Honoring Native American Traditions

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

Having been born and raised in Oklahoma—“Home of the Red Man”—I have always had some appreciation and understanding of the Native American history and culture. As we know, the story of so-called American Indians has, in many ways, been tragic….one that is filled atrocities that included the introduction of catastrophic diseases such as Small Pox, a disease previously unknown to …

Ring Vows: Surrounded by Love

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

In traditional wedding ceremonies, there are three “sets” of vows.  The first is the “Declaration of Intent.”  This is a short vow (about four lines long) at the beginning of the ceremony.  Essentially, it is the officiant asking the bride and groom to state specifically that they wish to be married.  The second set of vows are the ones with …

The Velveteen Rabbit

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

In recent years, a reading from the Children’s classic The Velveteen Rabbit has become a popular wedding reading. I recommend it, from time-to-time, when couples want a child to do a reading during the ceremony: “What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the …

Irish Blessing

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

At the end of the wedding, just before the “Declaration of Marriage,” we incorporate parting words to warmly send the bride and groom on their way.  This so-called charge, can take many forms, but often couples like to pay respect to their family traditions with familiar words.  For example, those of Jewish background like the “Seven Blessings,” whether traditional or …

Buddhist Inspired Vows

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

Bride and Groom, do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy and equanimity? “We do” Recognizing that the external conditions in life will …

Vows by Robert Fulghum

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

The popular author and minister Robert Fulghum provides the following vows in his book From Beginning to End: The Rituals of our Lives. Fulghum is also the author of the favorite book All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The vows are repeated by both the bride and groom, with the respective names inserted: I (name), take …

With This Ring….

Sarah Ritchie Readings & Vows

It is the proposal — typically accompanied by the giving of a ring — that begins the engagement, a time of preparation not only for the wedding but the marriage. While I dare say that the typical American bride spends a good bit of time and energy thinking about her engagement ring, the ring vows and exchange during the wedding …