My friends, we are gathered here to celebrate your happiness as you exchange your wedding vows. The ceremony itself is just a symbol of the true marriage. The true marriage is invisible, a sacred union of hearts and lives bound together by the strongest and yet the most tender of all ties. It is a union created out of friendship, out of respect, and out of love. Two lives, two hearts joined in friendship and love.
We are all rejoicing with you, that you two have found each other, that you can share the deeper meaning of the human experience with each other. But, even now, your future with all its hopes and disappointments, its successes and sorrows, is still hidden from your eyes. But love can make it easy and perfect love will make it a joy!
A wedding is a celebration of the commencement of a new chapter in your journey together, and marriage is a formal expression of that life-long commitment, friendship, and love. Marriage is what you make of it. Your future is a mystery, but whatever it holds, whatever you undertake together will bring you inestimable joy. In presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage, you perform an act of faith. If you can recognize each other’s needs and compromise, together you will find a sense of personal freedom, as well as personal responsibility. Working together, you will find in each other companionship and love, understanding and compassion, challenge and agreement. Individually, neither of you are perfect. Perfection lies in the two of you loving and working together, as equal partners. To be loved is to know happiness and contentment. To give love is to know the joy of sharing oneself. It is through the miracle of love that we discover the fullness of life.
Bride and Groom, in presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage, you perform an act of faith. This faith can grow and develop and last, but only if you both decide to make it so. A lasting and growing love is not guaranteed by any ritual. If you would have the foundation of your marriage be the devotion you have for one another, not just at this moment, but for all the days to come, then treasure the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Establish that your love will never be blotted out by the common, nor obscured by the ordinary in life. Faults will surface where now you find comfort, and admiration can be shattered by the routine of daily life.
Dedication, love, and joy can grow only when you nourish them together. Stand fast in that hope and confidence, having faith in your shared destiny just as strongly as you have faith in yourselves and in one another today. Only with this spirit can you forge a union that will strengthen and endure all the days of your lives.
Today you choose to marry; to take one another forever into your hearts, and loving each other fully, you will promise that you shall be steadfast always in your love. You are choosing to take this journey with one another, wherever it leads, whatever the outcome, no matter what may befall you, through all the days of your lives. Are you ready to make the pledges to which you commit yourselves to each other in sacred matrimony? Both: Yes!
Bride: I, Bride, take you, Groom, to be no other than yourself; loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know; with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me through all our years and in all that life may bring us.
Groom: I, Groom, take you, Bride, to be no other than yourself; loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know; with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me through all our years and in all that life may bring us.
Blessing and Exchanging of Rings
May we please have the rings? A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth, and of the universe. It is a symbol of wholeness, and perfection, and of peace. The rings you give and receive this day, then, are symbols of the circle of shared love into which you enter together as husband and wife. May these rings remind you always of the love you share on this day.
Bride: I give you this ring as a symbol that I am part of your journey, and you are a part of mine. With this ring I thee wed, and share my life, and pledge my love.
Groom: I give you this ring as a symbol that I am part of your journey, and you are a part of mine. With this ring I thee wed, and share my life, and pledge my love.
May your love and your understanding grow with the years. May you seek each other’s happiness and recognize each other’s needs. May your shared adventure always be rich with moments of both serenity and excitement. Life’s problems will test you, and life’s successes will lift you up. Together you will find a sense of personal freedom, as well as personal responsibility. May you find in each other companionship and love, understanding and compassion, challenge and agreement. May you find peace in your place in the universe and in our midst. May you feel the love of each other always. Go in peace.
Bride and Groom, your vows have been witnessed by those who love you and you have exchanged symbols of your everlasting commitment. I, therefore, have the great joy and honor to declare that you are now, and forever, husband and wife. You may seal your marriage with a kiss!
Welcome everyone! We are gathered today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to unite Groom and Bride in marriage. They describe the beginning of their relationship as “truly a time of magic.” In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has steadily grown. And now they’ve decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.
They have chosen each one of you to witness their wedding ceremony. You’ve come to share in the commitment they now make to one another, to offer your love and support to their union, and to allow them to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them. They thank you for being here today. They ask for your blessing, encouragement, and life long support, for their decision to be married.
They also remember the loved ones who cannot be here to share this moment with them today. They hold those people too, deep in their hearts.
Reading: Union – Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.
In witnessing this ceremony, we are observing an outward sign of an inward union that already exists between Bride and Groom. This ceremony is a symbol of how far they have come together and a symbol of the promise that they will make to each other to continue to live their lives together and to love each other solely and above all others. Many of you have agreed that it’s about time!
Today you’re making a statement to each other; I choose you, above all others, to be my best friend and partner for life. Today you make a promise to be true to each other for now and for all time. So I ask you: Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and respect one another all the days of your life?
Both: We do.
Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life, come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?
Both: We will.
Groom, please repeat after me:
Today I pledge to you what has already been yours for so long – my eternal love. I promise from this day forward to be a comfort and safe haven in your life, to hold you close, to listen deeply when you speak, to uphold you with my strength, to be supportive and to weigh the effects of the words I speak and the things I do, to never take you for granted, and to always give thanks for you, my wife, and your presence in my life, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.
Bride, please repeat after me:
Today I pledge to you what has already been yours for so long – my eternal love. I promise from this day forward, above all else to live in truth with you and to communicate fully and fearlessly. I promise to love you unconditionally, to be devoted above all others, and to always see in you, my husband, your light that to me is home.
I give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace and pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.
Blessing and Exchanging of the Rings
Having this love in your hearts, you have chosen to seal your vows by exchanging rings.
May we please have the rings?
The perfect circle of the ring symbolizes eternity. The precious metal came from the ground as a rough ore and was heated and purified, shaped and polished. Something beautiful was made from raw elements. Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
As you look at these rings over the years, remember that. And just as you will protect the rings, you will protect the commitments you’ve made to one another today. May these rings be from this day forward, your most treasured adornment, and may the love they symbolize, be your most precious possession.
Please repeat after me:
Groom: I give you this ring as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you.
Bride: I give you this ring as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you.
Today you have pledged yourselves to a lifetime of caring for one another. May this be a commitment made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope and eternally renewed.
Despite all our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great unifier – our one universal truth. That no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. That’s why you both are standing here together. That’s why you all are here to watch them stand together. We have all loved in our lifetimes, and in this moment, we’re reminded that the ability to love is the very best part of our humanity.
Groom and Bride, may your life together be immersed in love and excitement, and may you strive to enrich each other in every possible way. May the magic that has been an enduring part of your love for each other, continue forever.
It is with great honor and joy that, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may seal your marriage with a kiss.