Ashley and Steve’s wedding day was on a glorious fall afternoon at the iconic Vancouver Rowing Club in equally iconic Stanley Park. The trees wearing their rich-red autumn leaves offered a stunning backdrop for their custom crafted ‘all-about-them’ wedding ceremony. I was beyond delighted to working with these two on the visioning process for their wedding ceremony and of course to be their wedding officiant the day of.
Holding a Ring Warming is a Modern Celebrant specialty. We pioneered this wedding ritual in Vancouver and Whistler BC. Here, Ashley’s mother is imbuing the wedding bands with hope and love for all that is to come. “Family is a big part of Ashley and Steve’s life, and their parents are huge inspirations to them. And so, before they exchange their wedding rings, we’re going to have their parents participate in what is known as a Ring Warming. The purpose is for their mothers and fathers to each hold the rings in their hands for a moment, silently offering a wish or blessing for this marriage. When the time comes for Ash and Steve to place the rings on each others fingers, the rings will literally be warm with love and imbued with hope. While the rings are being warmed by family, this is a good moment for each of us to mindfully and quietly make our own wish for Steve and Ashley’s married life.” BTW, in case you didn’t know, rings don’t always go on smoothly in the heat of the moment!!! I told Ashley to give it a good shove. Worked like a charm.
Ashley and Steve made their vows, exchanged rings, and sealed the deal with a kiss. And in one of those priceless magical moments… The sun peeked out during their first KISS as a married couple, lighting up Ashley and Steve even more than they already were!
These two lovelies wanted to close their heartfelt wedding ceremony with the Wine Box Ritual I suggested for them, given their active interest in wine. They chose a killer bottle of wine; a vintage and varietal that would age well. I had them write love letters, as part of their reflection and preparation for their wedding ceremony. These were sealed in envelopes, and sealed with a kiss before being placed in the purpose made wine box.
I explained to guests that the contents of the box serve a dual purpose. If they are going through a rough patch and not seeing eye-to-eye, or if their marriage is ever in serious trouble, Ash and Steve can open the box and uncork the wine. After pouring a glass for each other, they can read the letters that they wrote for their wedding day. The words will be reminders of why they fell in love in the first place, and of all the many reasons they chose one another as a life partner. It is a grounded way to reflect back upon this wedding day and the commitments they made to love and cherish each other through the good times and the bad. Or, they could wait for a significant anniversary or occasion to open the box and pour that amazing bottle of wine.
When the wine is drunk and they’ve enjoyed reading the love letters, they can do it all over again! After the nails were hammered into the box by the couple and their maid of honour and best man, I closed by asking Ashley and Steve to, “Catch hands and take a big symbolic step forward into a busy, crazy life of love, laughter, and adventure…with a couple of kids to come, lots of family always, and where you embrace the good times and lean into each other for the rest.”
Just sayin’… what an AMAZING TEAM!
Custom-crafted wedding ceremony experience by Celebrant Michele Davidson, Modern Celebrant
All photos by Melissa Gidney Photography
Wedding planning by Filosphi Event Planning
Wedding Videography Hello Tomorrow