The ceremony involved Mum and Dad giving me away. But preceding us where 4 bridesmaids, 1 pageboy (the other decided to throw a tantrum) and 1 ring bearer. This worked out perfectly, the Hubby's sister and SiL walked his nephew down (through a tunnel, along a limestone path and down the stairs) followed by my sister and MoH taking the ring bearer. I didn't really tear up at all, all I wanted to know was if my soon-to-be Husband was crying (he wasn't!).
The girls (and boys) walked down to Going to the Chapel and I walked down to Natalie Cole - This Will Be (An Everlasting Love). I wanted to do a bit of a boogie but I didn't manage to rope anyone else in so it was more an upbeat walk (with Mum trying to hold it together) to the top of the steps (we didn't walk down an aisle until the end of the ceremony).
We had an amazing celebrant who was really relaxed and into the ceremony which made all the difference. I've put our ceremony below (sans the poem by my Uncle because I'm not sure where a copy of that is): [everything in italics had to be said for legal reasons]
Diana: Family and friends, on behalf of Andreas and Jessica I welcome you here today on this happy occasion.
My name is X and I am duly authorised to solemnise marriages according to law in Australia.
Andreas and Jessica, you are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in all the world whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities, and to share love.
At the end of this ceremony, legally you will be husband and wife, but you still must decide each and every day that stretches before you, that you want to be married. Make such a decision and keep on making it, for the most important thing in life is to love and be loved.
Jessica and Andreas would now like to invite Heather to share a reading.
Union by Robert Fulghum:
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, 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, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a 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.
Diana: Thank you Heather. Andreas and Jessica would like to thank all their family and friends for being here to celebrate and lay witness to such an important milestone in their relationship.
Andreas and Jessica have been together for over 5 and a half years and to honour their commitment to each other they asked Jessica’s Uncle Ken to write a poem for them. Ken and Olive are the longest married couple here today. For Jessica and Andreas this poem will always symbolise the importance of commitment. Uncle Ken would you please read us the poem?
Uncle Ken: poem
Diana: Thank you Ken. 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 the law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Diana: Jessica and Andreas will now share their vows with us.
Andreas repeats after Diana:
I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Andreas X X, take you Jessica X X to be my lawful wedded wife. To honour you I would like to share these vows I have written in front of all of our family and friends:
I loved you because you were willing to let me into your house and give me a glass of water even though you had only ever seen my face full of paint.
I love you because you support me, believe in me, help me, trust me and above all, love me.
I will love you because I only see happiness in our future together and look forward to expanding our little family.
Jessica repeats after Diana:
I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Jessica X X, take you Andreas X X to be my lawful wedded husband. To honour you I would like to share these vows I have written in front of all of our family and friends:
I loved you because you let us have a third wheel on most of our first dates because you knew I was nervous.
I love you because you have to deal with my grumpy brain, crazy brain and baby brain and you still tell me that you’re the lucky one.
I will love you because you will be there with me every step of the way on our new journey as husband and wife.
Diana: Charlie can you please bring the rings for Andreas and Jess (Charlie leaves Amelia and brings rings). Before Andreas and Jessica exchange rings, I would like to ask that you all silently wish them well for their future together. (Wait a few moments). Thank you everyone.
Could the happy couple please turn and face each other.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
Andreas: I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my wife this day and forevermore.
Jessica: I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my husband this day and forevermore.
Diana: Andreas and Jessica, today you have declared before all of us your commitment to each other. You have made promises to each other and we have seen you symbolise your union by the exchanging of your rings. May your marriage be all that you need, all that you want and all that you dream of. May it be filled with lots of laughter, love and strength to overcome any obstacles that may arise in your lives together.
It is now my great pleasure to announce you husband and wife. Andreas, you may now kiss the bride!
Diana: We would ask that you all please enjoy the music whilst the newly married couple now signs the register. Could Inger & Hannah please join us as witnesses?
Signing of the registry
Ladies and Gentleman, girls and boys, it is with great pleasure that I present to you Mr and Mrs X.
More to follow :)