When my husband proposed to me so many things went through my head. There was so much excitement and love about the thought of spending the rest of my life with him. There was an undeniable feeling of comfort (that still remains) in knowing that he would be by my side through it all. There was a joy in me that made me want to scream off the rooftops “this is my fiance!!!”. I wanted everybody to see my ring, not because it was big or blingy, but because it was given to me by him with love; and I wanted the world to know.
The excitement of the engagement never wore off, it is still here and I hope it always will be; but I did have to take a break from showing off my ring to plan my wedding. Some people find the process of planning a wedding to be very daunting and I even hear some brides say “I just can’t wait until it is over”.
I never felt like that. I enjoyed every moment of our wedding planning. Even the times of stress were a bit enjoyable because I was working with my future husband to plan the beginning of our journey as husband and wife.
The ceremony was one part of the wedding that I paid extra attention to. I wanted it to be as personal as possible and very representative of me and my husband and both of our families. So, instead of using a ceremony scripted by someone else we decided to create our own.
The first step was finding the perfect person to officiate the ceremony. This was the easiest part. We knew that we wanted my oldest brother to have this very important role in our wedding… it was not even a question. My brother Ron is a very special person to me and has achieved so much in his lifetime. We were blessed to have him with us that day to deliver a beautiful sermon and also carry out my wishes for the ceremony. It was my fairy tail.
I could go on and on about every little detail that made it special to us but for this Wedding Wednesday I thought I would share with you what we chose to do during the lighting of the Unity Candle.
My cousin Shelley has a very calming and matter of fact voice. She is one of the few people that can look at me and say “Oh Liz, you have to think about it from their perspective” while making me feel like she is still on my “side”. I knew she would be perfect for what I had in mind.
I found a wedding poem by Edmond O’Neal and added to it just a bit to create a reading for Shelley to help us transition into the lighting of the Unity Candle. Please feel free to use anything you like in your ceremony.
(In the program it was listed as “Response of Family and Friends”)


photo by Jimmy Haire Photo


Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemblethe tender caring of a parent or child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life,  new experiences, new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life. When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people
who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.
Today Ross and Elizabeth make this commitment of marriage to each other. As a symbol of their love they will use the traditional unity candle. The two lit candles on the sides are representative of Ross’ family and friends and Elizabeth’s family and friends. The unlit candle in the middle is a representation of the union of Ross and Elizabeth in marriage and the family that will begin today. They will not extinguish the candles that they use to light the unity candles. They instead openly and fully acknowledge the desire and need to have their family and friends support them and encourage them to always maintain a Christian marriage.
Would the family and friends of Ross and Elizabeth please stand?
Our commitment as family members and friends of Ross and Elizabeth is important. Now more than ever Ross and Liz will need the support from all of us. Marriage is not always a bright, cheery path. There are times when events cast shadows on our lives and there will be times when a shadow will be cast on the marriage of Ross and Liz. It is during these times that we must step forward as people that love them and guide them and encourage them not to falter.
If you commit to inspire Ross and Elizabeth in their marriage please say I DO
If you commit to support their righteous decisions and discourage their hurtful decisions, please say I DO
If you commit to be their glue in times of heartache please say I DO
If you commit to celebrate with Ross and Elizabeth during joyous occasions please say I DO
Thank you, please be seated
As we witness the remaining wedding ceremony of Ross and Elizabeth keep in mind that you have been asked to participate in this union for a very special reason. You will be witnesses of their marriage, the beginning of a new family, and a beautiful couple growing old together.
(from that point Grow Old Along With Me began playing and we lit the Unity Candle)
I know, I know… It’s long, but hey; you only get married once!
Thanks for your time,