Wedding Ceremony for Emma and Travis

Processional”Guitar music by Elijah

  • Groomsmen and Groom
  • Bridesmaids
  • Bride and father


Wedding is great Ischel’s crown:
O blessed bond of board and bed!
‘Tis marriage peoples every town;
High wedlock then be honoured!

(Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 5 with slight modifications)


Welcome to you all and thank you for attending this marriage ceremony. I’m Emma’s Uncle Steven, and I’ve been honored to be invited by her and Travis to conduct it.

The act we are about to perform together is universal. The words we repeat”some from the Bible, some from Shakespeare”have been uttered over and over for thousands of years. They lift us out of the flow of past, present and future into an interval of sacred time.

The space where we’ve assembled is sacred as well. Thousands of miles from home, we’ve all flown here through the air and endured an arduous jungle voyage to the edge of a foreign land and an unfamiliar sea, where ancient people erected fantastic cities devoted to ceremony and ritual.

It is this presence that the bride and groom will revisit whenever they remember their wedding in later life.

Sand and incense

Our ceremony begins as the groom and bride scoop handfuls of sand from this beach into a bowl they will carry with them back to their new home.

Now the mothers of the bride and groom scoop sand into the bowl.

Now the fathers of the bride and groom scoop sand into the bowl.

This act signifies the blending of two families, the interflow of two gene pools, the death of groom and bride as children and their rebirth as potential parents.

Now they light incense, transforming two separate bundles of sticks into a single cloud that envelops them and all of us, and then enters our nostrils, our lungs and blood.

As we read in the Bible:

Let the north wind blow,
the south wind too!
Let them spread the aroma
of my garden,
so the one I love
may enter
and taste
its delicious fruits.

(The Song of Songs)


Now, in full consciousness and without restraint, the bride and groom will declare their vows to one another in presence of all of us who have come to witness them, in words they have written that are stronger than any future circumstance.

Emma: I , Emma, cherish you, Travis, for being all that you are, all that you are not, and all that you can be. Know that I am here for you and that your pain will be mine and your joy mine as well.  All I ask of you is your love, your trust, your caring. I chose you to be my husband.

Travis: Emma, you are my perfect match, the one I want to be with forever.  Today I take you to be my wife. I promise that I will be faithful, supportive, and beside you in everything you do.  I vow to honor and love you always.  I am honored that you are standing here today making this commitment with me.  You are my best friend, you are the love of my life,  and I am going to try my best to keep you laughing for the next fifty years.

Now I will ask the bride and groom to reaffirm those vows.

Emma, do you pledge to love, honor and support Travis through good times and bad, happiness and grief, sickness and health so long as you shall live?

Travis, do you pledge to love, honor and support Emma through good times and bad, happiness and grief, sickness and health so long as you shall live?

As Shakespeare wrote:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

( Sonnet 116)

Ring Exchange

To further strengthen the bond that’s just been forged before us, Emma and Travis will now exchange rings to signify its completeness and perfection.

The ring Emma places on Travis’ finger has a heritage of special power. She was given it by Travis’ father. He was given it by his own father upon his deathbed. His father was given it by his brother upon his deathbed.

The ring Travis now places on Emma’s finger, he designed specially for her.


And now, by the authority conferred upon me by my niece and nephew and by those assembled here, I do pronounce you husband and wife.

And now I ask you to read from the Song of Songs and to seal the bond you have made in words with the language of your bodies.


Kiss me tenderly.
Your love is better than wine
And you smell so sweet
All the young women adore you.
The very mention of your name
Is like spreading perfume.


My bride, my very own
You have stolen my heart
Your love is sweeter than wine
The smell of your perfume
Is more fragrant than spices
Your lips are a honeycomb.
Milk and honey
Flow from your tongue.

(The bride and groom embrace)

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Emma and Travis Smith

Pictures of the wedding and preceding party

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