Opening Words

What you are about to witness today is a celebration of love and of life. The words and traditions you will hear and see reflected in this ceremony are based on our Bride and Groom’s connection to each other, to all of you, and to the divine nature that is alive in all things, from the world around them to their relationship itself. As this may be the first time that some of you are attending a handfasting Lori and Bob some of the elements you will see are familiar in all but their context.

The circle in which you all stand is a sacred space for a sacred event to take place. Much of the symbolism of the chuppa and the wedding band hold true in the circle, the sacred womb from which the two are born again as one and the symbol of eternity.

Although for many the sacred and the mundane meet and coexist as often as is humanly possible, marriage is very much a sacred union, for it is a union of souls in which the bride and groom pledge unto one another their higher selves and all that is divine within them selves. In the Earth based traditions it is considered the marriage of the God and Goddess within.

You will also hear an elemental blessing. All the worlds religions still parallel the agricultural calendar, because the natural world speaks its lessons softly and constantly. In the blessing we simply ask to understand and be able to see the how the attributes of each element can help us on our journey

Almost all cultures and faiths have a sacred meal of communion with the divine. During a wedding it has the added meaning of feeding on and drinking in of the promises that a couple has made.

Those of you who have been to a Greek Orthodox ceremony will undoubtedly recognize the symbolic binding of the hands at the end of the service that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the knot”. This custom has also been known the world over through many different periods in history. Often in the middle ages the hands of the bride and groom were bound because rings were only for the very rich while love knows no bounds.

Those of you who are fans of the Renaissance period will be happy to see the jumping of broom at the closing of the ceremony which symbolically sweeps clean the past reminding our Bride and Groom that the power to create the future ahead and the quality of life that they both so richly deserve is their own.

Lori and Bob, if you will now join me we will begin!¨

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 to proclaim the couple’s intentions for that which their tomorrow shall hold. A couple who wed are joined by their firm resolve that come what may, they remain together through time. Yet very little is said as to how they shall accomplish their goal of living a long and happy life together, and of how as the years pass they shall remain close to one another. It is with this in mind that I now ask…

By the Air that is your breath, 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?¨

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“By the Fire that is your Spirit, 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?”

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“By the Water that is your blood, 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?”

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“By the Earth that is your body, 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?¡¨

Lori and Bob: “We do.”

“May the promises you make this day lead to the fulfillment of your dreams.”

Lori and Bob

As you all know Lori and Bob have been together for eight years. They already share all aspects of life with one another. This makes today¡s celebration one that marks not a new beginning, but a continuing journey. As the Yin and the Yang share the circle of life each with a drop of the other residing deep within, so have Lori and Bob become. Their differences are a source of strength because they are guided by the purest of motivation. They wish only for the happiness and well being of the one whom they each love most in the world. They honor one another as man and woman, partner, lover friend and acknowledge that the life force or spirit within each of them as unique, beautiful and divine in nature. Ritual is designed to cause a change in our lives, yet this only happens when we are emotionally and spiritually connected to the ritual itself. There is a power in the spoken word that harnesses the energy of thoughts and feelings, bringing them into manifestation. And there is nothing more powerful that to be able to look into the eyes of your beloved and say to them; no matter what the years may bring I will be by your side.” and to really mean it with every fiber of your being. Lori and Bob have come to the point in their relationship where they are ready to speak and live by these ideals for countless tomorrows. And this dear friends is what we are truly here to celebrate.”


“Lord and Lady, descend and shine upon us,
She who is all knowing, all loving, all accepting,
Mother of all living things.
He who is mighty as the ancient Oak and bold as the Sun,
Without whom there would be no life.
Come join with us now,
And continue to bestow your blessings upon this couple,
That they may become one in truth,
And forever revel in the magick that is Love.”

Drawing Down the God and Goddess

“In the drawing down of the God and Goddess into this man and woman, we bring the Divine Spirit which dwell without us together with the Divine Spirit that abides within us. To become the embodiment of the God and Goddess also serves as a reminder that as above, so below.

Bride bows her head

Lady Lori, I ask you to call upon
all that is divine within you,
Let it come forth and shine.
In you dwells the essence of the Great Mother
and the divine feminine principle of the Universe
You are She who has been worshiped and adored
for centuries and throughout the ages
You are wife, mother, lover, friend,
prophet, and confidant
In you is everything that any one
could ever aspire to be and more.
In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace.
Shine dear one and show your true nature as Goddess.

Groom bows his head

Lord Robert, I ask you to call upon
all that is divine within you,
Let it come forth and shine.
In you lives the essence of the Gods
The active force that has sparked and powered all life
You are He who has been worshiped and adored
for centuries and throughout the ages
You are husband, healer, protector,
visionary, friend, and confidant
In you is everything that any one
could ever aspire to be and more.
In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace.
Shine mighty one and show to all the God within.”

The Challenges

“To reflect the unique spirit that is Lori and Bob’s marriage this ceremony needed to reflect an honesty about what their future shall hold. There is a phrase bantered around allot unconditional “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust”. To speak of this within the context of a marriage, within the context of a loving, caring committed relationship, the idea of “perfect” means expecting and accepting imperfection, and human frailty. What “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” really says is: “I expect and I accept that on occasion you will anger me as I will anger you, and that you will hurt me as I will hurt you, but I know in my heart that between us there is love and affection and friendship that is stronger. And I trust that no pain is ever caused out of ill will, or malice, or pettiness just as I trust that we are together for a reason and that we shall never through each other away. I trust that at our best we will live together in love and joy and harmony, and at our worst we will fight with and for each other for the greater good, and that we will do this without fear of abandonment.” This is the sentiment reflected in the challenges you will now hear.”

“Lori and Robert, I bid you now to look into each other’s eyes.”

“Robert, Will you cause her pain?”
Bob: “I May.”

“Is that you intent?”
Bob: “No.”

“Lori, Will you cause him pain?”
Lori: “I may.”

“Is that you intent?”
Lori: “No.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Lori, Will you share his laughter?”
Lori: “Yes.”

“Robert, Will you share her laughter?”
Bob: “Yes.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Lori, Will you burden him?”

Lori: “I may.”

“Is that you intent?”
Lori: “No.”

“Robert, Will you burden her?”
Bob: “I may.”

“Is that your intent?”
Bob: “No.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Lori, will you share his dreams?”
Lori: “Yes.”

“Robert, will you share her dreams?”
Bob: “Yes.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?”
Lori and Bob: “Yes.”

“Robert, will you cause her anger?”
Bob: “I may.”

“Is that you intent?”
Bob: “No.”

“Lori, will you cause him anger?”
Lori: “I may.”

“Is that your intent?”
Lori: “No.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?”

Lori and Bob: “We will.”

“Lori, Will you honor him?”
Lori: “I will.”

“Robert, Will you honor her?”
Bob: “I will.”

Addressing both Bride and Groom

“Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?”

Lori and Bob: “We shall never do so.”

“And so you are bound by these vows. Have you chosen an outward symbol to represent your inner connection?”

Lori and Bob: “We shall wear rings.”

The Rings

“May I have the rings please?”

officiant is given the rings

“Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple. Round like the sun, like the eye, like arms that embrace. Circles, for love that is given comes back round again and again. Therefore, may these symbols remind you that your love, like the sun, illumines; that your love, like the eye, must see clearly; and that your love, like arms that embrace, is a grace upon this word.”

Sword and Chalice and Ring Exchange

“My Lord Robert, if it is truly thy desire to become one with this with this woman: Then present unto her a symbol of thy pledge, and a token of thy love.”

Groom drops to one knee, and presents his Sword with the Ring resting upon it

“Lady Lori, you are the most gracious and lovely one that Bob has ever seen, for he understands the essence of thy true self. The beauty which radiates around thee can only be rivaled by the beauty which radiates from within thee. The pledge of his sword is as the pledge of his soul. It is his prowess, his fire, his passion, his strength and courage, His ability to protect, defend and care for thee. With the strength of his blade and the endurance of its steel to represent what is in his heart, take from him now as his beloved, the band that rests there on, and choose him to be your own.”

Bride takes the wedding band from the sword

Lori: “I accept the pledge and the eternal promise of thy wedding band and thy blade.”

Bride takes sword from Groom and places the blade from left shoulder to right shoulder to the top of his head. The motion, as in bestowing knighthood upon him while saying:

Lori: “For the boy thou were, For the man thee art, And for the Husband thou shall be to me, I do choose you to be mine own”

Bride returns the sword, Groom rises to sheathe it, bride returns the wedding ring which the Groom places on her finger

Robert: “With this ring I thee wed.”

“Lady Lori, if it is truly your desire to become one with this man: Then present unto him a symbol of thy pledge and a token of thy love.”

Bride bows before Groom and presents Chalice with the ring inside

“Lord Robert, in the eyes of this woman thou art the only man in the world. Yours is the voice of sound reason and unwavering support. You the spark to the bonfire of her passions and yours are the arms in which she would have lay down to rest. The pledge of her chalice is the pledge of all that is within her, Her felicity and devotion. The place in her heart where two souls can be sheltered and nourished, that they may grow together, ever closer, and flourish as the leaves on the trees and the fruits of the vine. As the depth and bounty of her chalice foretell the richness of your future together, drink to her now and do choose her as thy own.”

Groom takes Chalice removes the ring and pours the wine into it

Bob: “I accept the pledge of your chalice
For the girl thou were,
For the woman thou art
And for the wife that thee shall be to me,
I toast and drink to thee!
And do choose you to be mine own!”

Groom makes toasting gesture, drinks and returns chalice and the wedding band to the Bride. Bride then places the ring upon the Groom’s finger

Lori: “With this ring I thee wed.”

Cakes and Ale

“As the Lord and Lady are separate yet one, so have your pledges made you. Drink now of one another’s love and know that you will never again thirst in your heart or in mind, for what each of you lacks the other has to give and the well spring of love flows eternally for those who drink often of it’s waters.

Groom takes the Chalice from the altar and gives the bride a sip

Robert: “May you never thirst”

Bride gives the Groom a sip from the chalice

Lori: “May you never thirst.”

Bride and Groom are given the loaf of Bread Groom feeds his Bride

“As food nourishes the body so does love nourish the soul remember to partake often of your love that it may sustain and strengthen all aspects of your life together.”

Robert: “May you never hunger.”

Bride feeds the Groom

Lori: “May you never hunger.”


“Is it also your wish today that your hands be fasted in the ways of old?”

Lori and Bob: “It is.”

“Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…

Cords are held aloft

The role already taken by the song your hearts share shall be now be strengthened by the vows you take. All things of the material world eventually return to the Earth unlike the bond and the connection your spirits share which is destined to ascend to the heavens.”

Traditional Pagan Blessing written by Ed Fitch is read

“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 the Old Gods are with you,
Now and always!”

Bride and Groom’s hands are bound

You are now as your hearts have always known you to be, Husband and Wife. You may kiss the bride!”

The Broom and Sword

“Brooms are used for cleaning and sweeping. Therefore that they are used to symbolize the sweeping away the remnants of the past which no longer serve us is appropriate. The sword symbolizes the wielding of power and personal responsibility. As the Bride and Groom jump they are reminded that remaining vigilant over these aspects of the day to day shall help them to achieve the quality of life that they aspire to. Sarah and John will you now lay down the Sword and Broom…

Maid of Honor lays down Broom
Best Man crosses it with the sword

Now putting the past behind you, and remembering always that the power to create the future ahead of you is your own, jump together into your common future!”

Couple jump, kiss again, and exit to greet their guests