- 3 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Hey all – When I was writing our ceremony text (as we had a non-officiant friend do the ceremony), I heavily borrowed from a few ceremony scripts posted on WB, as well as some stuff from across the Internet. So I thought I’d return the favor and post ours here.
We wanted something that expressed our personal views on marriage – that it’s a continuation of our already-existing partnership, and a decision that also relies on the support of our community of friends and family. We wanted it to be fairly light-hearted, personalized but also include a few traditional nods (eg personal vows plus traditional vows), and relatively short. I think it was about 20 minutes in total, including processional and recessional.
We were torn on writing our own vows or just sticking to the traditional vows. We’re very affectionate in public, but we don’t especially love talking about “Our Love!” etc. We ended up writing brief but heartfelt vows, with a little collaboration, about 2 hours before the ceremony. I’m so glad we did – it felt really right to bring some personal perspective to the ceremony, and SO many people told me that they were brought to tears. (Which I took as a personal point of victory!)
We also wanted it to be unplugged, with no cameras except our photographers. Nobody cared at all, and everybody complied. It was a very interactive ceremony – our officiant is a long-time friend and very funny, so he hammed it up a bit and we got a lot of laughs. It felt very much like a full-participation event, and I think having no cameras or phones involved was essential for that.
For months ahead of time, I was pretty sure I would cry – but the whole thing was just so joyful and fun that I was grinning ear to ear instead.
BEGINNING / PROCESSIONAL
Guests are seated. Guitarist friend is playing guitar.
Officiant walks to altar via right side of the chairs.
Hello and welcome, everyone. I’m Officiant, a longtime friend of Groom and Bride’s, and I am officiating their wedding ceremony today.
Just a little business at the start: after the ceremony, it would be great if everyone who is able would move their chair to a table under the tent. And immediately following the ceremony, all family members please gather over there for photographs.
Last, before we begin, the bride and groom would like to respectfully request that you keep your cameras and phones off during the ceremony. They have arranged some excellent photographers to capture this part of the day, and they’ll happily share all the pictures with anyone who is interested. So for now, please just sit back and enjoy the next few minutes.
Friend starts playing some more music.
Siblings walk down the aisle
Groom and his parents walk down the aisle. Smooches.
Ring Bearer walks down the aisle, gives pillow to Officiant.
Flower Girl walks down the aisle tossing petals.
Bride walks down the aisle with parents. Smooches. Takes Groom’s hand.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the shadows of the beautiful Home Mountain Range to witness Groom and Bride pledge to each other, before their loved ones and in one of their favorite places on earth, what we have all known for a long time – that if there is such a thing in this world as a soulmate, these two have found theirs in each other.
Groom and Bride are honored that you, their dearest friends and family, have traveled from so far – or even from across town – to help them celebrate their love and commitment to each other. They would like to particularly thank their parents today for the unconditional love, support, and guidance you have always shown to them.
Bride and Groom also want to thank their siblings, Siblings’ Names, who were their first best friends and have taught them so much about love and friendship. They thank you for your support throughout their relationship and look forward to a long life shared with you.
And we would also like to acknowledge those who could not be here today – Bride’s grandparents So and So, and her grandmother So and So, who have passed away. Bride’s grandfather and grandmother, So and So, are present in spirit here today but were unable to travel such a long distance. Groom’s grandparents So and So, and his grandmother So and So, have also passed away, and his grandfather So and So was unable to come here to Our State. We think of them now and can feel their presence here with us today.
* pause – moment of silence *
Bride, Groom, this marriage does not mark the beginning of a new relationship for you; rather, it is an acknowledgement and a celebration of the love and life you share together. You are here to affirm the choice you make every day to stand together as partners and to love each other wholly.
Love is listening to each other, supporting each other, enjoying this adventure of life with each other. It is not an excuse to stop growing, not an excuse to stop making yourself better, and not an excuse to take the other person for granted. The two of you must lean on each other, but not so much as to suffocate the other. Love is being honest with each other, having the capacity to forgive and forget, finding dreams to share and common goals to work towards, and sharing responsibilities equally. Love is learning when it is time to speak and when it is time to listen. It is trusting that as your lives continue to grow and change, you will keep in step and move forward together. Love is recognizing that to know one another person cannot mean to know everything about each other, but rather to trust in that which you do not know. Your love is not a feeling to be taken lightly, but a privilege to be cherished and nurtured. Love is standing together, facing the world. It is not only finding the right partner, it is continually working to be the right partner.
Some business here about us and our relationship from Officiant’s perspective – mostly off-the-cuff
Before Bride and Groom exchange their vows, we should recognize that they are not exchanging them in a void. All of us here represent the many facets of their lives gathered together in this one shared moment. We are not just witnesses to their promises today, but willing participants in their lives together, both before and after their marriage vows.
Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to support Groom and Bride in loving one another – to help lift them up when life is hard, to remind them during difficult times of the vows made on this day, and to celebrate with them when life is joyful.
In this spirit, Groom and Bride ask of you all now, “Will you support our marriage and partnership, as you have throughout our lives thus far?” If so, please answer “yes”.
Guests: yes! (They all practically shouted – it was awesome)
Bride and Groom: having considered all that love and marriage entail, I ask that you now make your personal vows to each other.
Groom: (I can’t quite remember what he said – something along these lines) Bride, I’ve known you for half my life now, and it’s been the best half, by far. You are the most inspiring person I know. I appreciate the wisdom and judgement you bring to our relationship, and over time I’ve realized that your judgement is definitely better than mine. You’ve been the love of my life for 13 years now, which is why when we got engaged, everyone said “It’s about damn time”. I promise to make you laugh every day. I promise to guard our health and happiness. And I promise to be the best husband I possibly can be.
Bride: Groom, I’ve known that you are the love of my life since approximately 1997. You, being a clueless teenage boy, took a little longer to figure it out – but I’m so glad you finally did. I feel so incredibly blessed that through all of our adventures since then, we’ve managed to maintain what we have together. I can’t wait for the lifetime of adventures to come. I promise to continue to love you fully, and to be the best wife I can possibly be.
I’ll now ask you both to affirm your wedding vows.
Groom, do you take Bride to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?
Groom: I do
Bride, do you take Groom to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?
Bride: I do
Groom and Bride, these rings that you will now exchange are a symbol of your partnership and evidence that you are never alone, but carry each other with you in everything you do.
Bride, please place this ring on Groom’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
Bride: With this ring, I thee wed.
Groom, please place this ring on Bride’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
Groom: With this ring, I thee wed.
Groom and Bride, you have begun your marriage here today in speaking these vows in front of your family and friends, and you will continue to live it in the days and years to come, standing by each other, sharing all the sweet and the bitter of life. We recognize and respect these vows you have made here this day, before each one of us as a witness.
Therefore, by the power invested in me by the state of Our State, and by the Internet *pause for comedic effect cause that shit is funny* it is my great pleasure to pronounce you husband and wife! Groom, you may kiss the bride.
Bride and Groom, may the happiness you share today be with you always, and may every word you have pledged here be a constant and living truth in your lives.
Ladies and gentleman, please prepare your bubbles. I now have the great honor to introduce to you, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Last Name!
People cheer & blow their bubbles, we prance out delightedly!