Wedding Scripts & Ideas
Note on using these selections:
These options for various segments of the wedding ceremony have all been used in successful, meaningful services, but they should not be regarded as fixed. A couple may wish to use an element as it stands, simply filling in their names in the appropriate places. They may wish to alter a specific word or two, to suit their own preferences. They might like to combine a certain part of one option, and another sentence from a different segment, in a cut and paste operation. Or, they might use these suggestions as a starting point to write an original piece of their own. Any or all of these possibilities are appropriate ways in which to use this material. Feel free to mix and match the selections to suit your couple’s needs.
Very special thanks to the humanist celebrants who providing these selections: Kendyl Gibbons, Frank Harlan, and Larry Reyka
*Help us build this script library! If you’d like to volunteer your own scripts here, contact Humanist Society Program Coordinator Brody Armstrong or use our submit feedback form.
- Opening Words
- Community Blessings
- Parent & Child Blessings
- Unity Rituals
- Ring Exchange
- Consent to be Married
- Closing Words
- Selected Readings
Opening Words 1:
Friends, we are gathered to witness the pledging of CPL1 and CPL2 to one another in marriage. This is an ancient institution, made honorable by the faithful keeping of good men and women in all ages. It is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but discreetly and with due reverence. We live in a world of joy and fear, and search for meaning and strength in the seeming disorder. We discover the truest guideline to our quest when we realize love in all its magnitudes. Love is the eternal force of life. Love is the strength that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage. Therefore let it be with solemn joy that we lend our presence to this timeless ritual, and let there be thanks in our hearts for the power of love, given and received, growing and aspiring, forever new.
Opening Words 2:
We gather here today in this place because of what we share; a desire to affirm and support the relationship of CPL1 and CPL2. Marriage is an act of will, a promise to work for a communion with another person. It is not simply a spontaneous emotional reaction, nor the sudden grip of an irresistible feeling. Marriage requires a commitment to care for another person, to show concern for the life and growth of those whom we love. Marriage requires a commitment to respond to another person, to help meet their needs, and a commitment to respect the unique individuality of that person, to help them grow and unfold for their own sake. Marriage requires a commitment to transcend our own egos, to use reason and humility to understand another person; and by doing this, we discover ourselves. All these commitments require that we give ourselves to another person; by this giving we experience our strength, our vitality, our power. We experience ourselves and overflowing and alive. Today we affirm and celebrate the wedding of CPL1 and CPL2.
Opening Words 3:
We are gathered today in a celebration of love, not only of love itself, and its inherent joy, but also of love’s demand for commitment as the only soil in which it fully flowers; of love’s creation and continuation of families; of love’s ability to change the lives and efforts and aspirations of those it claims; a celebration of the work and risk and sacrifice that love both needs and makes possible; but above all, a celebration of the power of love to touch what is most deep and most true in each of us; to gather us all into the chord of our fundamental human response to what is ultimately real and important in human living. Here in this circle of affection and rejoicing, we hallow a place and a moment for CPL1 and CPL2 to speak what is in their hearts. As we bear witness to their pledge of love and loyalty, may we find our own faith in life’s generosity, our own hope for love, and our own power to gladden the lives of others restored again within our hearts. Enter now into this celebration, to rejoice in the happiness of this hour, and to honor the courage of these two people and of all those who reach out, in spite of earth’s dusty imperfections and the brokenness of our days, for what is bright and lasting and best in life.
Opening Words 4:
We are gathered to affirm the union of CPL1 and CPL2 in marriage, which is an institution born of affection and choice, founded in nature, ordained by the state, and consecrated by the high purpose with which it is begun, and the steadfast loyalty in which it is cherished through the years. Marriage is not meant for happiness alone, though it offers joy in great measure, but also for the discipline and development of human character. The love which informs a successful marriage is not merely a state of the emotions, but an achievement of the spirit. Love grounded in thought and will is stronger than instinct, and blesses all the generations of humankind. With this purpose CPL1 and CPL2 have come to be married. Let us bear witness to their covenant, bless their intention, and rejoice with them in the shining happiness of this hour.
Opening Words 5:
We have gathered here today to celebrate the love of CPL1 and CPL2 for one another, and their intention to share their lives in a permanent covenant of marriage. This intention can only be fulfilled in an atmosphere of acceptance and continuing growth. It requires that the partners enhance each other’s individuality, and seek always to share the sorrows and mistakes of their lives, as well as their successes and joys. The intention of marriage can be realized only by the passage of time, as intimacy, knowledge and understanding deepen through the years. CPL1 and CPL2 choose this day to make a formal statement of their intention, which is not a light thought or casual whim, but a serious, life-long commitment. What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent, unspoken memories? Today we rejoice with CPL1 and CPL2 as they claim their human heritage of love in labor and sorrow and gladness, and in all the precious memories through the years to come.
Opening Words 6:
We are assembled here to rejoice at the wedding of CPL1 and CPL2. A wedding is a formal and symbolic statement of a relationship which bonds a man and woman together throughout their lives. It signifies that this couple intends to establish themselves as a household, and as a family into which their children can be welcome. Marriage is the outward token of an inward union of minds and hearts which religions may consecrate, and the state may legalize, but which these ceremonies can neither enforce nor destroy. It is a union created by living purpose and kept by abiding will, which becomes what the partners make of it, day by day. It should be undertaken only where a lifelong bond exists, and entered into freely, reverently, and without reservation. In this spirit, these two people come now to be married.
Opening Words 7:
In the words of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”
Are you ready to begin? (Nod to/from Couple)
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the challenges of human existence. It brightens our lives, and the world, when we can develop our capacities for love on the only level that really counts—a love that is compounded of maturity, self-knowledge, and courage.
Learning to love, like the arts, demands practice, patience and mindfulness.
In love, the paradox occurs that two beings become one, and yet remain two.
The marriage commitment represents promises of hope between two people who love each other sincerely, who honor each other as individuals and whose intention is to completely unite all aspects of their lives and share their futures together.
Today, [Partners A and B], will dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other, in a union of mutual caring and responsibility.
Opening Words 8:
(To All:) We are gathered here, 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 [Bride] and [Groom] the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives.
(To [Bride] and [Groom]:) True marriage is more than joining the bonds of marriage of two persons; it is the union of two hearts. It lives on the love you give each other and never grows old, but thrives on the joy of each new day. Marriage is love. May you always be able to talk things over, to confide in each other, to laugh with each other, to enjoy life together, and to share moments of quiet and peace, when the day is done. May you be blessed with a lifetime of happiness and a home of warmth and understanding.
Will the two of you please join hands?
No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important than those you are about to take. Both of you come to this day with the deep realization that the contract of marriage is sacred as are all of its obligations and responsibilities.
Opening Words 9:
(To All:) We are here today to join [Bride] and [Groom] in a life of mutual commitment. It is fitting and appropriate that you, the family and friends of [Bride] and [Groom], be here to witness and to participate in their union. For the ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which they bring to their life together had their roots in the love and friendship and guidance you have given them. The union of two people makes us aware of the changes wrought by time. But the new relationship will continue to draw much of its beauty and meaning from the intimate associations of their past.
(To [Bride] and [Groom]:) Now, take a moment to forget all the stress of planning this day and simply enjoy your friends and family who gathered to spend this day with you. This group of loved ones will, likely, never be together in the same place again. Take a moment now to think about how each person has touched your life and why they are here with you today.
Also, bear in mind all those not with you in body, but do not be sorrowful for you know all those who love you and ever have loved you are here with you in spirit.
Community blessing 1:
Will you, the families and friends of CPL1 and CPL2, on behalf of the larger community, pledge them your guidance and loving support, that they might grow in the covenant that they have made together? If so, please respond “We will.”
Community blessing 2:
CPL1 and CPL2 come together out of a larger community of caring people. They ask our support as they begin together the adventure of married life. Will you, the community of their families and friends, dedicate yourselves to the continuing task of helping them in all ways to meet the challenge of marriage with open words and honest sharing, to live the most fully human life, to build a deep and abiding love, and to let their love for one another so shine that it touches all who know them? If you wish to offer them this support, please respond, “We will.”
Community blessing 3:
It is appropriate that CPL1 and CPL2 have asked you to share this day with them. As their family and friends you have taught them to give and to value the love and commitment that they offer now to each other. If you are willing, in the days and years ahead, to continue that example, and to support them, individually and together, in their efforts to increase that honesty and deepen that trust, that their love may be a blessing and a radiance among all those it touches, please respond “We will.”
Community blessing 4:
You who here witness this outward declaration of an inner union of love and purpose, can aid CPL1 and CPL2 by your delight in their happiness, by your understanding of their sorrows, and by your constant affection. Do you pledge to offer these supports as their future together unfolds?
Community blessing 5:
This couple comes together out of a community of friends and relatives. They ask our support as they together begin the adventure of married life. We come today to join in marriage CPL1 and CPL2. It is our hope that their individual lives may together explore new dimensions of life.
WE DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE CONTINUING TASK OF HELPING THEM IN ALL WAYS POSSIBLE TO BUILD A DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE.
We ask for them the excitement of new discoveries and new creations, that their lives may be an adventure together wherever they may go.
WE DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE CONTINUING TASK OF HELPING THEM IN ALL WAYS POSSIBLE TO LIVE THE MOST FULLY HUMAN LIFE.
We know that love is not a state of being easily achieved. We ask that CPL1 and CPL2 find the courage and the patience to overcome any obstacles, to open a profound communication – the very cornerstone of all relationships of love.
WE DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE CONTINUING TASK OF HELPING THEM IN ALL WAYS POSSIBLE TO MEET THE CHALLENGE OF A MARRIAGE PLEDGED TO HONEST STRUGGLE, OPEN WORDS, AND SHARED LIVES.
We recognize that love is not limited nor can it be contained. We ask that the unique expression of love that CPL1 and CPL2 feel for each other reach out beyond themselves – to their family and to the world in which they live.
WE DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE CONTINUING TASK OF HELPING THEM IN ALL WAYS POSSIBLE TO LET THEIR LOVE SO SHINE THAT IT TOUCHES ALL WHO KNOW THEM; AND MAY THEIR LIVES BE LIVED NOT ONLY FOR THEMSELVES, BUT FOR ALL.
CPL1: We thank you for all that you have given both of us throughout our lives.
CPL2: And for the gifts of your presence here today to celebrate with us.
Parents’ Blessing 1:
Though we go forth from the homes of our childhood, we never outgrow the special love and support of our parents. &PARENTS&, do you give the blessing of parents upon CPL1 and CPL2, and upon their future and the new family they will build together?
Parents’ Blessing 2:
As our sons and daughters find partners and establish the homes of the next generation, our families and our human heritage are enlarged. Will you, the parents of CPL1 and CPL2, honor the covenant into which your children enter today? Will you give them your loving support, respect the threshold of their home, and grant them your blessing?
Parents’ Blessing 3:
&PARENTS1&, will you accept the responsibility for a new and special relationship to your daughter, CPL1 and her husband, CPL2, and while respecting their independence as husband and wife, do all you can to enhance their marriage?
&PARENTS2&, will you accept the responsibility for a new and special relationship to your son, CPL2 and his wife, CPL1, and while respecting their independence as husband and wife, do all you can to enhance their marriage?
Parents’ Blessing 4:
&MOTHER& and &FATHER&, this ritual marks a change for you as well as for CPL1 and CPL2. As these two people move apart from you, yet not wholly isolated from your loving concern, they bear with them the embodiment of all you have shared and experienced with them. They are of you; now they move beyond you, to create a home and an experience of their own. Thus are your lives enlarged by their loving union. They ask now for your blessing upon them and upon the future they choose in choosing each other.
(They have our blessing.)
Parents’ Blessing 5:
We come into this world not alone, but bearing with us the hopes and longings of those who conceived us. For a brief time they nurture and care for us, loving us in their own way and of their own time. Then they must send us forth into the world, to fulfill that destiny which only we may possess as separate whole persons. Do you, then, send your daughter forth in this hour to be joined in marriage, relinquishing your claim to her primary loyalty, and recognizing the new family that she and CPL2 create today?
(With love, pride and tenderness, we do.)
We come into this world not alone, but bearing with us the hopes and longings of those who conceived us. For a brief time they nurture and care for us, loving us in their own way and of their own time. Then they must send us forth into the world, to fulfill that destiny which only we may possess as separate whole persons. Do you, then, send your son forth in this hour to be joined in marriage, relinquishing your claim to his primary loyalty, and recognizing the new family that he and CPL1 create today?
(With love, pride and tenderness, we do.)
Children’s blessing 1:
Our children also have the power to bless a relationship with their understanding of its needs and their affirmation of its growth. CPL1 and CPL2 have asked you, their children, to share this special moment in their lives. Will you, in turn, offer them your support as they encounter the challenges of marriage, and strengthen them by your affection and sympathy, and will you rejoice with them as they discover love’s deepening happiness? If so, please respond “We will.”
Children’s blessing 2:
&CHILD&, your father and CPL1 ask for your support as well, for your life will also be changed by this marriage. You will need to be patient and cooperative, understanding and helpful, as you all work to become a family together. Will you give them both your respect and help, recognize and honor your new relationship to CPL1, and rejoice in their happiness today?
Children’s blessing 3:
&CHILDREN1&, you will have a share in this marriage, for your lives will inevitably be touched by the covenant into which your mother/father enters today, and your participation will be needed to develop the bonds of a new family. As this man and woman exchange their pledges in marriage, we ask from you also a pledge, that you will make room in your own lives for CPL2, that you will join together to weave a fabric of mutual help and consolation, of challenge and support, and that you will help to create a home and a way of life in which all of you may grow into the fullness of the best people you can be. In this spirit, will you recognize and honor your new relationship to CPL2?
(We will, with great rejoicing.)
Children’s blessing 4:
&CHILD&, your mother/father and CPL2 ask for your affirmation today. CPL2 is already a part of your life; will you accept him/her as a member of your family, and promise to be as kind and loving as you are able toward both of these people, as you are growing up into the best person you can become?
CPL1 and CPL2, as you give yourselves to one another in love and loyalty, will you also promise always to keep room in your new life together for &CHILD&, to respect and honor them as individuals and members of this family; to cherish, encourage and tenderly care for them as long as they need you?
Candle lighting 1:
As together you light one candle from the two smaller candles, you acknowledge your union as husband and wife. By allowing the flames of the smaller candles to remain lit, you accept the individuality of each other as a means of fulfilling your oneness. The result is a synergy — the cooperation in which the whole is greater than the sum of the independent efforts.
Candle lighting 2:
As these separate candles together light a new flame, losing nothing, but increasing the brightness, so may you as individual people create a lasting radiance of love. May the candle’s warmth be a symbol of the daily affection that will warm your home. May that home be bright with the laughter of children and of many friends; may it be a haven from the tensions of our time and a wellspring of strength; and in all the world may it be the one place you most want to be. May your love shine as a beacon to all who seek the fullness of life.
Candle lighting 3:
(To [Bride] and [Groom]:) As this day you have made a new light together, may you also continue to recognize that separateness from which your relationship has sprung. May the lights of your own special lives continue to feed the new flame of love which can make your future — with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows — a future filled with warmth and love.
Community Candle lighting:
The time of celebration is a time for the sharing of memories and thoughts, blessings and hopes, wishes and prayers. Members of the community are invited to come forward to light a candle and to share what is in their hearts on this day for &BDR& and CPL2.
Wine sharing 1:
The sharing of wine is a universal rite of covenant, whose origins are lost in time. This wine is a symbol of home and table and the fruits of a generous earth, in which these two people will partake together. It is a token of the occasions of celebration that they hope for, and of the consolation and sustenance they will offer one another. The secret of wine teaches patience and the need for sweet, fine things to ripen over time.
Wine sharing 2:
Life has many bright and happy moments, of which this sweet wine is a token. As you drink it together, seek to use all gladness and prosperity that come to you with gratitude and modesty and a bountiful sympathy for those less fortunate than you. But when hardship and sorrow come, of which this bitter wine is a token, seek for resolution to help one another with courage and compassion, neither blaming one another nor regretting the obligation of marriage to share and bear together the chances of life’s changing weather. As you have shared this wine, so may you share together the sorrow and the joy of your lives.
Wine sharing 3:
Into this goblet we have poured both sweet and bitter wine, even as life itself will pour into this new marriage its rich and varied wines of experience. Only in the deepest fellowship of shared love may its bitterness be so blended with the sweet that your life together may be full and complete. As you share the wine from this cup, so may you draw contentment, comfort and joy from the cup of life. Drink now, and may your happiness be multiplied, may life’s bitter hours be sweetened, and may your life together be hallowed by true companionship and love.
Wine sharing 4:
The years of our lives are like cups of wine poured out for us to drink. The grapes as they are pressed give forth their good juices for the wine. Under the wine press of time our lives give forth their labor and honor and love. Many days you will sit at the same table and eat and drink together. Pour for each other now, and drink, and may the cups of your lives be sweet and full to running over.
Wine sharing 5:
The crushing of the glass from which the wine of celebration has been shared is a tradition of uncertain origin that suggests many things. Some say that it is a reminder of the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, which must not be forgotten, even in moments of joy. For others, it brings to mind all the imperfection and brokenness of the world, and suggests that the happiness of the bride and groom is not theirs alone, but a part of the universal answer to that brokenness. Some see the shattered glass as a symbol of a break with the past which makes possible new relationships, or the irreplaceable and unsharable uniqueness of the marriage bond. Still another ancient blessing wishes that the years of happiness for these two people shall be no less than it would take to fit all the resulting fragments together again. So be it for CPL1 and CPL2.
(CPL1) I offer you this cup as a symbol of the life we will share, in sorrow and joy.
(CPL2) Whatever life brings, we will partake of it together.
May the reverence and hope of this moment touch all your days to come.
Breaking of the Glasses
(To All:) In the Jewish tradition, a glass is broken after the vows have been taken. There are many interpretations of this tradition. One is remembrance of the destruction of the Temple in ancient history. Another is to remember Kristallnacht, Crystal Night, when the holocaust began as the Nazis broke the glass of Jewish stores and homes. Another is that we want to remember that, while we here are joyous today as we celebrate a “mitzvah,” a happy occasion, there is sadness and tragedy in other parts of the world. In acknowledgment of that, [Bride] and [Groom] will each break a glass.
Blessing of rings 1:
As a symbol, then, of your love, and to provide an everlasting reminder of those promises just made, you are prepared to exchange and wear rings. As these circles are without end, so should be your love. And as you may consider these rings a symbol of your wedded life, love should be present at each point.
Blessing of rings 2:
The wedding ring is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two hearts in endless love. It is a symbol of the unity in which your two lives are now joined. By the love with which they are given shall these rings be blessed; may those who give and wear them ever abide in peace.
Blessing of rings 3:
The ring, as a circle, is an unending line of unity enclosing all of your lives together. It shall be to the world a sign that you love and belong to each other. As you give, receive and wear these rings, may you keep everlasting faith with the covenant you make today.
Blessing of rings 4:
Above you the stars; below you the stones; before you, the passing of time. Like a star, let your love be constant; like a stone, let your love be durable; like the passing of time, let your love be generous and unafraid. The circle is a symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe; of perfection and of peace. This ring is the symbol of the unity with which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle, and in which, wherever you go, you will always return unto one another to your togetherness.
Blessing of rings 5:
May your ring be always the symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end; no giver and no receiver, for you are each the giver and the receiver. May the two of you abide in love’s unbroken circle to your life’s end.
Blessing of rings 6:
The metal in these rings has little real value except in its use today. These words are gone as I say them, but as I say them your lives are changed forever. You are only human, born to trouble and to joy; but this is your triumph, that the greatest gifts of life are yours for the risk of asking.
Blessing of rings 7:
(To [Bride] and [Groom]:) Wedding rings are made precious by our wearing them. Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that, despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.
Giving of rings 1:
With this ring I marry you, and pledge my faithful love.
Giving of rings 2:
As a symbol of our endless love,
And as a symbol of the promises we have made, I offer you this ring.
Giving of rings 3:
Accept this ring as a sign of my love and trust, now and in the years to come.
Giving of rings 4:
I offer you this ring, not to bind you, but to give you a tangible memory of today’s hopes and happiness. Let its lasting value be a token of our love, endless and deepening through the life we share.
Giving of rings 5:
CPL2, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity. Know that I love you, that I will depend on you, and that I wish to share my life with you.
CPL1, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity. Know that I love you, that I will depend on you, and that I wish to share my life with you.
Giving of rings 6:
CPL2, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of the promises we have made. You are the joy of my days.
CPL1, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of the promises we have made. You are the joy of my days.
Giving of rings 7:
With this ring I wed you for today and for all the tomorrows to come. Please wear it as a sign to all the world that you have chosen me to be your wife.
With this ring I wed you for today and for all the tomorrows to come. Please wear it as a sign to all the world that you have chosen me to be your husband.
EXCHANGE of RINGS
(Celebrant displays rings in hand.)
The ring has long been a symbol for marriage.
Made from metals drawn from deep within the earth, may your wedding rings remind you that your love, also, must be drawn from deep within you.
Forged in heat and with great effort, may your wedding rings remind you that your marriage is also crafted daily and tempered in the forge of daily giving and forgiving.
Bright like the sun, may your wedding rings remind you that your love is meant to illuminate your lives.
Round like arms that embrace, may your wedding rings always remind you that human love is a grace upon this planet.
[Celebrant Offers [Partner A] the ring.]
Celebrant: [Partner A], take [Partner B]’s left hand, place the ring on his/her finger, repeat after me.
[Partner B], I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my faith in our strength together, and my promise to learn and grow with you.
With this ring, I gladly marry you, and join my life to yours.
[Celebrant offers [Partner B] the ring]
Celebrant: [Partner B], take [Partner A]’s left hand, place the ring on his/her finger, and repeat after me.
[Partner A], I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my faith in our strength together, and my promise to learn and grow with you.
With this ring, I gladly marry you, and join my life to yours.
Please take hands
May you who give it and you who wear it, honor in life the pledge for which it stands. Let these rings serve not as locks binding you together, but as keys, unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever.
Please face your guests.
[Partners A and B], In closing I ask that you never close your minds, or hearts to your evolution; be open to change and to love change, for change is one of the few things in life that is certain. And always remember that marriage is a partnership between equals.
May you always find a reason to laugh, to love life, and to always love each other!
May you share many sunsets? And may your eyes and heart always see that which is beautiful in everything.
[Celebrant steps Stage Right offset on Couple facing guests]
Note: Vows are often the most deeply personal part of a ceremony, and couples will usually find great value in writing their own vows. For an exercise to help your couples with that process, please consult the free AHA EdCenter course on humanist weddings.
Vow Template 1:
Please face each other and take hands.
In this moment, as you stand and face each other, remember why you are here. [Partners A and B] know that today, your relationship is being transformed. Your bond will be even stronger than before, your love even deeper than before. And your individual energies united will be even more influential.
[Partner A], please repeat after me…
I [Partner A] take you, [Partner B] to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife/spouse.
[insert 3 personal vows and/or promises from Partner B]
And above all else, I promise to love you, honor and respect you, comfort you in times of distress, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for eternity.
Celebrant: [Partner B], please repeat after me…
I, [Partner B] take you, [Partner A] to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife/spouse.
[insert 3 personal vows and/or promises from Partner B]
And above all else, I promise to love you, honor and respect you, comfort you in times of distress, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for eternity.
Vow Template 2:
(To [Bride] and [Groom]:) [Bride] and [Groom], look at one another — remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another — acquaintance, friend, companion, and lover. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never be quite the same between you. For after these vows you shall say to the world, “This is my husband. This is my wife.”
([Groom]:) [Bride], today I take you to be no other than who you are, the woman I fell in love with, and now you give me the honor of being able to call you my wife. For that honor I promise to always be there to love you and make you smile, or to comfort and protect you. And I promise, that no matter what lies in our path it will be our path, and I will stay the man you fell in love with. I give you this ring as a token that I shall love you, in all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever.
([Bride]:) Today I choose to make a deeper commitment to you. It is my way of telling you that our experiences together have been so good that I want them to continue for the rest of my life. I loved you before the ceremony and I love you more because of it. You are everything I ever hoped to find in a partner. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I give you this ring as a token that I shall love you, in all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever.
Various Wedding Vows:
To care for, honor, and cherish you as long as we both shall love.
I take you as my wedded [wife/husband], to share my life with you, and pledge that I will love, honor, and care for you in tenderness and affection in all the varying circumstances of our lives.
I acknowledge my love and respect for you and invite you to share my life as I hope to share yours. I promise always to recognize you as an equal individual and always to be conscious of your development as well as my own. I shall seek through kindness and understanding to achieve with you the life we have envisioned.
promise you, [Name],
that I will be your [wife/husband] from this day forward,
to be faithful and honest in every way,
to honor the faith and trust you place in me,
to love and respect you in your successes and in your failures,
to make you laugh and to be there when you cry,
to care for you in sickness and in health,
to softly kiss you when you are hurting,
and to be your companion and your friend,
on this journey that we make together.
Do you [Name] take this [woman/man] to be your lawful wedded spouse, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, to be true to [her/him], through times of sorrow as well as joy? Do you promise this heart, body, and mind? Do you commit to honor this vow all the days of your life?
I take you to be my spouse, in equal love, as a mirror for my true self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish, in sorrow and in joy, till death do us part.
I will always be there for you, shelter and hold your love as the most precious gift in my life. I will be truthful and honor you. I will care for you always and stand by you in times of sorrow and joy.
I pledge to you endless strength that you can count on when you are weak. I’ll be your music when you can’t hear, your sunshine when you can’t see, or your perfume when you can’t smell. You’ll never need to look further than me. I’ll be your days and nights when you need them filled, your spark of life in the darkness, your hope when you’re down and out.
Consent to be married 1:
CPL1, do you make of your love a free, honest, and lawful gift to CPL2? Will you promise before this gathering to share your life with him, and to honor, comfort and cherish him through whatever adversity or fortune your lives may bring?
CPL2, do you make of your love a free, honest, and lawful gift to CPL1? Will you promise before this gathering to share your life with her, and to honor, comfort and cherish her through whatever adversity or fortune your lives may bring?
Consent to be married 2:
Do you, CPL1, choose CPL2 to be your husband, to share life openly with him, to speak the truth to him in love, to honor and tenderly care for him, and to cherish and encourage him through all the changes of your life together, so long as you are able?
Do you, CPL2, choose CPL1 to be your wife, to share life openly with her, to speak the truth to her in love, to honor and tenderly care for her, and to cherish and encourage her through all the changes of your life together, so long as you are able?
Consent to be married 3:
Do you, CPL1, take CPL2 to be your wedded husband? Do you give this pledge to him, in love and tenderness, in good faith and without reservation, to cherish him and share your life with him, in the bond of marriage?
Do you, CPL2, take CPL1 to be your wedded wife? Do you give this pledge to her, in love and tenderness, in good faith and without reservation, to cherish her and share your life with her, in the bond of marriage?
Consent to be married 4:
Do you, CPL1 take CPL2 to be the husband of your days, to be the father of your children, to be the companion of your house; to keep together what share of trouble and sorrow your lives may lay upon you and to hold together your store of goodness and plenty and love?
Do you, CPL2 take CPL1 to be the wife of your days, to be the mother of your children, to be the companion of your house; to keep together what share of trouble and sorrow your lives may lay upon you and to hold together your share of goodness and plenty and love?
Consent to be married 5:
CPL1, will you take CPL2 unto your heart? For him will you forsake all others and remain loyal towards him? Will you cherish and uphold him; trust and honor him as your husband?
CPL2, will you take CPL1 unto your heart? For her will you forsake all others and remain loyal towards her? Will you cherish and uphold her; trust and honor her as your wife?
Consent to be married 6:
CPL1, will you have this man to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?
CPL2, will you have this woman to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?
Consent to be married 7:
Are you [Partner A Full Birth Name], willing to enter into this marriage with, [Partner B Full Birth Name]?
[Partner A]: I am
Do you enter into this union with a clear head and a full heart, to pledge yourself in honor, love and trust to Man/Woman as your companion for the journey of life?
[Partner A]: I do
Are you, [Partner B Full Birth Name], willing to enter into this marriage with [Partner A Full Birth Name]?
[Partner B]: I am
Do you enter into this union with a clear head and a full heart, to pledge yourself in honor, love and trust to this Man/Woman as your companion for the journey of life?
[Partner B]: I do
Inasmuch as CPL1 and CPL2 have consented together in wedlock, and have pledged themselves to each other in the presence of this assembly by declaring vows, and by the giving and receiving of rings, they are entered into honorable matrimony, having undertaken its responsibilities, and being entitled to its privileges. I declare that by the authority of the state, and the customs of our society, you are husband and wife. May your days together be long and your joys increase.
The purpose of our gathering here is fulfilled, in that we have witnessed the promises of mutual fidelity given by CPL1 and CPL2, and heard their intention to live together as husband and wife. Therefore we, and the society we represent, hold that you are now married, and I shall so certify. Henceforth we accord you the usages of that estate, and we wish you great happiness therein.
Since CPL1 and CPL2 have vowed to be loyal and loving toward each other, formalizing in our presence the existence of the bond between them, we bear witness to the ceremony they have performed; the ceremony that makes them husband and wife. May they keep this covenant faithfully, and be a blessing and comfort to each other throughout their lives.
CPL1 and CPL2, by exchanging vows and rings, you have affirmed your marriage to each other in the presence of this company. Henceforth, each of you will see your own experience in a new light as your life together unfolds. May you have the courage to love each other in truth today, and in the truth that is yet to be, the truth that shall be always new.
Inasmuch as CPL1 and CPL2 have grown in knowledge and love of one another, and have pledged to go forward in life together, meeting sorrow and joy as one family, and seeking always to enlarge and deepen their relationship, in the name of the highest ideals of humanity, I pronounce that they shall now be recognized as husband and wife.
Now that CPL1 and CPL2 have chosen one another from the many men and women of the earth, and professed their love, and pledged their loyalty to one another, I hereby declare that they have entered the ancient and honorable estate of matrimony, and we recognize them as husband and wife. We charge them to take their love into the world, keeping it strong and faithful, for themselves and for the sake of all people.
Let it be known that in the presence of this assembly gathered here, that [Partner A Full Birth Name and Partner B Full Birth Name] have consented together to live in marriage. They have had their Vows witnessed in the presence of this company. And have given, and received rings as a token of their love and commitment to each other…
By the authority vested in me, and in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, I now pronounce [Partners A and B] to be, “Married!”
[Partners A and B], you may kiss your Groom/Bride!
It gives me great pleasure to introduce for the very first time, the Newlyweds [Partners A and B]!
[Applause from guests]
Celebrant: Please come forward and give them your love.
[Guests come forward and offer hugs and congratulations.]
(To [Bride] and [Groom]:) [Bride] and [Groom], from this day forward your lives shall be woven of one design, and your perils and your joys shall not be known apart. As you increase in love and understanding, may your joys stand victoriously against the storm of circumstance that beats impartially on all our doors. From the rich encouragement of your affection, may you be inspired to open your doors to the needs you perceive in the world. In the embrace of mutual respect, may you each complete the unfinished pattern of your true selves. Let the passing of the days and the years deepen the love of your union and make it full of tenderness and grace.
May you strive all the rest of your lives to meet this commitment to each other with the same love and devotion that you now possess. Now since you have publicly promised your commitment to each other for all time. I call upon all gathered here to witness that according to the laws of the state of Ohio, you are now husband and wife. You may now seal this ceremony with a kiss.
Closing blessing 1:
Hand in hand, heart with heart, may you walk the pathway of life in faith and hope and love.
Closing blessing 2:
Now let us give you our blessing, those who are here with you, and those who are absent, thinking of you. May the love you have professed blossom into perfect fulfillment. With confidence and affection, we send you forth upon your journey of life together, to laugh with joy, to suffer pain, to seek, to find, to serve. In today’s hope and rejoicing, we make this our wish for you.
Closing blessing 3:
May the vows that have been spoken here become a source of enduring joy, and may the love which has been pledged grow from this day into a fortress of courage, strength and security. May you so live and work together that your lives will be ennobled by a deepening comradeship of heart and mind, and your home be a place where wisdom is sought, where patience tempers adversity and charitableness is a source of true harmony. May you find in this union that way of life of which this joyous ceremony is but the first moment.
Closing blessing 4:
May the memory of this hour shine throughout your lives, adding splendor to every joy and shedding a hallowing radiance over any misfortune. May you strengthen each other in all your endeavors, comfort each other in all sorrows, and rejoice together as guardians of the holy flame of love.
Closing blessing 5:
May the spirit of this moment abide with you, and may you faithfully keep the covenant that you have made. May you be a blessing and comfort to each other, sharing each other’s joys, consoling each other’s sorrows, helping one another in all the vicissitudes of life. Trusting one another, may you learn to trust life, and never need to be afraid.
Closing blessing 6:
As your dreams are worn by daily usage, and reveal their grain, may you find them still lovely, and may your love take on deeper luster as it is polished by the passage of the years.
Closing blessing 7:
(from an Apache Wedding Prayer)
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now you will feel no loneliness, for each of you will be a companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, to enter the days of your life together. And may your days be good, and long upon the earth.
May the radiance of this moment be with you, and with us all, this day and always.
May your love prosper, to sweeten the lives of all who know you, and may the glad memory of this hour brighten all our days to come.
May we who share your joy learn from you, now and through all your days, the growing joy of commitment and the lasting hope for love which are the best ways of human living.
May we all go forth from sharing in this celebration with new courage and uplifted hearts.
May all that is beautiful, noble and true abide with you, and with us all, now and forevermore.
May love, like sunshine, surround us all, granting unto each its illumined freedom and its grace.
(To All:) We rejoice this day in the marriage of [Bride] and [Groom]. We celebrate the love that brought them to this day. With love that deepens through many years, may they know its meaning and its mystery — how we become truly one in sharing ourselves and one another, and yet, remain truly two in our own uniqueness. (To [Bride] and [Groom]:) May your house be a place of happiness for all who enter it, and a place where the old and the young are renewed in each others’ company, a place for growing, a place for music, a place for laughter. And when shadows and darkness fall within its rooms, may it still be a place of hope and strength for all who enter it, especially for those who may be entrusted to your care. May no person be alien to your compassion. May your larger family be the family of all humankind. And may those who are nearest to you and dearest to you constantly be enriched by the beauty and the bounty of your love for each other.
Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep
“The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran
(Lindsey:) You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of your love; let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your soul. Fill each others’ cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: for the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Blessing of the Apaches
(Jeff:) Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.