Highway to Happiness: The Rings and the Rest

Since the vows were, of course, the only thing we didn’t go over as part of the rehearsal, after they were said the rest of the ceremony felt like a downhill slide all leading up to the kiss.

All images via Pink Shutterbug Photography
All images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Jennifer and Todd will now exchange rings to symbolize their commitment. Rings are derived from humble beginnings of imperfect metal to create something striking where there was once nothing at all. It is customarily worn on the ring finger as it was believed that a vein ran straight from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart. The wearing of the rings is a visible, outward sign that they have committed themselves to one another.

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We each, in turn, took our ring book, untied the ring and placed it on each other’s hand while repeating the following:

I offer this ring, symbol of unity and eternity,
as a token of the love I am declaring here today.
I offer with this ring my own commitment to you,
my loyalty and my love.
I promise to be a good partner for as long as love lasts.

Thanks to some very helpful commenters when I last posted about the wine blending, I’d stumbled across the perfect song for this part of the ceremony: Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, the biggest challenge was deciding which version to go with. There were several instrumental and choir renditions out there, but the one I was most charmed by was by Johnny Cash. We’d put an explanation in the program about the ceremony, rather than have Friend-ficiant L have to narrate what we were doing, and it was a nice little pause.

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Then it was time for the final piece of the ceremony puzzle: the handfasting. Even though this is becoming more and more popular among today’s couples the majority of our guests had never witnessed it before. Everyone found it fascinating, though, so I guess that’s point for us for putting on a good “show” for our guests.

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Jennifer and Todd have chosen to conclude the ceremony with a handfasting. In centuries past, when towns were spread out and priests would travel from place to place, there wasn’t always an official handy when a couple wanted to be wed. Necessity being the mother of invention, couples would bind their hands together in a simple ceremony to declare their intentions, with the community as witness to the new union. This is where we get the phrase “tying the knot.”

In a collaborative effort not unlike the marriage we are here to witness, both Jennifer and Todd have had a hand in creating elements of this rite. Jennifer created the cord in the style of three intertwining vines, one each for the past, the present, and the future. Once tied these cords will reside in a wooden box Todd made specifically for this purpose and will have a place of honor in their home together.

Jennifer and Todd, please join hands, right to right and left to left, forming the symbol of infinity. Like a stone may your love be firm; like a star may your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Enjoy closeness, but retain your individuality. Support one another with patience and understanding. Freely give of your affection and warmth.

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May this cord draw your hands together in love, may the vows you have spoken today remain sweet in your mouths.

As your hands are joined, so are your lives.

By the power vested in me, and by the love you both possess and profess, I now pronounce you husband and wife. It is my great honor and privilege to be the first to present to you Todd and Jennifer [Road Trip].

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You may start your marriage with a kiss.

And there we were: married!
And there we were: married!

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