Welcome everyone, please be seated and settle in, and turn off your cell phones and beepers as we now begin the ceremony, thank you.


Tariq and Sarah will share the Pouring of the Libation with us…


Tariq: An African proverb tells us that people who lack the knowledge of their past are like a tree without roots. So, in the spirit of remembrance, we pour this libation. We pour to honor the past, so that we may learn from it. We pour to honor the importance of family. We raise our cup to God to show our reverence for the original source of our lives. We use cool water as a symbol of the continuity of life, to purify and to nourish our souls. We pour to celebrate the coming together of these two families.


Tariq: It is said that through others, we are somebody. Through this marriage, we broaden our family circle, remember our heritage and recall those who gave us life. We call upon our ancestors—our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, our fathers, grandfathers and our great-grandfathers, uncles, aunts and cousins – the foundations of our families, immortalized in our thoughts.


Tariq: We call upon our elders, whose wisdom we seek in all endeavors. Our friends, whom we are blessed to have in our lives, our parents who guided us along the road to adulthood. We call upon family who have passed over and could not be here to day. We ask that they be with us in our thoughts. We call upon the Bride and Groom, that they may always find prosperity in love and devotion. We ask that this couple be blessed by children, because children give glory to a home.


Sarah: Place your minds with those who could not be here today. Family, friends and ancestors who have passed on, are ill, or simply could not find their way here. Place your thoughts with this person or persons so that they may bear witness to this union in spirit.


Sarah: Therefore we cast our libation to the North, to the South, to the East and to the West. We wish everyone to leave more blessed than when they came. Amen.



“A Wedding Song” By Kenny G




“The Wedding March” by Mendelssohn





It is one of life’s richest surprises when the accidental meeting of two individuals leads them to proceed together along a common path. It is indeed one of life’s finest experiences when a chance relationship grows into a permanent bond of love. This meeting and this growing are what bring us together today.


The uniting in a marriage of these two friends to establish a new family is an important and memorable event. It brings together two separate families and backgrounds and creates a union that is a sign of hope in the midst of a sometimes intolerant society.


In their love for each other, which they publicly express in this ceremony, Hamid and Penelope demonstrate not only their joy in the present but their commitment to share the future together. This is a time of celebration for all of us who know and love them.


The rich surprise and accidental meeting happened when a couple years back Penelope noticed Hamid in the main lobby at Essex County College. That chance glance has led us all here today ~ how wonderful! At first, Penelope was saddened to think that Hamid might not feel that Penelope was his “type” due to their different religious upbringings ~ so, she left it alone. But the fates intervened…as they often do. One day, Penelope got a note from someone on  She says with a spark in her eyes, “When I checked out the picture, I recognized Hamid immediately.”  Hamid could not believe it either. It was the first time he logged onto this site, little did he know that the time had come to meet the girl of his dreams. It was “e-mail” that shot twin arrows of love high in the air and we all know where they landed ~ right here, right now.  Love knows no bounds. They went on their first date to The International House of Pancakes.  And, they tell me, “We’ve been together ever since.” Truly a natural match…like pancakes and maple syrup, a wonderful recipe …right from the start!


That is how they met; now this is how they feel about each other and their marriage together…


When asked what they love about one another Penelope answers with joy, “I love how Hamid makes me laugh and makes me feel safe when I’m in his arms.  I love the way he looks at me.  And most of all, I love that he is my best friend too.” Hamid echoes these sentiments only to add that when he looks into Penelope’s golden brown eyes and sees her effervescent smile ~ that this is his true joy.


Hamid and Penelope have hopes of the future they would like to share with you today. Penelope hopes that their passion for each other never withers, and that as a couple they grow fonder of one another as the years pass.  Hamid wants everyone to know how proud he is of Penelope and how he looks forward, in years to come, when he and his lovely Penelope are blessed as grandparents.


They love many of the same things in life:  music, each other’s company, their desire to grow their family and…they look forward to the future when they can have their own business together.


It is clear that they are honored and proud of each other in so many ways” Penelope’s spark and love of life, her way with children, her intelligence,” Hamid tells me, is everything I ever wished for in a woman to share my life with, and to be my wife”. Penelope is the apple of Hamid’s eye ~ no doubt about it!


Penelope says, in her own words, that she has chosen Hamid because “He is the first man in my life that makes me feel committed to giving my everything, my love and life to Hamid forevermore.


They each bring particular strengths to the relationship, Penelope is the light-hearted adventurer as Hamid declares! She is open to new ideas…unattainable possibilities are attainable. Hamid brings his love and true friendship to their relationship. Together they support and encourage each other through thick and thin.  And most importantly, they share the same values that will help build and sustain their strong sense of  “family”.


It means so very much for you their dear family and friends to be here today. Hamid says it very eloquently for both him and Penelope…“We are with our families and friends every day.  They are apart of our every day lives, so we continue on that path. Yes, this is a very special day in deed, but we believe that every day we share together is just one more of the many blessed days in our lives…and, there will be many, many more to come.” They thank you all and especially their loving mothers in being a very special part in this ceremony. Their mother’s represent the unification of both families, in their steadfast support and love for Penelope and Hamid’s marriage to each other.  Our mothers bring the light of life into the world and pass it on gloriously through their children to continue the beautiful and strong ~ permanent bond of love.




Celebrant: Who brings this woman to stand beside this man?


Bride’s Father: I do


Celebrant: We are honored to have Daniel present his daughter on this very special day. Daniel, on behalf of both families, are you willing now and always to support and strengthen this marriage by upholding both Penelope and Hamid with your love and support?


Bride’s Father: I do



Celebrant to the Groom:


Will you take Penelope to be your lawful wife?

Will you love her and comfort her,

Honor and keep her, in sickness and in health,

And, forsaking all others, keep only onto her,

So long as you both shall live?


Groom: I will


Celebrant to the Bride:


Will you take Hamid to be your lawful husband?

Will you love him and comfort him,

Honor and keep him, in sickness and in health,

And, forsaking all others, keep only onto him,

So long as you both shall live?


Bride: I will





I, Hamidullah, take you Penelope, to be my lawful wife,

to have and to hold, from this day forward,

for better for worse, for richer for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

for the rest of my life.




I, Penelope, take you Hamidullah, to be my lawful husband,

to have and to hold, from this day forward,

for better for worse, for richer for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

for the rest of my life.






With this ring,

I thee wed.

Take and wear it as a pledge of my love,

And as a symbol of all we share.




With this ring,

I thee wed.

Take and wear it as a pledge of my love,

And as a symbol of all we share.




Celebrant: Xavier and Tessa will now perform the Hands of the Bride and Groom Ceremony…



Penelope, please face Hamid, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.


These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.


These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.


These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within you.


These are the hands that look so larger and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.


These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears of sorrow and joy from your eyes.


These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind.


These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin to look into his eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.



Hamid, please hold Penelope’s hands, and hold her hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.


These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.


These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child, that together you have created a new life.


These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness

And hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way.


These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.


These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.


These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams.


Xavier and Tessa:

God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May Hamid and Penelope see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name, Amen.


Celebrant: Thank you (to Tessa and Xavier as they wrap the Bride and Groom’s hands).  Penelope and Hamid please face forward…





Penelope and Hamid have said their marriage vows to each other and now they will light their marriage candle uniting their families.  First their mothers will light these two smaller candles, which represent their individual lives before today.



Please light the two smaller candles.



These flames each burn with the warmth and love that your family and friends have fostered in each of you. Penelope & Hamid, you have used ancient symbols in this wedding service—the exchange of rings, the clasping of hands, the bearing of flowers. And now, let us participate in another symbolic act. Each of you will take the candle lit by your mothers, and together you will light one larger candle. This is a vivid reminder that in true marriage our lives are merged, even as we remain individuals.  This is a symbolic prayer that God will enhance your own personhood and bless your uniqueness as individuals: but that God will also make of your hands ONE hand...of your hearts ONE heart...of your families ONE family…and of your lives ONE life.



Hamid and Penelope please light your marriage candle, simultaneously, by the two individual candles your mothers have lit.


As you join the two candles together to light the single marriage candle, the flame flares higher than before. This flame of love symbolizes how Hamid and Penelope’s lives will be richer in their union.


The united flame is a strong symbol. It represents the warmth of their love the sacredness of their relationship, and the light that will guide them through everyday of their future together.


From this moment forward may the light of life shine bright for Penelope, Hamid and both families.





Ladies and Gentlemen, I will ask the Bride and Groom and the two witnesses to come to the table to sign the Wedding Certificate.


The signing is and ancient tradition and is a part of the ceremony. During this time I will also ask you to give your attention to a very special piece of music that Penelope and Hamid have chosen for just this occasion entitled: “Spend My Life With You”, sung by Trevor.


When the signing is completed…I will bring them back to this position to

present them with the Marriage Certificate. Then…they’re all yours!



Friends and Family, after the Declaration of Marriage and the Jumping of the Broom Ceremony which follows immediately, please allow the Bride and Groom to Recess out and give the Parents and Grandparents the opportunity of congratulating the couple first and foremost…followed by the Guests. You are all then invited to the reception in the ballroom.





Ladies and Gentlemen,

Hamid and Penelope have declared before all of us that they will live together in marriage. They have made special promises to each other. They have symbolized it by joining hands, taking vows, and by exchanging rings.


So, therefore, on behalf of the community, I now declare Hamidullah and Penelope to be husband and wife…I give to you the new Mr. and Mrs. Hussam!


Hamid - kiss your bride!





Broom Bearers ~ Siraj and Sadiq…


One, two, three, Jump!!!