Full Circle Celebrations
Sample Ceremony: The Marriage of Diane and Simon
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Antonia Horozides and I am a civil celebrant.
On behalf of Diane and Simon I welcome you. Today as we look at these beautiful lilies we are reminded of all things beautiful in our world. We take this moment to not only marvel at the beauty of nature and the joy it brings us to see something as delightful as these lilies in bloom but to also be reminded of one of life’s other joys – the sharing of one’s life with another person. It is this choice to invite love, joy and beauty into their lives that Diane and Simon come here today, before their most treasured friends and family, to declare their commitment to each other through marriage.
We are also joined by John and Elisabeth, Simon’s two children, who are here today to stand by their father as they unite as an extended family.
Presentation of the Bride
The tradition of giving away the bride doesn’t seem to have a place in modern society however this ritual is about the bride’s family sanctioning the marriage. Today, as a representative of Diane’s family, Roger, Diane’s father has taken on this role.
Roger you have bought Diane here today to marry Simon. Do you give this marriage your blessing?
Roger: I do.
We all know the great love of nature shared by Diane and Simon. I would like to tell you a story about how nature can be mischievous and the role nature played to bring Diane and Simon together. One stormy night Diane is making her way to a lecture on organic gardening. She thought better of venturing outside on this particular evening given the torrential rain – but who would have thought Melbourne would experience such rain in the middle of summer! For those who knew Diane back then she was still driving her much beloved Holden which should have been retired many years before then and of course if your car is going to break down, Murphy’s Law would say it would do so on a dark stormy night. And so it did. Diane is stranded and in her rush to leave the house forgot her phone. She is parked on the side of the road, the bonnet up and no idea of what she is to do. She sees a car approaching and is terrified – she is alone on the side of the road, no phone and nowhere to go. The driver pulls over and gets out of his car. Diane was much relieved when she realises she recognises the man approaching her. It is one of the men from the local gardening club. She doesn’t know his name but she has seen him at a number of local gardening events with his son and daughter. He too has remembered seeing Diane. He kindly offers to call RACV for her and to wait with her until they arrive. Simon notices the Celtic cross Diane is wearing around her neck and asks her about it. Diane speaks passionately about her love of all things Celtic – which is a passion shared by this man also.
This man of course is Simon. Delighted by their conversation and a promise to catch up again, they exchange email addresses. By the time Diane gets home from having her car fixed, Simon has emailed her, asking her out on a date. Their first date was to a Celtic festival and would you believe it – it rained through the entire event. Soaked from head to toe, Diane and Simon find a lovely coffee shop nearby and take refuge there. Four hours and several lattes later they realise that something special is happening between them. Simon knew he wanted to spend many more hours speaking with this gentle lady who shared his love of nature and a passion for Celtic traditions. Diane thought she never meet any man as kind and easy to speak with as Simon. And that ladies and gentleman is how nature played a role in bringing these two people together.
Today Diane and Simon have chosen this beautiful lake and surrounds as a symbol of their desire to be one with nature and to live as one as man and wife.
Diane and Simon have asked Jose, Diane’s cousin to read a Celtic Wedding Vow. These words hold special meaning for Diane and Simon and are one of their favourite pieces of work. Today they wish to share it with us also as a means to express their commitment and intentions.
Celtic Wedding Vow
by Morgan Llywelyn
You cannot possess me for I belong to myself,
I pledge to you that yours will be the name
This is my wedding vow to you
“I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage according to law, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”
Commitment to Children
Before Diane and Simon make their commitment to each other they firstly wish too openly declare their commitment to Simon’s children.
Simon: John. I love you and will always love you. And even though you are a grown man and have your own life I will always be your dad. I am very proud of you and what you have achieved. You have been such a great big brother to Elizabeth – you are always looking out for her and are there whenever she needs you. I really appreciate that.
Elizabeth, my sweet daughter, you are a remarkable person and watching you and Diane getting to know each other and sharing “girly time” together has been wonderful. I know the past few years haven’t been easy for us a family and the strength you have shown has been outstanding. I am proud of you and love you very much.
Diane: John and Elizabeth. I love you both and your dad very much. I am lucky to have not only have one but three wonderful people come into my life. I truly feel blessed. Thank you for welcoming me into your family. We have had many laughs together, including some of the silly things your dad does every now and then, and I look forward to more laughs together in the future.
Simon: John and Elizabeth. We give you these necklaces as a symbol of our commitment to always be there for you, to support you with your choices and to provide with guidance to help you be the best person you can be.
(Simon places necklace on Elizabeth and Diane places necklace on John).
Simon, will you take Diane to be your wife? Will you love, cherish, respect and honour her, standing by her in good times and in bad for the rest of your life together?
Simon: I will.
Diane, will you take Simon to be your husband? Will you love, cherish, respect and honour him, standing by him in good times and in bad for the rest of your life together?
Diane: I will.
Ritual and Vows: (Hand fasting ritual will be performed. During the ritual the bride and groom will exchange vows)
We’ve come to the point in the ceremony where I ask you to pledge your vows to one another. You have chosen hand fasting ritual as your rite of passage into marriage.
The tradition of hand fasting dates back many hundreds of years and was considered a marriage ceremony in its own right. This is where the saying “tying the knot” comes from. Diane and Simon have chosen this ritual today as a dedication to their spiritual path in the Celtic tradition.
Diane and Simon have created this Hand fasting braid. It represents the gifts that each of them bring into the marriage to share with one another. These are the ties of love. The green, the white and the red are symbols of hope, faith and charity.
This marriage is a rite of passage, and as the past is left behind, this couple now walk together bound by the ties of love.
This silken ribbon close entwines,
Two hearts in love together,
Friendship’s dearest pledge is made in joy forever,
Hand in hand you shall strive for achievement in life together.
Should the path be rough and thorny-
Let love sustain and guide you.
Should the way be strewn with roses -
Let the joy of life sustain you.
As your hands are joined, so your lives are joined – holding each other, loving each other.
Simon: I Simon James O’Laughlin call upon the persons present here to witness that I, take thee, Diane Ellen Flemming, to be my lawful wedded wife. Diane I promise to love you now and forever. I am looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together. I will always be truthful; I will respect your wishes and the choices you make. I know that our love, like the amazing gardens you create, will always be something beautiful to behold.
Diane: I Diane Ellen Flemming call upon the persons present here to witness that I, take thee, Simon James O’Laughlin, to be my lawful wedded husband. Simon, I too promise to love you now and forever. You are my best friend and lover and I will always honour you, be strong for you and will care for you.
With this lovers knot you two are joined in oneness,
Gentle are the bonds of this union, pull one way and the bonds are strengthened, pull the other and they are loosened. Once the knot is tied and placed in the pouch, the knot is tied forever.
Simon, what symbol do you have a pledge of these vows.
Simon: I have this ring. Diane, like this circle my love and commitment to you in never ending.
Diane, what symbol do you have a pledge of these vows.
Diane: I have this ring. Simon, like this circle my love and commitment to you in never ending.
Diane and Simon, may your lives today be joyous and may all your dreams come true. May the word spoken here today stay true in your hearts and be supported by your actions. You have taken your vows, exchanged rings and are tied in love forever. I am therefore delighted, by virtue of the power invested in me to pronounce you husband and wife. And as husband and wife you may now kiss.
Signing of Register
Ladies and gentle, we will now pause the ceremony for the signing of documents. Could I please ask that you keep your place for the next 10 minutes.
Ladies and gentle it is with great pleasure I present Mr and Mrs O’Laughlin. You may come forward and congratulate the happy couple.
Amanda Samson and Tania Horozides are Registered Civil Celebrants