Draft of our Ceremony

We used our lazy Saturday to get some wedding stuff done, including the wording for our ceremony...

We are aiming for a 30 minute ceremony (we want the ceremony to be the focus of the wedding day) and are including our 30 guests in it (we have no bridal party) with several elements including a lei exchange, ring warming and seven blessings (spoken by family members)...we will also have friends read the two readings as well as read the text for the Hand Ceremony.

Here is what we have thus far:
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:15 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Processional


Helen and Jeff play ______________________________


Joseph walks to the edge of the circle


Helen and Jeff play ______________________________


Guests Stand


Lori walks to where Joseph is standing



Blessing of the Couple

Sandra:

Who gives their blessing for this marriage?



Guests: We do



Sandra:

Each of you has given something special to Lori and Joseph?s lives. Thank you for being here to sharing one of life's happiest moments with them. Your love and encouragement will forever be appreciated. May you be an important part of their tomorrows as much as you are today.


Please be seated.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:16 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Bride and Groom Lei Exchange

Sandra:

In Hawaii, the Lei has been a traditional gift exchanged between bride and groom.



The lei is a symbol of love, it is also a symbol of things fragile and temporary. A lei will last for only a day or two and then it is gone. Our lives are like the lei within the span of eternity. We are here in this life for only a brief moment, therefore live with tender consideration for each; love one another; and your marriage will last. May the leis you now offer each other be a token of love or Aloha that you have for one another.



Joseph, please repeat after me,
?Lori, please wear my love, like a beautiful Lei?
Please place the Lei around the neck of your beloved and give her a kiss on each cheek.



Lori, please repeat after me,
?Please wear my love, like a beautiful Lei?
Please place the Lei around the neck of your beloved and give him a kiss on each cheek.



As symbols of your Aloha for one another, may these leis embrace your thoughts, your senses and your hearts.



Family and Friends Lei Exchange

Marriage is a coming together of two lives and a celebration of the ALOHA (love) of two people. But it is more. It is the creation of a new family. As they embrace one another in their love, so do they embrace their family and friends who have been brought together on this happy occasion.


As a sign of their love for you, Lori and Joseph would like to present a lei of aloha to each of you. Please stand.



(Lori and Joseph will present a lei to each guest while Helen and Jeff play:____________________. Begin with Deborah and have her hold the bouquet)



After all the guest?s have received their leis and the music has finished.



Leis are offered and accepted open-heartedly as they give of their beauty. Friends and family may these Lei?s embrace your thoughts, your senses and your hearts. These Lei?s are a promise that no matter how far apart you that you are not forgotten and a reminder that you are always in their hearts and prayers. Please be seated.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:19 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Definition of Marriage


Sandra:
Lori and Joseph, we are about to experience a miracle. This miracle is the joining of hands, the blending of hearts, the union of two lives as one family.



We come together, not to mark the start of a commitment but to recognize one that already exists. All of your moments in your relationship together have led up to this exchange of vows and have prepared you as you promise to be each other's lifetime partner. Before you knew love, you were friends, and it was from this seed of friendship that is now your destiny.



Marriage is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as your own, it is not total absorption into each other; it is looking outward in the same direction together.



Marriage makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can be involved with life in ways you dare not risk alone. To make your relationship succeed will take love. But the giving of yourself in love is difficult: for you must learn to give of your love without total submission of yourself.



Therefore, in your giving, give your joy, your sadness, your interest, your understanding, and your knowledge?all expressions that make up life. But in this giving, remember to preserve yourself?your integrity, your individuality. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open and honest with one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both promised today to share together. An intimate and secure relationship is not based solely on promises, but also on trust, respect, faithfulness and the ability to forgive. A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by unconditional and true love.



We are joyfully gathered today to witness and to celebrate the joining of your lives in marriage, we have come together in the hope that the love which has brought you both to this union may go out beyond itself into the lives of others. Thus, we ask that your promises and hopes be realized. We ask that you both be granted the patience to listen, the capacity to understand, the compassion to give comfort and the joy to laugh and just to be together. Most importantly, let your marriage make a home where neither person is a stranger, and, remember, it is just as important to be the right partner as it is to choose the right partner.



Let your marriage offer illumination and growth. Bask in the joy of shared discoveries. Let your union be strong enough to endure the darkness of all things. May silence and despair never separate you; may you always return to each other.


Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:21 am
margaret
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09/22/2007
margaret

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margaret

I love it!!! =D Your ceremony is going to be so beautiful and meaningful. =)=)=)
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:21 am
married2mrwright
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First Reading

(We need to pick one and someone to read it):



Love Is Friendship Caught Fire - Laura Hendricks


Love is friendship caught fire;it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses.


Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals.


If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.



The Key to Love

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... Without thought of return, but with 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.



Marriage is love - Gloria Matthew

If two are caring as they are sharing life's hopes and fears.

If the music of laughter outweighs sadness and tears.

Marriage is togetherness.


If both derive pleasure from the mere presence of each other, yet when parted no jealousies restrict, worry or smother.

Marriage is freedom.


If achievements mean more when they benefit two and consideration is shown with each point of view.
Marriage is respect.

And if togetherness, freedom and respect are combined with a joy that words can never fully define, then marriage is love.



Irrational Season by Madeleine L?Engle - A Selection

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take?It is indeed a fearful gamble? Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take?If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation?It takes a lifetime to learn another person?When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.



On Love - Thomas ? Kempis (1379-1471)

Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good.

Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.

It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable.

Nothing is sweeter than love,

Nothing stronger,

Nothing higher,

Nothing wider,

Nothing more pleasant,

Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.

Love flies, runs and leaps for joy.

It is free and unrestrained.

Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.

Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil,

attempts things beyond its strength.

Love sees nothing as impossible,

for it feels able to achieve all things.

It is strange and effective,

while those who lack love faint and fail.

Love is not fickle and sentimental,

nor is it intent on vanities.

Like a living flame and a burning torch,

it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:22 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Declaration of Intention

Sandra:

Lori and Joseph, may this be the love that you bring into this relationship and may its essence touch all those with whom you come in contact. Just as the ocean touches and nourishes the shores of the earth, may your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. As you come this day to affirm your love and commitment, may you always remember to value each other as special and unique individuals, and that you respect each others thoughts, ideas and feelings. May you be able to forgive and to forget when wronged - as from this day forward you will be each other's home, comfort and sanctuary.



To Joseph:
Joseph do you commit today to loving Lori as your wife?
Joseph: I do
As your partner and best friend for life, do you give your promise to treat her with love and compassion, honor and respect?
Joseph: I do
To celebrate your good fortunes and achievements as well as stand by her side through all of life?s challenges and disappointments?
Joseph: I do
To tend to her in sickness and in sorrow and be faithfully devoted to her for all of the days of your life?
Joseph: I do



To Lori:
Lori do you commit today to loving Joseph as your husband?
Lori: I do
As your partner and best friend for life, do you give your promise to treat him with love and compassion, honor and respect?
Lori: I do
To celebrate your good fortunes and achievements as well as stand by his side through all of life?s challenges and disappointments?
Lori: I do
To tend to him in sickness and in sorrow and be faithfully devoted to him for all of the days of your life?
Lori: I do
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:23 am
married2mrwright
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Hand Ceremony

Sandra:

Lori and Joseph, now that you have declared your intentions before these friends and family and they have pledged to support these intentions, please face each other and join hands.



Kristy:

Lori, please hold Joseph?s 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 passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
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 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 when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
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.



Nickolos:

Joseph, please hold Lori?s 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 promises to passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
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 when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
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 realized.



All:
May these hands be blessed before us this day. May they always be held by one another. May they have the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. May they remain tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. May these hands continue building a relationship founded in friendship, rich in love, and devoted in reaching for compassion and understanding. May Joseph and Lori see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:24 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Exchange of Vows



Joseph:

Lori, I pledge be your loving friend and partner in marriage, sharing all of the triumphs and challenges that life may bring. I declare to love, honor, respect and appreciate you every day. I pledge to consciously renew our marriage, continuing to grow as an individual, so that our partnership will always be strengthened.



I promise to communicate with you patiently, expressing myself openly, while respecting your individuality and cherishing your uniqueness. I will look to my own contribution in a difficult situation rather then cast judgment on you, making amends when I have been wrong and offering forgiveness when I have been wronged. I will speak with integrity and live my life with dignity. I will not make assumptions. If I do not understand something, I will ask. I pledge to be honest with you and remain emotionally available to you. I commit to the friendship upon which our love is based and to live with acceptance rather than criticism of you.



I will support you in a definitive manner by encouraging your dreams and goals, celebrating your accomplishments and supporting you in your endeavors. I will honor your trust in me and put our family first before any outside influences. I will build a home with you that will be a happy and safe place that provides us refuge from the world at large. I will greet you with a kiss and a smile and make time to laugh with you each day. We will be imperfect, but with God's help and our commitment to love I will support you without reservation, comfort you with compassion and stand by your side without condition through all joys and sorrows, all the days of my life.



Lori:

Joseph, I pledge be your loving friend and partner in marriage, sharing all of the triumphs and challenges that life may bring. I declare to love, honor, respect and appreciate you every day. I pledge to consciously renew our marriage, continuing to grow as an individual, so that our partnership will always be strengthened.



I promise to communicate with you patiently, expressing myself openly, while respecting your individuality and cherishing your uniqueness. I will look to my own contribution in a difficult situation rather then cast judgment on you, making amends when I have been wrong and offering forgiveness when I have been wronged. I will speak with integrity and live my life with dignity. I will not make assumptions. If I do not understand something, I will ask. I pledge to be honest with you and remain emotionally available to you. I commit to the friendship upon which our love is based and to live with acceptance rather than criticism of you.



I will support you in a definitive manner by encouraging your dreams and goals, celebrating your accomplishments and supporting you in your endeavors. I will honor your trust in me and put our family first before any outside influences. I will build a home with you that will be a happy and safe place that provides us refuge from the world at large. I will greet you with a kiss and a smile and make time to laugh with you each day. We will be imperfect, but with God's help and our commitment to love I will support you without reservation, comfort you with compassion and stand by your side without condition through all joys and sorrows, all the days of my life.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:25 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Pledge of Support

Sandra:

Marriage is the promise of hope between two people who love each other, who honor each other as individuals, and who wish to unite their lives and share the future together. In this ceremony, they dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other, in a divine union of mutual caring and responsibility. Therefore, it is all the more important that those of you here with Joseph and Lori may stand as witnesses to the happiness which they have found together, and to the promises they have made to each other. As they join their lives in marriage, they also bring you together in a new relationship, joining two families and creating new bonds of trust and ties of affection. It has been their decision to bind themselves by marriage, and their lives will be strengthened and enriched by the support you give. Will all of you, who have supported these two in friendship and love, now bestow your blessing upon them?



If so, please stand and show them your support by responding, "We will".

Sandra: will you support Lori and Joseph in their marriage?

All: We will.

Sandra: Will you celebrate with them, encourage them, and remind them (as needed) of this day?

All: We will.

Sandra: Will you celebrate their marriage, standing beside them in rough times, yet never standing between them?

All: We will.

Sandra: Thank you, you may be seated.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:26 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Ring Ceremony

Sandra:

(holding up the rings)



The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two souls in endless love. The perfect circle of a ring symbolizes the eternal, unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for each is the giver and each is the receiver. Let these rings symbolize the devotion and commitment that you hold for each other. These rings, given in love, are an affirmation to all that you are truly united together as husband and wife. May these rings always remind you of the sacred vows you have spoken to each other on this day.



Ring Warming

Sandra:

(placing the rings in the sea shell to pass around

Lori and Joseph have requested that you ?warm? their rings before they exchange them. As they are passed to you, Lori and Joseph invite you to take them in your hands for a moment to bless them with your positive thoughts, prayers and wishes for them and their marriage.



(Helen and Jeff play_________________.)



Exchange of Rings
,br>Sandra (to Joseph):

Joseph please place this ring on Lori?s left hand ring finger and repeat after me:



Lori, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you. (slide the ring on her finger)
With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.
Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side and that I will always be a faithful partner to you.



Lori responds:
I will wear it gladly. Whenever I look at it, I will remember this day and the commitment we've made.



Sandra (to Lori):

Lori please place this ring on Joseph?s left hand ring finger and repeat after me:



Joseph, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you. (slide ring on his finger)
With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.
Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side and that I will always be a faithful partner to you.



Joseph responds:
I will wear it gladly. Whenever I look at it, I will remember this day and the commitment we've made.



Sandra:
May the miracle of this moment and the vows and rings you have just exchanged remain forever as a priceless memory in the heart of each of you and may you always have perfect love and peace together.
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:28 am
married2mrwright
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married2mrwright

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Second Reading

Joshua:



The Art Of A Good Marriage - Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.

In the art of marriage, the little things are big things?

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is never taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,

it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner,

it is being the right partner.



Seven Blessings



Geoff: May your hearts be always filled with love. May you always sense the love of your family and friends whether they are close by or across the distances.



Michelle: May you encourage each other in whatever you set out to achieve. May you share each other's dreams and meet life's challenges together.



Deborah: May you express your capacity for love, friendship, generosity, kindness and compassion. May you express these qualities freely and be blessed to receive them through your lives.



Jarrod: May you remember each other?s worth as individuals and value both your similarities and your differences. May you have patience, tolerance, and understanding.



Cathy: May you be blessed to live in a home built on mutual respect. May you live in a world where there is freedom, peace and equality for all.



Michael: May your joy in one another overflow into the world that surrounds you. May you find something to celebrate every day of your life, and may always have abundance.



Sandra: I ask everyone to please rise and join me in reciting the final blessing as it is written in your programs.



ALL: May this day of union be also a day of reunion. May we celebrate the marriage of Lori and Joseph and may all of their days together be full of happiness, love, harmony, laughter and rejoicing in the company of family and friends.



Closing Words

Sandra:

We have come together in the hope that the love which has brought you both to this sacred union may go out beyond itself into the lives of others. We ask that your promises and hopes be realized. We ask that you both be granted the patience to listen, the capacity to understand, the compassion to give comfort and the joy to laugh and just to be together. Most importantly, let your marriage make a home where neither person is a stranger, and, remember, it is just as important to be the right partner as it is to choose the right partner.



Let your marriage offer illumination and growth. Bask in the joy of shared discoveries. Let your union be strong enough to endure the darkness of all things. May silence and despair never separate you; may you always return to each other.



Pronouncement

Sandra:

Lori and Joseph, may you always remember the love that brought you here today. It is your commitment to love each other daily that will sustain you throughout your marriage. Although I'm officiating here today, it is not truly in my power to sanctify, legitimize or consecrate your relationship in any way, because the two of you have already done with your hearts and souls. So, by joining hands right now and looking into each other's eyes, let it be known that you are joined, body, mind and spirit in this lifetime, and that this bond is sacred and eternal.



And now that you have stood before your family and friends and exchanged these rings and these vows, and have agreed to be married according to the laws of the state of Hawaii, it gives me gives me great pleasure to pronounce that you are Husband and Wife.
[include whatever mandatory verbage is required by the State of Hawaii]



As you have shared a thousand kisses, let this one be remembered best of all. You may now kiss your bride.



Presentation of the Couple

Sandra:

It is my honor to present to you for the first time, Joseph and Lori Wright.



Recessional

Helen and Jeff play_________________________________
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:29 am
mikesgirl
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03/07/2007
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I love how you incorporate your guests by offering them leis and asking them to warm your ring. Your ceremony is going to be so special. Congratulations!
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 2:17 pm
kellyk
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03/07/2007
kellyk

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What a beautiful ceremony. *awe* It's so personal and from the heart. Thanks so much for sharing!
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:47 pm
*Wil*
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*Wil*

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*Wil*

Wow that is so beautiful and inspirational. Thanks for sharing.
Posted on June 25, 2007 at 2:57 am
johnandjanet
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This is so beautiful. Congratulations Lori! :)
Posted on June 26, 2007 at 5:46 am
tahoegirl
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09/02/2007
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tahoegirl

Wow... This was a lazy Saturday? Very inspiring and beautiful!! I have the chills.... :) I love that you incorporate the group as well... Thank you for sharing!!
Posted on June 27, 2007 at 4:31 pm
luckygurl
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05/29/2007
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Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this! My best friend had a ring warming also. Maybe you might want to pass it during both the music and the last reading before you exchange it so people don't feel "put on the spot" or like they have to pass it super-fast...? Or maybe you could start passing it after the "pledge of support"? Something like, "Now you'll have an opportunity to make a private, personal pledge and blessing..." (They started passing theirs toward the beginning of the ceremony and it made it up to the front by the end. You don't have so many people...) Just thinking... :)
Posted on June 27, 2007 at 6:15 pm
groom06
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Pretty cool. You did a great job on the ceremony.
Posted on June 27, 2007 at 8:20 pm
tahoegirl
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09/02/2007
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Hi loridector,
i had saved this thread a while back because i really loved your ceremony. i'm just coming back to it now as we're thinking more about our own. in particular, i really liked your "seven blessings" and was hoping to incorporate some variation of this in our ceremony. First, we would be honored if you wouldn't mind if we borrowed this? Second, do you know the origin? is this something you two wrote yourselves or is it a variant of something else you found? i googled "seven blessings" but all the hits were on a Jewish wedding blessing that really seemed quite different.

thank you!
Posted on July 25, 2007 at 5:43 pm
married2mrwright
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09/29/2007
married2mrwright

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married2mrwright

Hi Tahoegirl,

First of all...thanks and feel free to borrow away! As for the Seven Blessings, I do think it comes from the Jewish Traditions (which we wanted to incorporate since we both have Jewsih heritage); I also found them to be akin to "Prayers of the Faithful" from the Catholic tradition (we is also part of our heritage). I found the Seven Blessings on www.indiebride.com and altered them to suit us. We will have a family member read each one aloud.

Hope that helps!
Posted on July 25, 2007 at 5:52 pm
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