Build Your Ceremony

WELCOME

Formal Christian

We are gathered here today in the sight of God and angels, and the presence of  friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give  recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes  and blessings to the words which shall unite Groom and Bride in holy marriage. Marriage is a most honorable estate, created and Instituted by God, signifying unto us the mystical union, which also rests between Christ and the Church; so too may this marriage be adorned by true and abiding love.

General

Dear friends and family, with great affection for Groom and Bride, we have gathered together to witness and bless their union in marriage. To this sacred moment they bring the fullness of their hearts as a treasure and a gift to share with one another. They bring the dreams which bind them together in an eternal commitment. They bring their gifts and talents, their unique personalities and spirits, which they will unite into one being as they build their life together. We rejoice with them in thankfulness for creating this union of hearts and souls, built on friendship, respect and love.

Mountain 

We have gathered here today to join Groom and Bride in the sacred bond of  marriage. Together you have chosen this majestic setting to exchange your vows  with each other because the whisper of the pine boughs and stoic silence of  [location] make the perfect witness to your wedding day. But it is more than just  the beauty of [ insert local nature feature] that invites you to dedicate your lives to  one another here in this place. It is a shared understanding of the mountain itself  that compels you to stand here today.  

You both know that there is something about the mountain that is at once  grounding yet elevating, intoxicating yet soothing, wild yet serene. It’s a secret  that the mountain shares with you. Just like a marriage, the mountain challenges  you, yet nurtures you in the safety of its presence. Its magic is here for you to  share with each other in your marriage – a sense of enduring commitment and a  need for its everlasting strength. So let us receive this gift from the mountain as  you move forward into its mystery and the sublime adventure of marriage.

River

We have gathered here today to join Groom and Bride in the sacred bond of marriage. Together you have chosen this majestic setting to exchange your vows with each other because the lofty mountain peaks and grandeur of the Yellowstone River make the perfect witness to your wedding day. But it is more than just divine beauty that brings you here today; it is a knowledge that this river connects you with Spirit itself. 

You both know that there is something about the river that is at once grounding yet elevating, intoxicating yet soothing, wild yet serene. The river is actually a magic pathway to this moment in time, as it truly connects us to that which is eternal. It’s a secret that the river shares with you. Just like a marriage, the river challenges you, yet nurtures you in the safety of its presence. You can be assured that the river will forever hold sacred what you feel here today in this moment, and its magic will be a source of strength to you in the days and years to come. So let us receive this gift from the river as you move forward into its mystery and the sublime adventure of marriage.

OPENING

1. Let us Pray: Dear God, thank you for this joyous day. Thank you for Your Light that has entered Groom and Bride’s life. Thank you for all the miracles and blessings. Please bless this union and help Groom and Bride find the perfect place in this world for their love to flourish. Let the radiant light of their love shine  on all those around them. May all their future creations be blessed. God, grant them the inner gifts of trust, compassion, forgiveness and truth, so that they may live and grow together in love and peace. Amen. 

2. Let us Pray: Dear God, Love is the richest and greatest gift in the world. Love  between two people which matures into marriage is one of the most beautiful types of love. Today we celebrate that love and ask for blessing upon this wedding service. May Groom and Bride be protected, guided, and provided for in their marriage. May they be surrounded by love now and always. 

3. Let us pray. God of all peoples, you are the true light illuminating everyone. You show us the way, the truth, and the life. You love us even when we are disobedient. You sustain us with your Holy Spirit. We rejoice in your life in the midst of our lives. We praise you for your presence with us, and especially in this act of solemn covenant; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

THE CHARGE

General

Groom and Bride, the covenant which you are about to make with each other is meant to be a beautiful and sacred expression of your love for each other. As you pledge your vows, and as you commit your lives to each other, we ask that  you do so in all seriousness, and yet with a deep sense of joy; with the conviction that you are committing yourselves to a dynamic, growing relationship of trust, mutual support, and caring love.  

I ask all present:  

Do you bless this couple and pledge to strengthen this marriage by upholding  Groom and Bride with your love and support? 

“We do!” (with hootin’ and hollerin’ if appropriate) 

As they prepare to join their lives, it’s important to understand that everyone  present has played a part in shaping the characters of the bride and groom and  will continue to play a vital role in their lives. And so we are  here not only to witness their vows to each other, but also bestow upon them our  blessing and support in return.  

Formal Christian with Moment of Silence

Marriage is a gift from God, a miracle. It is obvious that you already know some  of the great blessings marriage has to offer. It is an opportunity to feel the joy of  taking care of someone who takes care of you, to be challenged towards growth  yet gently nurtured, to love deeply and receive it in return. It is about trust,  friendship and having a partner to share all life has to offer. It is a commitment to  participate in a process of mutual evolution, understanding and forgiveness. It is  indeed a sacred union to be treated with reverence.  

Marriage is not a place to hide from the world. It is a safe place to grow and become wiser. It is a place to evolve into better people; so that you can go out in  the world and make a difference by spreading the joy and wisdom that you have found with each other. 

Bride, Groom is a gift to you from God, but he is not a gift for you alone. It is God’s will that in your love, this man might find within himself a greater sense of who he is meant to be. You are asked to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be. In this way, God’s purpose shall be  accomplished in this relationship. May this man find the kingdom of heaven through the love you share. 

And so it is with you, Groom, that although Bride is God’s gift to you, she is not a gift intended for you alone. You are asked by God to so love this woman, that in your love she might find herself as God has created her, so beautiful and strong and brave and true, that the entire world might be blessed by the presence of a woman who shines so. May she relax in your arms completely, knowing from now on, that there is one man whose love she can depend upon forever.  

May you both create, with God, a piece of heaven here on Earth. 

I ask all present: 

Do you bless this couple and pledge to strengthen this marriage by upholding  Bride and Groom with your love and support? 

Crowd: WE DO!!! (with lots of whooping and hollering – if appropriate) 

As they prepare to join their lives, it’s important to understand that everyone present has played a part in shaping the characters of Groom and Bride, and will continue to play a vital role in their lives. They are grateful for your influences as  well as others who are not here today in body but nonetheless are with us in  spirit and heart. Bride and Groom have dedicated the roses on the table in  memory of __________, whose presence is both greatly missed and deeply felt.  And so we are here not only to witness their vows to each other, but also bestow  upon them our blessing, by welcoming them as a couple in your friendships and  families. 

Community

Bride and Groom ask each of you present today for your blessing, encouragement, and life-long support for their decision to become husband and wife, so they may draw upon the strength and love of their community in the days and years to come. They are deeply dedicated to their families, friends and community and hope to share their love with all those around them.

I ask all present : 

Do you bless this couple and pledge to strengthen this marriage by upholding Bride and Groom with your love and support? 

Congregation: WE DO (lots of whooping and hollering if appropriate) 

Witnessing their pledge reminds us of the things that we’ve devoted our lives to, our partners, our work, our hearts. For a wedding is a reflection of love and devotion shared not only between the betrothed, but also among their community.

THE PLEDGE

1. 

Groom, do you take Bride to be your wife, to live together as friend and soulmate? Will you love her as a person, respect her as an equal, sharing joy as well as sorrow, triumph as well as defeat. And keep her beside you as long as you both shall live? 

Groom: “I do.” 

Bride, do you take Groom to be your husband, to live together as friend and soulmate? Will you love him as a person, respect him as an equal, sharing joy as well as sorrow, triumph as well as defeat. And keep him beside you as long as you both shall live? 

Bride: “I do.” 

2. 

Groom, do you take Bride to be your lawfully wedded wife, your best friend, faithful partner and one true love? Do you promise to love her for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?

Groom: “I do.”

Bride, do you take Groom to be your lawfully wedded husband, your best friend, faithful partner and one true love? Do you promise to love him for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?

Bride: “I do.”

READING

You can have anything – please see section on Readings and enter your choices below

THE VOWS

(Most couples choose to personalize their own vows. If you would like help with this, fill  out this form and I’ll take it from there.) 

1. Groom: “I take you Bride to be my wife from this time forward, to join with you and to share all that is to come. To give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and all our life together to be loyal to you with my whole being as long as we both shall live.” 

Bride: “I take you Groom to be my husband from this time forward, to join with you and to share all that is to come. To give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and all our life together to be loyal to you with my whole being as long as we both shall live.” 

2. I take you to be my best friend, my faithful partner and my one true love. I promise to encourage you, inspire you and to love you truly through good times and the bad. I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down, and to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in our life together as long as we both shall live.  

3. I believe in you, the person you will grow to be and the couple we will be together. With my whole heart, I take you as my husband/wife, acknowledging and accepting your faults and strengths, as you do mine. I promise to be faithful and supportive and to always make our family’s love and happiness my priority. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph. I will dream with you, celebrate with you, and walk beside you through whatever our lives may bring. You are my love and my life, today and always. 

EXCHANGE OF RINGS 

  1. Formal Christian

Bless o Lord the giving of these rings, that they who wear them may live in your peace and continue in your favor all the days of their life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 

Groom, would you please repeat after me.  

Groom: “I, Groom, give you this ring as a sign of my love and devotion. With all that I am and all that I have I honor you.” 

Bride, would you please repeat after me.  

Bride: “I, Bride, give you this ring as a sign of my love and devotion. With all that I am and all that I have I honor you.” 

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  • 2. 

The wedding ring is a symbol of eternity. It is an outward sign of an inward and  emotional bond which unites two hearts in endless love. And now as a token of your love and of your deep desire to be forever united in heart and soul, you, Groom, may place a ring on the finger of your bride. 

Please repeat after me: 

Groom: “Bride, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.” 

By the same token, Bride, you may place a ring on the finger of your groom. 

Bride: “Groom, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.” 

As often as either of you look at this symbol, may you be reminded of the  commitment you have made to love itself, in the hope that this most worthy of  emotions might take on the characteristics of the ring and capture eternity. 

  • 3. 

A circle is the ancient symbol of wholeness and peace. Your rings are precious because you wear them with love. They represent your commitment in marriage, reminding you of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are as individuals, but also who you are as a couple. And now as a token of your love and devotion you, Groom, may place a ring on the finger of your bride. 

Please repeat after me: 

Groom: “Bride, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.” 

By the same token, Bride, you may place a ring on the finger of your groom. 

Bride: “Groom, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion.” 

May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken. As you wear them, may they be a constant reminder to you of one another, and of the deep bond of trust and love which they represent.

SPECIAL CEREMONY 

1. SAND CEREMONY 

Groom and Bride, you have just sealed your relationship by giving and receiving  of rings and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. 

The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one, representing you, Bride, and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, Groom, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers 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 containers, so will your marriage be. 

2. UNITY CANDLE 

(usually done with music only, but I like this poem) 

Two Souls 

by Harold Douglas  

Soft mists embrace two golden flames, 

Alone they search the night. 

Two souls adrift in dreams of love, 

They seek to claim the light. 

The path is long from which they came, 

But sure they are it’s right. 

Two flames embrace in dreams of love, 

Two Souls – Two Hearts Unite.

3. FAMILY UNITY 

There are children who will share in this marriage. The gathering of this new family will have a deep influence upon them. It will both complicate and enrich their lives. They will also have much to contribute to this new family. We realize that in order for the home to be a happy one, it is essential that there be love and understanding between the children and the adults being married.  

Is your love for each other broad enough to include _________ (name the  child/children) and deep enough to honor their presence in this marriage and to  pledge yourselves to love and care for them?  

Bride and Groom: “We will.”  

Officiant to Children: You are a vital part of this new marriage. Bride and Groom give you their unconditional love and honor your presence in their lives.  _________, you will have a share in this union, for your life/lives will be touched  by the covenant being made here today. Your participation is requested to help develop the bonds of a new family.  

As Bride and Groom have exchanged their pledges in holy union, we ask from you also a pledge, that you will join together to weave a fabric of mutual help and comfort, of challenge and support, and that you will help 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. Will you now pledge to do your best to help make a happy and successful home for all of you by your love and cooperation?”  

Child/Children: “We will.” 

4. KEEPSAKE BOX 

The dreams that you have each brought to this relationship are now becoming the same dream. Please take a moment to dedicate this Keepsake Box to hold your dreams as a couple. (they place special items in box)

When you look upon these items sometime far in the future, the little day to day  worries will seem unimportant. You will only remember the love that you built your life upon, which will carry you to eternity. 

 5. BREAKING OF THE GLASS 

Like your marriage, this glass is a beautiful thing. It’s clean and clear, allowing  sunshine to flow through it. If cared for properly, it can last a lifetime. Like a marriage though, it can also be quite fragile. 

The symbolism of the breaking of the glass represents several things. It is a reminder of sadness even in the most joyous of times, that as we celebrate there are those who are suffering and need our help. 

It reminds us that our world and the people and relationships in that world are fragile and easily broken or hurt. It is a reminder for everyone listening to be gentle with one another. It reminds the couple that their marriage is fragile and that like the glass it can be shattered if they don’t take care of one another.  

And lastly the breaking of the glass is final and unchangeable. The glass is broken as a reminder of the irrevocable act of marriage. Your vows can no more be undone than this glass could be made whole again. 

(break glass) 

Guests: “Mazel Tov!!” 

May your bond of love be as difficult to break as it would be to put back together the pieces of this glass. Cherish each other with the love and respect the love of your life deserves. 

6. WINE CEREMONY  

This wine glass is to remind you of your commitment to each other. Delicate, yet  strong; filled with love, yet with room for more. It symbolizes two people coming  together to share one life, one love. Use this loving cup for miracles. Throughout your relationship, fill it with forgiveness, understanding and appreciation. Drink  

deeply and often. Whenever you do, remember this: Love is real. Once created, it cannot be destroyed. It is eternal. 

(groom pours wine for bride – bride drinks; using the same cup, bride pours wine  for groom – groom drinks) 

7. THE THIRTEEN GOLD COINS (Trece monedas de oro) 

The custom of the coins originated in Spain. Thirteen gold coins (arras) are given to the  bride by the bridegroom, signifying he will support her.  

As I count out the 13 coins and place them in the groom’s hands they also represent  different values that the couple desire to share between themselves: love, harmony.  cooperation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy,  wholeness and nurturing.  

“Lo mio es tuyo y lo tyo is mio” 

May these coins be a symbol of this couple’s mutual love, fidelity and trust.

8. HANDFASTING CEREMONY

The handfasting is a symbolic binding of the hands that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the knot”. Woven into this cord, imbued into its very fibers, are all the hopes and dreams of your new life together. 

Will you honor and respect one another,

and seek to never break that honor?

“We will.”

And so the binding is made.

Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?

“We will.” 

And so the binding is made

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

“We will.”

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.”

And so the binding is made.

Groom and Bride, 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 your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

9. FAMILY HUG 

Would the family members of Groom and Bride please step forward and show your  support for this couple. 

[HUG!]

Witnessing their pledge reminds us of the things that we’ve devoted our lives to, our  partners, our work, our passions. A wedding is a reflection of love and devotion shared  not lonely between the betrothed, but also among their community.

10. THE LAZO (El lazo) 

At this the time Groom and Bride would like to symbolize their union with a Mexican  wedding tradition called the Lazo, or Lasso Ceremony. The loop is symbolic of their love  which should bind the couple together every day as they equally share the responsibility  of marriage for the rest of their lives. 

______and ______ WILL BE BOUND BY_______________________? “The lasso of  rosary”, symbolizes the inseparable nature of the newly married couple.

BLESSING OF COUPLE 

1. Formal Christian

God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that it represents the covenant between Christ and his Church. Send therefore your blessing upon Groom and Bride that they may surely keep their marriage covenant, and so  grow in love and godliness together, that their home may be a haven of blessing  and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 

Groom and Bride, you have declared your consent and vowed before God and this congregation. May God confirm your covenant and fill you with Grace. 

2. General

Groom and Bride, may you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one  another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even  distant cities. 

May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another!

PRONOUNCEMENT 

1. Formal Christian

Now that Groom and Bride have given themselves to each other by solemn vow, and by the joining of these two hands, and the giving and receiving of rings as a sign of love and  commitment, I now pronounce you husband and wife. 

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You may kiss.  

Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder. Amen. 

2. General

Now that  Groom and Bride have given themselves to each other by solemn vow, and by  the joining of these two hands, and the giving and receiving of rings as a sign of  love and commitment, I now pronounce you husband and wife. 

You may now kiss the bride!

3. Mountain or River

Groom  and Bride, may your love for each other surround you in peaceful serenity like  [nature feature], and your devotion to your marriage be as everlasting as the mountain/river itself. Now that you have given yourselves to each other by solemn  vow, and by the joining of these two hands, and the giving and receiving of rings as a sign of love and commitment, I now pronounce you husband and wife. 

You may now kiss the bride!!  

PRESENTATION OF THE COUPLE 

  1. Formal

It is now my privilege to introduce for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Groom and Bride  X! 

  1. General

It is my privilege to introduce for the first time as a married couple, Groom and Bride!

Build Your Ceremony