Words Matter

‘I now pronounce you man and wife.’  Nope. That’s not correct. The equivalent of man is woman and the equivalent of wife is husband – so for a man and women getting married the correct pronouncement is: ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife.’Or perhaps ‘wife and husband,’ and if that sounds odd to you, it indicates how deeply ingrained words can be in our traditions and in our minds.

Because a wedding is one of the most important days in the life of two people, the ceremony offers the opportunity to express many thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Additionally, it is an opportunity to acknowledge and thank those who supported you throughout your life, and those who are there to witness your commitment. My role is to find the right words and actions that best express what is in the hearts and minds of the couple. And words do matter!

Every couple has their unique story. Along with their personal journey, I enjoy every ethnic, cultural, and faith tradition of the people I work with. Many secular couples are seeking a rich, meaningful ceremony, and that is something I do well. Five minutes in front of a Judge just won’t do if you understand the importance of this milestone. Sadly, many couples, especially secular couples, are not able to find choices that fit them.

Here I am reading the ceremony words I created for this couple. (Photo: Garth Woods)

I frequently create inter-faith wedding ceremonies, and for those I incorporate elements from the different religions. When there are children, I strive to find a way to involve them and make them feel special, and important, because they are. A wedding is often more than just the couple uniting, it is families joining together as well.

Whoever officiates for your wedding, if they haven’t taken the time to get to know you, take the initiative and provide them with something personal to incorporate into your ceremony. Most professional officiants will understand the value of this. Even the shortest ceremony will greatly benefit with the addition of a meaningful story or reading. 

If it has not been offered, ask your officiant for an advance copy of the wedding service. You may be able to make some edits and improvements. Sometimes just a few words can make a big difference. Would you want the words ‘love, honor and obey’in your ceremony? Thankfully, that phrase is almost never used anymore, but it illustrates my point, that words matter.

I stick to the script I’ve written and they have approved! (photo: Garth Woods)

And when you exchange your vows, you are giving your word. You are putting those very important words out into the universe – speaking your promise and expressing your commitment. Those words matter, too. They matter a lot!

We are fortunate to have amazing wedding venues in the Poconos, and I have enjoyed officiating at so many of them. I know I am contributing to the beauty and meaning of the day, and that is a great feeling, as the couple and their families and guests get to hear something meaningful, honest and heart-felt.

A ceremony is the time to time to say the important things in life. Emerson wrote: ‘Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.’ The words that are spoken at your ceremony set the tone for your celebration and are a reflection of your love and life. They should inspire, reflect, and uplift you. You deserve no less.

This entry was posted in Wedding Ceremonies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives