Here’s the full script of the ceremony I did for my sister and her husband! Basically, the whole opening speech part up to the parents blessing the union was just written by me. The rest of it was provided by my sister and there are a million templates for how exactly to word stuff like that (like, what the couple repeats as they give their rings, what sentence they want to say “I do” to, etc). They also had a reading, a unity candle ceremony, and some little poem thing towards the end. But at least this gives you an idea, and all the parts are in the correct order!
Family and Friends, we are all here today to share in the joy of M and C’s marriage to each other. Some of us sit on the bride’s side of the aisle, excited to see M live the girlhood dream of marrying the man she loves. Some sit on the groom’s side, equally anxious to see C marry the girl of his dreams and prepare to start a family. But everyone shares in common the desire to be a part of the joy of C and M’s union with each other.
For any couple, it is a long road that leads to the altar, as well it should be. So I would like to take this opportunity to point out some of the scenery on this particular road that allowed these two to get to where they are right now.
I’d like to start by calling everyone’s attention to C and M’s families, or rather, to their parents. In a time where divorce rates are near 50% and marital dissatisfaction is everywhere we look, I think it is worth noting that both [groom’s parents] and [bride’s parents] are still married. And not only are they married, but they are happily married. I think that it bodes well for this young couple that both grew up in homes that were supportive, functional and filled with love; where the sanctity of marriage was respected and that awful d-word was not thought of as an exit strategy or a way to win an argument but as the unthinkable nuclear option it really is. Nothing prepares a child more effectively to handle the daily trials and tribulations of a strong marriage than to grow up immersed in one. And for that, these two have their parents to thank.
I’d also like to speak for a moment about love. People fall in love all the time, but that love certainly doesn’t always lead to marriage. There are plenty of reasons for this, but one of the most important is the need for that love to come full circle. And by this, I mean that not only do both people need to love each other; they also need to love themselves in that relationship. Different people bring out different things in us, and too often we fall in love yet are still unhappy because we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. We think that we are too good, or not good enough, or too uneducated, too dependent, too boring or too bored to be truly happy with that person, however much we may love them.
But for M and C, that isn’t the case and I think it’s obvious to all of us. Not only do they love each other, but they love themselves with each other. Since the start of their relationship, both have made efforts to better themselves as people, as if the potential of their love suddenly awakened in them a great ambition to be more and better than they were. It is little things – M smiles more; C quit smoking. And yet, these little things are signs of deep happiness and satisfaction that suggest to me that these two have the sort of depth and reciprocity of love that is necessary for a relationship to be strong enough to last forever.
And so with that, I now ask: Mom, Dad, S, R–you have raised M and C to be the wonderful people they are today. Will you bless and support them in this union?
C, do you take this woman to be your wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
M, do you take this man to be your husband? Do you promise to 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?
I now invite our younger brother to give a reading.
C and M have written their own vows. I invite them now to share them with each other.
M and C, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take one of the lit candles and that together you light the center candle. The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are no joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends into one.
May I have the rings please? C, repeat after me: “M, I give you this ring …to wear upon your hand as a symbol … of our unity, love, respect, and trust.”
And now M, repeat after me: “C, I give you this ring … to wear upon your hand as a symbol … of our unity, love, respect, and trust.”
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 up on the earth.
With the support for your families and friends,
By the vows you have made to one another,
It is my pleasure to pronounce you “Husband and Wife.”
You may kiss the bride.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. D.