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Sample Ceremony - Ian & Irene (Seed Ceremony)

Procession
Giving of the Bride to the Groom
Welcome
Friends and family, what a joy it is to welcome you here to celebrate the miracle of love and to witness the union of this man and this woman into the bond and contract of Matrimony. IAN and IRENE, every experience you have had, every decision you have made, and every twist and turn in life has brought you to this very moment as you now stand before these witnesses to take each other as husband and wife.
Address
For those of you that don’t know the background story, IAN and IRENE met in a unique way: not through work, classes, or dating sites, but through the medium of games, transcending a thousand miles of distance to establish a connection with each other online.

For many, this unusual circumstance would have been an insurmountable barrier, but for IAN and IRENE, it somehow simply “worked.” It’s been said that if your relationship can survive a long distance relationship, it can survive anything, and the beginning five and a half years of their relationship was not only rooted in this, but flourished in the mutual trust and respect that it required.

The backbone of their relationship has been and continues to be the time they’ve spent together in games. From the simplicity of the text-based games they were playing when they first met to fragging each other in the latest first-person shooters, they’ve built their relationship around a core of “play.”

IAN and IRENE were kind enough to provide me with several excerpts from various psychology sources on the importance of “play” because it has been such an integral part of their relationship.

Don’t worry…I’m not going to quote any of it. Between you and me, it was WAY over my head. But what I did pick up on was one recurring theme: “play” helps people learn how to work in groups, solve problems, negotiate, and how to resolve conflict. The personality that emerges during play is often not the same face that people show in business or in their social lives—and the person you come to know through it isn’t based on appearance, but is instead grounded in how they treat others and what actions they choose to take.

IAN and IRENE are truly very lucky. As adults, they managed to not only tap into the art of play that many of us grow out of, but also to somehow find each other while they were there.

Betrothal
IAN and IRENE, you have grown and learned together, from the first messages you exchanged all the way to this point of commitment. You’ve traveled a long road to be at each other’s sides and throughout your journey you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.

All those conversations held over the phone and online, all those sentences that began with "when we're finally together" and continued with "we will…", all those late night talks that included "someday" and "somehow", all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart, those 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, and even teacher. Now you shall say the few words that will take you across a new 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.

With this knowledge, IAN, do you take IRENE to be your wife? Will you love, honor, and cherish her, in good times and bad, and do you promise to stay true to her for as long as you both shall live?

IRENE, do you take IAN to be your husband? Will you love, honor, and cherish him, in good times and bad, and do you promise to stay true to him for as long as you both shall live?

Please turn and face each other, taking the other’s hands in yours. I’d like you to take a moment to look down at the hands that each of you now hold.

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 love, nurture, and care for you through the years, and that will cherish you like no other. 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 give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still offering that same boundless love that they offer today.


Sharing of Vows
IAN, please repeat after me. I, IAN, take you, IRENE, as my wife. I pledge to trust, respect, and honor your throughout our journey together. When our way becomes difficult, I pledge to be there with you, so that through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone. I pledge to work at our love, to never take a moment that we have together for granted, to do the dishes more regularly, and to be less grumpy when you wake me up at 6 a.m. to go to the gym. I will love you for the rest of our lives and beyond.

IRENE, please repeat after me. I, IRENE, take you, IAN, as my husband. I pledge to trust, respect, and honor you throughout our journey together. When our way becomes difficult, I pledge to be there with you, so that through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone. I pledge to work at our love, to never take a moment that we have together for granted, and to not mean it when I get angry at you for liquidating my sheep or “accidentally” hitting me with a headshot.
I will love you for the rest of our lives and beyond.

Exchange of the Rings
The wedding ring is a symbol of eternity. It is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible bond which unites two hearts in endless love. As a token of your love and of this bond, IAN, please place the ring on the finger of your bride and repeat after me: IRENE, I give you this ring as a symbol of my unending love and faithfulness to you.

By the same token IRENE, please place the ring on the finger of your groom and repeat after me:
IAN, I give you this ring as a symbol of my unending love and faithfulness to you.

Seed Planting Ceremony
Now IAN and IRENE are going to plant maple tree seeds to symbolically represent their new lives together and the growth of their love. The meaning of maple trees is varied across different cultures and includes balance, promise and practicality. To the Celts, the maple tree symbolized independence of mind, fullness of imagination and originality, learning easily, and sophistication. These seeds, or “whirlybirds,” are shaped to playfully spin as they fall, carrying them a considerable distance on the wind and making them a favorite of children.

And just like the seeds being planted today, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. As IAN and IRENE provide the sun, soil, and water for these seeds to allow them to grow together, so too will they provide the daily encouragement, trust, and love needed to nurture and nourish their connection to each other.


Pronouncement
IRENE and IAN, you have chosen to enter into the promise of marriage with each other by pledging your love and devotion with your vows and sealing those vows with the exchange of the rings. Therefore, with the power vested in me by the State of Wisconsin, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may now kiss your bride.

Presentation of the Bride & Groom
Friends and family, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you Mr. & Mrs. Lastname
Recession

 

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