Photography by Chris Shum.
Marriage Ceremony of Jen & Skyler
Giving away the Bride:
Please stand to greet the bride. Who brings this woman to be married to this man? (Father of the bride answers) // You may be seated.
Welcome everyone to this very special ceremony on this magnificent day! We are gathered here in the presence of family and friends for the purpose of uniting Jennifer and Skyler in marriage. We are here to witness and honor your commitment to each other and to wish you every happiness in your future life together. Skyler and Jen wanted to thank you all for being here today and for your support over the years. They chose this site of the majestic Redwoods for the sacred energy that can be felt here. And this poem by Joseph B. Strauss from 1932 evokes the spirit of this extraordinary place.
Here, sown by the Creator’s hand,
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand;
No one clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.
The greatest of Earth’s living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.
This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awe-struck soul;
For here we sense life’s proper goal.
To be like these, straight, true and fine,
To make our world, like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, O traveler, on the knees,
God stands before you in these trees.
Redwoods can live for thousands of years, they are the largest living thing on Earth that descend from a line of trees that existed 110 million years ago. May the words spoken here today, and the choice of Skyler and Jen to enter into this marraige be a union as ever-lasting as these ancient trees. May their marriage provide love and support for each of them to expand into their greatest purpose. And may the joining of their lives, provide a sanctuary, where they feel secure to explore their individuality, as well as who they are together.
Words to the couple
Jen and Skyler, there are few occasions as sacred as the deep loving commitment of the marriage ceremony. May your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to you, and to your family and friends. May you always remember the beginning of your love for one another, take care of it, nurture it, and allow it to grow stronger in the years to come. May your love be as beautiful each day, as it is on this day of your wedding, and may all your wishes and dreams be fulfilled!
Lucia speaks and perhaps does a reading here.
Jen and Skyler, I invite you to join your hands together as we celebrate your commitment and honor the origin of our modern day expressions ‘tying the knot’ and ‘taking her hand in marriage’. They both originate from the ancient ritual of handfasting. So as I drape this sash over your joined hands, it symbolizes your two lives becoming one. Open your hearts, and look into each others eyes as you speak your marriage vows.
Jen, do you take Skyler to be your lawful wedded husband?
Please repeat these vows after me:
Skyler, with all my love, I take you to be my husband and my partner in life. I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you during the difficult times. I will cherish our union, and love you throughout all that life may bring us. I will be understanding, and trust in you completely. I will encourage you to reach for your dreams, and I will celebrate your successes. I promise to be your equal partner, In our loving, honest, relationship. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live.
Skyler, do you take Jen to be your lawful wedded wife?
Please repeat these vows after me:
Jen, with all my love, I take you to be my husband and my partner in life. I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you during the difficult times. I will cherish our union, and love you throughout all that life may bring us. I will be understanding, and trust in you completely. I will encourage you to reach for your dreams, and I will celebrate your successes. I promise to be your equal partner, In our loving, honest, relationship. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live.
May we have the rings please?
The marriage rings seal the vows of marriage and represent a promise of everlasting love. They are an outward, visible, symbol of an inward, loving, honor. The ring symbolizes the unbroken circle of love. Just like the ring of trees surrounding us now, love given freely has no beginning and no end.
Alternate Ring Ceremony Script
Jen, as you place the ring on Skyler’s hand, please repeat after me:
Skyler, I give you this ring in token of my devotion, to wear with love and joy. May it remind you of my love, and the promises we’ve made here today. I choose you, Skyler, to be my beloved husband. With this ring, I thee wed.
Skyler, as you place the ring on Jen’s hand, please repeat after me:
Jen, I give you this ring in token of my devotion, to wear with love and joy. May it remind you of my love, and the promises we’ve made here today. I choose you, Jen, to be my beloved wife. With this ring, I thee wed.
Gratitude Flower Offering
Jen and Skyler, I’d like to invite you to take a moment to turn around and take in all the love and beauty that is here for you. Your family and friends who traveled from near and far to witness your union and celebrate with you. And in this special moment, I know that you would like to acknowledge your parents with a flower offering as a way to express your gratitude to them for all the love and support they have shared with you throughout your lives.
Alternate Handfasting Ceremony Script
Jen and Skyler, You have declared before all of us that you will live together in marriage. You have made special promises to each other. You have symbolized your sacred bond by joining hands, taking vows, and exchanging rings. May you strive all your lives to meet this commitment with the same love and devotion that you feel today. Now that you have joined yourselves in matrimony, BY THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, I NOW PRONOUNCE THAT YOU ARE HUSBAND AND WIFE!
Skyler, you may kiss your lovely bride!
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m delighted to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Pierce!!!