Traditional Wedding Ceremony and Vow Exchange
Statement of Purpose
Friends and relatives, we have come here today at the invitation of (Groom’s name) and (Bride’s name) to share in the joy of their wedding. This outward celebration that we shall see and hear, I believe, is an expression of the inner love and devotion they have in their hearts toward one another. I believe marriage is of God, and (Bride) and (Groom) come today desiring to be united in this sacred relationship of marriage.
Who is giving this woman to be married to this man? (Father): Her mother and I do!
(Minister to Bride and Groom): The ceremony of marriage in which you come to be united is one of the first and oldest ceremonies in the entire world, celebrated in the beginning in the presence of God himself. Marriage is a gift in that we give ourselves totally to one another. I believe that marriage is a gift given to comfort the sorrows of life and to magnify life’s joys.
Marriage is the clasping of hands, the blending of two hearts, the union of two lives into one, and your marriage must stand, not by the authority of the State, nor by the seal on your wedding certificate, but by the strength and power of the faith and love you have in one another.
Now, will you please pass your flowers, turn and face one another and join hands to express your vows of love and devotion each to the other.
To Groom: Will you please repeat this vow to (Bride), saying after me: I (Groom), take you (Bride), to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, I promise to love and cherish you.
To Bride: Will you please repeat this vow to (Groom), saying after me: I (Bride), take you (Groom), to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, I promise to love and cherish you.
The word of God tells us what love is like and what love does: Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous. Love does not brag and is not arrogant. It does not act unbecomingly. It does not seek its own, it is not provoked, and it does not take into account a wrong suffered. It does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, for love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things, but above all, love never fails.
Wedding Ring Exchange
Having this kind of love in your hearts for one another, you have chosen to exchange rings as the sign and seal of the promises you are making to one another today.
To Groom: Do you have a ring for (Bride)? May I have the ring?
To Bride: Do you have a ring for (Groom)? May I have the ring?
Rings are very large in their significance. They are made of a precious metal and precious stone, and that reminds us that love is not cheap or common; but indeed love is very costly and dear to us. These rings are also made in a circle and their design tells us that we must keep love continuous throughout our whole lives even as the circle of the ring is continuous. As you wear these rings, whether you are together or apart for even just a moment, may these rings be a constant reminder of the promises you are making to one another this day.
To Groom: (Groom), will you please take this ring and place it upon the third finger of (Bride) left hand, and holding her hand in yours, please repeat this promise to her saying after me: With this ring, I seal my promise, to be your faithful and loving husband, as God is my witness.
To Bride: (Bride), will you please take this ring and place it upon the third finger of (Groom) left hand, and holding his hand in yours please repeat this promise to him saying after me: With this ring, I seal my promise, to be your faithful and loving wife, as God is my witness.
Closing prayer and personal words by the minister are given here. Poems and blessings are also generally recited at this point of the ceremony.
Pronouncement of Marriage
(Bride) and (Groom), you have come here today before us and before God and have expressed your desire to become husband and wife. You have shown your love and affection by joining hands, and have made promises of faith and devotion, each to the other, and have sealed these promises by the giving and the receiving of the rings. Therefore, it is my privilege as a minister and by the authority given to me by the State of California, I now pronounce that you are husband and wife. (Groom), you may kiss your wife.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to introduce to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. (Groom’s Last Name).
Poems and Blessings
Poems and Blessings are optional, and are usually recited after the closing prayer of the minister and prior to the pronouncement of marriage. Following are some examples. You can also create your own, if you prefer.
Indian Wedding Prayer
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be the shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be the warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you,
Because now you are no longer lonely.
Now you are two bodies,
Yet there is only one life set before you.
Go therefore into your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
That your days may be good and beautiful and long upon this earth.
True love gives nothing of itself
And takes nothing but from itself
Love does not possess, nor would it be possessed
For love is sufficient unto love.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself
To awake at dawn with a winged heart
And to give thanks for another day of loving.
To rest at noon and meditate upon love’s ecstasy,
To return home at evening with gratitude
And then to sleep with a prayer for your beloved in your heart
And a song of praise upon your lips.