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A Civil Wedding Ceremony
(This ceremony takes 8-15
minutes, depending upon whether you have , other readings etc.
are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments to give
recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishers
to the words that shall unite
_____________ and _____________
Should there be anyone who
has cause why this couple should not be united in marriage, they must speak now
or forever hold their peace.
(If the bride is escorted
Who is it that brings this
woman to this man?
(The father, children,
relative etc. may give the bride away. He
/they answer "I do", This person then steps back and the groom takes
the bride's hand.)
and _______________________ , I would ask that you both remember to treat
yourself and each other with respect, and remind yourself often of what brought
you together today. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and
kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration and difficulty assail
your marriage - as they do to every relationship at one time or another - focus
on what still seems right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. This
way, when clouds of trouble hide the sun in your lives and you lose sight of it
for a moment, you can remember that the sun is still there. And if each of you
will take responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be
marked by abundance and delight.
(Vows used unless other vows
are wished. See Alternative vows. You may change the vows as you wish or write
(Groom ) ________________, do you take _______________ to he
your Wife? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect
her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her forevermore?
(Bride ________________, do you take __________________ to
be your Husband? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and
protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him forevermore?
(If rings are exchanged each
does so before repeating the following vows - unless you wish other vows or do
not wish to repeat vows. It is not required that a couple exchange rings.)
(Groom) I _____________, take thee, ________________ to be my
Wife- To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer,
in joy and sorrow and I promise my love to you.
I _________________, take thee ______________, to be
my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health , for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow,
and I promise My love to you.
Rings are exchanged - ("With this ring, I take you as my husband, for as
long as we both shall live.")
there are children of either couple, sometimes couples will give a ring or small
gift such as a necklace or ring to the child and say a short statement that they
also are now part of the new family. I believe it very important to mention
children's names in the ceremony, If you have minor children coming into the
marriage, please provide their names so I will mention them as is appropriate.
as the two of you come into
this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your
faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish
each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts,
ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges,
and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you
shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by
your love and respect for each other.
Just as two threads woven in
opposite directions will form a most beautiful tapestry, so too can your two
lives merged together make a beautiful marriage. To make your relationship work
will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here
today. It will take trust , to know in your hearts that you truly want
the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open to one
another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go
forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will
take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both pledge today to
(If unity candles are used -
optional. If the Rose Ceremony is used, it is placed after the unity
candle ceremony or in place of it.)
and ______________, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives,
separate families and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take one
of the lit candles and that together you light the center candle.
individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle
represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the
joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.
(For couples who are adding
music to the ceremony, it is usually placed either here or after the vows are
(THE ROSE CEREMONY MAY BE
ADDED AT THIS POINT IF YOU WISH. )
and _________________________, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live
together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, the
joining of your hands and the giving of these rings, I now declare you to be
Husband and Wife.
is my privilege to present to you Mr. & Mrs. _______________________________
(If a large gathering, after
the wedding party has exited, I will thank all for coming on your behalf and
make any reception announcements that you wish.)
NON RELIGIOUS CEREMONY
(This is a contemporary, non
religious ceremony. You may change it anyway you wish or construct your own
(morning/evening)! We are gathered here today, not to witness the beginning of
what will be, but rather what already is! We do not create this marriage,
because we cannot. We can and do, however, celebrate with __________________ and
___________ and their friends and families the wondrous and joyful occurrence
that has already taken place in their lives.
let the ceremony begin!
Marriage is a supreme sharing
of experience, and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It
is the joyous union of two people whose comradeship and mutual understanding
have flowered in romance. Today ___________ and__________ proclaim their love
and commitment to the world, and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them,
in the new life they now undertake together.
The joy we feel now is a
solemn joy, because the act of marriage has many consequences, both social and
personal. Marriage requires "love," a word we often use with vagueness
and sentimentality. We may assume that love is some rare and mystical event,
when in fact it is our natural state of being.
So what do we mean by love?
When we love, we see things other people do not see. We see beneath the surface,
to the qualities which make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving
eyes, is to know inner beauty . And to be loved is to be seen, and known, as we
are known to no other. One who loves us, gives us a unique gift: a piece of
ourselves, but a piece that only they could give us.
We who love, can look at each
other's life and say, "I touched his life," or, "I touched her
life," just as an artist might say, "I touched this canvas."
"Those brushstrokes in the comer of this magnificent mural, those are mine.
I was a part of this life, and it is a part of me." Marriage is to belong
to each other through a unique and diverse collaboration, like two threads
crossing in different directions, yet weaving one tapestry together.
The secret of love and
marriage is similar to that of religion itself. It is the emergence of the
larger self. It is the finding of one's life by losing it. Such is the privilege
of husband and wife - to be each himself, herself and yet another; to face the
world strong, with the courage of two.
To make this relationship
work, therefore, takes more than love. It takes trust, to know in your
hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication,
to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do
so. And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the
future holds for you both. While love is our natural state of being, these other
qualities are not as easy to come by. They are not a destination, but a journey.
The true art of married life
is in this an inner spiritual journey. It is a mutual enrichment, a give and
take between two personalities, a mingling of two endowments which diminishes
neither, but enhances both.
You and I
As the poem shows us, mingling
in marriage is a mutual dedication, a cooperative venture in every sense. It is
a relationship based on love, respect, and a determination by both partners to
adjust to each other and support one another, in health and in sickness, in joy
and in sadness, in ease and in hardship.
Through this co-operation, we
give ourselves, our lives and love. into the hands of the one we love. We do so
trustingly and generously. And so, each of us receives a gift: the life and love
of the other. We receive this gift, not only from the one we love, but also from
the parents who brought us into the world, and from our friends and families as
And so as _______________ and
_________________s friends and family, we are here to share with them this joy
and hope, and to see them off on the path they will walk together. May it be a
path of blessedness, bright with flowers of prosperity and spiritual awakening;
a path of ever deepening, ever broadening love that they will travel, arm in
arm. through out eternity.
_______________ this celebration is the outward token of your sacred and inward
union of hearts, which the church and temple may bless, and the state make
legal, but which neither state nor church can create nor annul. It is a union
created by your loving purpose and kept by your abiding will. It is in this
spirit and for this purpose that you have come here to be joined together.
(You may pick other vows or write your own)
will you have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together in marriage?
Will you love her, comfort her, and honor her, in sickness and in health, in
sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?
take this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together in marriage? Will you
love him, comfort him. and honor him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and
in joy, so long as you both shall live?
(Ceremony of the Rings)
Traditionally, the marking- of
the passage to tile status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of
rings. These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely
given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for each is the
giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows
you have taken.
(Each places the ring on the
other’s finger and repeats this simple vow:)
We will close with an Apache
Now you will feel no rain, for
each of you will be the shelter for each other.
_________________, remember to treat both yourself and each other with respect,
and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to
the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When
frustration, difficulty or fear assail your relationship – as they threatened
all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right
between you, not only the part that seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out
the times when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering
that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes
responsibility for the quality of your lives together, your life together will
be marked by abundance and delight.
(The Unity Candle and/or The
Rose Ceremony may be added at this point if you wish. Both are included on other
sheets of the material sent to you. You also may add the Cherokee Wedding Prayer
- from the "SPECIAL READINGS " section.
Inasmuch as you have consented
together in this ceremony to live in wedlock and have sealed your vows in the
presence of this company and by the giving of these rings, it gives me great
pleasure to pronounce that you are Husband and Wife.
Congratulations, you make
(I will make any announcements
of reception, party or announcements that you wish at the conclusion of the