Total Re-Collie: The Ceremony (Part 1)

I know that people spend a lot of time writing their wedding ceremony.  Um, we didn’t.  Pastor York had two versions of the ceremony: traditional and contemporary.  We chose contemporary and told him that we also had personalized vows (in addition to the traditional ones), and I told him that my mom wanted to do a reading.  Voila… our ceremony was “crafted”.

Here was our ceremony text with some photos thrown in.

All photographs from Phil Steingard Studios (unless otherwise noted)

Welcome Words

Welcome! Good afternoon. We are gathered here today in the presence of family and friends, to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments. We are here to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words that will unite Kelly and Timothy in Holy Matrimony.



As much as today it is a celebration of Kelly and Timothy’s marriage, it is also a celebration of their love. Their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.

For them, this marriage is both a pledge of enduring love, and an expression of their commitment to each other. For the rest of us, this marriage is an occasion where we are reminded of the bonds to our own families and friends and how important and wonderful these bonds are to us.

Marriage is the most important of all earthly relationships. It should be entered into thoughtfully and with full understanding of its sacred nature. It’s fragile because it requires exactly the right mix of freedom, creating an atmosphere of care, consideration, and respect, and by a willingness to face the tensions and anxieties, that are a natural part of human life. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its trials and triumphs. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. It will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both promised today to share together. Remember that this marriage ceremony is only a symbol, a celebration, a public recognition of what already exists in the silent places of your hearts. This is your marriage to define, yours to make real, yours to live.

Deep abiding affection, the magical and compelling shared impulse that makes us seek each other’s company, is among the greatest gifts of the human experience. Any of us who has been fortunate enough to find and express the kind of loving devotion that we are celebrating here today knows that it is an awesome and beautiful thing.

IMG_5086Image by Beach Wedding Studio

First Corinthians 13 reading

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Next, he instructed Mr. BC to lay his hands on top of mine.  And, he made a joke about this being the last time Mr. BC had the upper hand.  hehe




“THESE ARE THE HANDS” –author unknown

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you.

These are the hands 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 along side 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 wracks your mind.

These are hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes, tears of joy and tears of sorrow.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help hold your family together as one.

These are hands that will give you strength when you need it.

These are the hands that even when wrinkled with age will still be reaching for yours, still giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

These are the hands.


This understanding brings me to the first of three suggestions I will offer to Kelly and Timothy:

  • First: Be constantly grateful for the presence of this person who has chosen to make a life with you.
  • Second: Make each other the recipient of daily kindness. The world can be a tough place and any of us can be subject to rough handling. Be generous with compliments. Be attentive and helpful. Each of you can, by your tenderness toward each other. Kind words and thoughtful actions. Make your marriage and your home an uplifting refuge.
  • Last, but perhaps most importantly, Make truth the unfailing bedrock of your lives together. A happy, loving marriage is built on trust and respect. That trust and respect can only be sustained if you are both deeply committed to always being open and truthful in every exchange no matter how small.


My hope for you is this; that you have many long years to delight in each others company. To feel gratitude for your great good fortune in having found and loved each other, to make a home together that is at once sheltering and welcoming. To each do meaningful productive work at home and in the world. To love and be loved by the friends and family who have come here today to support you.

Group Declaration of support

Now, I ask that these friends & family stand, and that you turn and acknowledge them, as they acknowledge you.


As family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds Kelly and Timothy. Each of you, by your presence here today is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support, not your judgment. Encourage them when encouragement is needed and listen to them when they ask for advice. In these ways, you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today. Do you offer your love & support to strengthen their marriage & bless this family created by their union?

Please answer by saying: WE DO

Guests: WE DO

Thank you, you may be seated.

I loved this part of the ceremony because we got to face our loved ones.  Everyone had flown so far to be there for this moment.  I tried to make eye contact with everyone present, and really soak up all the feelings of love and support.  If you can, I really recommend taking a few moments to face your guests.

Next up, my mom does a reading, and we exchange vows.

bordercollie wedding graphic

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