Sample Wedding Ceremony
Dear Friends, we are gathered here today to witness the marriage of ________ & ________. Having come to love each other deeply and sincerely, they now wish to unite their lives. In this ceremony they dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other, and we their friends and family join with them in this celebration and dedication.
Marriage is a spiritual art form. In marriage, two unique people surrender to the Greatest Love and commit to the process of co-creating an environment that will elicit their highest potential as human beings. Through their marriage, ________ & ________ will become more of who they truly are. From joys and sorrows shared, they will grow in love and loyalty. From any pain given and forgiven, they will grow in mutual understanding and compassion. Their life together will move toward the fulfillment of what we celebrate here today.
Will you _______ ‘s & ______ ‘s parents grant them your blessings and pledge them your love and acceptance? If so, please answer now “we will”.
Parents of the couple: “We will”
In acknowledgement of the purpose and the power of this occasion, let us pray:
Divine Mother and Father, who gives us the longing for love and the capability of loving, we give you thanks for _______ & _______, for their open hearts and willing spirits, and for the example of love that they embody here in our presence.
Be with them on this joyous occasion of showing their love and making their vows;be with us, their witnesses, that we may all be inspired by what is said and witnessed here. Amen.
Reading or Poem 1:
(can be read by a friend, relative, or the minister)
Sonnet 116 Shakespeare (example)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
______ & ______, if you are now ready to enter the blessed union of marriage, freely choosing this union with all its rights and potential, please indicate that now by facing each other and joining both hands together.
_______, do you take this (man/woman) to be your (husband/wife)? Do you promise to love (him/her), comfort (him/her), honor and nurture (him/her), in sickness and health, in sorrow and in joy, as long as you both shall live?
If so, please answer now “ I do”
"The blessing is not in what is seen but what is felt" -Rev. Bonnie
***This is a sample wedding ceremony. It is here to give you an idea of the general structure of a service.
However, most elements in a ceremony can be changed to your liking. For example, requesting a parent's blessing is optional or the sand ceremony can be changed to include two people or the whole wedding party.
There are few restrictions and your ceremony can be as simple or creative as you like. The most important factor is that your ceremony reflects who you are as a couple and I am here to help create that ceremony for you. ***
Example HandfastingPlease join hands with your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say.
Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time passes, remember...Like a stone should your love be firm, like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly. Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear, for God is with you always. ____ & _____, as your hands are bound together now,
so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. I then wrap the cords around your hand and wrist
Scyvonne & Donald. Ceremony performed at the Mediterranean Manor in Patchogue. They were a lot of fun!
I, ____, choose you, ____ to be my wife/husband. I will respect you, care for you,and grow with you, through good times and hard times, as your friend, companion, and partner, giving the best I can, to fulfill our lives together.
I, ____, take you, _____ for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.
In the presence of God and these our friends I take thee,_____,to be my husband/wife,promising with Divine Assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful wife/husband so long as we both shall live.
Charge to the Guests:
______ & ______’s relationship is woven into the fabric of the community that you all represent. The ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect that they bring to their marriage have their roots in the love, friendship and guidance which you have given them. The love and support you give this couple will be indispensable in helping them to nurture their togetherness and to meet the challenges that may lie ahead.
I therefore charge you to do all in your power to aid and sustain and encourage their union. Will you who today witness their pledges do your utmost to uphold this marriage?
If so, answer now “ we will”.
Having thus committed themselves, _______ & _______ will now declare their love for each other with the vows they have chosen (written). I invite those of you who are present with your own life partners to renew the spirit of your own vows by joining hands as ______ & _____ make their declaration.
______, please repeat after me: (repeating for chosen vows only)
I, _______, take you ________ to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I don’t yet know , with respect for your integrity and faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years and in all that life may bring us, I accept you as my (wife, husband).
Have you brought the rings as a token of what you pledge here today?
(The best man and maid of honor will answer “Yes” and then hand the rings to me. I then raise my hands with the rings in each hand and say the below)
The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It is the symbol of wholeness and perfection and peace. This ring is also a symbol of your unity; your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever you go, you will always return to one another and to your togetherness.
________, please place the ring on ________’s finger and repeat after me:
I give you this ring
As a symbol of my vow,
And with all that I am and all that I have,
I pledge my love to you.
(A candle lighting ceremony or hand fasting can be placed here instead)
In this very special moment, we pause, to give thanks for all the rich experiences of life that have brought _______ & _______ to this high point in their lives. We are grateful for the values, which they have found through their own strivings. We are grateful that within them is the dream of great love and the resources to use that love in creating a home that shall endure.
We are especially grateful for the values, which have flowed into them from those who have loved them and nurtured them and pointed them along life’s way. The heritage each brings to this commitment will continue to be an important element in their lives, but now will be shared between them. In commemoration of the merging of these two rich heritages and in memory of those, living and departed, who were part of these heritages, I now invite _______ & _______’s parents to come forth and represent each of the families of this couple.
(You are all facing the containers of sand)
Before you are four separate containers of sand representing your lives to this moment; individual and unique. When you combine your sand together , your lives will also join together as one family.
_________, please pick up the container of sand that represents your life’s path.
__________, please pick up the container that represents your life’s path.
________ & ________ ‘s parents, please pick up the container that represents the life path of your family.
You may now blend the sand together symbolizing the uniting of these two families into one.
(as you all pouring the sand)
Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your commitment and your families be.
Reading 2 (Example):
Deep within my Heart
By Rev. Bonnie J. Giebfried
Deep within my heart my love for you is true.
Deep within my heart a smile exists when I think about you.
Deep within my heart the colors of the rainbow paint a beautiful picture.
Deep within my heart I can face whatever may come my way.
Deep within my heart there is a music that is tranquil and calming.
Deep within my heart there is a feeling that I can not describe.
Deep within my heart there is no boundary.
Deep within my heart is a sensitivity that can not be explained.
Deep within my heart is a yearning that is exciting and new.
Deep within my heart is the joy of sharing myself.
Deep within my heart is the caring that is unconditional.
Deep within my heart is the essence of mystery.
All these things I give to you freely!
Divine Source of Love, we thank you for the evidence of Your enfolding presence in our lives. Please bless this couple, O Divine Mother and Father, and the blending of their hearts and spirits. Grant them patience, compassion, and hope, that they continue to support each other and live in the greatest potential of their union. May this union evoke the realization of their highest selves, and may the light of this marriage serve as an inspiration to others who see You in the path of relationship. Amen.
This is a special moment for ______ &_______ , but it is also a special moment for you who gathered here with them. For it is with you that they have chosen to share their joy in having found one another. You are all participants together in the magic of this precious moment of love. In recognition of this sharing, you and I are going to marry _______ & ______.
I will say the pronouncement one line at a time, and you will repeat it after me. When we are finished, I will say one more sentence, which is what the law requires. Then I’ll give them the opportunity to have their first married kiss. Are you ready?
(all except the couple)
We have gathered today in friendship and in love
To celebrate the love which has brought you together
And the love that unites us all
May your joy be great
And may you provide comfort to one another in times of sorrow
With great Affection,
We now pronounce you husband & wife
(Minister, acc. to state law)
And by the power vested in me by the state of New York, it is my joy
And privilege to declare that you are now husband & wife
You may kiss the bride.
With abiding confidence and affection, we send you forth on your journey of life together. May you be filled with thanks and wonder, humor and fun, hope and perseverance so that you may grow in wisdom and grace.
May God’s blessings rest upon you, may His peace abide with you, and may Her presence illuminate your hearts now and forever more. Go in peace.