Inspirational Ideas & Helpful Hints

She said “YES” !!! What next?

So what next?? Here's a list to get you on your way and keep you on track to a beautiful and stress-free wedding!

Make the announcement: Tell your parents first, then start telling everyone - or take out a classified ad in the Herald.

Brainstorm: Sit down with your partner and dream up some ideas. Think about the style you’d like, whether it’s a beach bash, silver service in a ballroom or a ceremony on a mountaintop.

Draft a timeline: While you don’t have to set a firm date now, choose the month or season you want to marry in. Then you’ll know how long you have to get things organized. The size of your wedding determines where you’ll hold the party, how much it will cost and whether travel will be involved.

Create a guest list: Make your list with your partner and ask both families who is important not to forget. You will most likely cut this but use as your base.

$$$: Decide on your bottom line and if family can contribute. (Remember you can always make up costs by asking for koha contribution rather than gifts.)

Get organised: Buy a notebook and separate it into sections for each budget category. This way you can write down the amount you want to spend on the item and then note your expenditures. As you near your limits, you can start to figure out ways to cut costs.

Find your Celebrant:Find a Marriage Celebrant to officiate, make sure it's someone you can relate to and who suits your personal style.  

The Venue: Are you going to have your ceremony at your reception venue or different? It may be in your hometown, or for convenience a place that’s in between your homes and your parents’.  And then there’s the destination wedding; just make sure that everyone you really want to join you and your groom can afford to travel and is able to make it. Make sure you have a rain day alternative as well, just in case. Some couples find holiday homes in their area to rent. Search the internet, ask friends and family for ideas. Then start scheduling visits.

Photographer and videographer: The best ones usually book weddings many months in advance, so get on this one early. Get recommendations from friends, then research what kinds of shots you’d like to see—formal portraits and dancing shots or a candid, journalistic format. Always meet in person and ask to see other wedding albums the pro has done. Try not to go with a large studio - they sometimes interchange people so you may end up with a photographer you didn't meet who turns out to be a disaster. Look for photographers with a looser style and many package choices on offer. You don’t have to make up your mind right away. After the wedding, you may even want to get creative and make your own album - there are loads of online photo book options. It’s likely everyone will be going snap-happy with their cellphones. To avoid ending up with 300 nearly identical shots, give guests a few ideas (print up a card to place on each table). Suggest one photo of each couple at the table, some goofy dance pics and a surprise shot of their choice—all to be shared later. Candid photos by friends can be really cool and much more meaningful.

DJ/iPod/Musicians: Arrange to hear musicians perform before you book them. Make sure they agree to stick to the playlist you give them. Find out how they will dress and how many breaks they will take. Hiring a DJ is usually less expensive than a live band, but not always. And the old iPod is a great option with no budget attached.

Flowers and décor theming: Once you have your venues booked, you can decide on table arrangements and other decorations. A hotel ballroom might be a relatively blank slate, whereas a museum may need little more than simple centerpieces. If you can buy fresh stems at a local farm, ask a talented friend to help put together bouquets and centerpieces. Or ask your florist to incorporate tons of greenery to make fewer flowers look like a lot more. There are so many vibrant props available now - you may not even need the expense of flowers.

Caterer: You want to know how dishes will taste and look and how flexible the caterer is with menus and prices. Don’t be afraid to bargain; you can cut costs by limiting the number and kinds of hors d’oeuvres served at cocktail hour. Remember that sometimes going with a venue and hiring a caterer separately doesn't usually end up saving you money after hiring of tablecloths, china, glassware etc. A venue that has caterers onsite and provides all the gear will save you the hassle.

Cake Maker:  As with your caterer - make an appointment to taste test. Bring along lots of photo references you've found on Pinterest or magazines. Cakes are a bigger cost than you think so make sure you find the right cake baker for you.

Choose Your Bridal Party:
Explain to prospective bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers etc what the role requires, like planning the hen night and stag party and paying for their attire.
Tell each person they will need to commit a certain amount of time and energy—and if they can’t, it’s fine to decline.
Choose as many or as few people as you want - although the more people the more help you will have throughout the process and on your big day. It makes a huge difference.
Give your closest friends or relatives the key positions.
Include your partners relatives; it’s a diplomatic move that can only strengthen family relations - providing they are reliable. Choose wisely!

The Dress: Erase emotion, stay within the bounds of both budget and practicality. If it helps, bring your mum and an honest friend along with you. Decide which kind of shopper you are, and work accordingly. Online dress buying is an option - just make sure you use a site that has been recommended to you and get your dress measurements accurate - it can be cost effective or go horribly wrong if you don't do your research right. Don’t second-guess yourself. Think you’ve found The One? Then you probably have. Look no further—and relax.

Budget Management: No matter what your wedding budget may be, here’s a rough idea of how much is typically spent in each category. Keep in mind that the numbers are not hard and fast. Some couples may, for example, choose to spend more on photography and less on flowers. It’s up to you! The average cost of a New Zealand wedding is around $30,000 for a wedding held in a cost-effective venue with 100 guests.

    Reception: 40%
    Honeymoon: 14.5%
    Photography and videography: 10.5%
    Wedding attire: 7%
    Engagement rings and wedding bands: 6%
    Flowers: 5%
    Music: 5%
    Invitations: 2%
    Miscellaneous: 10%

Send your invitations: Your invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before the big day, so work backward from there to be sure you order in time. The basic invite announces the hosts of the wedding (whether that’s the two of you, your parents or a combination) and the place and time of the ceremony. It may include a card that gives the dress code, reception details, accommodation options, gift registry info and rsvp details. Get a sample of the invite before deciding to use it— and proofread! If you're having a destination wedding give your guests plenty of notice with a Save the Date card.

Beauty Regime: It’s easy to become so caught up in the planning that you forget one simple thing: you! So start now to create and stick to a self-care plan.

Exercise regularly and keep to a healthy diet. Even a 30-minute walk several times a week can be enough to keep you feeling energetic. To prevent fatigue, take a multivitamin everyday, especially if you’re skipping meals. Bring healthy snacks—almonds, a banana—along with you when you go shopping or to work.

Get plenty of sleep. Most brides-to-be find themselves having alot of late nights, but try your best not to skimp on sleep; not getting enough contributes to lowered immunity, and you don’t want to get sick now. Plus, well-rested gals always look their best.

Meet with a hairstylist. If you want to maintain your current cut and/or color, tell your regular hairstylist, and be sure you’re not due for an appointment the week before your big day (you should ideally have your hair cut and colored a couple of weeks prior). If this stylist will do your hair for the wedding, see her for a practice session or two to try a couple of hairdos. (If you’re wearing a headpiece or tiara, bring it along.)

Practice makeup. Smith & Caughey and Farmers beauty counters will give you a makeover; you usually have to book in and pay a fee redeemable against product.

I hope this helps get you started!

Top 10 Wedding Tips

I found these pieces of advice really helpful to keep in mind when I was planning my own wedding. I hope you find them useful as well. Take your time. So you have room for change. Make it fun. Keep a smile on your face & try not to be a bridezilla. Have faith. In your vendors. Everything will unfold exactly how it should. Expect the unexpected. Whatever happens, happens & perfection isn’t real life. Stay calm & carry on. After the unexpected happens, laugh about it & move on. Prioritise & Make lists. Don’t sweat the small stuff & take one thing at a time. Please yourselves. This is YOUR day – you can’t please everyone all of the time. Make it a team effort. Keep your partner involved & make the most of every offer of help. Be present in each moment. Enjoy each other & take it all in. Remember what’s important. LOVE. And 4 more good tips we can't leave out... Keep it simple. Try to simplify the process, don’t get caught up with intricate details. Be true. Let your personal style shine. Hire a co-ordinator. Let them worry about the details to ensure a seamless day. Eat, drink & be merry. Remember to enjoy yourselves & every aspect of the beautiful day you’ve created. The main thing to remember is that your wedding, like life, doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ as long as it is ‘true’.

How to include kids in your wedding

Whether they be your own children, family or friends children, there are so many neat ways to include kids in your Wedding, giving them special roles in your big day.

My favourite has to be the Wright family who I was lucky enough to marry on the 1st of January this year. Michael was marrying Maree and they were becoming a family including Maree's three cute kids! The two daughters walked Maree up the aisle where Michael and their son were waiting for them. After Maree and Michael exchanged rings Michael presented the children with some beautiful gifts to symbolise the start of their new life as a united family - it was just gorgeous (although their son was worried he was going to be given a pretty necklace like the girls as well!). The children remained at the altar throughout the ceremony with their eldest daughter reciting a poem before I pronounced them 'the Wright family' Michael!

Here are some other great ideas:
Traditionally children have been included in the bridal party as ring bearers, flowergirls, page boys or ushers.
Older children may like to be marriage partnersmaid or best woman/man.
Adult children may be witnesses to your marriage.
Children can also walk their parents down the aisle.
A special exchange could happen from parents to children - the girls could receive necklaces and the boys could be given age appropriate watches.
As we saw in the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt wedding - you could even have your children decorate your wedding dress! A less risky creative option however may be to let them make decorations to be included in your theming.
If your children are of a certain age appropriate vows could be crafted for them.

Unity Ceremonies are also an option which the entire family can be involved with. There is the Candle Ceremony, Sand Ceremony or Rose Petal Ritual which there are a few variations of.

For babies, you could theme their cot to match your wedding colours and have at the altar with you.
However you decide to include the children - just don't do this.

Ideas for Wedding Blessings

This is another opportunity for lovely reading of your choice, following the Ring Ceremony and leading to the conclusion of your marriage ceremony.

Choose a family member or friend to recite, or your Celebrant can do it for you.

For me and my Husbands wedding we asked both our mothers to do reading or a blessing.

My mother, who is of Native American heritage recited this for us:

Native American Apache Blessing
Now you will feel no storms, for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness, for each of you is companion to the other,
You are two persons, but there is one life before you, and one home.
Turn together to look at the road you traveled, to reach this
– the hour of your happiness.
It stretches behind you into the past. Look to the future that lies ahead.
A long and winding, adventure-filled road,
whose every turn means discovery, new hopes, new joys, new laughter,
and a few shared tears. May happiness be your companion,
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead;
And through all the years to come.
Go this day to your dwelling place and enter into your days together.
May your days be good and long upon the earth.
Your adventure has just begun!

Go As One
Let us take a moment of silence as we think of the love that ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ have for each other, and to remember that we all receive love and have love to give.
‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’, you have committed yourselves to one another in love, joy and tenderness. You stand on the threshold of a relationship experience that touches the richest meanings and deepest mysteries of human life.
We have all shared this moment with you and trust that you continue to grow in faith, hope and love.
‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’, go as one. May your unity last through all your life together, through trials and triumphs that lie ahead.
Go in love – our love goes with you.

Prayer for the Couple
‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’, before you take your vows we want to wish you the richest blessings that marriage can bring. So let us ask for the blessing on this marriage. Let us pray.
We are grateful for all that is important and precious in life. In particular, we are glad that ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ have decided to commit themselves to one another within the context of the marriage relationship.
Love is of the essence of life, and marriage provides a secure basis for love to develop and grow. We pray that the love ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ have for each other will never die, but deepen and increase as time goes by.
May their love and care for each other last a lifetime. May this act of marriage start them on a lifelong task of honest sharing and open communication. May their example of love show us meaning of loving acceptance and self-giving.

Closer to Heaven
Dear God/Higher Power/Buddha, please bless this couple.
May their love be nurtured by you, always and forever.
May this marriage be held in caring hands and ministered unto by your angels.
We dedicate this love to you.
May this man grow strong in the arms of this woman.
May this woman grow glorious in the love of this man.
May the earth be brought closer to heaven through this love.
May all the world be blessed hereby.

Wondrous Days
Family and friends, I would ask you now to join with me in asking for the blessings of happiness, peace, love and joy to surround ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ for all their wondrous days.
May they always look at each other with the love we witness today.

Give Thanks
Let us give thanks for the joy of this occasion, for the wonderful bond between these two people, for the sincerity of their vows and the strength of their spirits.
Let us give thanks for the ways in which love comes into our lives and for all the joys, the possibilities and challenges of marriage (and parenthood).
Let us give thanks for the homes from which ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ have come, and for the development of their unique personalities.
Let us wish ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ the grace to fulfil their Vows and intentions expressed today in lifelong, steadfast affection and ever-deepening love.
May the love and beauty of this marriage refresh the lives of all who have gathered here today, and may the vows made by ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ remind us of our love for others.
May the fondness we have for them grow in depth and meaning in the years to come.
‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ go in love, our love goes with you.

All Your Days Together
May the future fulfil the promise of today.
May the richness of your love grow and be shared forever.
As your wedding brings you happiness today, so may your marriage bring you continued love, fun and adventure through all your days together.

Irish Wedding Prayer
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Abundance
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

John Lennon’s Dream
Before I pronounce you marriage partners,
I have just one more thing I want you to do.
Your wedding day is one that seems to fly.
It’s a day filled with emotion friends, rings and dances.
Many people remember how fleeting their own wedding day was.
So I want you to take a few seconds to look into each others eyes.
Think about the happiness that you’re feeling in this place, in this moment.
Really let that feeling register in your heart and mind.
Now, I want you to think about your life together in twenty years.
Where are you? What are you doing?.
We all know that your visions of the future are not identical, but always complementary.
John Lennon once said “a dream you dream alone is only a dream,
a dream you dream together, that is reality”.

Native American Blessing
Above you are the stars,
below you are the stones.
As time does pass, remember;
Like a star should your love be constant.
Like a stone should your love be firm.
Be close, yet not too close.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with the other;
For storms will come, but they will pass quickly.
Be free in giving of affection and warmth.
Have no fear,
For the Great Spirit is with you, now and always.

Blessing of the Hands
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 times 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.

Your Journey
Bless this marriage, as ‘Bride’ and ’Groom’ begin their journey down the road of life together.
May they respect each others likes and dislikes, opinions and beliefs,
hopes and dreams, and fears even though they may not always understand each other.
May they rest in the knowledge that no matter what happens by holding on to each other things will work out for the best.
Most of all, help them to keep the torch of love burning with the fire that they now share in their hearts.

Grow Together
Thank you for this joyous day.
Thank you for the Light that has entered ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’s’ life.
Thank you for all the miracles and blessings.
Please bless this union.
Help ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ find the perfect place in this world for their love to flourish.
Let the radiant light of their love shine on all those around them.
May all their future creations be blessed.
Bless them with the inner gifts of trust, compassion, forgiveness and truth that they may live and grow together in love and peace.

Sweet Music
May you be blessed with Hope enough to keep sunshine in your love, and Fear enough to keep you holding hands in the dark;
May you be blessed with Unity enough to keep your roots entwined, and Separation enough to keep you reaching for each other;
May you be blessed with Harmony enough to keep romance in your song, and Discord enough to keep you tuning your love so it becomes sweet music to all who may hear it.

Kimberly Sanders  Lucky in Love Marriage Celebrant   Auckland
Get in touch

 

How to choose the right Celebrant

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life – and the official start of your exciting future together. It’s important you choose a Marriage Celebrant who puts you at ease and offers a high level of care, positive energy and lots of ideas to suit your personalities.

I just tied the knot myself recently and loved every aspect so much I wanted to do it all over again! (Except for someone else, as an Auckland Marriage Celebrant!) And because of my own recent wedding I know how crucial finding the right Celebrant is – they can make or break the atmosphere.

When my Husband and I were choosing our Celebrant the most important thing for us was getting the right fit with our personalities – someone professional, yet relaxed enough to make our day fun and memorable.

Finding your Celebrant
Word of mouth recommendations are great and we found our Auckland Marriage Celebrant online. New Zealand Weddings magazine is a great source too.

Book in plenty of time
Like photographers and venues, Auckland Marriage Celebrants get booked out up to a year in advance. Give yourself as much time before the big day as possible to find the Celebrant who is right for you. You can never start planning too early!

Meet your Celebrant
A good Celebrant will offer you an initial obligation-free consultation and to make sure whoever you choose is going to represent your partnership and love for each other well. You will just ‘know’ when you find the right Celebrant, like me and my husband did.

Check them out
Make sure your Celebrant is registered with the Department of Internal Affairs. And a member of the Celebrants Association of New Zealand like Kimberly is. Do your research on who they are and what their testimonials say about them.

Added value
Your Marriage Celebrant should give you lots of options and ideas to formulate your welcome, vows, readings and legal aspects. They will guide you through the process so you get the wedding ceremony you imagined. They should be available to answer all your questions and reassure you throughout the journey to your big day.

And I would love to be your Celebrant!

Ideas for Wedding Readings

Choose a quotation, piece of poetry or prose, or even lyrics from your favourite song to personalise your special day even more.

As long as it has special meaning to you or resonates with this amazing day, it will be a gorgeous addition.

A family member, friend or celebrant could recite this for you, or feel free to read something yourself. Here are just a few ideas for you:

Mirrors | Justin Timberlake
Aren’t you somethin’ to admire?
‘Cause your shine is somethin’ like a mirror
And I can’t help but notice
You reflect in this heart of mine
If you ever feel alone and
The glare makes me hard to find
Just know that I’m always Parallel on the other side
Cause with your hand in my hand
and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go
Just put your hand on the glass
I’ll be tryin’ to pull you through
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making two reflections into one
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow’s a mystery
I can see you lookin’ back at me
Keep your eyes on me
‘Cause it’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me
Girl you’re my reflection, all I see is you
My reflection, in everything I do
You are, you are the love of my life

What Is Love
Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies.
We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.
For love is the creator of our favourite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams.
Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places.
And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all – one known only by those who love.

Sonnet 116 | William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown,
although his height be taken.
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.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Union | Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry.
From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.
All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.
Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.

On Your Wedding Day
Today is a day you will always remember
The greatest in anyone’s life
You’ll start off the day just two people in love
And end it as Husband and Wife
It’s a brand new beginning the start of a journey
With moments to cherish and treasure
And although there’ll be time when you both disagree
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure
You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
When the secrets of marriage were spoken
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken
So live happy forever as lovers and friends
It’s the dawn of a new life for you
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
From the moment you whisper ‘I do’
And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real
May success find its way to your hearts
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
But today is the day it all starts.

Today
Today I will marry my friend
The one I laugh with and cry with
The one I have learned from and shared with
The one I have chosen to support
encourage and give myself to
through all the days given us to share.
Today I marry the one I love.

A Good Wedding Cake
4 lb. of love.
1 lb. butter of youth.
1/2 lb. of good looks.
l lb. sweet temper.
1 lb. of blindness for faults.
1 lb. of self forgetfulness.
l lb. of pounded wit.
l lb. of good humour.
2 tablespoons of sweet argument.
1 pint of rippling laughter.
1 wine glass of common sense.
1 oz. modesty.
Put the love, good looks and sweet temper into a well furnished house.
Beat the butter of youth to a cream, and mix well together with the blindness of faults.
Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling laughter and common sense.
Work the whole together until everything is well mixed, and bake gently for ever.

A Beautiful Life Together
Let love be your shelter,
For at times the world is a noisy and confusing place.
So make a home that is a haven, a peaceful place where you can
Listen to your hearts and savor the comfortable closeness you share.
No matter how busy your days may be, make time for yourselves.
Hold hands. Unwind. Surprise each other.
Find little chances every day to show you’re grateful
To be partners, to be friends, to be married.
Life is not perfect.
You will make mistakes.
But each time you meet life’s challenges together,
You will grow wiser, stronger and surer of your love.
Cherish your yesterday.
They are irreplaceable souvenirs of your journey through life.
Make memories that will bring smiles and sighs
Whenever you look back.
Look forward, too.
Dream together.
Plan together.
Make promises to keep.
Believe in your tomorrows,
Because tomorrows are what forever is made of.
To make love last, put each other first
That is the way to make a beautiful life together,
The kind of life you both deserve so very much.

The Hands of the Bride and Groom
Maid of Honour reads:
‘Bride’, please face ‘Groom’, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. (Bride and groom should be facing each other, the groom’s upturned hands resting in the brides’.)
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb. These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.
Best Man reads:
‘Groom’, please hold ‘Bride’s’ hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. (Bride should now place her upturned hands in the Groom’s hands.)
These are the hands, smooth, young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.
These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings, after you’ve both had a long hard day. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child; that together you have created a new life. Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child, and will convince you that together you will create new life in other ways.
These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together, as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.
Celebrant reads:
Bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another.
Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love.
Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide.

A Lovely Love Story | Edward Monkton
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
“I like this Dinosaur,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.”
“I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.”
“But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “He is also overly fond of things. Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?”
“But her mind skips from here to there so quickly,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is also uncommonly keen on shopping. Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?”
“I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur, “for they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.”
“I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping,” thought the Dinosaur, “for she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.”
Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old. Look at them. Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together. For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place.

Letter to Fanny Brawne | John Keats
For myself I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form: I want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair. I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days—three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.

Extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin | Louis de Bernieres
Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

Thinking Out Loud | Ed Sheeran (you could also play his song for your first dance!)
When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?
And, darling, I will be loving you ‘til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ‘bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me, I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am
So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are

The Art of Marriage
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things:
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

Kimberly Sanders  Lucky in Love Marriage Celebrant   Auckland
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