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Family Vows

Not every wedding unites just two people who want to make a life together. Many times a wedding creates a whole new family.

When one or both parties brings at least one child to the union, a new family is begun. Speaking from experience, I know blending families can be a tricky business! Just because the two adults have fallen in love, doesn't mean that everybody else involved has fallen in love with each other, too. The wedding doesn't automatically mean that everybody is now magically just one big happy family.

Including the children in the wedding ceremony helps them feel that they are important, and that their feelings matter. It may also help them accept that the new stepparent is committed to them and to the success of the family. Therefore, many couples with children choose to include family vows in their wedding ceremony, as well. Often times a special token is also exchanged with the children, such as a medal or family ring, that symbolizes the new family being created.

At Joyful Promises, we can help you craft the kind of family vows that are meaningful for you and your children as you begin your new life together as a couple and as a family.


The concept of a Handfasting is said to have originated with the ancient Celtic culture. With the peasant class, a Handfasting was often used instead of a wedding because the couple was not wealthy enough to require a marriage contract, since there usually was no dowry to arrange for.

Conversely with the nobility class, a Handfasting was used almost like a modern day prenuptial agreement. The Handfasting was used to signify the betrothal of the couple before the business of the dowry and entitlement was worked out.

Today a Handfasting can be used in a number of ways. It can be used to signify an engagement or betrothal. Laws being as they are today, a Handfasting is an excellent way for a gay or lesbian couple to make their commitment known. Handfasting may be the ceremony of choice for Wiccan or pagan couples, as well. Additionally a Handfasting can be added to any wedding ceremony to symbolize "tying the knot" as a universal wedding theme.

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