Personal Ceremonies


Dr. White has spent years of study and caring practice in order to help you personalize your wedding celebration. While there are very common building blocks, the most frequent starting point continues to be one of the following:

Civil Marriage Ceremony

Catholic Marriage Ceremony

Protestant Marriage Ceremony

Love Poems


Love Poems

Hindu Marriage Poem

You have become mine forever.
Yes, we have become partners.
I have become yours.
Hereafter, I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me.
Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, unite.
You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.
May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.
May the plants be honey-sweet for us.
May the earth be honey-sweet for us.

I Ching

Excerpt

When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids.

How Do I Love Thee?

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old grief's, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Sonnet 18

By William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate...
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 114

By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love is not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out.. even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Sonnet 116

By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! It is an ever-fix'd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

A Summer's Day

Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,
And every fair from fair sometime decllines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ou'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Touched By An Angel

By Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Blessing For A Marriage

James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage
should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance,
and understanding.
May you always need one another - not so much to fill your
emptiness as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountain less,
but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain
towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say,
"I love you!" and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope
to have good sense enough to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness
of one another's presence - no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are side-by-side, and warm and near
when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

Reprise

By Ogden Nash

Geniuses of countless nations
Have told their love for generations
Till all their memorable phrases
Are common as goldenrod or daisies.
Their girls have glimmered like the moon,
Or shimmered like a summer moon,
Stood like a lily, fled like a fawn,
Now the sunset, now the dawn,
Here the princess in the tower
There the sweet forbidden flower.
Darling, when I look at you
Every aged phrase is new,
And there are moments when it seems
I've married one of Shakespeare's dreams.

The Color of My Love

David Foster and Arthur Janov

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart
Knowing that we'll never part.
I'll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn, so much to try.

I'll paint my mood in a shadow blue,
Paint my soul to be with you.
I'll sketch your lips in shaded tones,
Draw your mouth to my own.

I'll trace a hand to wipe your tears
And trace a look to calm your fears.
A silhouette of dark and light
To hold each other oh so tight.

I'll paint the stars in the evening sky,
Draw the light into your eyes,
A touch of love, a touch of grace,
To softly fall on your moonlit face.

And with this ring our lives will start,
Let nothing keep our love apart.
I'll take your hand to hold in mine,
And be together through all time.

From This Day Forward

Author Unknown

From this day forward,
You shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter,
And my arms will be your home.

Somewhere

Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
for one lone soul, another lonely soul -
Each chasing each through all the weary hours,
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal;
Then blend they - like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole -
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

These I Can Promise

Author Unknown

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.

But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

Yes, I'll Marry You

I Promise

Dorothy R. Colgan

I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realize that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost
fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship
alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.
Completely and forever.

Why Marriage?

Mari Nichols-Haining

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because of this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

Love

Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding,
mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad.
It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weakness.
Love is content with the present. It hopes for the future and it doesn't brood
over the past. It's the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems,
compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward
common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great
many things you lack. If you don't have it, no matter what else there is,
it is not enough, so search for it, ask God for it, and share it!
I Love You,
Not only for what you are,
but for what I am when I am with you,
not only for what you have made of yourself,
but for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
I love you for putting your hand into my overflowing heart
and passing over all the foolish, weak things that can't help,
dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the
beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make of the dreams of my life
not a thought but a reality,
Out of the works of my every day not a reproach but a song...
Yes, a Love song.

Reflections on Ecclesiastes -
To Everything there is a Season

To everything there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under the heaven;
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up
that which is planted...
A time to weep, and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn, and a time to dance,
At time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing...

Our time has finally come...
Our Wedding Day...
Our time to laugh,
Our time to dance,
Our time to love,
Our time to embrace.
I thank God for bringing us together in his perfect time.

But as God has brought us together
Let us not forget the ones that time and God
has departed from our world
But not before they graced us with special memories only
they could create
Which are carried with us throughout our lives.
The laughter we have harvested through the autumn of their days,
Remember only for a moment when tears were gently
brushed away by a hand that only know kindness and love.
The melodious laughter that echoes through life's endless mazes.
The heartfelt hugs that surrounded our little selves when
we felt so alone.

But this to has to end, the darkness enclosed their beings,
Only to release our loved ones to a time of peace,
A time of last embraces and goodbyes.
To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven;
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted...
A time to weep, and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn, and a time to dance,
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing...

Our time has finally come...Our Wedding Day...
Our time to laugh,
Our time to love,
Our time to embrace.
I thank God for bringing us together in his perfect time.

But as God has brought us together
Let us not forget the ones that time and God has departed from our world
But not before they graced us with special memories only they could create,
which are carried with us throughout our lives.

The laugher we have harvested through the autumn of their days,
Remember only for a moment when tears were gently brushed away
by a hand that only know kindness and love.

The melodious laughter that echoes through life's endless mazes.
The heartfelt hugs that surrounded our little selves when we felt so alone.

But this to has to end, the darkness enclosed their beings,
only to release our loved ones to a time of peace.
A Time of last embraces and good-byes,
until we meet again in heavens light.

My our loved ones that touched our lives deeply,
But only stayed briefly in our lives,
Be looking over us today as we create our new lives as one.

May time be on our side.

David Kirk

Perhaps perfection seems too bold
A word here to apply.
For once love penetrates the heart,
It spreads to cloud the eye.

Still we in blindness take a chance
And gladly join in Cupid's dance.
For every joyful heart has shown,
Perfection dwells in love alone.

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
the winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single'
All things by a law of divine
In another's being mingle-
Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another,
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;-
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
Away from you there is no music,
There is no sunlight,
The world is gray.
Away from you
The clocks are frozen,
And time's a traveler
Who's lost his way.

I'm half alive
Until the moment
The door swings open
and you walk through,
Now my soul is afloat
On a melody of music
That I could feel such joy
I never knew.
And so you see
Why I can never be
Away from you.

Harvey

Divine love is a sacred flower,
which in its early bud is happiness,
and it its full bloom is heaven.

Mrs. L. M. Child

The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows,
and the crimes of humanity, all lie in that one word "love."
It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.
To each and every one of us, it gives the power of working miracles if we will.

Victor Hugo

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved,
loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves.

Love...is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch,
but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.

Helen Keller

True love's the gift which God hath given, to man alone beneath the heaven.
The silver link, the silver tie, which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
in body and in soul can bind.

Walter Scott

The Love You Have Will Change

The love you share will change, moment by moment.
To maintain the foundation you have already built,
you must place your faith in the ebb and flow of life,
of love, of relationships.
We encourage you to leap at the flow of the tide
and not resist its ebb, for it will always return.
The only true continuity, in life as in love,
is in growth, in fluidity...in freedom,
in the sense that dancers are free,
barely touching as they pass,
but partner in the same pattern.

I'll Wait For You

Bruce Springsteen

We said we'd walk togeter, baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we're walking a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me. We swore we'd travel, darlin' side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride
But each other's steps fall so differently
But I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me. Now everyone dreams of love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let's make our steps clear that the other may see
And I'll wait for you.
If I should fall behind, wait for me.
Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead,
There 'neath the oak's bough soon we will be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees
I'll wait for you.
And should I fall behind,wait for me.
Darlin' I'll wait for you.
Should I fall behind, wait for me.

Away From You

Away from you there is no music,
There is no sunlight,
The world is gray.
Away from you the clocks are frozen,
And time's a traveller
Who's lost his way.
I'm half alive
Until the moment the door swings open
And you walk through,
Now my soul is afloat
On a wave of music
That I could feel such joy I never knew.
And so you see why I can never be away from you.

If in the morning when you awake,
If the sun does not appear, I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear, I will be here.
I will be here, When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we'll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you awake,
If the future is unclear,I will be here.
I will be here, And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tell us we're older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We'll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I've made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In another's being mingle- Why not I with thine?
See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another,
No sister flowers could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;-
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

See What Flowers are at my Feet

John Keats

See what flowers are at my feet,
What soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
Wherewith the seasonable mouth endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorne, fast-fading violets
And the coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunts of summer eves.