I am going to include here in this post, part of the ceremony Philip and I wrote for our wedding ,that related our beliefs and aspirations in marriage. First is the address that our minister gave, which we had all worked through together. Secondly are our vows. I am including this within this blog for two reasons; firstly, it states very clearly where we both feel we are with sharing and expressing Love with each other in God, our wider families and communities and all those people who come into contact or know of us. And secondly; perhaps it will help others who may be thinking of committing to sharing their life with another in a public ceremony in the witness of God in whose Heart we all reside.
Address by Judi: Why Get Married?
Philip and Stephanie chose this very special place because they want their marriage to feel right for their choosing, as always, of their own individual approach, rather than following tradition. And so they have created this service to reflect their true and honest feelings about their very special and sacred day.
You have both found a way to answer this question in a way that suits your personalities, and your values, and now I am asking you again, so that you can be sure of your answer, certain of your understanding, and firm in your commitment to each other.
Philip and Stephanie; it is my understanding that you are not entering this marriage for reasons of security. You believe that the only security is not in owning or possessing, nor in being owned or possessed, but rather, in knowing that everything you need in life, all the wisdom, the insight, the power and all the strength resides within God and within each other, and that you are not marrying each other in the hope of receiving these gifts, but rather, giving them, so that the other may have them in greater abundance.
And it is my understanding that you are not entering marriage as a means of in any way limiting, controlling, hindering or restricting each other of any true expression and honest celebration of that which is highest and best within each other. Rather, you are marrying in order to more fully realise yourselves as growing individuals, different today from yesterday. You are marrying in order to more fully communicate this growth so that your relationship will remain vital, vibrant and creative.
Finally it is my understanding that you do not approach this marriage out of any sort of obligation, you do not see it as producing obligations, rather you see this marriage as providing opportunities for growth, for creativity, for self-expression, for lifting your lives to their highest potential and for supporting each other to make real, the hopes you share.
This is a journey through life with the one you love as an equal partner, sharing equally the authority and responsibilities inherent in any partnership, bearing equally whatever burdens may come and basking equally in the glories.
Tell me, is this the vision that you wish to enter into?
The Vows We each made to each other:
I, [Philip/Stephanie], take you [Stephanie/Philip] to be my wife/husband, my partner in life and my one true love. I will treasure our friendship and love you always. I will trust and support you in all that you do. I will give you room to grow and keep my heart and mind open to you. For better or worse I will stand by you faithfully and share your laughter and your tears. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to share.
Exchange of Rings:
A circle is the symbol of the Sun, the Earth and the Universe. It is a symbol of perfection and peace. It is also a symbol of the eternity of Truth, Love and Life, of that which has no beginning and no end.
The photo below is taken in the gardens of Newbold House. Philip, Me and my youngest son Dudley, who walked me to my husband with his blessing.