Whether you "formalizing" your elopement, commemorating an anniversary, or marking the end of a difficult time in your lives together. Some couples decide to renew their wedding vows to finally have the big wedding celebration they couldn't afford when they first got married. Maybe you recently went through a traumatic time together (say, one of you was dangerously ill) and you want to reaffirm your commitment to each other. Or, you've made it to 10, 25, or 50 years together and you want the world to know that you'd do it all over again if you could. Whatever the reason…Congratulations!
Whether you are planning your wedding or vow renewal ceremony, you want the Wedding vows that you make to each other to express the love and commitment you share; a ceremony that reflects who you are. It’s your special day. Your ceremony should also be special. We will assist you to personalize the perfect wedding vows.
Design Your Ceremony Script
Feel free to mix and match and use any of the different elements to create the ceremony script that best fits your personalities. We are happy to assist you and customize.
1. Dearly Beloved, (Bride) and (Groom) have invited us here today to share in the celebration of their marriage – their wedding. We come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognize a bond that already exists.This marriage is one expression of the many varieties of love. Love is one, though its expressions are infinite. It is fitting to speak briefly about love. We live in a world of joy and fear and search for meaning and strength in seeming disorder. We discover the truest guidelines to our quest when we realize love in all its magnitudes. Love is the eternal force of life. Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage.If you would have the foundation of your union be the love you have for each other, not just at this moment, but for all the days ahead, then cherish the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Resolve that your love will never be blotted out by the commonplace nor obscured by the ordinary in life. Devotion, joy, and love can grown only if you nurture them together. Stand fast in that hope and confidence, believing in your shared future just as strongly as you believe in yourselves and in each other today. In this spirit, you can create a partnership that will strengthen and sustain you all the days of your lives.
2. Today we gather to witness the beautiful union between NAME AND NAME. Marriage was designed and instituted by our Creator. Through marriage we can learn about unconditional love, respectful honor, how to forgive and be forgiven. We can see our shortcomings and grow from that insight. We can develop a servant's heart, and draw closer to God. As a result, true soul happiness can be discovered, and this, I believe is one of God's ultimate desires and purposes for designing the covenant of marriage.
3. NAME & NAME, We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, the uniting of the two of you in holy matrimony. Love is the reason we are here. In marriage we not only say, "I love you today", but also, "I promise to love you for all of our tomorrows."
4. NAME AND NAME. Today you marry your best friend, the one you laugh with, live for, dream with and love. Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
5. NAME & NAME, This is the time that you have chosen to be married. We are here not only to witness your commitment to each other, but to wish you every happiness in your future life together. Marriage is founded on sincerity and understanding which leads to tolerance, confidence and trust. We believe that those qualities which have attracted you both to each other can be best developed during a life spent together. A happy marriage will enable you to establish a home with love and stability where your family and friends will always be welcome.
6. Today is a celebration. A celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it for the long haul. Seriously, you don't have to have a ceremony to have a marriage. So why all the pomp and circumstance? Because in life, regardless of epoch, regardless of beliefs, regardless of inevitable change, certain traditions can be harnessed to remind us of what's truly important and why we shouldn't dismiss or pass on an opportunity to create and capture memories with those we love and cherish.
CHARGE TO THE COUPLE:
1. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationship. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher and listener. There may be times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher and your commitment to one another is even stronger. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experience, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life itself. When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them, closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.
2. Before you are joined together in marriage in my presence, and in the presence of these, your family and friends, I am bound to remind you of the solemn and firm nature of the relationship into which you are about to enter. Marriage is the voluntary commitment of two people to the exclusion of all others and is entered into with the desire, the hope and the firm intention that it will last for life. I remind you that marriage is a precious gift; a lifelong dedication to love and a daily challenge to love one another more fully and more freely. Today I offer these words; Let your love be stronger than your anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break. Look for the best in your beloved rather than the worst. Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Say "I love you" every day.
3. Love will be the core of your marriage, But it also will take trust - to know in your hearts you want the best for each other. It will take dedication - to stay open to one another; to learn and to grow together even when this is not always so easy to do. It will take faith - to always be willing to go forward to tomorrow, never really knowing what tomorrow will bring. And it will take commitment - to hold true to the journey you both now pledge to share together. NAME & NAME, in the days ahead of you, there will be stormy times and good times, times of conflict and times of joy. I ask you to remember this advice: Never go to bed angry. Let your love be stronger than your anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break. Believe the best of your beloved rather than the worst. Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Say "I love you" every day. NAME & NAME, the person next to you is soon going to be your spouse. At this moment you are individual persons, friends, and companions. I ask you at this time to please face each other and join hands as you are now ready to evolve into a new dimension of your life, joining your hearts to one. Nothing will be the same after you make your vows to each other; soon you will be married.
4. You fell in love by chance, but you're here today because you're making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You've chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter and better. You're about to make promises to each other that you intend to keep. You're going to vow to take care of each other, to stand up for one another, and find happiness in the other. There's a simple premise to each of these promises: you're vowing to be there. You're teaming up and saying to the other, "Every experience I am going to have, I want you to be a part of."
EXCHANGE OF VOWS
The exchanging of vows is a commitment to make a life together and to share the uncertainties of the future, knowing that your love for one another remains constant through it all. Today's bond of marriage is the first step toward your life together. Please face each other and join hands and please repeat after me.
1. NAME, do you take NAME to be your WIFE/HUSBAND, to live together in holy matrimony? To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, for as long as you both shall live?
2. I, NAME, take you, NAME, as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, asking that you be no other than yourself, in all the ways that life may find us. I will be faithful and honest with you. I will respect, love and care for you. I will share my life with you.
3. I take you, (Name), to be my wife/husband and I promise before God and all who are present here to be your loving and faithful husband/wife, as long as our lives shall last. I will serve you with tenderness and respect, and encourage you to develop God’s gifts in you.
4. I, (Name), take you, (Name), to be my wife/husband; and I promise before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful husband/wife; in plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; as long as we both shall live.
5. Do you, (Name), take this woman/man, (Name), to be your wife/husband, according to God’s holy decree; do you promise to be to him/her a loving and loyal husband/wife, to cherish and keep her/him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, to be faithful only to him/her as long as you both shall live?
6. I NAME, take you NAME, to be my wife/husband, I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, from this day forward, all the days of my life.
7. I NAME, vow to keep you, NAME as my favorite person — to laugh with you, go on adventures with you, support you through life's tough moments, be proud of you, grow old with you, and find new reasons to love you every day. (REPEAT)
8. NAME will you have this man/woman to be your husband/wife, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live? (REPEAT)
Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
9. You may choose to write and include your own.
THE RING EXCHANGE
A. Traditionally, the passage to the status of marriage 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.
B. From the earliest times, the circle has been a symbol of completeness, a symbol of committed love. An unbroken and never ending circle symbolizes a commitment of love that is also never ending. As often as either of you looks at this symbol, I hope that you will be reminded of the commitment to love each other, which you have made today.
1. NAME, please place the ring on NAME'S finger and repeat after me: NAME, I give you this ring, as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you. (REPEAT)
2. NAME, please place the ring on NAME'S finger and repeat after me: NAME, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness. As I place it on your finger, I commit my heart and soul to you. Loving what I know of you, Trusting what I do not yet know; Never above you, Never below you; Always beside you. (REPEAT)
3. NAME, please place the ring on NAME'S finger and repeat after me: I, NAME, give to you NAME, this ring, as a symbol of my commitment to love, honor, and respect you. With this ring, I thee wed. (REPEAT)
4. NAME, please place the ring on NAME'S finger and repeat after me: NAME, . I give this ring as my gift to you. Wear it and think of me and know that I love you. Let this ring be a symbol of my promises to you and a reminder of my devotion to you. I am honored to call you my (wife/husband)." (REPEAT)
1. This is a moment of celebration. Let it also be a moment of dedication. The world does a good job of reminding us of how fragile we are. Individuals are fragile; relationships are fragile, too. Every marriage needs the love, nurture, and support of a network of friends and family. On this wedding day, I ask you not only to be friends of (Groom) or (Bride) but friends of (Groom) and (Bride)together, friends of the relationship. May the love you have found grow in meaning and strength until its beauty is shown in a common devotion to all that is compassionate and life-giving. May the flow of your love help brighten the fate of the earth. May the source of all love touch and bless us and grace our lives with color and courage.
2. May this day shine eternally in your lives. May you care for each other in all sadness. May you give cheer to each other. May you give strength to each other in all undertakings. May your life together be a source of inspiration to yourselves, your families, your friends, and to all whose lives you touch.
3. May you always feel as close as you do this day. May your lives be graced with good health. May you always find happiness in your home, and may it be a refuge from the storms of life. May your love grow ever stronger as you share your lives together, and may your future be even more wonderful than you dreamed possible!
4. To create a love with limitless possibilities ~ isn't that the goal? Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It's the great unifier — our one universal truth. That no matter who we are, from where we've come, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we're doing right. That's why you both are standing here, and that's why all of you are here to witness their unification. 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. All of us here, today, have our own love stories. Be they short or long; in the wonderful and exciting discovery stages of an early chapter, or the safe and comfortable harbor of a well-read favorite book; we all have a love story to tell. NAME AND NAME have their own unique love story. As we take this time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought them here, as well as the time to look ahead at all the moments that are yet still to come.
PRONOUNCEMENT OF MARRIAGE
1. NAME & NAME, You have declared before me that you will live together in marriage. You have made special promises to one another, which have been symbolized by the joining of hands, the taking of vows and the giving and receiving of two rings. By the authority vested in me, I now pronounce you “married”.
2. Before this gathering, NME AND NAME have promised each other their love and have given each other rings to wear as a sign of their deep commitment. Therefore I declare that they are (husband and wife or married).
3. NAME AND NAME you have vowed your love and consented together in holy matrimony, you have given your faith to each other, have sealed your vows and have declared the same by the joining of hands and exchanging of wedding rings, by the powers vested in me it gives me great pleasure to pronounce you (married or husband and wife).
4. NAME & NAME, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, and have promised your love for each other by these vows, I now declare you to be married.
Scripture and Prayer Suggestions
1. In 1 Cor 13:4-8 - The Word of God tells us what love is like and what love does: Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
2. Prayer - God, for the joy of this occasion, we thank you. For the meaning of this day, we thank you. Heavenly Father, we thank you for those that are gathered here today in celebration of this union, and we pray that you will be with each individual present not only in their travels but also in their pledge of support to this couple in the spirit of christian love. Most gracious God, you have kindled in these hearts the fire of a divine love. Will you keep it aflame upon the alter of their souls. Will you make the inward aspirations of their hearts the outward reality of their home. Will you make that home a place of light and truth, a place of beauty, a place of joy and happiness all the days of their lives. - Amen
3. Blessing of the Marriage - God, send your blessing upon COUPLES NAMES that they may surely perform and keep the vows made between them, and may forever remain in perfect love and peace together. Look graciously upon them, that they may love, honor, and cherish each other, and so live together in faithfulness, patience, and wisdom, that their home may be a haven of blessing and a place of peace and love. AMEN.
4. To Remember Loved Ones - We are grateful for the time that we had with those who are no longer in the physical world and are joining us in spirit. Father we ask that you envelop COUPLES NAMES with your love as they down upon them today. They are are forever in their hearts and are truly missed on this special occasion.
5. The Prayer of St. Francis Assasi - Lord, make us an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let us sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master,grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
1. By The Beach - As we stand witness beside the ocean tide, may your love always be as constant and unchanging as these never ending waves, floating endlessly from the depths of the sea touching softly upon the sands, as did your love come softly upon your hearts. While these waters nourish the earth and sustain life, so may you never have a day without love for each other, love that will nourish and sustain you until the end of time.
2. John Lennon Quote - Before I announce you married partners, I have just one more thing I want you to do. Your wedding day is one that seems to fly. It’s a day filled with emotions, friends, rings and dances. Many people remember how fleeting their own wedding day was. So I want you to take a few seconds to look into each others’ eyes. Think about the happiness you are feeling in this place, in this moment. Really let that feeling register in your heart and your mind. Now I want you to think about your life together in twenty years. Where are you? What are you doing? We all know that your visions of the future are not always identical, but always complimentary. John Lennon once said “a dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together, THAT is a reality.” That new reality starts now."
3. “Why Marriage?” by Mari Nichols-Haining - Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my body. Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, Who won’t hold them against me. Who loves me when I’m unlikable, Who sees the small child in me, and Who looks for the divine potential in me. Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone I feel blessed to hold. Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love and friendship. Because marriage is a discipline to be added to a list of achievements. Because marriages do not fail, people fail when they enter into marriage expecting another to make them whole. Because knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental, and physical wholeness. I create me. I take half of the responsibility for my marriage,together we can create our marriage. Because with this understanding, the possibilities are limitless.
4. Art of Marriage by William Peterson - In closing I would like to share a poem. The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, "I love you" at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
5. Neil Gaiman wrote - “I will write in words of fire. I will write them on your skin. I will write about desire.
Write beginnings, write of sin. You’re the book I love the best, your skin only holds my truth. You will be a palimpsest lines of age rewriting youth. You will not burn upon the pyre or be buried on the shelf. You’re my letter to desire and you’ll never read yourself. I will trace each word and comma as the final dusk descends, you’re my tale of dreams and drama, let us find out how it ends.”
6. The Last by Tyler Knott Gregson - “I will never be the the first of so many things for you.
I came too late, after life and love were woven into the tapestry of your existence. I care not about lost firsts, but I will fight, knuckles bloody and teeth sharpened, for your lasts. Take the old firsts and put them to rest, silent below the dirt and ash of all the new ones we will burn through. Take them but give me the lasts.”
Hands of Your Best Friend
1. Please take each other by the right hand. These are the hands of your best friend that are holding yours as you promise to love each other all the days of your life. These are the hands that will work together as your build your future and make your dreams a reality. These are the hands that will comfort you in illness and trials, and share the joy and happiness of life together. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you all through the years. May you always hold each other and give strength to each other during the storms and stresses of life.
2. Please hold your hands tightly and look at them. These are the hands of your best friend that are holding yours on your wedding day, strong and full of love for you, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you.These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when you age will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with their touch. NAME and NAME may you love, honor and cherish each other keeping the covenant and vows made between you, and so love together in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and happiness, that your home may be a haven of blessing and peace. May you always be blessed in your hearts with the wonder of this special day.
Blending Families and Including Step-Children
1. Child, the love Bride and Groom have for you was part of what attracted them to each other. Love is the rarest of all commodities. The more love you have, the more love there is to share for a heart nourished by love has an endless supply to share. As Bride and Groom's love for each other continues to deepen so will the unconditional love they have for each of you. You will also find that the love you have for your parent and others will deepen as well.
2. BRIDE/GROOM, not only do I promise to be a good and faithful WIFE/HUSBAND to you, but also to be a patient, loving father to CHILD caring for HIM/HER and providing for HIM/HER as my own. I promise to be HIS/HER strength and emotional support, loving HIM/HER with all my heart until the end of our days.
Binding Of Hands
NAME and NAME, I ask you look into each others eyes. Will you honor and respect one another, and seek to never break that honor? WE WILL [the first cord is draped over the couples’ hands] And so the first binding is made.
Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it? WE WILL [Second cord is draped over the hands]
And so the binding is made
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? WE WILL [third cord is draped over the couples’ hands] And so the binding is made.
Will you share each other’s laughter, and look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
WE WILL. [forth cord is draped over the couples’ hands] And so the binding is made.
[Tie cords together]
NAME and NAME, as your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you is the earth. Like the stars you love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.
Unity Sand Ceremony
Sand symbolizes time. We were formed from the earth and when we die we return to dust. The Hawaiians have used sand in the marriage ceremony for years. Many of their weddings are performed on the beach. During the ceremony, the couple reaches down by their feet and scoop up sand in their hands. They combine the sand into a jar saying some words of their choice. The glass jar is then taken to their new home to symbolize the new union. Once the sand is poured together it can never be separated,
the sand becomes one, as in marriage.
Using Colored Sands - The Hawaiians used sand from the beach for the ceremony. Today most couples use colored sands poured alternately into the vessel. This way you can see the sands coming together in a beautiful design. Some people will put a little sand from where they are married in the bottom (in keeping with the Hawaiian tradition) of the vessel and then pour their colored sands on top.
In second marriages, the children can pour in sand that represents them in the marriage. One of the ceremonies listed below shows you how to do this in the ceremony. Please note: too many color sands in the vessel, start to look funky and make sure your color choices complement each other.
One common choice of colored sands is black for the groom and white for the bride. Some couples use their favorite colors or colors that are used in the wedding.
There is no fee to include the Sand Ceremony your ceremony script.
For a $75.00 fee, we will provide your choice color of sand, pouring vases, a keepsake vase (designs vary), and a small table for placement during the ceremony.
For an additional fee we can order a customized personalized keepsake vase.
NOTE: It may take up to 6 weeks for ordering.
Suggested Sand Ceremony Verses
As the officiate shares a verse below, the couple alternately pours sand into the glass vessel to form a layered design with the sand.
1. “This sand represents the days of your life before today. As they are joined together so shall the days of your life be joined together.
2. “The uniting of two individuals into one is symbolized by the pouring of sand. Inseparable we are like the grains of sand united now. The individual is emptied into the sea of love and no longer can be separated, but will be forever and always entwined as one.
3. “NAME AND NAME, today you join your separate lives together. The two separate vessels of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. They represent all that you have been as an individual. They also represent your lives before today. As these two vessels of sand are poured into the third vessel, the individual vessels of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual vessels, so will your marriage be.”
4. “This beautiful union is symbolized through the combining of these two individual vessels of sand. The first jar represents you NAME, in all that you were, all that you are, and the other vessel represents you, NAME, in all that you were. Each one holds its own unique beauty, strength, and character. They can stand on their own and be whole, without need of anything else. However when these two are blended together they create an entirely new and extraordinarily more intricate entity. Each grain of sand brings to the mixture a lasting beauty that forever enriches the combination. When you pour the sand into this common vessel, it symbolized the union of your two lives. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual vessels - so will your marriage be a molding of two individual personalities, bonded together forming one heart, one love. The life that each of you experienced up to now, individually, will hereafter be an inseparable unit, for the two shall become one.”
5. “Today, NAME AND NAME, you are making a commitment of your eternal commitment for one another. As you each hold your sand in separate vessels, the sand represents your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one.”
Here is an idea for a second marriage with children...
Have a forth vessel with another colored sand. Let the children pour some sand in the bottom of the vessel first and then start alternating the couple pouring sand. What a great way to make the children apart of the new union.
You may want to have your parents to be a part of the ceremony – the joining of the two families:
As you can see, the Unity Sand Ceremony can be done many different ways. It’s OK to take parts of any of these ceremonies and make your own version. This is all about you having a unique special experience on your wedding day.