- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
Fiance and I decided to write our own ceremony with a little help from our friend/officiant, and I was EXTREMELY happy with the way it all turned out. I spent a lot of time on the Bee for inspiration (especially this post: http://www.weddingbee.com/2008/09/24/write-your-own-wedding-ceremony/) as well as poring through several vow and reading searches on Google. I loved reading other peoples’ full texts and thought I would post ours!
Welcome, everyone! We have come here this afternoon to celebrate the wedding of [bride] and [groom].
On behalf of [bride] and [groom], thank you for traveling from near and far to witness their commitment and share in their happiness.
Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. By making this commitment today, [bride] and [groom]’s relationship will become stronger, better, and deeper. Today, they demonstrate their devotion to each other by dedicating themselves to a life together, and they show their respect for each other by setting forth to honor the vows they will make.
Today represents not only the joining of [bride] and [groom], but also the joining of their families and friends.
They would like to offer their gratitude to their families for all their support, encouragement, patience, and love, which has shaped them into the people they have become.
They would also like to thank their friends gathered here, who have each had an impact on their lives in some way. They feel blessed to have a community of people who will not only support them at their wedding, but also in their marriage.
Finally, [bride] and [groom] have asked us to remember their loved ones who could not be here. [names of deceased]. Their physical presence is missed, but their spiritual presence is with [bride] and [groom] on this happy day.
Words from the officiant:
No one here needs to be told about the strength of the love between [bride] and [groom]. We are here because we know – we’ve seen the evidence. We respect their passion, their dedication, because they are tested and proven – they’ve weathered time and stress in ways that less solid, less committed relationships fail.
We are brought here by bonds of friendship and love formed in the past, but our purpose today concerns the future. Today, these two hold forth their deep and remarkable love for each other – pledging their dedication, and reaffirming, here in the presence of family and friends, their committment to building a shared life. Writing a future in which the story for [bride] and the story of [groom] can never again be separately told.
We know something of this future because we’ve seen it in their past. We know the years ahead continue to be filled with thoughtfulness and respect, that difficult hours of stress will be soothed with tenderness and support, and that the small moments will always be set with curiosity, imagination, and startling joy. We are all here to witness the pledging, delcaring, and reaffirming of their love, but also to look ahead with confidence upon the many shared tomorrows they now consecrate.
1. From the Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
2. “How Being in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali
3. From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres.
Group declaration of support/Intent to marry:
Now, I ask that you all stand and acknowledge [bride] and [groom].
As family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds [bride] and [groom].
Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support, never your judgment. Encourage them when encouragement is needed, and listen to them when they ask for advice. In these ways, you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today.
Do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage, and bless them in their union? Please answer by saying : WE DO
[Guests: WE DO]
Thank you, you may be seated.
[Bride] and [groom], do you, with family and friends as your witnesses, present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?
[Bride and groom: WE DO]
Do you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life, come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?
Then [groom], please take [bride]’s hands and repeat after me.
I, [groom] | take you, [bride], | to be my wife from this time onward | 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 in all of our life together | to be loyal to you with all my heart.
[Bride], please repeat after me.
I, [bride] | take you, [groom] | to be my husband from this time onward | 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 in all of our life together | to be loyal to you with all my heart.
Rings are an enduring symbol of these promises you make and a reminder that, in keeping these promises, you honor one another.
[Groom], please take [bride]’s ring and place it on her finger and repeat after me: I give you this ring | as a promise that I shall love you | in all times | in all places | and in all ways, forever.
[Bride], please take [groom]’s ring and place it on his finger and repeat after me: I give you this ring | as a promise that I shall love you | in all times | in all places | and in all ways, forever.
Together, [bride] and [groom] have chosen to plant a flower to commemorate their new life as husband and wife.
You have both come from different places, but today you join your lives to one another. Your marriage will be deeply rooted in the values and traditions you set in your new life together.
[Bride takes her family’s soil, groom takes his. On officiant’s cue, they combine the soils.]
The [bride’s last name] and [groom’s last name] families have brought some soil from their home gardens. [Bride] and [groom], please combine the soil, and let it be a reminder of the nurturing families you have come from.
Flowers need the warm sun and nourishing rain to grow. The attention and tenderness you show each other will help your marriage thrive as well. May this flower be a reminder of your responsibility to one another, and may your love continue to flourish!
[Groom plants seed, bride waters it.]
[Bride] and [groom], we recognize and respect the vows you have made.
In the honesty and sincerity of the promises you have made today, and in accordance with the laws of the state of North Carolina, it is my honor and delight to declare that you are husband and wife! You may seal your vows with a kiss!
Everyone, freeze this moment. Capture it in time. It is beautiful, it is transcendent; it is a treasure.
It is also a pale and inadequate moment, a humble and insufficient herald, preparing the way for uncountable moments which will surpass its joy; a long series of ever-closer approaches to sublime perfection.
Now, with all your love, send these two off in pursuit of still greater heights of happiness, together!