Monday, March 18, 2013

Vow Renewal :: The Ceremony

Spencer Family Wedding Vow Renewal
February 24, 2013
Honolulu, HI
Ceremony Highlights


Spencer family, you are gathered together here at the beach in Hawaii to celebrate love in your family.  Your Mom and Dad have decided, that after 12 and a half years that they would like to renew their wedding vows.  Renewing wedding vows means that your mom and dad, at this moment in time are choosing to breathe fresh life into the promises they made when they got married such a long time ago.



Dear ocean waves
Dear sunshine
Dear warm sand between our toes
Dear grandmas and grandads
Dear aunts and uncles
Dear Ed and Frannie
and all the invisible mysteries
who love us so dearly
Thank you for this day
and this time to be together.
Bless this family.
Keep us healthy and safe.
Help us to experience each day
as an opportunity to grow
in love and tenderness.
And may we always remember
that our most important purpose
in this family
and in life
is to love and be loved.

Declaration of Love in our family

Love is what keeps families together.  It is a force like gravity.  It holds you close to each other like planets in a solar system or like atoms in a molecule.  It is invisible, but we see it all the time.

Dad, Mom, Gwendolyn and Chloe:
Love is having a stuffy AND lego party.
Love is making sure nobody walks out the door without getting a hug.
Love is giving someone a genuine apology when you’ve gotten a little mad.
Love is telling a silly joke to make someone laugh.
Love is holding hands every now and then, even if you think you might be too big for that.
Love is Chloe and Gwendolyn stories.
Love is building forts together.
Love is pats from Eloise.
Love is a nighttime snuggle with Chloe.
Love is a morning hug from Gwendolyn.
Love is dancing together in the family room.
Love is making pancakes on Sunday.
Love is speaking up respectfully when you are not ready, need more time, have something to say, or need something that no one else knows about.
Love is being able to be yourself, even on a horrible, terrible, very bad day.
Love is keeping each other healthy and safe.
Love is anger that is voicing what needs to change.
Love is letting other people love you when your heart might be feeling sad or small like a quark.
And love is never giving up, always trying again, and always believing that we are better together.


Spencer family, if you believe love is all of these things, please say “we do.”
We do
Spencer girls, if you believe that love is all of these things, do you promise to do your best to help love grow in your family, if so, please say “we do.”
We do
Now its time for mom and dad to make their promises to each other:
Cristina, has Graham been your loving partner for twelve and a half years?
He has.
Has your love and respect for him deepened as you have grown a family, enjoyed successes and faced personal challenges?
It has.
Are you here today to reaffirm your commitment to him?
I am.
Then repeat after me:
I, Cristina, reaffirm my commitment
to take you Graham, as my husband;
to have and to hold
to love and to cherish
in sickness and in health
for as long as we both shall live.


Spencer family, when mom and dad married, they chose to symbolize their vows through the exchange of rings, because the rings are circles and circles represent wholeness.  Now that you are a family, you girls are a part of this unbreakable circle.  No matter where you go or what you become, you will always be sacred to this circle of people, and like gravity, even though you don’t see the force with your eyes, the glue that holds you together will always be there.

To help you remember this, you have all made stones which are in a circle before us.
One at a time you will take your stones.
Now that everyone has their stone, I will read from the Velveteen Rabbit, which Pop read at your Mom and Dad’s wedding:

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real...

It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept...

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”


One at a time, you can put your stones into the silver bowl and make a wish or a prayer.  These stones will stay in this bowl for safekeeping, but they will always be here to remind you of your unbreakable circle of love.

Spencer family, you are lucky, you are bound together by love that’s been made real, which will last forever.

Our ceremony has ended and you can play!


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  8. I just wanted to tell that the Vow Renewal of my parents was everything I dreamed of, plus more. In 25 years there have been only a couple times I have seen my father choked up, and this was one of them. I chose best vow renewal location for the celebration. It was all wonderful.