To this moment (Bride & Groom) bring the fullness of their hearts as a treasure to share with one another. They bring the spark and spirit which is uniquely their own, and out of which has grown for some time, and will continue to grow, deepen, and strengthen, the precious reality of their life together.
To make this relationship work takes more than love. It takes trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both. While love is our natural state of being, these other qualities are not as easy to come by. They are not a destination, but a journey.
Dear family and friends, we have gathered here today to joyfully acknowledge the wedding of (Bride) and (Groom). They have requested your presence on this memorable occasion in order that you might share with them the pledging of their everlasting love on this day of commitment.
(Bride, Groom) and their families extend a warm welcome to all of you. They are happy that you could be here today for this joyous marriage celebration. [To Bride & Groom] We have come together this day to join you, (Bride & Groom) as you exchange your vows of marriage. We celebrate with you the love you have discovered in each other, and we support your decision to continue your life's journeys together as husband and wife. [To guests] We came together from different backgrounds and experiences. Through their marriage (Bride & Groom) do not leave those things behind, but instead form a new family that will broaden the circle of love and understanding in the world.
You have known each other for years, through the first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment. At some moment, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will" and "you will" and "we will” - those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” - and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. Just two people working out what they want, what they believe, what they hope for each other. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. 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 - -acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner; for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. You have learned that good company and friendship count for more than wealth, good looks or position. And you’ve learned that marriage is a maze into which we wander a maze that is best got through with a great companion.
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.
Will you (Groom/Bride) have (Bride/Groom) from this day forward to be your wedded (wife/husband), in times of celebration, in times of sadness, in times of pleasure and in times of pain, in times of sickness and times of health? If so, say, “I will.”
(Groom/Bride), will you take (Bride/Groom) as your (wife/husband); As your companion and best friend for life? Will you treat her/him with love and devotion, honor and respect? Will you stand by her/him in the triumphs and tragedies of life, as a faithful and caring wife/husband? If so, say, “I will.”
From this day onward, do you choose (Groom/Bride) to be your husband/wife, your best friend and your only love? To live together, play together and laugh together; To work by her/his side and dream in her/his arms; To fill her/his heart and feed her/his soul; To always seek out the best in her/him; Always loving her/him with all your heart, until the end of your forever? If so, Say, “I do!”
I, (Groom/Bride) choose you, (Bride/Groom) above all others, to share my life. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth in love, and to accept your truth as you share with me. I will be your companion and friend in life. I will give you respect, understanding, and the freedom to grow in your learning and fulfillment. I promise to offer you freely from my heart, my trust, my devotion, my tenderness, and my love.
I, (Groom/Bride) take you, (Bride/Groom) to be my wedded wife/husband. I will love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I promise to trust you, to laugh with you, and to share my life openly and honestly with you. I will support you in times of sadness, and share your joy in times of triumph. I promise to love, comfort, and honor you all the days of my life.
Bride/Groom, I promise to always love you, treasure you, and adore you. I will celebrate the joys of life with you and I will offer you courage and strength through all endeavors. I promise to do everything in my power to keep our love as vibrant as it is today. For as long as I shall live, I will be honored to be your husband/wife.
I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.
Guest Thank You:
(Bride)and (Groom) stand now before those that they love and that love them. Those that have raised them, taught them, supported them and shaped them. Most importantly, have given them not only the capacity to love, but to understand it and the desire to return it. Because of that they are able to stand now across from each other to take the limitless wealth that you have all given them in spirit, in time, in love and return it. [Not just to themselves. Not just to you. But to the memory of those passed. and to the hope for those yet to be.] Without everyone here today, no one is here today. And for that, (Bride) and (Groom), knowing that language often fails emotion, simply say, “thank you.”
Before the Kiss:
You have kissed a thousand times, maybe more. But today the feeling is new. No longer simply partners and best friends, you have become husband and wife and can now seal the agreement with a kiss. Today your kiss is a promise!