A Foxy Fête: Take Me By The Hand and Stand By My Side

I truly loved our ceremony (despite being a bit fuzzy about it). Officiant Em did an amazing job of taking all the aspects we wanted, creating a template, and letting us add/change/adjust things as we saw fit. The whole thing was really so very personal for us, but something our guests really seemed to enjoy and relate to, as well. (Admission: we also totally used the book The Wedding Ceremony Planner  for much of the layout and actual phrasing—I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to somewhat develop their own ceremony like we did!) Anyway, for these reasons, I’ve decided to go ahead and share the entire thing with you. (I also know that I, personally, found written-out ceremonies here on the ‘bee to be an incredible help when trying to create our own.) So get ready…it’s a doozy of a post! (On the plus side, there’s tons of pictures. Woot!)

All photos by Exclamation Imagery unless otherwise noted.

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{Welcome}

Officiant Em: Welcome everyone! Please be seated. On behalf of Stephanie and Scot, thank you for joining us on this beautiful afternoon. We have been invited here today to share with Stephanie and Scot a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, they have become more than a couple – they have become each other’s other half, they have become soul mates. They have been strengthened by their ever growing love and understanding of each other. They have learned that they can depend on each other and on the power of their love, and that through each other, they are becoming better people. As they stand before us and unite in marriage, they are declaring to each other and to all of us present that they will be by each other’s side, no matter what life brings their way, from this day forward.

(Side note: As I mentioned in an earlier post, our wedding day was sunny as frick. If you haven’t noticed, Foxy and I are pretty fair-skinned. And despite asking Officiant Em at the last minute to bring her sunscreen so I could use it on our wedding day (since I forgot mine), I forgot to put it on. Just…keep that in mind.)

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As we begin today’s ceremony, Stephanie and Scot would like us all to recognize their family and friends who cannot be here today. They would especially like to remember Mary Jane ——- and Lucille ——–, Grandmother’s of the bride, who while no longer with us physically, are carried in our hearts. They would also like to take a moment to honor Reverend Robert —-, grandfather of the bride, who left this world and passed on just a few short days ago. We send our thoughts and prayers to all those not with us today.

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In honor of Father’s Day tomorrow, Stephanie and Scot would also like to recognize all of the fathers in attendance, especially their own, Martin —- and Mike —–. Thank you for your love, your encouragement, your commitment, and your steadfast presence in their lives – all of these have played such an essential part in who they are today. Both are extremely grateful for all you’ve done for them over the years, and are happy to be celebrating alongside you this weekend!

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(personal photo by a friend)

Stephanie and Scot’s good friend Gaby will now share a reading from Plato’s Symposium.

(Side note #2: I totally stole this reading from Mrs. Wizard—it has quickly become one of my favorites!)

Gaby: Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.

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To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now, but different. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three genders then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the Gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought for a way to end the humans’ insolence without destroying them.

It was at this point that Zeus divided the humans in half. After the division, the two parts of each desiring their other half came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

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Do you recognize some of these people..?!

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. Those whose original nature lies with the children of the Sun are men who are drawn to other men, those from the children of the Earth are women who love other women, and those from the children of the Moon are men and women drawn to one another. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

Understanding this ancient power of Love, let us call on men and women everywhere to follow this path, so that they may find their own true loves, which rarely happens in this world at present. I believe that if our loves were perfectly accomplished, and each one returning to their primeval nature had their original true love, then human beings would be healed and our world would be happy and blessed.

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Officiant Em: Thank you, Gaby.

{Declaration of Intent}

Officiant Em: Will the parents of Stephanie and Scot please stand?

To all of you, congratulations on the part you have played in raising a daughter and a son that we have all come to appreciate and respect. They accept a very mature and meaningful task in taking on this marriage. On their behalf, and on behalf of all those gathered here, thank you. It is more than just their lives that are joined here today; it is your lives as well.

Although Stephanie and Scot have embarked on this marriage through personal choice, their marriage will be enriched by the families from which they come. With this in mind, I ask you, Martha and Jimmy, Martin and Heidi, to take this man, Scot, into your hearts, that he might live from this day as your son, for he is dear and cherished to Stephanie and shall be so to you and your family. Do you?

Steph’s parents: We do.

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Officiant Em: And of you, Linda and Mike, I ask the same. I ask that you take this woman, Stephanie, into your hearts, that she might live from this day as your daughter, for she is dear and cherished to Scot, and shall be so to you and your family. Do you?

Scot’s parents: We do.

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Officiant Em: To the family and friends of Stephanie and Scot, you have a special purpose. You form the community of support that surrounds them each and every day. As cherished family and friends, it is you to whom they’ll turn in the coming years, whether in joy or in sorrow. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and support, not your judgment. Encourage them with your kindness and loving hearts, and honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined. When hard times come, and the loving support of friends and family is needed, Stephanie and Scot hope to be able to turn to you, just as they will turn to each other. They ask that you commit to them, as they are committing to one another. That just as they pledge to support and protect the other, you pledge to support and protect their relationship, today and always. Help them to keep their hearts open, full of forgiveness and compassion, of happiness and light. Do you offer Stephanie and Scot your blessing as husband and wife? Please say, we do.

Family & Friends: We do.

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Officiant Em: Parents, you may be seated.

{Vows}

(Side note #3: I attempted to have Foxy and I use Mrs. Cola’s vow libs template—basically a fill in the blanks, with the beginning of each “statement” already given for you to base it off of. I also had the aforementioned book readily available to both of us (I got a lot of my vows from there, truth be told), but I’m not so sure Foxy ever looked in it(!). My goal was for the vows to be similar, yet different, and not freak Foxy out too much (he really didn’t want to come with his own). Let’s just say my vows were about twice as long as his, hah! He was seriously a trooper, though. And he made me laugh, which I needed at that point!)

Officiant Em: Stephanie and Scot, please turn and share your wedding vows with each other.

Stephanie:

Scot, you are my best friend, my other half I never knew I was missing, the cheese to my macaroni. I am so blessed, knowing that I get to spend my life with you.

Thank you for always having faith in me and in us; for standing up for me when I’m weak, and supporting me when I’m about to fall.

I promise to always love you fiercely and to stand by you through the highest highs and the lowest lows. Wherever our path leads us, it will take us together.

I will laugh with you and cry with you; I will hold you when you are sad and smile with you when you are happy. I will be by your side through every single one of life’s challenges.

I vow to cherish you above all others and to respect our individuality; to always be true to you, while remaining true to myself. I vow to keep my heart open for now and always, to always be your home.

And I promise to love you for all that you are, all that you have been, and all that you are yet to be. I love you always, baby.

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Scot (as repeated after Officiant Em):

You are the one that brings out everything that is good inside of me.

Thank you for always being there for me.

And today, I promise to always be at your side.

I will try to act my age as much as I can.

I vow to always protect you and keep you safe—especially from zombies.

And I promise to always be there for you and to never let anything come between us.

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(photo by Mrs. Guinea Pig)

{Exchange of Rings}

Officiant Em: In honor of the vows Stephanie and Scot have made today, they have chosen to exchange rings. These rings are adornments, carefully chosen for their beauty and simplicity. They will quietly sit upon their fingers, reminding them of the power of love and the pledge they are making to each other to be faithful and true, and to nurture their love so it will last a lifetime.

Scot, please take Stephanie’s ring, place it on her finger, and repeat after me:

I give you this ring as a sign of our lifelong commitment, a sign of our unending love and faithfulness to remind me of the vows I have made this day, and a pledge to honor you and grow with you for the rest of our lives together.

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Stephanie, please take Scot’s ring, place it on his finger, and repeat after me:

I give you this ring as a sign of our lifelong commitment, a sign of our unending love and faithfulness to remind me of the vows I have made this day, and a pledge to honor you and grow with you for the rest of our lives together.

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Officiant Em: From this day forward, may these rings be your most treasured adornment, and may the love they symbolize be your most precious possession.

{Musical Interlude}

“I Do,” by Dashboard Confessional; arranged & performed by JCC and CJ

(For some reason, the sound quality is a bit funky when I ripped it from the video, but still – you should totes press play!)

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(Side note #4: I was dying during this song. Dying. CJ sang it, and OMFG he sounded like Chris Carrabba. I kept looking at MOH Copper, my fellow Dashboard lover, and neither of us could even deal. Ugh. Still dying.)

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{Hand Fasting}

Officiant Em: At this time, Stephanie and Scot would like to symbolize their union with a hand fasting ceremony. We welcome Scot’s sister, Shannon, to assist with this ceremony.

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In the joining of hands and the fashioning of a knot, so too are your lives now bound. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love. These are the hands that you hold on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other from this day forward, and these will be the hands that you hold tomorrow, and the next day, and into the next decade.

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These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your life together, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams. These are the hands that will touch you with love and tenderness through the years, and the hands that will comfort you like no others’ can.

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These are the hands that will hold you through grief, fear, and hardship. These are the hands that will wipe tears of joy and sorrow from your eyes, and the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will hold your family together, and that will give you strength when you need it.

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These are the hands, that when wrinkled and spotted with age, will still be reaching for yours. Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad, and watch as your strength grows. Remember that it is not this physical cord, but what it represents, that keeps you together.

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{Closing Remarks}

Officiant Em: Stephanie and Scot, today we have heard your promise to share your lives together in marriage. We recognize and respect the vows you have made before each one of us as a witness. There is a wonderful life ahead of you. Live it fully. Love its changes and choices. And let it amaze you and bring you great joy each and every day.

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(personal photo by a friend)

In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, and with the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church and the State of Maryland, I joyously affirm your union as husband and wife. You may seal your vows with a kiss!

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(personal photo by a friend)

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Officiant Em: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. & Mrs. Scot and Stephanie R—-!

(Cue our recessional music, Top of the World by The Juliana Theory!)

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Officiant Em: Please head to the main building for cocktail hour.

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Miss a recap? Catch yourself up!

It’s Wedding Week! – The week of the wedding started out pretty hectic, but we made it through (relatively) unscathed.

We’re Cool People (who had to deal with a slight change of plans) – On Friday, we made our way to the venue, had a relatable moment on the radio, and learned about some last minute changes that we made an effort to take in stride.

Practice Makes Perfect.. And Crabs Don’t Hurt, Either – After most everyone was settled in on Friday evening, we had our rehearsal followed by the best dinner ever – a Maryland crab feast!

Rise and Shine! – Wedding morning was soon upon us, and I woke up at the crack of dawn ready to get prettified.

Pretty Women – Over the course of the next several hours, myself and the girls hung out, got our hair and makeup done, had a photo shoot, and drank champagne.

Dressing Up – Soon enough, it was time for me to slip into my dress!

Dapper Dudes – At the same time, Foxy and his guys were ironing and getting into their suites – and Foxy was opening his wedding day gift!

The First of Many Looks – We had our first look, and both felt so much better after being able to see each other for the first time that day.

A School Bus Photoshoot – Our vehicle of choice for the day was a school bus, which we turned into a photo op both inside and out!

Smiles and Sun – The photos continued by the lighthouse and pier.. with sunglasses and a few funny stories along the way.

ALL The Family – We then met up with family at the lock house for even more pictures, and I started getting a bit antsy and having problems with my dress.

And Then There’s Us – I kinda-sorta-maybe forgot all about couple and bridal pictures. Thank goodness for our amazing photog reminding us!

Final Touches – Slight chaos then ensued in the minutes before the ceremony started, consisting of me getting sewn into my dress and the boys getting their bouts pinned on at the last minute.

And So It Begins – The guests arrive, the wedding party lines up, and the ceremony space is revealed – complete with programs, white knots, and bubbles!

All I Want Is You, Will You Be My Bride? – The time had finally come – we all made our way down the aisle while my stepdad and stepbro played and sang a beautiful, acoustic version of “All I Want Is You”.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Fox

Location:
Washington DC/Havre de Grace, MD
Wedding Date:
June 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    Valdrine 264 posts, Helper bee @ 6:13 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful ceremony, Mrs. Fox! It is so helpful to see what other people have done while sitting down to plan our own.

  2. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:04 pm

    Your ceremony was so sweet and your vows were just perfect!

  3. Member
    kbiceling 298 posts, Helper bee @ 9:09 pm

    You’re so beautiful, Mrs. Fox!

    Thank you for posting this! My fiance and I are writing our own ceremony, too, so I really appreciate posts like this. The flow of your ceremony was awesome and very sweet.

  4. Member
    bat 285 posts, Helper bee @ 5:44 am

    Oh wow, your ceremony is just so beautiful and well-written, Fox! I love it, and all the personal elements you incorporated into it to honor your family and friends. And your vows were amazing!

  5. Member
    bracelet 1419 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:56 pm

    So beautiful!

  6. Member
    madamebridal 1 posts, Wannabee @ 9:16 am

    It is absolutely to the point. Anyone who may be interested in wedding gowns may want to look at Allure gowns from this company:
    http://www.madamebridal.com

  7. Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:10 am

    @Valdrine & @kbiceling: I’m glad it might be of some help!! I took pieces and elements of so many other ceremonies – especially the reading that went with the hand fasting!

  8. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:27 pm

    I really like the ribbon you used for the handfasting ceremony.

  9. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:39 am

    YAYYYY @Mrs. Pony sighting!

    I love your ceremony, Mrs. Fox. And again, the colors in the sun – DYING.

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