Shannon and Seth's wedding ceremony was conducted by their two very good friends, Debbie and Hannah, both former classmates of Shannon's at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. They created a very beautiful ceremony that included these four readings.
"Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog" by Taylor Mali (read by Debbie)
of all, it's a big responsibility,
cold winter nights, love is warm.
Love needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
does not like being left alone for long.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
And you laugh at the little things.
love just wants to play.
love brings you together.
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 commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all 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 that we’ve promised, and hoped,
and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Shannon and Seth, today you are making a commitment to share the rest of your lives with one another. As you each
hold your separate containers of sand, they represent your lives to this moment;
individual and unique. Soon you will combine your sand together, symbolizing
the bringing together of two lives into one.
We begin with a layer of Neutral Sand, which symbolizes that your marriage is grounded in respect, friendship and the love of family and friends. You come here today from two different families. Today, a new family is created. At this time, I would invite Shannon and Seth’s parents to come forward. (The four parents walked over to the beach and scooped up some sand.) These vials of sand represent each family. Now the parents will take their sand and simultaneously pour their sand together, symbolizing the uniting of the two families into one.
Next we combine the individual colors. This symbolizes that the marriage and family union is based on the strength of the individuals. Notice that each color still maintains its own identity. This is how it should be even in a marriage and family union. When you look at the vase and see the many configurations you can see the merging of the three colors. But each grain of sand maintains its own space. The blending of the sand is a symbol of the union of your lives. Just as the grains of sand can never be separated, so will your marriage be a molding of individual personalities, bonded together forming one heart, one love.
First Blessing - read by
Avalon Bymers, Seth’s Grandma
Second Blessing - read by
Third Blessing - read by Duane
Bymers, Seth’s Grandpa
Fourth Blessing - read by Deb
Lengkeek, Seth’s Mom
Fifth Blessing - read by John
Sixth Blessing - read by Ven
Lengkeek, Seth’s Dad
Seventh Blessing - read by