(This is a non-denomination, traditional Christian Ceremony that you may modify or add to.)
Welcome Family and Friends
We are gathered here today in the sight of God and angels, and the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words which shall unite _____________and________________ in holy matrimony.
Marriage is a most honorable estate, created and Instituted by God, signifying unto us the mystical union, which also rests between Christ and the Church; so too may this marriage be adorned by true and abiding love.
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. (You may delete this if you wish)
(If bride is escorted forward)
Who is it that brings this woman to this man? (If the father, he may answer “her mother and I”, “her father on behalf of the family” or simply “I do” . He will place the bride’s hand with the groom’s and steps back. )
______________and____________________ life is given to each of us as individuals, and yet we must learn to live together. Love is give to us by our family and friends. We learn to love by being loved. Learning to love and living together is one of life’s greatest challenges and is the shared goal of a married life.
But a husband and wife should not confuse love of worldly measures for even if worldly success is found, only love will maintain a marriage. Mankind did not create love; love is created by God. The measure of true love is a love both freely given and freely accepted, just as God’s love of us is unconditional and free.
Today truly is a glorious day the Lord hath made – as today both of you are blessed with God’s greatest of all gifts – the gift of abiding love and devotion between a man and a woman. All present here today – and those here in heart – wish both of you all the joy, happiness and success and the world has to offer.
As you travel through life together, I caution you to remember that the true measure of success, the true avenue to joy and peace, is to be found within the love you hold in your hearts. I would ask that you hold the key to your heart very tightly.
Within the Bible, nothing is of more importance that love. We are told the crystalline and beautiful truth: “God is Love”. We are assured that “Love conquers all”. It is love, which brings you here today, the union of two hearts and two spirits. As your lives continue to interweave as one pattern, remember that it was love that brought you here today, it is love that will make this a glorious union, and it is love which will cause this union to endure.
(You may selection other vows, pick for our different denomination vows, or write your own)
Would you please face each other and join hands.
(Groom) ___________________do you take _________________to be your wife?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others
and holding only to her forevermore?
(Bride) ________________do you take_________________ to be your Husband?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others
and holding only to him forevermore?
Your choice. Check out our Suggested Readings for ideas.
Vows to be repeated
(you may change these vows or write your own)
(Groom) I,________________ take thee _________________, to be my wife. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you forevermore.
(Bride) I,___________________ take thee ________________ to be my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you forevermore.
Exchange of Rings
(rings are not required for a marriage ceremony)
(If a song is being sung, it is often added at this point)
Additional Reading – often from “Ephesians”
(Some couples delete this passage from the ceremony)
In Ephesians, the relationship between husband and wife is compared to between Christ and the church:
Charge to the Couple
______________________ and ___________________ 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.
Prayer if desired. Your choice.
If there are minor children coming into the marriage, it is important they be mentioned in the prayer. Please provide their names when filling out the Questionnaire
Some couples will have the minister ask guests to join in the Lord’s Prayer or it may be sung or played in tape – CD. Other couples will ask someone else to read the prayer or say their own prayer.
(If unity candles are used – optional – it will be at this point in the ceremony.)
“___________________ and ________________ the two lighted candies symbolize your separate lives, your separate families and your separate sets of friends. I ask that you each take one candle and that together you light the center candle.
The individual candies represent your individual 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.”
(view additional Unity Candle Ceremonies)
(You can also involve children in the unity candle ceremony )
Rose Ceremony may be added at this point
(The Rose Ceremony is a special addition found on in these materials. If it is used, it is added at this point in the ceremony. View Rose Ceremony.)
Pronouncement as Husband & Wife
____________________ 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 giving of these rings and the joining of your hands, I now declare you to be husband and wife.
(may be deleted if you wish)
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance unto you, and give you peace.
Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.
I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ____________________________.
(After the couple have exited, I will thank everyone for coming on the Bride and Groom’ behalf and make any reception announcements you wish.)