Our Wedding Ceremony

It’s a wedding recap!

Josh and I knew we wanted our wedding ceremony to be personalized and a reflection of us. We spent a lot of time writing our wedding vows and planning a unique wedding ceremony. Josh was raised Jewish and I was raised Christian so we wanted to find a way to blend the marriage traditions of both in a way that everyone could enjoy. State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham officiated and it couldn’t have been more perfect for us. Here it is in its entirety with some of Michelle Grove’s beautiful photos interspersed. I hope you enjoy.

[Bride walks down to the aisle to A Thousand Years by ThePianoGuys]

Good morning. Erin and Joshua have asked me to thank you all for coming today. Many of you have traveled a great distance to be here with us, and all of you have been extremely generous with your time and support.

Today is a day of celebration, and it means so much for you to be here to both bear witness and take part in these festivities.

Poem

I would like to introduce Lily and Pierce, dear friends of both Erin and Joshua, and a happily married couple. They will be reading a poem espousing the love that Erin and Joshua share for one another. The poem is titled I Carry Your Heart with Me, by E. E. Cummings.

I carry your heart with me

by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 Flowers for Parents

 

Joshua and Erin would now like to take a moment to acknowledge their parents, whose constant love and guidance has done so much to support them and help them to grow. They have also served as examples of what a successful marriage should be, and how it can enrich each partners’ lives. Today, their two families are becoming one, and so Joshua and Erin would like to formally invite one another’s parents into their lives.

These flowers represent both a token of affection and the strength of this newly grown family. And so, Joshua will now present flowers to Erin’s parents, while Erin will present flowers to Joshua’s parents.

By the exchange of these flowers, Erin and Joshua are both acknowledging the beauty that their own parents have added to their lives, and also recognizing how these bonds of love and support will continue to flourish as their new family grows and blooms as one.

Erin would also like to acknowledge her mother, whose love she will always know, and who will always be in her heart. Erin’s sister, Caitlin, will now present a flower in remembrance of her.

 Vows by the Guests

Today, as their dear friends and family, you have all come together to declare your mutual love and support for Joshua and Erin as they join their lives together, and make a lifelong vow to one another.

Therefore, I would like to ask all of you to take part in this ceremony celebrating their love and commitment to one another. It would mean so much to Joshua and Erin if you would also take vows of your own commitment to them, and of your willingness to support and encourage them in their life together. After I read the following vows, please respond with “we will.”

And so I ask, do you promise to always love and encourage them, and to support them as a couple and as family? Will you be there for them, no matter what?

 

[Guests: "We will."]

 Wine Box

Like good wine, a great love will deepen and mature with age.  As a part of today’s ceremony, Joshua and Erin have captured their thoughts leading up to this day and their hopes and dreams for their future in personal notes to each other.

Joshua’s father will now bring up the wine box that he has lovingly constructed. In this box, itself a labor of love, Joshua and Erin will place messages to one another, brought up now by their mothers, along with a bottle of wine. The box will then be sealed, to be opened on their 10th wedding anniversary. Ten years from now, their lives will be filled with children, careers, and a business that they do not yet know.

Ten years from now, when they are truly experiencing everything that a marriage is about, this wine box will serve as a reminder of the excitement and joy they felt at the beginning of their lives together. They will be able to look back on all they have experienced with fondness, and also to see how much they have grown together.

 

Eyes

In the glamor and spectacle of a wedding, and certainly in preparation leading up to one, it can be easy to lose sight of the core truth: That this occasion is about a couple coming together for the rest of their lives. Today, Joshua and Erin are celebrating the beginning of a bond, one of the deepest love, affection, and support.

And so now, in the spirit of this connection, I would like to ask Joshua and Erin to hold one another’s hands and to look each other in the eye. Take a moment to fully regard the eyes that you see before you.

These are the eyes that light up when they see you.

These are the eyes that shine when you make each other laugh.

These are the eyes that will greet you at the end of a busy day.

These are the eyes that will look upon all of your accomplishments.

These are the eyes that will comfort you through sorrows.

These are the eyes that will share in your joys.

These are they eyes that together you will make a home with.

These are the eyes that will always look upon you with admiration, respect, and love.

Introduction to vows

Erin and Joshua, since you met, you have spent so much time together, and gotten to know one another so deeply. You have experienced joy, sorrow, excitement, and every emotion in between. All of these experiences have built upon one another, and have together constructed the story of your relationship thus far.

Now, you stand before me today to declare the certainty of your love and commitment to one another, and of your desire to remain together forever. After reciting your vows, you will exchange your rings.

These rings will serve as further evidence of your lifelong commitment to one another. Much like the vows you will now make to one another, the circles of these rings will remain upon your fingers, forever unbroken.

Vows and Rings

Joshua, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to this woman, Erin Marie Smith, in marriage? Do you vow to trust and honor her, to love her faithfully, through the best and the worst, for as long as you both shall live?

[Josh: “I do”]

[Josh's vows]

In your eyes, I have found my home.

In your heart, I have found my love.

In your soul, I have found my mate.

With you, I am whole, full, alive.

You make me laugh.

You let me cry.

You are my breath, my every heartbeat.

You always know how to make me smile.

You are my inspiration, my encouragement.

You are the most thoughtful person I know.

You are my best friend.

I am yours.

You are mine.

Of this I am certain.

And I pledge my love, devotion, faith, and honor

As I join my life to yours.

Joshua, please take this ring and place it on Erin’s finger.

Erin, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to this man, Joshua Fairchild, in marriage? Do you vow to trust and honor him, to love him faithfully, through the best and the worst, for as long as you both shall live?

[Erin: “I do”]

[Erin's vows]

In your eyes, I have found my home.

In your heart, I have found my love.

In your soul, I have found my mate.

With you, I am whole, full, alive.

You make me laugh.

You let me cry.

You are my breath, my every heartbeat.

You make me feel loved each and every day.

You are the answer to my prayers, my partner in all of life’s adventures.

You have the biggest heart in the world.

You are my best friend.

I am yours.

You are mine.

Of this I am certain.

And I pledge my love, devotion, faith, and honor

As I join my life to yours.

Erin, please take this ring and place it on Joshua’s finger.

Breaking of the Glass

 

Now, we will conclude the ceremony with an ancient Jewish tradition: the breaking of the glass.

There have been many stories explaining the breaking of the glass. For those of us here today, it serves to remind us of several very important aspects of a marriage. The bride, groom and everyone present should consider these marriage vows as an irrevocable act, just as permanent as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable.

It also serves as a reminder of the sanctity of marriage, and that the love of the bride and groom should last for as many years as there are shards of glass, which are countless. It also symbolizes the transforming experience that marriage creates, leaving the bride and groom forever changed.

As Joshua breaks this glass, we ask you all to shout “Mazel Tov” to wish the couple good luck as they begin their lives together.

 

 Closing

With the power vested in me by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss the bride.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Mr. & Mrs. Fairchild.

Now, go in peace and forever Celebrate Love!

[Bride and groom walk out to Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Michael Buble]

Comments

  1. Erin O'Brien says

    That last photo is priceless! I love it! Also love how you made your ceremony extra special with so much personalization; that’s the way to go.

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