(Closed) Secular ceremony – what will your officiant read?

posted 7 years ago in Secular
Post # 4
11 posts
  • Wedding: December 2013

I don’t have anything specific picked out yet, but I ran into the same problem with the secular speeches and vows being too generic. Honestly, I think the best thing to do would be to write it yourself if you’re worried about everything being too bland and not meaningful to you. I know it’ll take some time, but as for me I’m glad that no one else will be reading the same speech at their wedding! I found a great template for organizing a ceremony at Offbeat Brides. It has a little too many parts for my taste, but the great  thing about a template is that things can be moved around or changed.


Try finding inspiration from parts of wedding ceremonies, they don’t have to be secular to be meaningful. Also, a great way to personalize that my officiant recommended was to have readings where the more traditional bible verses would go. Choosing beautiful examples from the masters and you can’t go wrong! Poems, novels, movies, plays, anything that inspires you and your hubby would definitely bring your personality to the ceremony.

Sorry I don’t have my vows yet! But I hope this can give you some ideas at least =)

Post # 6
3194 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@maganda:  I wrote my entire secular ceremony. We are doing his welcome, remembrance of those not present, 3 readings, a love letter and wine box ceremony, repeat-after-me vows, I do’s, the exchange of rings and pronouncement of marriage. 

Post # 7
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

following.  I need help with this, too!

Post # 8
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I looked at OODLES of templates and quotes and scripts and pieced this together.  Both my Fiance and I are really really happy with it.  I think my Officiant was a little errr, surprised by the “science-y” stuff as he put it. But my Fiance and I are both athiest geeks who love carl sagan so it was prefect for us!




Here we go!




Officiate greeting/opening:


Good afternoon! It is my pleasure to welcome you to the wedding of
Andy and Christine. Please take a moment to silence any cell phones or
other noisy electronics. If you would also take a moment to put your
cameras away, Christine and Andy have requested that no photos be
taken during the ceremony today — thank you so much for your
understanding. The ceremony will begin shortly.




Groom + best men walk up.


Music begins


Sarah / Joules / Nicole – Ring bearer/oli – Flower girl / Ana – Bride with mama bear!


Ceremony Begins:


We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, and to cherish the words which shall unite Andy and Christine in marriage.


“The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. Our little planet floats like a mote of dust in the morning sky. All that you see, all that we can see, exploded out of a star, billions of years ago, and the particles slowly arranged themselves into living things, including all of us. We are made of star stuff. We are the mechanism by which the universe can comprehend itself. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth. We should remain grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. The sum of all our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love. 


Love is the immortal flow of energy that nourishes, extends and preserves. 



What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?


A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life.” 


Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. No ceremony can create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been acknowledged in all the commitments you have made to each other, both large and small.  A ceremony is a symbol of how far you have come together and a symbol of the promise that you will make to each other.  What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as life mates and partners, to continue to live your lives together and to love each other wholly. This ceremony will not create a relationship that does not already exist between you. It is a symbol of how far you have come in the past six years.  It is a symbol of the promises you will make to each other to continue growing stronger as individuals and as partners, no matter what challenges or successes you encounter together in the years before you.


Today, your lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one.


Love/Wine Box


Officiant says: In place of vows, Andy and Christine have chosen to write letters expressing their love for each other and reflecting on this special time in their lives.  Along with a bottle of wine, these letters will be sealed, unread, in this beautiful box hand crafted by both Andy and Christine. 


Together they will seal the box, and on the happy occasion of their 5th anniversary, they will open the box, share the bottle of wine and read their letters.


John, (love letter carrier) will you please bring up the letters?


Love letter carriers hand letters to bride and groom


Andy and Christine I now ask you to place the letters in the box and seal it shut.


*hammer time*


By reading these love letters, you will be given an opportunity to reflect, and remember the reasons that you fell in love with each other and how you felt in this moment.




The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ‘You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.’ Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another: friend, companion, lover, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.


Officiant: Andy, do you take Christine to be your wife, your partner in life and your one true love? Will you cherish your union and love her more each day than you did the day before? Will you trust and respect her, laugh and cry with her, love her faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles you may face together. Will you give your hand, your heart, and your love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live?


Groom: I do!


Officiant: Christine, do you take Andy, to be your husband, your partner in life and your one true love? Will you cherish your union and love him more each day than you did the day before? Will you trust and respect him, laugh and cry with him, love him faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles you may face together. Will you give your hand, your heart, and your love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live?


Bride: I do!


For thousands of years, lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their vows.  Let these rings be a sign that love has a past, a present, and a future, through you and within you. The promises which you have spoken to each other today are forever in your minds and hearts, but words are fleeting and so those who marry wear rings as visible, tangible symbols of their love and commitment. These rings announce to the world that you have recognized in each other your soul’s mate. That you have entwined together to become one and that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.


Groom, take Bride’s ring, place it on her finger and repeat after me:


*can the Officiant whisper these lines*


I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you and as a reminder that I will always love you. [Groom repeats]


With this ring, I take you to be my love, my partner and my best friend, to the end of my days. [Groom repeats]


Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you. [Groom repeats]




Bride, take Groom’s ring, place it on his finger and repeat after me:


I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you and as a reminder that I will always love you. [Bride repeats]


With this ring, I take you to be my love, my partner and my best friend, to the end of my days. [Bride repeats]


Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you. [Bride repeats]


Officiant: You have made your marriage vows to one another, witnessed by your friends and family. You have sealed your vows with the giving and receiving of these rings. So now, by the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife! You may now kiss the bride.*


*Big kiss!*




I have just one more thing I want you to do. Your wedding day is one that seems to fly. It’s a day filled with emotion, friends, rings and dances. Many people remember how fleeting their own wedding day was. So I want you to take a few seconds to look into each other’s eyes. Think about the happiness that you’re feeling in this place, in this moment. Really let that feeling register in your heart and mind. Now, I want you to think about your life together in twenty years. Where are you? What are you doing? We all know that your visions of the future are not identical, but always complimentary. John Lennon once said, ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together, THAT is reality.’ That new reality starts now.


May the happiness you share today be with you always and may every word you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives.


It is my honour to present to you, for the first time as husband and wife: Mr. and Mrs. Shewchuk!






Post # 9
850 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We’re going to have a friend read parts of the decision from Goodridge vs. Dept of Public Health, legalizing marriage for all couples in MA.

“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other brings stability to our society. Without question, civil marriage enhances the welfare of the community and is a social institution of the highest importance. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and a connection to our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition. It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a ‘civil right’.”

Post # 10
7310 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

@remijp:  We had that section printed on the back of our ceremony programs. Love it!

Post # 11
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We hired a Secular Humanist officiant and we LOVE all of the scripture involved. It’s very much about a two individuals coming together and supporting each other…there is none of that wife obeying the man stuff…


I would google secular humanist wedding ceremony example and see what pops up.


Good luck!

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