A ceremony fit for a party with frills

I wanted to share these words at the time

The words I had written, the readings we had chosen, the music we picked, the friends and family who represented everyone there, the ceremony for the Party with Frills, our vow renewal

I didn’t get round to it, the moment passed, other things became more significant more urgent. But now, almost a year on, I want to share them with you now.

I didn’t want to repeat the vows we had said to each other all those years before.

So much had changed, so many of our plans and dreams had already been shattered

It needed to reflect our lives, reflect us, the life we had built together.

It needed to show that the vows still stood but now it was more than that, the promises were different.

It needed to show that despite everything our love didn’t change

Wouldn’t change

It needed to surpass til death do us part

Our promises were for as long as love would last


So here it is, the ceremony for the party with frills;

Entrance Music – Waterfall

Please be upstanding for Chris, Becky, Lily & Sam

There are quite a few of you here today, some of you already connected, united in family or friendship by two people, and you will have been together to witness a great occasion, on this day 11 years ago when Chris & Becky became Mr & Mrs Cowley.

Just to introduce myself, I’m Gail Evans, the Celebrant and Godmother to Chris, with the privilege of conducting this ceremony today. I want to welcome you all to this ceremony of love and happiness and thank you on behalf of Chris, Becky, Lily and Sam for being here with them today.

Some of you may be familiar with the concept of a vow renewal, some may not; this is not going to be an off the shelf sort of event; it’s very personal, very much about Chris & Becky and, as you would expect, it won’t be too cheesy, or mushy. There will be laughter and depth, true words spoken by them and you, with their humour and spirit at the fore

You are all here for a wonderful, meaningful but also fun occasion. I hope you enjoy this ceremony and embrace the love and meaning behind it. It’s as much about Chris & Becky, as being here with you all, the family and friends they love dearly. All of you have been among the most important and involved people in their married life so far. You are the people they want to be here to celebrate with them, so do enjoy this occasion.

Usually we would spend a while first, talking of Chris & Becky, their journey, and what brings us all here today. But as most of you here already know them, how they met and the history of their relationship they thought it would be a nice idea to put their friends on the spot and have invited some of them to share memories with you all.


Christopher Warrington
Caroline Waldron
David Hughes
Hayley Danson
Matt Tuffs

Now we have a reading by Lily (Lily read a poem we wrote together)

It’s plain to see Chris and Becky are not the typical lovey dovey kind of couple, theirs is a light hearted jokey kind of relationship, despite whatever life throws at them. In darkness there is always light and they believe a day without laughter is a wasted day. But don’t let that mislead you, this is, indeed, a love story of the most profound kind, central to all of this is Chris’s love for Becky, Becky’s love for Chris and their love of Lily and Sam.

To bring this together, in the form of a reading that expresses the love, the bond, the marriage between them, Laura is now going to read for us

I Love you – Roy Croft

I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love 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 heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you 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 lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple.
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
by being yourself.

Now we’ve come to the central part of the ceremony, where we honour the love that is theirs.
Chris & Becky are going to read some lyrics from a song which they feel sums up their marriage and definitely the last few years:

Becky to Chris
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on lifes gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
This will help things turn out for the best
Always look on the bright side of life

Chris to Becky
If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
That’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle that’s the thing
Always look on the bright side of life

Please join your right hands
Chris & Becky are you now ready without reservation to pledge your commitment to your life together in the presence of your family and friends?
B&C – Yes we are
Chris & Becky I don’t have the right to bind you to each other, only you have this right. If it is your wish, say so at this time.
B&C – It is my wish


Music, played low. Chasing Cars

Chris and Becky have chosen to include in their ceremony a traditional handfasting. This is a symbolic binding of the hands, that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the knot” Throughout history, in many different ways and in many different parts of the world, the hands of the bride and groom were bound as a sign of their commitment to each another. In many times, rings were only for the very rich, while love knows no such bounds. The cords are not permanent, but perishable, as a reminder that all things of the material eventually return to the earth, unlike the bond and the connection that is love, which is eternal.

Chris and Becky, woven into these cords, embedded into their very fibres, are the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves for your life together. With the fashioning of these knots we tie together all the desires, dreams, love, and happiness wished here in this place, to your lives for as long as love shall last. The ties that bind you here today will further strengthen the bond between you, a bond that can never be broken.

I would like to invite Ian to tie the first knot

These are the hands of your best friend as you promise to continue to love each other today, tomorrow and always.

Rachael Brown
These are the hands that hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

Mark Bate
These are the hands that bring strength and comfort

These are the hands that have cherished you through the years

These are the hands that lovingly hold your children, Lily and Sam, the hands that hold the Mighty Cowleys together.

These are the hands that are squeezed when you share a joke, hands that bring laughter

Rachel Davies
These are the hands that lead you from darkness to stand in the light.

These are the hands that will be held together, always

As Chris & Becky have chosen all of you to witness their binding, I would like to invite you all to affirm your love for our couple, by joining me in a final blessing of their union. You are much loved family and friends, an important part of their lives. I would like to ask you to please send your blessings to the hands that you see before you. When I ask you the question, I will raise my hand as a signal for you to answer with a resounding ‘Yes we will’
Will you help to give their hands the strength to hold on during life’s storms and to keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love? Will you help these hands to remain strong and devoted to each other?
Family & Friends – Yes we will
Will you help Chris & Becky to see their hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide, using your hands to gently hold them when support is needed?
F&F – Yes we will!
Will you help these hands by making sure there’s always something to laugh about?
F&F – Yes we will
These knots will remain tied for as long as love shall last, after all this time, and always
Tie the big knot & hand to Chris & Becky
Thank you everyone, I think they will hold you to these.

Before we come to the end of our ceremony we have one more reading by Andy Moore

I LIKE YOU – Sandol Stoddard
I like you and I know why
I like you because you are a good person to like
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time
You say, Remember when you told me something special
And both of us remember
When I think something is important you think it’s important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too
I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
You can’t stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute
You want to think about things
It takes time
I like you because if I am mad at you
Then you are mad at me too
It’s awful when the other person isn’t
They are so nice and oooh you could just about punch them on the nose
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then
Even if it was the 999th of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
And that’s how it would happen every time

Chris & Becky, may you continue to share in all things, in love and laughter and may your hearts and lives be forever intertwined, may you always feel surrounded by the sense of love and friendship that you have here today.

We offer you our warmest congratulations

Ladies and gentlemen boys & girls, please be upstanding as I present to you
Chris & Becky, Lily & Sam
The Mighty Cowleys


Music – All you need is love

Posted by

30 something, married, mummy of one. Getting by on chocolate and laughter.

4 thoughts on “A ceremony fit for a party with frills

  1. I bloody love Chasing Cars, but I can’t hear it without crying. It’s a perfect celebration and so carefully put together. I think it really must have been an amazing day for everyone and I’m so pleased that you had it xxx

  2. Becky
    Thank you for sharing beautiful your love and friendship just reaches out . Take Care xx

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