Let's celebrate weddings - the joining of two people in love


Wedding Ceremony Rituals (to do)

The following are some examples of rituals and symbols that you may like to incorporate into your wedding. These can be done in addition to or instead of exchanging wedding rings.

If you would like to disucss these further, please give Julia Denny a call.


Celebrant: _________ and _________, today you are making a life-long commitment to share the rest of your lives with each other. Your relationship is symbolised through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand; one, representing you, _________ and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, _________, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

As you each hold your sand the separate containers of sand represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one.

You may now blend the sand together symbolising the uniting of the bride and groom into one.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.

The goblet of wine is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share this wine, you promise to share all that the future will bring. All the sweetness the cup of life holds for you is sweeter because you drink it together; and whatever drops of bitterness it contains are less because they are shared.

Bride and groom sip from goblet.


In early Australia, our convict forebears and many of our early settlers could not afford the normal symbolic presentation of rings at a wedding ceremony.

To confirm their vows, instead of a ring or rings being given and received, the bride and groom cast a stone each into a nearby river or ocean - thus symbolising their remaining together forever while the tides of time ebbed and flowed over their lives.

AB and CD will now cast two stones into the brook behind us. The stones they have chosen for this ceremony have been etched with ancient Nordic symbols, called 'Runes'.

The blue stone, carved with the rune 'Kenaz', represents Wisdom, Insight and Understanding, not unlike the Scottish word 'ken', which means 'to know'.

The silver stone, carved with the rune 'Raido', represents our life journey and how it intersects and interacts with others. This symbol reminds us that, although it may seem that we have accomplished our goals, life and change continue and we must always go on.

The substitution of regular stones with their Runic counterparts is intended to symbolise the merging of past cultures, and the joining together of two lives as one.

AB and CD, will you now cast your stones

From Perfect Circle Weddings Reverend Dr Susan Dana Kennedy


B___________, please hold G___________ hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are that hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

G___________, please hold B_____________ hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.

These are the hands that will massage tension from you neck and back in the evenings after you’ve both had a long hard day.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realised.

Simplified Handfasting

CELEBRANT Sally and Ian, I ask you to turn and look into each other’s eyes and hold hands.

Will you honour and respect one another,
And seek to never break that honour?

SALLY & IAN We Will (the first cord is draped over the hands)

CELEBRANT And so the binding is made.
Will you share each others pain and seek to ease it?

SALLY & IAN We Will (the second cord is draped over the hands)

CELEBRANT And so the binding is made.

Will you share the burdens of each other,
So that your spirits may grow in this union?

SALLY & IAN We Will (the third cord is draped over the hands)

CELEBRANT And so the binding is made.

Will you share each others laughter,
And look for the brightness and positive in each other?

SALLY & IAN We Will (the forth cord is draped over the hands)

CELEBRANT And so the binding is made.

Sally and Ian, as your hands are bound together now,
So your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust.
Above you are the stars and below you is the earth.
Like the stars, your love should be a constant source of light,
And like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

Note: The cords/ribbons can be 4 different colours to symbolise the 4 elements/seasons, or any virtues/values that you specially wish to make part of your marriage. An internet search on colour meanings, or a visit to your local library would be of value here.


This is a lovely blessing to be said over clasped hands

"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch."


Wording for Release of Butterflies

According to an American Indian Legend -
If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first
capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.
Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish.

So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.
We have gathered to grant this couple all our best wishes and are
about to set these butterflies free in trust that all these wishes will be granted.

You have given me wings with which to fly
Now I breathe in deep and spread them wide
as we lift off from the silken petals
into the wind where the butterflies glide.

Butterflies can be arranged through or your wedding coordinator.

Candle lighting ceremony
The unity candle symbolises the very essence of the wedding ceremony. Two taper candles, representing the couple as individuals, are used to light a single centre candle as a visible symbol of their commitment to each other. There are many variations on the ceremony and the individual tails are completely up to you. Here are some ideas to help you as you plan your ceremony.
Before the ceremony begins, place the unity candle on a small table. To prepare for the ceremony, it is a good idea to light the wicks for a moment.
There are several popular options for lighting your taper candles. You can have your parents come forward to light the side tapers as a symbol of your two families coming together as one. At this point, some couples choose to present their mothers with a rose. If you wish, the celebrant or best man and the maid of honor can light the tapers. Or, you may light the tapers yourselves from a candle on the table.
As (Name) and (name) together light the centre candle, they will extinguish their own candles, thus letting the centre candle symbolise the union of their lives. As this one light cannot be divided, neither will their lives be divided.
If you'd prefer to leave your tapers lit …
(Name) and (name) come into their marriage relationship as individuals and they do not lose their identity, rather they use their individuality to create and strengthen the relationship of marriage. Therefore, the three candles remain lit, one for each of them and one for their marriage.
This represents your commitment to each other and to a lasting and loving marriage. The Unity Candle symbolises the new family you are now forming from your past lives. The flames you light it with both burn brighter when joined together. Now you both are charged with keeping this flame bright for the rest of your days.

There are many other ways to incorporate candles into a ceremony – please contact Melanie James if you would like to receive more information on this.

Children's Ceremony ~

“Often marriage is viewed as the union of two persons.

Yet marriages not only unite the Bride and the Groom, they unite families. With the changing structure of what a family is in today’s world we are offered unique and wonderful opportunities to increase the number of loving caring relationships we have in our lives.

During a wedding ceremony rings are exchanged with a promise. Karen and John thought appropriate that their children should also receive a token of their promise to them this day.

They wanted to find a way to let them know now how special and wonderful they all are in their own way, and how blessed they feel to be her parents.

They also wanted them to have a physical reminder for the future that as they grow and become young men and women in their own right, that their parents will always support them. There may come times when there are things going on in their lives that they may feel no other human would ever understand,

addressing children

but there is nothing that any of you can ever say that will not be met with unconditional love.

So is the bond of trust that your parents establish with one another, and extend to all of you this day.”

Children step forward and receive their gift

The Arras or Coin Ceremony 1

The celebrant drops 13 pieces of coins (silver or gold) called arras into the Groom's waiting hands, who in turn drops it into the Bride's hands. The Bride then puts her hand above the Groom's then drops the arras into his hands again. The Groom allows the coins to then be dropped into a plate held by an attendant.

The metal tinkling of the coins being passed from one pair of hands to the other, is a distinctive reminder of the groom's promise to take care of his wife materially. The bride in return, by giving back the coins to his hands, convey that what they both earn become part of each other's. The trickling sound also signifies abundance and success in the couple's joint efforts.


Simple Dove Release
Our white doves are the symbol of Love, Peace and Hope.
They pair for life, and at the end of each day
They return to the same home for the night.

As John and Angela release these doves,
We ask you, their family and friends,
To witness this very symbolic gesture,
Which heralds the beginning of their new life together.

Angela and John we wish you love,
That, like the doves, continues to soar.
We wish you peace as you work together
To develop a home
And we join in your hope for a long and happy marriage.

Dove Release 2

Like a married couple, the doves are not obliged to be by each other’s side for every hour of every day. In the evening, however, whether their day’s journey has been together or apart, both doves return to the same home for the night.

Bride and Groom, as the doves fly they will carry our wishes for peace, love and hope for your future life together,

Dove Release 3

For many centuries, the White Dove has been a symbol of Peace, Love and New Beginnings.

As a romantic gesture, Mark and Sharon are now going to release these two white pigeons that are meant to represent doves. They will fly upwards, maybe circle above us a few times, and then fly home together, as a pair. This symbolises our newly wed couple setting off on their journey in life together, in harmony.

Mark and Sharon, we wish for you, that your life together would be long, rich and rewarding. May your marriage carry with it all the wonderful qualities that the White Dove represents.

Poem – Winged Flight

From today this winged love begins its flight
across the skies of time.
It will fly above the bounds of earth
and beyond the edge of now,
for when hearts and minds come
together as one,
the union takes mere mortals
to places never been.

The flight of love will allow you to
challenge your wildest dreams.
Side by side you will explore the
endless possibilities of your shared world
And your journey will soar and fly
with bearings sound and direction true.

May your winds be favourable
and your skies remain clear
as you guide your shared flight
towards the rising sun, for in the dawn of each new day
you will find the light to guide your way.

May you enjoy your journey
along the way, and may you feel
the gentle guiding presence of others
who share the skies with you,
the place of freedom,
adventure and endless hope.

The Rose Ceremony

(In the Rose Ceremony, the Bride and Groom give each other a Rose. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife.)

"Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings - which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.

You now have what remains the most honourable title, which may exist between a man and a woman - the title of "husband" and "wife." For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as husband and wife - that gift would be a single rose.

Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose - and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

Plus (optional)

_________ and _____________, where ever you make your home in the future - pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage - and a recommitment that this will be a marriage based upon love.

In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.
It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love.

It might be difficult some time to words to say "I am sorry" or "I forgive you"; "I need you" or "I am hurting". If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected - for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.

That rose says the words: "I still love you."

The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.

__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure."


Groom (as he hands his bride a long-stemmed white rose): (Name) take this rose as a symbol of my love. It began as a tiny bud and blossomed, just as my love has grown and blossomed for you.
Bride (as she places the rose into a bud vase filled with water): "I take this rose, a symbol of your love, and I place it into water, a symbol of life. For, just as this rose cannot survive without water, I cannot survive without you."
Groom: In remembrance of this day, I will give you a white rose each year on our anniversary, as a reaffirmation of my love and the vows spoken here today.
Bride: And I will refill this vase with water each year, ready to receive your gift, in reaffirmation of the new life you have given me and the vows spoken here today.
Groom (as he and his bride join hands around the rose-filled vase): And so, this rose will be a symbolic memory of my commitment to you this hour; I vow to be a faithful husband to you, to comfort you, honour you, respect you and cherish you for as long as we live.
Bride: (as they continue to hold the vase together): And I commit myself to you, to be a faithful wife, to comfort you, honour you, respect you and cherish you for as long as we live.


This tradition is a way to honor multiple generations of the bride‘s and groom’s families, and/or a way to include any children that the couple may have.

The couple selects a glass bowl they would enjoy having in their new home. Each grandparent, parent, stepparent, godparent and so on is given a bud vase filled with a different color of flat colored marbles, with the separate colors signifying the individuality of each family member.

The grandparents pour their separate colors into the Unity Bowl as the foundation of the wedding of the bride and groom. Each set of parents does the same. After each set of grandparents, parents and so on have added their marbles to the mix, the celebrant stirs the colors with her hand, creating new mosaics each time.
Siblings and other special friends may be invited to participate, as well.

Then the bride and groom add their two colors, and I mix the Unity Bowl contents again. If there are children, they add theirs after the bride and groom, as we are honoring each generation.

Ultimately, the family members are reminded that each of them, in their own way, has colored the lives of the bride and groom. Therefore, each has developed specific tastes, goals, morals, choices...and thus the bride knows she has found her perfect groom, and the groom knows he has found his perfect bride.

Finally, it is noted that, just as the mosaic has continually changed, so is change the most dependable constant in the couple’s married life. They are called on to embrace change, find what can be learned from each change, and to put their own hands in and stir up the design in the bowl with every change they encounter.

Thus they get to keep a memento placed in their Unity Bowl by all the family members and other loved ones who were present at their wedding–an emotional value that always grows with time–and also a reminder that change is always beautiful, as long as we keep the right perspective that we can always learn from change.

From Perfect Circle Weddings Reverend Dr Susan Dana Kennedy



During this ceremony Penny and David will exchange rings. They have have entrusted the keeping of the rings with David's niece, Carina. These rings are the visible signs of their commitment to one another.

As this ceremony proceeds we ask that the families of Penny and David take part in the warming of the rings.

We ask that you, their family and friends wish them health and happiness, and all that is noble and good in life.

Carina will now pass these rings to the families of Penny and David and I ask that each family member hold them for a moment, warm them with your love, then pass them on to the next person. I ask that all present voice a silent wish or prayer for this couple, for their marriage and their future together.

When these rings come back to Carina they will contain, in their precious metal, that which is more precious, that which is priceless: your love and hope and pledge of support for this union.

All present. Music played while the rings are being "warmed".

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