As a non-denominational and an interfaith minister, I believe that you should not have to compromise, in the short span of time you have, with words that do not relate to who you are. We can include rituals and traditions from your faith, backgrounds and culture.
The following ceremony was specially designed for a couple that wanted a celebration of their Christian faith which reflected their religious beliefs and contained rituals of love that were important to them and that honored their family.
Processional (Unity and commemorative candles are set up. Wine and glassware are set nearby on tables for Unity ceremonies following the exchange of vows.) (Guests are seated.)
Opening Remarks We come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognize a bond that already exists. This marriage is one expression of the many varieties of love. Love is one, though its expressions are infinite.
Presentation of Bride Although we go forth from the homes of our childhood, we never outgrow the special love and support of our parents. When a father presents his daughter in marriage, he is honoring the covenant into which she is entering and gives his and her mother’s promise of loving support. With that understanding, I ask,
"Who presents this woman to be married to this man"?
Response: “Her mother and I do”
Greeting Family and Friends, we are gathered here in the presence of God and of this company to join in holy matrimony Bride and Groom and to bear witness to the transforming power of love. In acknowledgment of this holy purpose and of the power of this occasion, let us pray...
The Invocation Heavenly Father, who gives us the longing for love and the capability of loving, we give you thanks for Bride and Groom, for their open hearts and willing spirits, and for the example of love that they embody here in our presence. Be with them on this joyous occasion of showing their love and making their vows; and be with us, their witnesses, that we may all be changed by what is said and witnessed here today. Amen
Commemoration - Lighting of the Commemorative candle (The couple will light the commemorative candle, then retake their place in front of Rev. Nagy)
It is at this time we would remember those who have passed to spirit, most especially: names. Although death has separated them from us physically…faith and love will always bind them to family and friends, and continue through the rich legacy that Bride and Groom begin today. With these thoughts, I say these words:
Though we cannot see you, we know you are here. Though we cannot touch you, we feel the warmth of your smile, as we begin a new chapter in our lives. Today we pause to reflect upon those who have shaped our character, molded our spirits and touched our hearts. Father in Heaven we give you thanks, Amen
READING To be read by:
Address A true marriage is more than the joining of two persons in the bonds of matrimony. Marriage is the uniting of two souls that are already attuned to each other. This acknowledgement is the prime objective of this gathering and this ceremony. Your families and friends are here to bear witness to your entering into the intimate and hallowed relationship of husband and wife, and to celebrate with you in this joy.
(here is where I customize after we meet, or personalize after you send me your story)
EXPRESSION OF INTENT Groom, do you choose [Bride] as your wedded wife, to live together in sacred marriage? Will you faithfully cherish and honor her, encourage, comfort and support her, to attend her in sickness and in health, forswearing all others, remaining completely loyal to her, as long as you both shall live?
Groom: I do
Bride, do you choose [Groom] as your wedded husband, to live together in sacred marriage? Will you faithfully cherish and honor him, encourage, comfort and support him, attend him in sickness and in health, forswearing all others, remaining completely loyal to him, as long as you both shall live?
Bride: I do
VOWS We invite each of you as family and friends to share this happy occasion, to bless Bride and Groom and to add your joy to theirs as they exchange their vows:
(Groom to Bride) [Bride], I feel truly blessed to have found you. My days with you fill me with wonder. At times you are the mirror to my soul. Other times you’re my perfect complement. You enrich my life in ways you cannot imagine, And with each day you give my life new meaning. You are my lover, my partner, and my best friend. As your husband I will be faithful to you always, Life freely with you in times of joy, And grow with you in times of sorrow. Whatever path life lies before us, it takes us together.
I will always accept you for who you are, wholly and without reservation. And I ask you to accept me as I am. Your love is my greatest treasure. I am blessed by the love, patience and devotion you have shown me.
All that I am, I give to you in a bond that is everlasting. I pledge my love forever.
(Bride to Groom) [Groom], each of us has traveled a long way to be here today, and I feel truly blessed to have found you. [Groom], to you I vow these things: Never to forget the wonder of having found you, Never to lose sight of the rare gift that is your love, never to take that love for granted, And always to place our relationship first.
I vow always to be open with my heart, To be honest, sincere, respectful and kind. In the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my husband and partner, From this day forward, In happiness and in sorrow, in sickness and health, in good times and bad, in weakness and in strength.
All that I am, I give to you In a bond that is everlasting. I pledge my love forever.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS What token do you offer of your love?
Response: A ring
The rings you give and receive this day are the symbols of the endless love into which you enter as husband and wife. They are a symbol of wholeness and perfection and of peace. The rings are symbols of unity, in which your two lives will now be joined in one unbroken circle.
Blessing of Rings Bless, Oh God, these rings, that they who give them, and they who wear them may abide in Thy peace - remembering their vows unto their life’s end. Amen
Groom puts rings on Bride’s hand [Bride], with free and unconstrained soul, I give you all I am and all I am to become. Take this ring, and with it my promise of faith, patience, and love, for the rest of my life.
Bride puts ring on Groom’s hand Two flames, one light. [Groom], I offer you this ring as a sign of life, and myself as your wife. Let us walk together always, and let us always walk towards the light.
Acknowledgement [Bride and Groom], it is time to acknowledge the importance of the events of daily life you will encounter in your new life. Ponder now your new state of life, that you may live it well.
May every word you speak and every breath you take in each other’s presence, be twice blessed, in truth and joy, and may you walk together in strength each holy day of your lives, recognizing that what you undertake together will bring you continuous joy. Know that the love you share can truly help to change the world.
Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we ask Thy blessings upon Bride and Groom as they blend together in their marital union. Give them beauty, closeness, and the tender passion of deep friendship as they embrace the future. Bless them deeply and give them growth and joy as they walk this life together.
Join me now in “The Lord’s Prayer.” Our Father, who art in Heaven Hallowed by thy name, They kingdom come, Thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, And the power, And the glory, Forever. Amen
Lighting of the Unity Candle (with Children)
Pronouncement of Marriage Benediction Because you can rest in the comfort of knowing that you have chosen through one another to serve the highest purposes of love, depart in peace, dear ones, for God has given you the greatest of all gifts, true love, love embodied, love promised and sworn, love twined to itself till God, and God alone, parts you.
Forasmuch as [Bride and Groom] have agreed to progress together in sacred marriage, and have expressed their intentions before God and this assembly by their solemn vows each to the other and by the exchange of rings, I now pronounce that they are husband and wife through the power of God.
What God has joined together, let no one put asunder.
THE KISS Please exchange a kiss as a seal upon your union.
PRESENTATION Ladies and Gentlemen, May I present Mr. and Mrs. [Groom Last Name]!