Sample Wedding Ceremony
Sample Ceremony: Spiritual #4
Jim will ask “Who gives woman to be married to this man?”
Parents reply, “We do!”
Welcome / Greeting
“We are here today to celebrate the love which you have for each other, and give recognition to your decision to accept each other totally and permanently.”
“Both of you have traveled a long and windy road to get here today, but speaking on behalf of all in attendance, we are proud to be here to witness what has been always meant to be.”
“Into the state of marriage these two people come now to be united; of all the men and women you know, you have chosen each other as partners in life together. Are you ready to be married?”
Bride and Groom: “We Are.”
“Will you, their parents, families and friends who have gathered with them, grant them your blessings and pledge them your love and acceptance?”
“Guests, if you accept, please say ‘We Will’.”
Guests in Unison: “We Will.”
“Having now given freely the voice of your desire to be united in marriage, your families and friends have given their acceptance and approval.”
“We are ready to begin the ceremony.”
“[GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME], please face each other and place your palms together so you may feel the gift that you are to one another.”
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.”
“These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.”
“These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.”
“These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind.”
“These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.”
“These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.”
“These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.”
“And lastly, these are the hands that – even when wrinkled and aged – will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
“Bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building this relationship, rich in caring and devoted to reaching for perfection. May [GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME] see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. May these hands and this relationship be blessed for all time.”
Exchange of Vows
Officiant, “[BRIDE’S NAME] and [GROOM’S NAME] please remain facing each other and continue to join your hands.
Officiant will ask:
“[BRIDE’S NAME], do you take [GROOM’S NAME] to be your wedded husband, to share your life openly, standing with him, in sickness a
nd health, in joy and sorrow, in hardship and ease, to cherish and to love, so long as you both shall live?”
[BRIDE’S NAME]’ Reply: “I will”
“[GROOM’S NAME], do you take [BRIDE’S NAME] to be your wedded wife, to share your life openly, standing with her, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and to love, so long as you both shall live?”
[GROOM’S NAME]’s Reply: “I will”
Exchange of Rings
Officiant will ask Best Man for the rings. Each ring will be given to bride and groom.
Officiant – “[GROOM’S NAME], as you place the ring on [BRIDE’S NAME]’ hand, repeat after me.
“I, [GROOM’S NAME],
take you, [BRIDE’S NAME],
to be my best friend,
the mother of my children
and my wife.
I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of need,
in times of sickness and in times of health,
in times of joy and in times of sadness,
in times of failure and in times of victory.
I promise to cherish and respect you,
to care and protect you,
to comfort and encourage you,
and to faithfully stay with you,
for the rest of my life.
May our souls be forever paired into eternity.”
Officiant – “[BRIDE’S NAME], as you place the ring on [GROOM’S NAME]’s hand, please repeat after me:
“I, [BRIDE’S NAME],
take you, [GROOM’S NAME],
to be my husband,
my best friend,
my faithful partner
and my other half
from this day forward.
I will cherish our union
and love you more with each passing day.
I will trust you and respect you,
laugh with you and cry with you,
care for you and protect you.
When I am moody and crabby
I promise to not take it all out on you…
I give you my promise
to love you faithfully
through good times and bad,
regardless of the obstacles we may face together.
I give you my hand,
and all of my love,
from this day forward
for as long as I shall live.
May our souls be forever paired into eternity.”
Reading of Poem
“Before continuing with the rest of the ceremony, I would like to read to you about the ‘Art of Marriage’.”
“The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I Love You” at least once a day.
“It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.”
“It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude or duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.”
“It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other.”
“It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.”
“It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.”
“And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the Art of Marriage.”
Rose Ceremony (Officiant)
“Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.”
“You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.”
“In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.”
“Mothers of the Bride and Groom, please give each rose to your child.”
“[GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME], Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.”
“In some ways it seems like what you have just done is nothing anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are still holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.”
“[GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME], I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.”
“In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love.
It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.”
“That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.”
“[BRIDE’S NAME] and [GROOM’S NAME], if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”
Unity in Joining of Hands
Officiant, “[BRIDE’S NAME] and [GROOM’S NAME] would like all of you to join hands. Please do so to make the joining of your hands a continuous link. This is your opportunity to send your silent blessings, well wishes, energy and support to this newly married couple standing in front of you today. When all hands are joined in unity, I will recite a short blessing.
“Each of you here has given something of yourself into [GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME]’ lives. Your love, guidance, and encouragement will forever be appreciated. It is fitting then that you should share today in this celebration of their commitment to each other to live their lives as one. We are glad you are with us. It is good and appropriate that you, the family and friends, be here to witness, celebrate and participate in this occasion, for their relationship to each other will have roots in the love and friendship you have given them and will continue to draw much of its meaning from associations of the past.
[GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME]: Cherish and build on the hopes and dreams you hold now. Stand fast together in hope and confidence, believing in yourselves and in each other. You are, at this very moment, creating a union that will radiate between you, giving happiness and strength to you and those that are joined in unity with you.”
“Thank you. You may now release your Unity in joining hands.”
Reading of Poem
From the book, “Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh”
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanence, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom, in the sense that dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.”
“May [GROOM’S NAME] and [BRIDE’S NAME] dance to the ebb and flow of life.”
Declaration of Marriage
And now [BRIDE’S NAME] and [GROOM’S NAME], by the authority vested in me by the state of Minnesota, but much more importantly, by the authority vested in me by the fact that I believe in the power of your agreement this day, the look of love in your eyes; and because I believe my faith in your union is shared by everyone gathered here, it is my honor and my delight to now pronounce you:
HUSBAND AND WIFE
Kiss of the bride and groom
[GROOM’S NAME], you may kiss your bride
Presentation of couple
It gives me great pleasure to introduce for the first time
Mr. & Mrs. [GROOM’S NAME] ????
Bride and Groom Recessional
Bridal Party Recessional