This simple handfasting ceremony was held in the couple’s living room by the fireplace with immediate family and a few friends. A little bit of customization made the standard ceremony meaningful and memorable.
Ring Warming and Singing Bowls
Welcome! It’s wonderful to be here with you today. I’m Reverend Debbie Philp and I’m so happy to be officiating today.
Ring warming is an old Irish tradition to infuse the wedding rings with your love and blessings before the couple puts them on. As we listen to the singing bowls, let’s warm Groom and Bride’s rings. We’ll pass them around and as they come to you, hold the box in your hand for a moment to warm them with your love. Offer a silent prayer, wish, or good intentions for Bride and Groom, then pass them on.
Groom comes in and stands by fireplace.
Please rise if you are able.
Bride enters from other room
Welcome and Remembering of Loved Ones
Please be seated.
On behalf of Groom and Bride, again, welcome and thank you for being here to witness and support them as they unite in marriage. Our thoughts are with loved ones who have passed on, including names. May their spirits be present in our hearts today.
This is one of life’s most joyful occasions. We are celebrating the love you have for each other and your commitment to each other’s happiness. We’re also celebrating the joining of two families, extending that love and commitment to each other’s family.
I heard that after you met on the internet, you briefly became the Bonnie and Clyde of parking tickets. I’m glad you put your criminal phase behind you. And now you can look to the future.
The great gift of marriage is what you see around you here today – the beauty of living fully and peacefully in the world as partners, surrounded and supported by two families united as one. Bride and Groom, you have chosen to walk together through life in loving harmony, growing and learning with each new day. May love and compassion always guide you.
Declaration of Intent
And so, Bride and Groom, if it is your intent to be joined together in marriage, take each other’s hands.
Couple faces each other and joins right hands together and left hands together, forming an infinity sign.
Will you, Groom, take Bride as your wife, and will you promise your friendship and love, in good Groomes and in difficult Groomes, from this day forth?
[Groom] I will.
Will you, Bride, take Groome as your husband, and will you promise your friendship and love, in good Groomes and in difficult Groomes, from this day forth?
[Bride] I will.
Groom and Bride continue to hold hands for the handfasting.
In a wedding, symbols are important and helpful, because they serve as a powerful reminder of this time and place, the feelings shared, and the promises made, when the memories of those start to fade over Time. Handfasting is a symbol like this. It is one of the world’s oldest wedding traditions. In fastening their hands together, Bride and Groom symbolize their commitment to journey through life hand-in-hand.
Our couple has asked some special people in their lives to present the cords.
Three people come forward, one at a time, and lay the cords as I speak.
Bride and Groom, these are the hands of your best friend, full of love for you. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will love you, cherish you, and comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will wipe tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly support your family with you. And these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours.
I tie the cords so they will tighten into an infinity knot when hands released.
Groom and Bride, as I fasten your hands together and tie the knot, I invite you to reflect on the joy and responsibility that awaits you. From today, you are bound together as lifelong partners in this ongoing journey of love.
Groom and Bride will now make their vows to each other.
Hands stay bound. I will hold a printed copy of the vows for each so can be read if necessary.
Groom, I invite you to speak your vows to Bride.
Groom reads personal vows.
Bride, I invite you to speak your vows to Groom.
Bride reads personal vows.
I will hold the ends of the cords and tighten the knot as you remove your hands.
May you keep these knotted cords as a visible reminder of your promises to one another.
I will hold the cords until the end.
Exchange of Rings
Another wedding symbol is the ring, representing commitment and love that, like a circle, has no beginning and no end. Bride and Groom, let these rings that you exchange be an outward sign of your love and remind you always of what you have promised today.
Groom, please place this ring on Bride’s finger and repeat after me: “Bride, I give this ring to you as a sign of my devotion and love.”
Bride, please place this ring on Groom’s finger and repeat after me: “Groom, I give this ring to you as a sign of my devotion and love.”
Pronouncement and Kiss
Bride and Groom, you have publicly committed yourselves to each other in marriage. And so, by the power vested in me by the State of New York, it is my joy and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss.
Bride and Groom lead the everyone to other room for signing of the marriage certificate and toasts.