Jennifer Johnston Crow

Minister ID: 611569-348212 View Ordination Certificate

Outdoor Wedding With Handfasting Ritual

The Wedding of Holly Pifer & Shane Stump

Officiated by Jennifer Johnston Crow at a private residence in Elizabeth, West Virginia on April 24th, 2021.


"Holly and Shane decided to do a handfasting ceremony in their wedding. I simply love this ritual because it is a tangible experience of becoming bound together in matrimony that offers a knot and the ribbons as a keepsake that will always evoke the memories and the feelings from that event. It was great to see the joy Holly and Shane had. Originally planned for Fall 2020, they had to postpone until Spring 2021, and the bride guided the whole process, from designing the cake to organizing the venue (her Aunt's countryside lawn with Redbud trees blooming and Spring adding colors and new life). Although rain threatened, they put up a tent at the last minute (rain held off for the ceremony). Family and friends enjoyed an old-fashioned picnic afterward. "

Jennifer Johnston Crow


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Holly Pifer And Shane Stump’s Wedding Wedding Ceremony Script


Family and Friends: Welcome! Today marks the day that Holly and Shane make their commitment official. Each of you has been a special part of their lives, and now you’re part of this day of celebration. Enjoy these memories for years to come.

Holly and Shane: You have had the chance to experience your lives together. No doubt there have been bumps along the way – life IS life after all – and as a result, you’ve learned what it means to love and trust and honor one another, and what it means to become a committed couple. Getting married today is only one small, quick step toward the meaning of true marriage.

Marriage isn’t just about putting on a beautiful dress or a nice suit. It’s not about having a big party and celebrating with friends and family. Yes, all of those things are what a wedding is about, but marriage … well, marriage is about far more.

It’s about how you continue to learn that living together is not just two separate lives, but making a commitment to live those two lives as part of one complete life together. It means always moving forward and working toward the success of you as a couple and a family.

So, let nothing stand in the way of your marriage. Your success rests upon both of you. To honor and to support each other. To honor and support your hopes and dreams. To be loving and supportive parents, and to be a champion of your partnership always.

So. Are you ready to do this?

Friends and Family, are you all ready to witness this?

Then let’s do this!


Shane/Holly, do you take Holly/Shane to be your lawfully wedded spouse? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and protect her/him, forsaking all others and holding only onto her/him in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for as long as you both have life?


Rings are made of precious metal, but that same metal is also made precious by wearing them. Your wedding rings are special because they enhance who you are. They mark the beginning of your journey together. A wedding ring is a circle, a symbol of never-ending love. It seals the vows you have just taken to love without end.

Shane/Holly, please place the ring on Holly's/Shane's left hand and repeat after me

By placing this ring on your finger,

I do this as a sign of my love.

Know that I have chosen you above all others.


Holly and Shane will use an ancient Celtic ritual called “handfasting.” In fact, it’s the ceremony that gives us the phrase, “tying the knot.” It’s a symbol of strength and love, of continued commitment and steady devotion. It beautifully illustrates the belief that, together, Shane and Holly will overcome challenges easier than facing them alone.

A wedding is largely about symbols. Symbols are important and helpful because they make an idea and a value concrete and physical – something we can see and touch. Symbols create a powerful memory and reminder of an event, a time and a place. They keep fresh the feeling and promise of this moment today.

Handfasting is a symbol like this. It’s one of the world’s oldest wedding traditions, found in cultures all over the world. In joining hands, Holly and Shane symbolize how they freely offer their lives to one another.

By fastening their hands together, these ribbons represent how Shane and Holly leave this place today with their lives now bound together. How after today, two stories come together with two sets of hopes and desires for the future and are joined in commitment and intention.

As I fasten your hands together and as you tie this knot yourselves, I invite you to reflect on the joy and responsibility that awaits you. From today, being bound together in the commitment and intention of marriage means that each of you becomes a lifelong, safe place where you both can love and be loved.

Please grasp the cords that hang on your left with your free hands. In a moment, gently pull your right hands back toward you as you also pull the cords with your left hands.

May you know and always remember that together in this marriage, you are each deeply known and deeply loved.


Now, with great joy in front of your friends and family, and by the authority given to me by the State of West Virginia, I now pronounce you officially married and partners in life! May this handfasting knot continue to strengthen the love you already feel for one another.

I invite you to seal this ceremony with your first official kiss as a married couple.

It’s a pleasure for me to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Shane and Holly Stump.


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