Secular Wedding Ceremony

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@audrey_lane:  Hey there!  We pieced together a secular ceremony from a few online sites, as well as some really nice ceremony texts that brides posted on here.  If you use the search function to search the boards for secular, non religious, self-written ceremonies, there are some great ideas.

Our text is here:

Post # 4
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@audrey_lane:  I’m probably going to be facing this myself in the next two years. For readings maybe you could use passages from your favorite books. There are a lot of really sweet passages and poems out there about love that aren’t religious in nature.

Post # 7
37 posts
  • Wedding: January 2014

We are having a UU minister marry us and he sent us templates of ceremony orders. I can’t republish it as I feel it is how he gets clients but consider asking your secular officiant about ceremony orders as well.

Post # 9
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle

We had a humanist wedding. It was totally none religious. A lot of people said it was one of the best ceremonies they had been to as it has a nice mix between some lighter moments, some emontional moments and some very solemn and important words.

It basically consisted of: 

– Introduction about marriage and the importance of joining two lives

– A poem read by my sister

– A handfasting ceremony where ribbons are wrapped around your arms

– A song by sung by a friend of my mum’s who has a beautiful voice.

– Some funny stories about how we met

– My husband and I read some words we had prepared and kept secret from each other. This part was really special. 

– Traditional vows and legally binding vows. 

– Exchange rings. 

The whole thing lasted about 35 mins. If you would like the transcript PM me and I can send it to you. 

Post # 10
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I am in the same boat as you. My FI and I are not religious, and the content of the ceremony is the one thing I feel strongly about creating/approving, but I am somewhat stuck as to what to do. I’ve just started looking, so I don’t have anything helpful yet, but I will be watching this thread! 

Post # 11
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@audrey_lane:  We did a 100% secular ceremony centered around planting a tree (we got married in the woods, and both love nature!).. This was the gist of our ceremony script (officiant took it and ran with it, and added his own lovely touches throughout, but here’s the basic thing I gave him!):

(Welcome the guests, thank them for coming, etc. etc)

Bride and Groom will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other/s family today.

Bride and Groom, today you stand before us ready to share the rest of your lives together as a married couple. But long before today your parents provided you with a foundation of love and caring which has brought you to this point. We will start by adding soil from Bride’s childhood home, (town name), and soil from Groom’s childhood home, (town name). This soil symbolizes their individual families; it has been the years of their families’ love and support that have helped shaped who Bride and Groom are today: a man and a woman who are ready to be committed, in a loving marriage of their own…  (add dirt)

Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love enriches our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change.

At this time, ____, a dear friend to both Bride and Groom, would like to offer a reading.

[Guest reader steps up!]

   From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis DeBernieres

   Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

   Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and that is both an art and a fortunate accident.

   Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from the branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

[Guest reader sits, Officiant continues…]

Bride and Groom, would you please plant the sapling. [Sapling planted!]

Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.

Bride and Groom, would you please water the sapling. [Sapling watered!]

Remember to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential – just like this tree.


From here, our officiant spoke of the trees in the woods in which the ceremony was taking place, as well as some of the history of the area.  I don’t have written down what he said, but it was lovely, and all about the beauty of nature and the reason we chose that location to get married, etc.

If you’re not getting married outdoors, you could still plant something!  A sapling from a small pot into a larger pot, or even seeds (flowers, fruits, veggies..) to begin seedlings to plant later. 🙂


We got so many positive comments over how unique and beautiful our ceremony was.  Even my very religious family member who was initially very upset that I was not getting married in a church told me she enjoyed the ceremony (and she’s the type who would have been completely honest if she hated it! Haha).


Best of luck to you, I think it will be lovely!!

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