Friday, October 11, 2013

Civil Wedding Program: What do you say in a marriage ceremony.

 As a wedding officiant I am often asked about what type or style wedding ceremony I do. As a non-denominational minister and former Justice of  the Peace I do a ceremony keyed to what the couple desires. A simple civil ceremony or more elaborate one full of favorite poems that have meaning to the couple. To assist I have a wedding ceremony guide with ideas and links to more information to make a wedding ceremony meaningful. Those ceremonies can be found on my web page at: This guide has the elements of a ceremony and you can cut and paste parts together.

 I do not limited myself to the suggested vows, couples can write their on personal vows to say to one another at their civil ceremony. And if necessary I have with me the traditional vows for them to repeat to one another. A sample spiritual ceremony is below.



Dear Friends,
We are gathered here with expectation and love for these two special
people, to join them together in marriage; which is an estate rooted in
the far dawn of human history, yet forever new with each couple who
so pledge themselves freely to one another.
This celebration is the outward sign of an inward union of hearts. It is a
union created by loving purpose, kept by abiding will, and broken only
by the death of love in two people’s hearts. In this event, we are
gathered here to acknowledge the true marriage which already dwells
within them.
CHARGE TO COUPLE: (couple faces one another)
You have come together this day to accept one another in faith and in
love, and to accept the changes that time will bring to each of you and
your lives together. The person that you have chosen to share your life
must be respected, loved, and believed in as an individual, while
maintaining the inner communion of two loving spirits. Preserve and
strengthen the openness that enables you to share your thoughts,
feelings, and experiences; be sensitive to each others needs so that
you may attain mutual intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual
fulfillment within yourselves and your marriage.
Groom, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live
together in the shared estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort
her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy,
according to this bond of trust?
Groom answers: I will
Bride, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live
together in the shared estate of matrimony? Will you love him,
comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow
and in joy, according to this bond of trust?
Bride answers: I will


What greater joy 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 all gladness, to be
one with each other in the silent, unspeakable memories? (George


Groom and Bride will now exchange personal vows which they have
written for one another.
*Groom’s personal vows to be given
*Bride’s personal vows to be given

(The best man presents rings)
The circle of this ring speaks love freely given; it has no beginning and
it has no end.
The circle of this ring declares the unity and oneness of your two lives,
which shall contain your devotion beyond every journey, that you may
always return to your togetherness.
(The groom places the ring on the bride’s finger, saying:
With this ring I give my love, and pledge my faithful trust.
(The bride places the ring on the groom’s finger saying:
With this ring I give my love, and pledge my faithful trust.

Bless these two as they go their way. Defend them in
all assaults of their enemies, that they may hold steadfast to the love
between them.Bless their house, that it may be a sanctuary of peace, a source of
radiance going out to others, a refuge from strife and confusion, a
place of hospitality and honor all who grace its door.
May the power of life abundant ever and always touch their lives,
flowing from one to the other, bringing comfort in any hour of trial, and
bringing glory to themselves and to the world as they pursue their
journey together.
Even as they have chosen each other from the world’s multitudes, may
the days and the years, now veiled by the moment, deepen the
wisdom of that choice and enlarge the storehouse of its treasures, that
they may abide in joy and peace.

Groom and Bride, having chosen each other in love and in freedom,
having declared their purpose before this gathering, and having made
their pledges to one another, I now declare them husband and wife.
Let all others honor them and the threshold of their house. May their
moments here begin untold years of unexpected joy.

Minister says: "Many Pieces, Many Years, and Many Blessings
Together...for the happy couple. Congratulations – you may now kiss

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