another, And that you will stand together when the future
is unclear, proving that tides may change but your love is constant?"

Ginnie and Herb: "We do."

Do you pledge to one another a stable home that will always be a
safe haven and sanctuary to body, mind, and spirit a place that
shall sustain and nourish your roots as you branch forth and grow
into all that is and shall be your life together?"

Ginnie and Herb: "We do."

"Herb will you now place the ring on Ginnie's finger and repeat
after me?"

Herb places the ring half way on to Ginnie's finger

"Ginnie, you are my life, my love, my best friend
And with this ring, I thee wed
May it be a reminder of how much I love you,
Not only on this precious day,
But every single day of my life."

Herb places the ring the rest of the way on to Ginnie's finger

"Ginnie, will you now place the ring on Herb's finger and repeat
after me?"

Ginnie places the ring half way onto Herb's finger

"Herb, I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband.
I vow to love you and care for you
as long as we both shall live.
I take you, with all your faults and your strengths,
as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
I will help you when you need help,
and I will turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom
I will spend my life."

Ginnie places the ring the rest of the way on to Herb's finger

"May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
And may you live the days of your lives
in peace, love, and happiness."
Ginny & Herb
Talk about custom ceremonies... What a great story they have, as you will see below.
Although I didn't add it here their Closing Reading was "Oh The Places You'll Go!" by Dr
Suess. Photo thanks to
"Marc Briatack of Dynamarcphoto"
~ Linda and Greg ~
(This ceremony was intentionally anti-climatic. They were signing the license on a date before
the big wedding ceremony and their personal vows so they didn't want to deminish the magic
of the moment)

"Although the day you will pledge your love and your lives to one another in front of all those
who love you most in the world is not for several months, is it your intention to enter into the
legally binding contract known by the State of New York as Marriage?"

Linda and Greg: "It is."

"Greg do you take Linda to be your wife?"

Greg: "I do."

"Linda do you take Greg to be your husband?"

Linda: "I do."

"Your marriage is now a matter of public record."
~ Barbara and Robert ~

~ Welcoming of the Guests ~

"Barbara and Robert would like to take a moment to thank you all for
being here with them today, and for waiting patiently for it to
come. Family are those who are nearest and dearest to us. Family are
the people with whom we share our deepest secrets, and from whom we
have no secrets. Some family we are born into and others earn the
title through their actions. You have all been there for them from
the beginning, sharing your love and support, your laughter and
tears and they are deeply grateful for each and every one of you
here today."

~ Words On Marriage ~

"Today is a celebration of love and of life. Barbara and Robert have
so much in their lives already to be thankful for, it is only
natural that they should desire for all that they now share to
deepen and grow through the years. Yet the commitment that they
share is to more than one another. It is to ensuring that the
quality of life they now share shall indeed last them a lifetime.

One of the many wonderful things about a home wedding is that is
that rather than housing them in a place they will rarely ever go to
our Bride and Groom have chosen to keep their memories here at home.
Never again will they be able to look at this spot, without it being
the place they made their promises to one another. They will be able
to relive this moment and reaffirm their promises to one another
over and over as the years go by. With merely a glance all the love
and joy and strength of this day shall come shining hope through the
difficult times and make the wonderful days even more so.

To get a better idea of what marriage truly means from our Bride and
Groom's perspective, they have chosen to share with you these words
written by Robert Fulghum in his book "Union"

"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 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'- 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
we've promised and hoped 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, and even teacher, for you
have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you
shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and
things will never quite be the same between you. For after these
vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my
wife"

~ The Rings ~

"May I have the rings please?"

Officiant is given the rings

"The ring finger of the left hand, the side of the body that holds
the heart, has been used for the wedding band because for centuries
people believed that there was a vein that ran directly from that
finger to the heart. They also believed that the words spoken during
the placing of the wedding band - symbol of perfection, completion
and eternity - would resonate over and over again, like the
circumference of the band itself, through to the heart and soul of
both giver and the receiver of that most monumental of all promises.
The promise of a lifetime as husband and wife."

~ Ring Vows ~

"Robert will you now place the ring on Barbara's finger
and repeat after me please?"

Robert places the ring half way on to Barbara's finger

"I Robert, take you Barbara, to be my wife.
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life."

Robert places the ring the rest of the way on to Barbara's finger

"Barbara will you now place the ring on Robert's finger
and repeat after me?"

Barbara places the ring half way onto Robert's finger

"I Barbara, take you Robert, to be my husband.
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life.."

Barbara places the ring the rest of the way onto Robert's finger

"You are now as your hearts have always known you to be,
Husband and Wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!"

Bride and Groom share the first kiss of their marriage
Click on the Church Banner to email me
or call
516-785-4191
Anytime!
Desire and
George
Married in Otto
Kahn's former
mansion in New
York City. Their
Gothic theme
included single
red roses, white
votive candles
and a cello
player echoing
through the
mansions halls!
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~ Jessie & Paul ~
~ Moment of Reflection ~

"It is Jessie and Paul's wish that before we get started today you all join with them in a moment
of reflection.

You may begin, by closing your eyes, and allowing yourself to feel all the love and joy that
radiates from each of you, and fills this place. Immerse yourself in it. Let it penetrate, down to
the core of your being, and fill your heart. Know that this feeling is not ours alone. It extends
itself to all those who have gone before, and all those yet to come. For the veil does not sever
the ties that bind, and the greatest bond of all is that of love. Remember now, the loved ones,
who could not be with us today. See them in your minds eye, sitting among us in their rightful
places, beaming with pride, rejoicing for that which Jessie and Paul have found in each other
and sharing in the love and joy that is this day. Secure in the knowledge that they are all loved
and remembered."

Bride and Groom step forward and light the memory candles
then return to place

~ Love Letters ~

"Today is a celebration of the most intimate of human experiences, the sacred space created
when there is a union of souls has both a sublime quality and a part that speaks to the very core
of the human experience. Jessie and Paul share a common bond with every human who has
ever felt the presence of their beloved within their own spirit. They also share a moment in
time with all of those who in the real tangible, physical, day to day world, have found the one
person they could share it all with. The joys and the sorrows, the triumphs and the tragedies,
the large and the small are all theirs together. Not only are we here for the celebration of the
joining of these two wonderful people, but to get a glimpse of what this truly means from their
perspective. To this end they have written to one another. I invite you now to share with them
as they reveal their innermost selves both to each other and to all of you."

~ Paul's Letter to Jessie ~

"I have a history of running and hiding from emotions, especially from loved ones. When we
met I was broken and in mourning. You helped me to heal, by offering me not only the shelter
of your love but a family as well. Something I was scared to death of losing again. I am now
ready to vow by what I hold sacred, that my time of running is past. I will be open and sharing
... not only with the happiness... But also with the pain and doubts and fears that come to all
humans. I will honor and respect you as my wife, knowing that what touches me, touches you
and all that we love. I will promise you, that I will be there for you in any way that I can; I will
listen when you need to talk, I will try to find the words when you need to listen. I will try to
make your troubles lighter where I can, and offer what comfort and strength my presence and
understanding can bring. I swear my love and devotion to you and to our family. And I thank
you for bringing the sun and the light back to my days. The days I will gladly spend with you
till they are no more."

~ Jessie's Letter to Paul ~

"I want to look behind the mirror of your eyes and see the secret world, the world that your
words disguise, the birth place of your sighs. I want to know the pain of all your silent fears,
and when you speak of them, the ones that no one hears, I want to taste your tears. I want to
know you. I really want to know you. I want to share the dreams you've never shared before.
To stand inside your soul, to unlock every door, and darling, even more.

My amazing man, there are things that I can't give you or bring to this relationship. I can't even
give you my heart whole and for you alone, for Jeremy and Sally live there always. But the fact
that you overlook the things in life that I struggle with and that you love my children as your
own means more to me than all the gold or jewels there are in any royal treasure. And treasure
you is what I shall do for the rest of my days."


~ Presentation of the Rings ~

"May I have the rings please?"

"The Circle is a perfect figure, without beginning, without end, with no area of weakness. It is
a symbol of the Cycle of Life, of birth, death, and rebirth. This shall serve as a physical
reminder of your vow, and that all things begin and end and begin anew. When you are
engulfed in anger or in sadness, look to your hand and let these rings shall serve to remind you
that life goes on, that moments pass, yet your love is constant. When life brings you it's
greatest joys look then to your hand as well, and remember that the Wheel turns forever
onward, and it is love that turns the Wheel."

~ Ring Vows ~

"Paul, will you now place this ring upon your beloved's finger and give voice to that which is
in your heart?"

"All that I am, All that I do.
All that I shall dream shall be ours together.
I take you as my wife, my friend, my lover
From this day forth."

"Jessie, will you now place this ring upon your beloved's finger and give voice to that which is
in your heart?"

"The I Ching Says:
When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like a sweet fragrance upon the wind.
This is what I offer to create with you
As I take you to be my husband."


~ The Day of Your Wedding ~

"Janice will you now come and deliver the closing reading?"

Janice steps forward

"Together you share the joy
of a deep commitment and the sacred trust.
You have given each other the most precious gift of love.
Treasure it, nurture it, and encourage it
with all the honesty you used in creating it.
You are sharing something rare and beautiful.
Always speak the truth, and listed attentively,
so that you may understand each other's thoughts
and intentions.
Inspire each other by sharing your accomplishments.
Say "I love you" often to retain the warmth between you.
Remember to laugh a lot, even when you're angry
After all, you're each other's best friend.
Stand together and for each other always:
Be content in mind and spirit.
Make each day a blessing
and a fulfillment of your dreams."

~ Presentation of the Bride and Groom ~

"Ladies and gentlemen may I present Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Jessie Calloway! You may now
celebrate with your first kiss as husband and wife"

Bride and Groom kiss again and exit to greet their guests!