** A quick note: the following example is of a Protestant Christian marriage ceremony. We will happily conduct the spiritual or religious ceremony of your choosing.
PRESENTING OF THE BRIDE
Doubly blessed is the couple which comes to the marriage altar with the approval and blessings of their families and friends. Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man? (Parents answer, “We do.”)
CALL TO WORSHIP
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, <Groom> and <Bride> are now about to vow their undying loyalty to each other. We ask you to accept the shared treasure of their life together, which they now create and offer to You. Grant them everything they need, that they may increase in their knowledge of You throughout their life together. For the significance of this wedding day we thank you. For this important moment in an ever growing relationship we thank you. For your presence here and now and for your presence at all times, we thank you. In the name of Jesus, amen.
CHARGE TO THE COUPLE
Hand in hand you enter marriage, hand in hand you step out in faith. The hand you freely give to each other is both the strongest and the most tender part of your body. In the years ahead you will need both strength and tenderness. Be firm in your commitment. Don’t let your grip become weak. And yet, be flexible as you go through change. Don’t let your hold become intolerable. Strength and tenderness, firm commitment and flexibility, of such is a marriage made, hand in hand. Also remember that you don’t walk this path alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others when together you face difficulty. Other hands are there: friends, family, and the church. To accept an outreached hand is not an admission of failure, but an act of faith. For behind us, underneath us, around us all, are the outstretched arms of the Lord. It is into His hand, the hands of God in Jesus Christ, that, above all else, we commit this union of husband and wife.
CHARGE TO LOVED ONES
Marriage is not something that two people invent, or construct by themselves. It takes a far wider community of family and friends to make any marriage work. Each of you have been invited here today because you are a part of that community. Therefore, having heard <Groom> and <Bride> state their intentions to each other and to God in this Service of Marriage, do you, pledge to support their union and to strengthen their lives together, to speak the truth to them in love, and with them to seek a life of love for others?
(Loved ones answer, “Yes, we do.)
(Minister tells Groom, “Repeat after me.”) I, <Groom>, take you <Bride>, to be my wedded wife. I do promise before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.
(Minister tells Bride, “Repeat after me.”) I, <Bride>, take you, <Groom>, to be my wedded husband. I do promise before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful wife, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.
EXCHANGING OF RINGS
(Groom to Bride) This ring I give you in token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love.
(Bride to Groom) This ring I give you in token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love.
PERSONALIZED CEREMONY EXTRA (optional)
DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE
For as much as <Groom> and <Bride> have consented together in holy matrimony, and have witnessed the same before God and these loves ones, pledging their faithfulness each to the other, sealed with the giving and receiving of rings, by the authority invested in me as a minister of the gospel and by the State of California, I pronounce that they are husband and wife. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: those that God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
You may now kiss as husband and wife.
Beloved family and friends, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. <Last Name>.