So far, all the couples have chosen to be in the center by themselves, although there is no particular rule about that, and I could certainly be there with them if they wished. Still, I like the image of them standing alone in the center: They marry each other, I don't marry them.

When the couple walks out together after exchanging vows and rings, it's a lovely image. There is generally music. Some people choose to have additional readings. I meet them at the entrance again for the final blessing.

I love to use the Apache Wedding Blessing because it is gorgeous, resonating with meaning and poetry in a very tender and appropriate way.

There are many variations on this basic outline. At a wedding I officiated in Virginia, the couple wanted the center piece of their ceremony to be straight out of the Book of Common Prayer. They created a wonderful opening and closing to make it more personal. Other times, the couples have written the whole ceremony. I think that's appropriate because it's their day. I ask them to reflect on this question: What do you want to say to each other? I have also co-facilitated a wedding with an Episcopal priest. I went in initially, set the sacred space, and stood next to him while he did the traditional Episcopal service. Then I read the Apache Wedding Blessing as the closing prayer.

The Apache Wedding Blessing:
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to each other. Now there is no more loneliness for you, for each of you will be comfort to the other. Though you are two bodies, there is but one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness and may the days of your life be good and long upon the earth. Amen.