Our DIY Wedding

Photos by our two amazing photographers (and friends) Yelena Sophia & Elliot Van Fleet

Guests Activity Table. Love sign was a handmade gift from my sister.

just after the kiss

Desserts lovingly made by our guests
Wearing my great-grandmothers cut crystal necklace, bracelet, & earrings

I made my own bouquet using flowers given to me at my bridal shower the day before.

Amazing local, healthy, nourishing by Grace Hearth

Vintage 20s era ring. Magically a perfect fit even though he didn't know my ring size.

There is so much I could say about this experience but I feel like it would be way too much for a blog post. I'm also not interested in turning this into a wedding blog so I will try to keep this as short as possible.
It was very important to me to have this day be personal and meaningful more so than just visually beautiful. Almost all of the elements of the day were were handmade including the decorations, bouquet, desserts, and the arbor/chuppah we got married under.

One thing I always knew I wanted to do was write our own ceremony. This proved an almost impossible task for me without some sort of guide so I headed online to search for other peoples templates. I came across so many great ideas I was literally giddy while writing ours out. I was able to pull from, alter, re-write, and add to what I found and ended up with something we, and everyone at the wedding, loved. Our officiant, and best friend Misty helped re-work and add to it as well.

Since I pulled so much inspiration from the online community I thought it only fair I share my ceremony as well. Hopefully it will help someone else with this daunting yet so meaningful task.

Kendra & Dan's Wedding Ceremony
(takes about 15 min)

Welcome, friends and family! Today on this beautiful day, we celebrate the best of what it means to be human. Today we celebrate love.
You were invited here to share this moment with Dan and Kendra because you are the people who mean the most to them. The understanding and mutual respect that they bring to their lives together had it’s roots in the love, friendship, and guidance you have given them. You are their community. They are honored to have you here.
[Rope Blessing INTRO]
Kendra and Dan chose to exchange rings ahead of time when they made the decision to spend the rest of their lives together. They are wearing those rings now. Today we will witness the binding of that promise in a handfasting. This rope and the rings on their fingers are visible signs of their commitment to one another.

As this ceremony proceeds we ask that you, Dan and Kendra’s community, take part in the blessing of the handfasting rope. 

[hand rope to first person to begin pass around]

As each of you receives this we ask that you take just a moment to infuse this rope with blessings, and well wishes before passing it on to the next person. When this rope comes back to them, it will contain that which is priceless: your love, hope, and spirit.

Although many of you don’t live right around the corner, you are never far from their hearts. You’ve shared in the best and worst of their days.  You are an irreplaceable part of their yesterday, today and all of their tomorrows. A marriage needs the help of a community, of friends and family who will be there to stand by the couple during hard times and during happy times. May we always do all within our power to support the union that is made here today and to nurture the bond between these two people whom we love.

As much as today is a celebration of Kendra and Dan’s marriage,
It is also a celebration of their love, A love that began by chance and blossomed quickly. Which is built upon the last four years they have spent together, and all the experiences encompassed by that time.
They have chosen this Autumn day to gather because of its importance to their relationship. Four years ago today, Dan and Kendra went on their first date. They met for a park picnic and began slowly stitching together their lives.


Deep abiding affection, the magical and compelling shared impulse that makes us seek each others company, is among the greatest gifts of the human experience.

Those who have been fortunate enough to find and express the kind of loving devotion that we are celebrating here today know that it is an awesome and beautiful thing. I would like to now offer these wise suggestions for the couple:  

That you practice gratitude towards one another always and take time out of your day to appreciate how truly blessed you are.   

It is also wise to make each other the recipient of daily kindness. The world can be a tough place and we can all fall subject to rough handling. Be generous with compliments. Strive to be attentive and helpful. Each of you can, by your tenderness, kind words and thoughtful actions toward each other, make your marriage and 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 home together that is at once sheltering and welcoming, to each do meaningful, productive work at home and in the world and to love and be loved by the friends and family who have come here today to support you…

Dan and Kendra are coming into their marriage with individual personalities and individual histories. They’ve already chosen each other for their family, and today they are choosing to celebrate what has already begun and will continue to grow for years to come.

Before today you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Today you bind the promises you have made to each other and cross a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after today, you’ll say to the world: this is my husband, this is my wife.

Wedding bands are visible, tangible symbols of a couple’s commitment and of their emotional and spiritual connection. Many people talk about rings as being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, cooled, and polished. Something beautiful is made from the raw elements.

Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.

Kendra and Dan, let your rings serve as a reminder of the feelings you have in your hearts at this very moment. There are times in life that we tend to focus on the things we have not yet accomplished, there will also be times of great loss. Yet as you look at your wedding band, remember the great gift that you have been given and all that you have in one another. Remember that you have someone to share this life with. Never again will you walk alone.

Please bring the handfasting rope forward. 

Dan and Kendra, do you, with family and friends as your witnesses, present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?

[Kendra & Dan: WE DO]

Kendra and Dan, take each others hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you:  
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other all the days of your lives.

Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted. 
Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…
The love already shared by your hearts, will be strengthened by this ritual.
You will be bound by your love as you are bound by your clasped hands
From now until the end of your days

[As the following is recited, the couples hands are wrapped with cords]

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 work alongside yours, as you build your future together
These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours

[Binding is finished and cords are knotted]

Bless these hands that you see before you this day.
May they always reach out with love, gentleness, and respect.
May they build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
May they always be held by one another.
Now, you may remove the cords, but remember the knot as a lasting symbol of your binding commitment


Kendra and Dan, having witnessed your love and commitment to each other with all who are assembled here, and by the authority vested in me, I announce with great joy that you are  married.  You may now have your first kiss as husband and wife.


Friends, it is with great pleasure that I present to you, for the first time as husband and wife, Kendra and Dan.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful words and images! Thank you for sharing :) Very happy for you two