Wedding Ceremony in a garden – abbreviated

Welcome, a warm welcome to you all, to this beautiful garden and to the marriage of …
I am Kerry-Ann Stanton – celebrant today.

“Love is friendship that has caught fire.
It’s quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It’s loyalty through good times and bad.
It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowance for human weakness.
If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that you lack.
If you don’t, no matter what else there is – it’s not enough”.

Marriage, for …, is a natural continuation of the relationship they enjoy so much now…
Today they promise to make love an ongoing choice. Choosing to marry is a powerful public declaration of what is essentially an intimate and personal relationship.  … know deeply that they are happy in who they are independently and don’t need one another to be happy in life. They choose to marry as a union of equals because being together has a synergy, a multiplying of happiness and is a celebration of their relationship. They are committed to living into a shared future. 

Reading written by a friend

Rings and Hand fasting – please turn and face each other, rings and hand fasting cord to be brought forward.

…, knowing that the magic and mystery of marriage will continually surprise, challenge and delight you, that strength and wisdom will be required of you everlastingly, do you still choose happily and in our midst to make the promises of marriage?
We do

Thank you.  So I ask …
… if it is your wish to give yourself in marriage to … as her husband please place your ring in her hand.
… I invite you if you wish to receive … as your husband to place his ring on his finger

Vice versa. Thank you both.


Handfasting is a traditional Celtic ceremony which involves the tying of the bride and groom’s hands together symbolising their coming together and their staying together.

As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound. Woven into this cord, are all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together. With the entwining of this knot do I tie all the desires, dreams, love, and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for all the days given you. May this cord draw your hands together in love, never to be used in anger. May the vows you speak never grow bitter in your mouths. Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad, and watch as your strength grows. Remember that it is not this physical cord, but what it represents, that keeps you together.

In that spirit I invite you to exchange your vows

Vows – please repeat after me

I, …, willingly take you … as my wife/husband. In the presence of our family and friends I declare my love for you and my desire to be together always as husband and wife.
I promise to love you unconditionally,
To honour and respect you,
To laugh with you and to cry with you.
I will support you in your goals and dreams and help you to fulfil them.
I will cherish the good times whatever life may bring.
From my heart I will seek to be open and honest with you.
I will treasure our friendship and love you today, tomorrow and forever.

…, you have exchanged rings, hand fasted and made promises of marriage before us all.

Unfast here

By the authority invested in me I now declare you husband and wife. Congratulations! KISS!

Reading – to be read by …

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, 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 together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless time wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family 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.


“May your marriage bring you all the excitements that a marriage should bring, and may life grant you patience, tolerance and understanding
May you always want one another, but not out of lack
May you always need one another but not out of weakness
May you look for ways to praise, often say I love you and take no notice of small faults
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy
But most of all, may you have love, and may you find it in loving one another”

Sign the register – witnesses are …

Family and friends I present to you …

Procession out to “I want to love you.”