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Involving Your Children In Your Wedding Ceremony

  • Posted on March 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

When you or your fiance have children from a previous marriage, it can be both enjoyable and beneficial to involve them in your wedding ceremony.

You can choose to have the children be a part of the wedding party and walk down the aisle in a variety of roles – from being bridesmaids or groomsmen, flower children, or ring bearers.  Children can also give the bride away!

I have officiated some very touching wedding ceremonies with wedding vows that say how much your children mean to your relationship.  You could say something like this in your wedding vow:

“CHILD’S NAME,  I love your mother/father very much, and I love you too.  When I take your mother/father as my wife/husband, I also take you into my heart as my own child.  I want you to know that you are important to me, and I will care for you always as your parent.”

Often a parent will offer a token – such as a watch, locket or rose – to the children, as a way to say that they love them.  Sometimes new parents will offer rings to the children as well and include them into the ring ceremony.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ Marryus Custom Wedding Ceremonies

Acknowledging Your Parents On Your Wedding Day

  • Posted on November 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Yes – your wedding is your day. It is also a milestone event for your parents. Some could even see this as the culmination of a parent’s life work. Isn’t this worthy of recognition and gratitude?

Acknowledging your parents within your wedding ceremony can be done in so ways. Certainly there is verbal recognition. There can also be a larger acknowledgment – with the giving of a gift or incorporating a deeper symbolic ritual.

One couple I ‘married’ wanted to acknowledge the successful marriages of both their two sets of grandparents and their two sets of parents. At the entrance of their venue, they displayed enlarged posters of their original wedding pictures. Nothing could have expressed a deeper belief in the power and longevity of love!

Another couple wanted both a special verbal recognition and a gift for their parents – acknowledging that both sets had been married 42 years. In fact, these parents had been exceptional roles models and a beautiful example of wedded love. What could be more worthy of recognition?!

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

Would you Like a Handfasting As Part of Your Wedding Ceremony?

  • Posted on November 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts.

Reportedly, the act of Handfasting was the precursor to today’s engagement. A Handfasting was originally an engagement period, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. In essence, the original Handfasting was a trial marriage.

Handfasting beame a popular custom in the British Isles in rural areas. It could be weeks or even months before a clergyman happened to stop by a village, so couples learned to make allowances.

A Handfasting became the equivalent of today’s common-law marriage; a man and woman simply clasped hands and declared themselves married. Generally this was done in the presence of a witness or witnesses. The local custom also often involved binding the couple’s hands together, which is where the phrase ‘typing the knot’ comes from.

Today’s modern day Handfasting ceremony is a revival of sorts, of the Handfastings of yesteryear. After a bride and groom offer their vows to one another, their hands are clasped and fastened together with a cord or cords. The Handfasting is a symbolic representation of oneness between the couple.

Today, couple’s often design and create their own Handfasting cords. A range of items can be used: double-sided satin ribbons, tartan ribbon (representing each clan), drapery cords or silk cording.

In the Pagan tradition, a hand-fasting cord is 9 feet long. It is made up of three ribbons or cords, 3 times 3 feet long. If you will braid your cord, allow for 50% shrinkage. That means that, for a braided 9 foot cord, each strand should be 18 feet. Unbraided cords are tied with knots every 3 feet.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

Ways To Remember A Loved One At Your Wedding

  • Posted on October 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

During your wedding, you may wish to honor a deceased relative such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent. While you don’t want to overshadow the happiness of the occasion, there are many nice ways to acknowledge a loved one.

Mention the person in the wedding program or in the ceremony. One example is: ‘On this special day, we remember those who are with us in our hearts, including ___, mother of the groom’.

Wear or carry something with sentimental meaning. A pocket watch, piece of jewelry, or handkercheif can be a tangible remembrance.

Play a special song. You can include a song the person loved in the ceremony (you may want to note its significance in the program) or ask the band or DJ to play a particular song during the reception.

Display photos. If one of your parents is deceased, it can be a sweet gesture to display a photo of your parents (perhaps on their wedding day) on a small table near the place card table at the reception.

Make a donation in lieu of favors. Instead of giving guests a take-home item, consider making a donation to a charity or organization that was meaningful to your deceased relative.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

One Example Of A Unique Wedding

  • Posted on August 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Imagine a wedding – dinner theatre style. That’s what one of my recent weddings was. Guests sat at elegant round tables, with the wedding party ‘centre stage’.

After the mother of the groom then the mother of the bride was seated, the groom led the processional. But rather than simply walk up the aisle, he made a languorous and confident entrance, stopping at each table to greet guests. It was a very personal entrance, and set the stage for a truly intimate wedding. After lighting a candle in memory to his deceased father, he joined me at the ‘top’ of the aisle and the rest of the wedding party walked separately in.

There’s no reason why you have to have a traditional format for YOUR wedding. It can be anything you like!

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

Adding Humor To Your Wedding Ceremony

  • Posted on August 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Nothing personalizes a wedding ceremony better than amusing anecdotes from the couple! Here’s an example from one recent wedding:


In what might have appeared to be a random event, Susan literally came crashing into Brian’s life 8 years ago. That night, in a bar, feeling rambunctious and rather tipsy, Susan was hard to miss – with a big bouquet of birthday balloons tied to her arm – as she boisterously made her way across the room before knocking into Brian. His first response? “Who IS that girl?” Well – THAT girl, Brian – was your future wife!

Soon after that rather rude introduction, Brian found himself smitten with Susan’s effervescent and out-going personality, while Susan was charmed by Brian’s fun and thoughtful, gentlemanly manner. In fact, the two just ‘clicked’. And as Brian claims, it’s (quote) downright ‘weird’ how naturally and easily they compliment one another. It reminds me of the beautiful words of the poet, Rumi:

‘The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.’

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 


Interfaith Marriage Is On The Rise!

  • Posted on August 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm

We are truly a global village. People from all countries interact with one another at an ever-increasing pace. Inevitably, individuals of different faiths, backgrounds and cultures meet, get to know one another, fall in love, and decide to marry.

There is no doubt: inter-faith marriage is on the rise. Here are some fascinating statistics (from the United States).

  • Over forty percent of marriage-age Catholics marry outside the Church, a doubling since the 1960s. Marriages between Catholics and Protestants, once frowned upon, are now accepted by the vast majority of those faiths.
  • Three in ten Mormons are now in interfaith marriages, although they are encouraged by their church to marry within their faith.
  • One in three Episcopalians and one in four Lutherans have married outside their churches.
  • The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America reports that two-thirds of its sanctioned marriages are interfaith.
  • The number of Jewish Christian couples doubled to one million during the 1990s.
  • Four in ten Muslims, whose religions allows men but not women to intermarry, have chosen non-Muslim spouses.
  • The intermarriage rate approaches sixty percent for Buddhists, the fastest-growing Eastern religion in North America.

How do all these ‘mixed matches’ get married? Increasingly, couples who wish their wedding day to be one of harmony, spirituality and celebration are discovering the interfaith ceremony. It is a bridge. The great strength of the interfaith ceremony is that is inclusive. If done correctly, it is an enlightening and enriching experience. Each ceremony contains its particular brand of magic, and all involved come away feeling honored and celebrated. No one feels alienated or offended. One family is not more important than the other. The interfaith ceremony is like a sacred dance that goes back and forth, celebrating each tradition in joy, making room so that everyone feels richer and expanded.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

Personalizing Your Wedding

  • Posted on July 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Everything about your wedding ceremony can be personal – and a reflection of you as a couple.

Often the setting of a ceremony has real significance for the couple – and this should be acknowledged. Here is an example, from one of my ceremonies:

‘It is fitting that Nicole and Will are marrying one another in this beautiful setting, for the connection to this magnificent place is what brought them together. Within these surrounding mountains, Will gave Nicole one painfully bumpy ride by snow mobile – in harsh, snowy weather and semi-darkness – in a frantic attempt to find the perfect spot to propose. Finally, in desperation, Will forgot his well-rehearsed engagement speech and blurted out his nervous proposal. And the rest, as they say, is history! How appropriate it is today for Will and Nicole to wed against the backdrop of the powerful and breath-taking Mt. Currie – for it serves as a metaphor of love – which is strong, timeless and enduring.’

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

Readings or Poems In Your Wedding Ceremony

  • Posted on July 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

What words best define your relationship with your partner? Is it romantic? Do you see each other as soul mates? Would you describe your relationship as that of best friends? If you decide to have a reading or poem incorporated into your wedding ceremony, it’s ideal when it expresses your relationship.

Here is one poem – written by Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet – that beautifully expresses romantic love:


This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,

To cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.

First, to let go of life.

In the end, to take a step without feet;

To regard this world as invisible,

And to disregard what appears to be the self.

Heart, I said, what a gift it has been

To enter this circle of lovers,

To see beyond seeing itself,

To reach and feel within the breast.

 ~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

Why Not Have A Theme Wedding?!

  • Posted on June 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

No doubt you’ve heard of throwing confetti or rice at newlyweds as they walk down the aisle at the end of their ceremony. But why not a variation on that theme?

One couple I ‘married’ had their guests throw paper airplanes in their path, as they ‘took flight’ into their new life together!

In fact, their entire wedding had the theme of flight. For the reception, guests had assigned table seating. Each table was identified and labelled with words from the Aviation Phonetic Alphabet – with a large paper plane in the centre floral  piece (labelled ‘Alpha’, ‘Bravo’, etc.), and guest place cards were in the shape of paper airplanes!

The ceremony began with the stirring melody of the theme from ‘Top Gun’. The handsome groom sauntered up the aisle in his tux and aviator glasses – then his groomsmen followed. (Very cool!)

Even the couple’s story (woven into the ceremony) had amusing anecdotes of their times sky diving together.

All in all, this was an unforgettable ceremony!