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A Wife and Daughters 
Surprise Renewal Ceremony for her Husband 

Welcome, Abby, John, Khierstyn,  friends and family.  I am honored to have been invited to act as celebrant for today’s wonderful wedding ceremony, which serves also as opportunity for a meaningful gathering of friends and family here on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  I welcome you all.

John, you must surely feel surprised or possibly overwhelmed at this moment. Abby has created an amazingly complex event to honor you and show her love for you. She put her full passion and dreams into creating today’s inspired celebration.  From the moment she and I first talked, Abby was clear about her wishes and her desire to surprise and honor you today.  I am delighted to have been invited to participate in this very special gathering.

Marriage has brought you many blessings, Abby and John, the most significant, of course, being Khierstyn, whom you are mentoring into a talented and interesting young woman - who very recently celebrated her 12 birthday.  Childhood ends so quickly, it seems just yesterday she was small and finding her way in life, and now she stands proud as a real contender in tumbling.  But your relationship has stood the test of time and is the real purpose behind this celebration today.  We have gathered here to honor and acknowledge you in a meaningful way, as a couple.

John, you make Abby deliriously happy and she loves you for that.  Just as Abby’s Father is a great man to her, so she feels you are too, John. You have brought her kindness and comfort through these years and she cannot imagine life without you.

Together you share many things. You love the water - the way it glistens, smells; how the sand feels in your toes, how the waves lap on the shoreline and sparkle in the setting sun. When the ocean is not accessible or the sun is hiding, your pool, race boat and hot tub are favorite alternatives for quality time together.

Down the road there will be more water parks and theme parks to discover and more memories to create together. When winter in Ohio brings inclement conditions there is always the west coast of Florida!

In your family, Khierstyn will have wonderful opportunities thanks to you, because that is a most important value … but let’s not forget Cupcake and Duke; so today would not be complete without acknowledging our most petite and wily family members.

John, Abby says you see her as an equal; but in the division of household responsibilities you do more than just your share. You are the family cook and handle most of the housework. That frees up critical time for Abby to be a deeply involved mother in Khierstyn’s scholastic and sports development.
Abby loves that you absolutely mean what you say; when you make a commitment she can depend on you to fulfill it. You do not let people down.
You are forgiving of what Abby calls her “mistakes and faults.”  You are there for her.  John, you are her best friend, confidant, and yes her proofreader and spell checker.  She loves that you are protective of your family, and she feels totally and completely safe in your care. 

You are a great judge of people and you call things like they are with directness and savvy.  You are not swayed by superficial appearances.  You have demonstrated time and time again your ability to love Abby completely and uncritically even without, possibly, complete understanding at times. 

Abby, John loves that you always have a smile on your face. You work very hard to continue to strive at your job. You give him unconditional love and you put up with him.  You are constantly on the go whereas John likes to relax.  That allows him space to lay back, which he needs – down time, as it were.  You are very good at attending to him and ensuring he does not let important things ride – like a health emergency for example.  You enjoy spending time together with your families for holidays but also just for no reason at all.

Together you have learned to grasp what is important in life and to let go of that which is alluring but in the end, meaningless.

And so today, here on by this beautiful shoreline, while the love of your family is around you and blessings are in abundance, today you, Abby, and you, John, will be expressing your vows of love and making an everlasting commitment to each other. 

Are you, Abby, ready and willing to express your vows of love and marriage here today?

Are you, John, ready and willing to express your vows of love and marriage here today?

Then John, please repeat after me:
I, John, take you Abby, to be my lifelong partner and husband. On this special day, I give to you in the presence of Khierstyn and our friends and family, my forever promise to stay by your side as your faithful husband in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, through good times and the bad.  I promise to love you without reservation, to honor and respect you, provide for your needs, protect you from harm, comfort you in times of distress, to grow with you in mind and spirit, to always be open and honest with you, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love.

Abby, will you please repeat after me:

I, Abby, take you John, to be my lifelong partner and wife. On this special day, I give to you in the presence of Khierstyn and our friends and family, my sacred promise to stay by your side as your faithful wife in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, through good times and the bad. 

I promise to love you without reservation, to honor and respect you, provide for your needs, protect you from harm, comfort you in times of distress, to grow with you in mind and spirit, to always be open and honest with you, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love.

The great medieval philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, when asked to define true love, said that is was “to will the good of the other person.” If you truly love someone, you want their success, their happiness, their joy. You will want everything that is best for them and you will try to protect them from harm.  It is in this spirit that you are expressing your vows here today.

This reading is called “Two Trees.”
“A portion of your soul has been entwined with mine. A gentle kind of togetherness - while separate we stand as two trees deeply rooted in separate plats of ground forming a miracle of lace against the heavens.”

At this moment we will share a stone ceremony rich in tradition possibly beginning in ancient Scotland – the derivation of the folklore is uncertain.  We will express today’s ceremony in a more contemporary mode. Together let’s move close to the shoreline.

Each of you has been given a stone to hold throughout our ceremony.  Stones represent durability, steadiness, and permanence.  Every stone is beautiful, but no two stones in our world are identical – each carries mineral traces and a history unique to it’s place and time.

Just like true love, stones are steady and dependable.  Our couple requests you each imagine a beautiful wish for them and in a moment we will cast our stones into the waters, in unison.  Your loving wishes will be lasting, just like your stones.

As the stones and water meet at the water’s surface, rings will be created. The rings represent the circle of love, just as wedding rings do. May our couple’s love continue to encircle them and may they always find steadiness and solidarity within their marriage.

Please now cast your stones into the Gulf of Mexico while we watch the creation of beautiful rings.

Abby and John, you have expressed and exhibited as individuals, as partners, as parents, and as closest and dearest of friends, that you wish to acknowledge your loving union before people most important in your lives - your treasured guests here today. 

May you continue to embrace life actively as full participants while you pursue and cherish each day’s limitless possibilities.

May you anticipate and strive to satisfy each others needs, both in sickness and in health.

And if one day you find the end of the rainbow, may there be a Japanese restaurant waiting.

May I introduce our happy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Branan.