Sample Ceremonies

 

Having conducted over 450 weddings of various sizes, backgrounds and situations, it should come as no surprise that couples have used a variety of ceremonies to celebrate their new lives together.  Take a moment to look over these SAMPLE ceremonies from weddings that I have conducted.

In working with you and your fiance`, I would work with you and help you to create the wedding that you desire.  I have additional wedding ceremonies and wedding material available to help in designing the wedding that you and your fiance' would treasure.  In addition to my religious ceremonies, I also have additional non-religious and inter-faith ceremonies available. 

 

Sample Wedding Ceremony #1

 

Invocation

 

O God, we gather to celebrate your gift of love and its presence among us.  We rejoice that two people have chosen to commit themselves to a life of loving faithfulness to one another.  We praise You, O God, that you touch our lives with a variety of loving relationships.  We give thanks that we have experienced your love through the life-giving love of Jesus Christ and through the care and affection of others.  As you have brought Michael and Jamie together by Your divine providence, sanctify them by Your spirit that they may give themselves fully one to the other and to You.  Give them strength and guidance to live their lives in a manner that will mutually bless themselves and honor Thy holy name.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,  Amen.

 

Welcome and Greeting

 

On behalf of Michael and Jamie - welcome!  Michael and Jamie are happy to celebrate their marriage with you.  They recognize that you - their family and friends, have played a great role in shaping the people they are today, and have contributed to the love they have for each other.  Their fondest hope is that this shared experience will enhance your own understanding of what it means to live in covenant with one another.  On their behalf, I welcome you to the beautiful setting.

 

Marriage is God's first institution for the welfare of the human race.  After God made man, He saw that it was not good for man to be alone and so He created for him a helpmate.  This relationship that you enter into this day will be a journey of a lifetime.  As you enter into it, may you reaffirm the leading of God's Hand upon both of your lives and may you celebrate that which He has brought together.

 

Your families and these your friends rejoice with you and promise our prayers and support you in this hour and in the hours of the days and years to come.

 

Presentation of the Bride

 

(Who gives this woman to be married to this man?)

_____________:  Her mother and I , or I do or We do.

 

 

Michael and Jamie, hear the Word of God.

 

First of all, the Old Testament Reading found in Genesis 2:18-24

 

And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helpmate for him.  And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them:  and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name of the creature.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help mate for him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh ; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and God brought her to the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh:  she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

 

And the New Testament words found in 1 Corinthians 13

 

If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become nothing more than blaring brass or crashing cymbals.  If I have the gift of foretelling the future, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all that I have , and if I deliver myself up to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Loves bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.

 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; but as I grew, I gave up my childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  So now abide faith, hope, love - these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

 

Exchange of Vows

 

Michael and Jamie, you have come to me signifying your desire to be formally united in marriage.  Being assured that there are no legal or moral reasons to hinder this union, I desire that you join hands and give your response to these questions.

 

Michael, do you take Jamie to be your wife; do you commit yourself to her happiness and her self-fulfillment as a person, and to her usefulness in God’s kingdom; and do you promise to love, honor, trust, an serve her in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to be true and loyal to her, so long as you both shall live?

 

(Michael):  I do.

 

Jamie, do you take Michael to be your husband; do you commit yourself to his happiness and his self-fulfillment as a person, and to his usefulness in God’s kingdom; and do you promise to love, honor, trust, and serve him in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to be true and loyal to him, so long as you both shall live?

 

(Jamie):  I do.

 

Then, I charge you - before God and these witnesses gathered here today to state your marriage vows to one another in the presence of Almighty God:

 

 

Michael:  I, Michael, take you, Jamie, to be my wedded wife,

            to have and to hold from this day forward,

            for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer;

            in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish,

            so long as we both shall live.

 

Jamie:  I, Jamie, take you, Michael, to be my wedded husband,

            to have and to hold from this day forward,

            for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer;

            in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish,

            so long as we both shall live.

 

 

 

The Ring Ceremony

 

The wedding ring is a symbol of marriage in at least two ways:  the purity of the precious metal of which your rings are forged symbolizes the purity of your love for each other, and the unending circle symbolizes the unending vows which you are making to each other and before Almighty God. As a token of your vows that you are making today, both of you have chosen to give a ring as a visible token of your love and your commitment.

 

Prayer Blessing of Rings

 

 

Exchange of Rings

 

Michael, will you take this ring and place it on Jamie's finger and repeat after me, "Jamie, take this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Jamie, will you take this ring and place it on Michael's  finger and repeat after me, "Michael, take this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Minister:

 

Will both of you please repeat after me:

Entreat me not to leave you

or to return from following you;

for where you go I will go,

and where you lodge I will lodge;

your people shall be my people,

and your God my God [Ruth 1:16,RSV].

 

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

   Add thy blessing, O Father, to this quiet service here where Jamie and Michael have said the words that have made them one in the eyes of society and as they have made vows to each other and to You that have made them one in your eyes.  Bless them as they turn now to walk the path of life together.  Give them patience and guidance in the establishing of their home.  Give them wisdom and strength in the living of their lives.  Remind them, Father, of Your eternal and perfect love for each of them.  Bless the homes from whence they have come, but especially bless the home that they have established today, and may it fulfill thy purpose and thy will.  In Jesus' name we pray,

 

Pronouncement of Marriage

 

Having pledged your love for and loyalty to each other, and having sealed that pledge with the giving and receiving of rings, I, by the authority vested in me as a minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and in conformity with the laws and statutes of this state, do in the presence here of your families and your friends, pronounce you to be, husband and wife.

 

Presentation of the Couple

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May He make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.  May He lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.  May he bless you this day as you begin your new life together as husband and wife.

 

Michael, you may kiss your wife!

           

Will you turn now and face your family and friends?

 

Ladies and gentlemen, It is my pleasure and uttermost honor to present to you for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Jamie Smith!

 

 

Recessional

 

 

Sample Wedding Ceremony #2

 

 

Opening remarks

We are gathered here, surrounded by the strength of these mountains, to join Susan and Trent in marriage. It is fitting and appropriate that you, the family and friends be witness and participate in the wedding, because the ideals, understanding, and the mutual respect that they bring to their marriage have their roots in the love, friendship and guidance that you have given them.  As your invitation to this ceremony read; “because you have shared in our lives by your friendship and love,” Susan and Trent wish to thank you for your presence here today.

For Trent and Susan, this ceremony today is an affirmation of the love they have for one another. This is also an opportunity for Trent and Susan to share their commitment to each other with the people they consider most important in their lives – those who have loved and supported them throughout their relationship.

 

 

The Covenant of the Bride and Groom

 

Susan please face Trent, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds you in his embrace.

These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your family.

These are that hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

Trent, please hold Susan’s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you.

 

These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.

These are the hands that will hold your children in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it is time to let go.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.

They are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she expresses her love for you.

These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be achieved.

 

 

Blessing
 
Let us pray…God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another.  Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May Trent and Susan see their four hands joined together in love and may they see Your Hand in their marriage as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name, Amen.

 

 

Affirmation of Family and Guests

 

This marriage unites not only two individuals, but two families and two communities as well. I now ask you, those who again who have shared in their lives through your friendship and love, do you promise to support Susan and Trent in their marriage?  Please, as a group say “we will.”

All respond: We will
.


Will you offer them your wisdom and encouragement in their times of struggle, and your celebration with them in their times of joy?

All respond: We will.

 

Exchange of Vows

 

Trent, please repeat after me as you enter in the covenant of Marriage:

I, Trent take you Susan to be my wife/ I will cherish our friendship/ and love you today, tomorrow and forever/ I will trust you and honor you/ I will love you faithfully/ through the best and the worst/ what may come I will always be there/ I come into this union/ letting go of my deepest fears/ and embracing all my faith/ and if I doubt/ I will remember this time/ and why we came together this day/ As I have given you my hands to hold/ so I give you my life to keep/ so help me God.

Susan, please repeat after me as you enter in the covenant of Marriage.

I, Susan take you Trent to be my husband/ I will cherish our friendship/ and love you today, tomorrow and forever/ I will trust you and honor you/ I will love you faithfully/ through the best and the worst/ what may come I will always be there/ I come into this union/ letting go of my deepest fears/ and embracing all my faith/ and if I doubt/ I will remember this time/ and why we came together this day/ As I have given you my hands to hold/ so I give you my life to keep/ so help me God.

 

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

 

Trent and Susan, as these rings are designed without an ending, they speak of eternity.  May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love glowing with increasing luster through the years.  May God bless these rings which you give to each other as the sign of your eternal love, trust, and faithfulness.  May their inscription always be a reminder of the way you feel this day, that only God could love you more that you love each other.

These rings are visible symbols of your inner bond. As you Susan, place this ring on Trent’s finger, repeat after me:

I give you this ring/ as a symbol of my commitment to you and to our partnership in life./ In the eyes of God, I thee wed/ and say to the world, “this is my husband.”

Trent, as you place this ring on Susan’s finger, repeat after me:


I give you this ring/ as a symbol of my commitment to you and to our partnership in life./ In the eyes of God, I thee wed/ and say to the world, “this is my wife.”

 

Trent and Susan, nothing is easier than saying words and nothing is harder than living them day after day, after day.  What you promise today, must be renewed and decided again tomorrow, and tomorrow after that, and the tomorrow after that.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails....

 

 

Pronouncement

 

Your friends and family, and all of us here, rejoice in your happiness, and we hope that this day marks only one of many more blessings you will share in the days and years ahead. 

  

Trent and Susan, in moment I will state that you are married but before I do, I want to remind you of the seriousness and binding nature of the relationship you are now about to enter.

 

Marriage is the clasping of hands, the blending of hearts, the union of two lives as one. Your marriage must stand, not by the authority of the state, nor by the words of the minister, but by the strength of your love and the power of faith in each other and in God.

 

 

 

Words to the Couple

 

Let me remind you that…

In your marriage, the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted.
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon.
It should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating

gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have

wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.


It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

 

And now that you have spoken the words and performed the rites that unite your lives, I do hereby, in accordance with your beliefs and the laws of the State of North Carolina, declare your marriage to be valid and binding, and I now declare you, Trent and Susan, Husband and Wife. 

 

Blessing of the Marriage

 

Let us pray…Lord, today Trent and Susan have chosen to marry. May they build a life together that is bright with the laughter of children and the smiles of friends and family.  May they be ever true and loving and may they their fill their hearts with kindness and understanding, and laugh together often. May they be friends, companions, and partners, meeting the joys and cares of life together.  As the years pass may their love deepen and mature, and may their home be truly a place of love and joy. Walking together, may they find much more in life than either would have found alone.

 

Trent, you may kiss your wife!

  

Declaration of Marriage

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to present to you formally for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Trent and Susan Smith!

 

 

Sample Wedding Ceremony #3

 

 

Opening Remarks

 

We are gathered here, surrounded by the strength of these mountains, to join Michelle and Dean in marriage. It is fitting and appropriate that you, the family and friends be witness and participate in the wedding because the ideals, understanding, and the mutual respect that they bring to their marriage have their roots in the love, friendship and guidance that you have given them.

 

Dean and Michelle, this ceremony today is an affirmation of the love that you have for one another. This is also an opportunity for Dean and Michelle to share their commitment to each other with the people they consider most important in their lives – those who have loved and supported them throughout their relationship.

 

Rose Ceremony

 

Michelle and Dean wish to honor their families by presenting a rose to their mothers -- to thank their parents for the many selfless sacrifices they have made and for their unconditional love so freely given to their children.

 

(Bride & Groom exchange hugs with her parents and present a rose to her mother.)

 

(Bride & Groom exchange hugs with his parents and present a rose to his mother.)

 

Dean and Michelle, you have come to me signifying your desire to be formally united in marriage. I desire that you join hands as you make vows to one another.

 

 

Exchange of Vows

 

Dean, please repeat after me as you enter in the covenant of Marriage to Michelle:

 

I, Dean take you Michelle to be my wife / I give you my hand and my heart / as a sanctuary of warmth and peace / I promise to walk by your side / and above all else to live in truth with you / If I doubt / I will remember this time / and why we came together this day / As I have given you my hands to hold / so I give you my life to keep.

 

Michelle, please repeat after me as you enter in the covenant of Marriage to Dean:

 

I, Michelle take you Dean to be my husband / I give you my hand and my heart / as a sanctuary of warmth and peace / I promise to walk by your side / and above all else to live in truth with you / If I doubt / I will remember this time / and why we came together this day / As I have given you my hands to hold / so I give you my life to keep.

 

May I have the rings please?

 

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

 

Dean and Michelle, as these rings are designed without an ending, they speak of eternity. May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love glowing with increasing luster through the years. These rings which you give to each other are a sign of your eternal love, trust, and faithfulness. May their inscription always be a reminder of the way you feel this day.

 

These rings are visible symbols of your inner bond. As you Michelle, place this ring on Dean’s finger, repeat after me:

 

I give you this ring / as a symbol of my commitment to you / and to our partnership in life / With this ring, I thee wed / and say to the world, “this is my husband.”

 

Dean, as you place this ring on Michelle’s finger, repeat after me:

 

I give you this ring / as a symbol of my commitment to you / and to our partnership in life / With this ring, I thee wed / and say to the world, “this is my wife.”

 

Dean and Michelle, nothing is easier than saying words and nothing is harder than living them day after day, after day. What you promise today, must be renewed and decided again tomorrow and tomorrow after that.

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…

 

Pronouncement

 

As you, Dean and Michelle are now joined in marriage in the presence of these your family, friends and witnesses, I am to remind you of the seriousness and binding nature of the relationship you are now about to enter.

 

Marriage is the clasping of hands, the blending of hearts, the union of two lives as one. Your marriage must stand, not by the authority of the state, nor by the words of the minister, but by the strength of your love and the power of faith in each other.

 

Words to the Couple

 

When two people are at one

in their inmost hearts,

they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.

And when two people understand each other

in their inmost hearts,

their words are sweet and strong,

like the fragrance of orchids.

 

It is my hope that this day marks one of many more blessings you will share in the days and years ahead. And now that you have spoken the words and performed the rites that unite your lives, I do hereby, in accordance with your beliefs and the laws of the State of North Carolina, declare your marriage to be valid and binding, and I now declare you, Dean and Michelle, Husband and Wife.

 

Blessing of the Marriage

 

Today, Dean and Michelle have chosen to marry. May they build a life together that is bright with the smiles and laughter of family and friends. May they be ever true and loving and may they fill their hearts with kindness and understanding, and laugh together often. May they be friends, companions, and partners, meeting the joys and cares of life together. As the years pass, may their love deepen and mature, and may their home be truly a place of love and joy. Walking together, may they find much more in life than either would have found alone.

 

Dean, you may kiss your wife!

 

Declaration of Marriage

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased and honored to present to you formally for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Dean and Michelle Melton!