October 15, 2022

Perfectly Planned – Custom, Family Commitment & Sand Ceremony


Welcome! Good afternoon, my name is Juli. It’s a pleasure to be with you today as we gather to celebrate the wedding of Erin and Scott.

Assembly Address

Today is a day of hope and joy: a day in which Erin and Scott demonstrate their commitment and love for one another. A day that has been 4 years in the making all because they both “swiped right”. All of our yesterdays have led us here, to this moment in time.  

You may think that after all that Scott and Erin experienced before they met that they would not believe in love any more.  But their souls were destined to find each other once again and the love was instant and more powerful than could ever be described.  They sense that they have had many lifetimes shared together – Erin once apologized to Scott by saying “I’m sorry I took so long to find you again.”

Shortly after they met they travelled to New York.  It was here that they realized how deeply they were falling in love.  After a few days Scott had to fly home while Erin had to stay behind for work.  On the plane Scott wrote Erin a beautiful love letter.  Erin wrote him back when she was finally on the plane coming home as well.  She has asked me to share a bit of what she wrote that day:


*personal letter inserted here*

That was four years ago and here you stand now.  Surrounded in love for each other – and for all of you, their children, as you come together as a family unit.  A bond that cannot be broken, bent, or even weakened. Today we create history as your family changes and grows.

*Invite kids to share a story

It is not the extraordinary things that make life worthwhile but the love that we share with those around us.  There is an art to love, so let us be reminded that,

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, always perseveres. Love never fails.   

Marriage Address

Today, as we celebrate love, commitment, friendship and family and two people who are in it forever, let us be reminded of the journey.  Just as you have conquered all the days behind you, lived, loved and learned, may you meet each day ahead of you with anticipation knowing that together you are stronger, wiser and supported. 

Today is one of the most important moments that happen throughout our lives, and this moment is highly regarded as we share it with those that we love.  Why?  Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great unifier – no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. 

Marriage is a commitment to life with each other forever – a commitment that isn’t always easy.  Yet, it’s in the ups and downs, the times of trouble and need that together a bond is forged, strong enough to withstand whatever the road ahead may bring. Love is about knowing when it is time to lead and when it is time to follow, but mostly it’s about two people walking through life side by side. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love. Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.

Expression of Intent and Consent

Now just a few questions. First for you Scott:

Scott, you have chosen Erin to be your wife. Will you love and respect her? Will you be honest with her always? Will you stand by her through whatever may come?

(I will)

Erin,  you have chosen Scott to be your husband. Will you love and respect him? Will you be honest with him always? Will you stand by him through whatever may come? (I will)

Do you both promise to care for each other during the joys and sorrows of life; and to share the responsibility for the growth and enrichment of your life together? (We do)

Scott and Erin, prior to this moment you each have walked separate paths.  After today, you will embark on a shared path.  And yet, the journey is not yours alone.  You have been blessed with wonderful children – *names inserted* – and it is the strength of your love that will bind and nourish you all together as a family. Today is a special moment where you not only commit yourselves to one another as husband and wife but it is also a moment where your families become one. So as we begin today’s celebration, I would like to ask you – is it your intention to not only unite together but also unite your families this day and forever? (It is.)

Affirmation of Family and Friends

And to *children’s names* , you are being drawn together by love and held together by devotion.  From this day forward you shall be a united family. So I ask, do you offer to love and respect Scott and Erin and the commitment they are making today? Do you promise to support their relationship and this new family? Do you promise to do everything in your power to help this family grow and thrive over time? (We do.)

Dave and Karen, you form a community of support that surrounds Erin and Scott. Your presence here today is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other. Do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage and bless this new family created by their union? (We do)

Exchange of Vows

This is the union of two individuals in heart, body, mind, and spirit, Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently, honestly, and deliberately. Scott and Erin, we now come to your vows. What you promise today must be renewed tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you.  

Scott, repeat after me, 

It is my intention to be your best friend, to respect and support you, to be patient with you, to work together with you to achieve those things that are important to us, to accept you unconditionally, and to share life with you throughout the years.

Erin, repeat after me, 

You love and complete me in ways I never knew possible. I promise to listen to you and learn from you, to support you and accept your support. I promise to love you for who you are, and for who you are yet to become. I promise to be patient, and to remember that all things between us are rooted in love. 

Blessing of the Hands/Rings

These are the hands of your best friend, 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 you build your future.

These are the hands that will love you and cherish you, will comfort you like no other and hold you when fear or grief fill your mind.

These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children and help you hold your family together as one.

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 giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Let these rings be a token of your vows, to symbolize that your love has a past, a present and a future within you both. And as you wear these rings upon your hands, may you always be reminded that your hands and hearts are joined together as one, forever.

Scott, please repeat after me: 

Erin, with this ring, I give you my heart.  I promise from this day forward that you shall not walk alone.  May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.  With all that I am I honor you.

Erin, please repeat after me:

Scott, with this ring, I give you my heart.  I promise from this day forward that you shall not walk alone.  May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.  With all that I am I honor you.

Now may those who wear these rings live in love all their days.

Declaration of Marriage

Scott and Erin, we have heard your promise to share your lives in marriage; we recognize and respect the vows you have made here this day before each one of us as witnesses. Therefore, in the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, it is my honor to declare you husband and wife.

“You may seal your vows with a kiss”

Sand Ceremony

Scott and Erin have asked to do something special as a family now.  Your first act as a new family is to participate in a sand ceremony. (Gather around sand pouring station or registry table)

Since your lives have crossed paths, you have formed ties between each other. Today we symbolize the blending of your lives into one family. Your relationship are symbolized through the pouring of these containers of sand; each representing all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

Each jar of sand holds its own unique beauty, strength, and character, just as you each bring your own uniqueness to this family.  These jars of sand can stand on their own and be whole, without the need of anything else. And yet, when the sands are blended together they represent an entirely new relationship. Just as each grain of sand brings to the mixture a lasting beauty, you too will enrich this new family medley. 

(Family members pick up the containers of sand and begin pouring) 

As you now combine your individual sands together, your lives also join together as one family.  The life that each of you have experienced until now, individually, will hereafter be united as one family drawn together in love and strength.

Affirmation of Marriage & Family

May your journey down the road of life together be blessed. We don’t know what lies ahead for the road turns and bends, but may you always make the best of whatever comes your way.  May you feel gratitude in your hearts for the love that you have found in each other and may you make a home together that is a place of light and truth, a place of beauty, a place of joy and happiness for all the days of your lives. May your family be blessed forever.

Signing of the Register

Introduction of the Couple

We’ve been waiting and watching for this moment, so get ready to put your hands together and make some noise for the newly married couple. It is a personal privilege and a great honor to be the first to introduce the newly married couple Mr. & Mrs. …!

Champaign Toast

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