Although this “add-on” quilt wrapping ceremony is not the most popular ceremony in the Valley of the Sun – Greater Phoenix Area – it is something for some brides and grooms to consider (perhaps where the weather is not so hot). 😉
In some Native American traditions, couples are wrapped in a blanket to signify their coming together and their new life together. This ceremony is also inspired by the way Tahitians have married for centuries. The vows culminate with the wrapping of the couple in a traditional and colorful Tahitian wedding quilt.
Instead of signifying unity through a candle lighting ritual, some couples are wrapped in a quilt made from the fabric of friends and family to signify unification, the warmth and support of friends and family that are needed to sustain a healthy relationship, the comfort we bring to each other, and the bond between us that will continue to develop.
Some couples ask family and friends to send them fabric scraps in a specified size. You can sent some away to folks who are not able to attend in person. Then they have a quilt made which they are then wrapped in by their Wedding Officiant at their wedding, symbolizing how the love and warmth of others would nurture and strengthen them together. This is a quilt which has been signed with love, from family and friends. Some couples choose to use the quilt as something to stand on instead of wrapping it around them.
Together within this blanket, they will sign their marriage license. This usually comes right before the kiss. Next, the Wedding Officiant/Minister announces the kiss… they then embrace and kiss to celebrate that they are now officially united. The quilt would then be removed by the Wedding Officiant/Minister and placed on the altar table or handed to someone to hold.
After the ceremony, some couples display it at the reception and ask the guests to sign this very special quilt as their guest book. The marriage quilt could also come out again for the couples first dance, wrapped around their shoulders as they twirl slowly around the dance floor. It can be used as a prop in their wedding photographs.
One couple had the marriage quilt made with 26 squares to represent the letters of the alphabet with the intention of using it as a baby blanket at sometime in the future. Another bride and groom chose to kneel before me just before the kiss as I draped them in the marriage quilt, shoulder to shoulder. The brides’ father came forward and asked a blessing.
Here are some words that I have used in the past. Keep in mind that in my ceremonies, the bride and groom are asked to edit anything they would like to add, change or delete. Some prefer to shorten this part of the ceremony.
Minister: (Before the kiss, the couple moves to a table that contains the marriage license and the minister lightly wraps the quilt around their shoulders). This quilt signifies the warmth and support of family and friends that are needed to sustain a healthy relationship. It signifies the bond between them and the closeness that will continue to develop day after day. And, it signifies the comfort and beauty they bring to each other and will continue to bring to each other.
_____ and _____, take a moment to just breathe, and simply enjoy your friends and family who have gathered here to spend this day with you. This group of loved ones may never be together in the same place again. Take some time to think about how they have touched your lives, and why they’re here with you today. Marriage isn’t just the joining together of two lives, but the joining together of two families and who have cherished and loved you for all your lives.
Let me draw special attention to the bride and groom’s families. Today, as parents, you look with love and affirmation on the faces of your children, whose independence you’ve nurtured with your love, guidance, and support. Not withstanding all the challenges of their upbringings, they now represent the fullness of your lives. Each one of you is an enduring part of who they are, having made an indelible mark on their characters. May you be for both of them now, what you were to the one: accepting, supportive, caring, and with a generosity of spirit that always includes them both.
Ladies and gentleman, your presence here is a visible expression of your love and respect for their decision to marry, and reminds them that they don’t belong to one another alone, but to a larger community of friends and relatives who wish them well. As a part of that community, I invite all of you to play your part – by lending an ear, a hand of kindness, a voice of experience, an encouraging smile, and the gift of your company. Stand beside them, and never between them. Offer them your love and your support, but not your judgment. Support their union with your friendship.
At this time, together, within this blanket, they will sign their marriage license. _____ and _____ (two witnesses) will now join us to make this part of the ceremony official.
BONUS Articles: More “Add-on” ceremonies!
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
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