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Sample Wedding Ceremony: Short & Civil


One of APW’s goals is to create a collection of sample ceremonies to aid and abet you in the creation of your own wedding ceremony (feel free to use them as inspiration to power through the last-minute panic of writing your own ceremony, or take them word for word to take the pressure off creating something from scratch). If you have one to share, send it on in and we’ll round them up like we’ve done with vows and readings when we get enough. In the meantime, here’s a short and sweet civil ceremony for those of you trying to keep things, well, short and sweet.

Maddie

Sample Wedding Ceremony: Short & Civil | A Practical Wedding  

by Genevieve Dreizen

Address

A wedding is such a wonderful occasion filled with hopes, dreams and excitement. We are here today to celebrate the love that Alex and Casey have for each other, and to recognize and witness their decision to journey forward in their lives as marriage partners.

May your love create a safe haven for you both on the journey that lies ahead of you. Lead with your hearts and take the time to do the simple things that will nurture your love.

Deeply listen to each other—to your dreams, and to your frustrations. Be helpmates. Be playful in finding new ways to give your love anew to each other every day.

Let your love be an inspiration to others to reach for what is good within us all. May your love be so abundant that you have plenty to share with the rest of us as well.

It is your love that has brought us together here today. May it grow deeper and sweeter with each passing year.

Vows and Expression of Intent

Do you, Casey take, Alex to be your partner for life. Do you promise to walk by her side forever, and to love, help, and encourage her in all she does? Do you promise to take time to talk with her, to listen to her, and to care for her? Will you share her laughter, and her tears, as her partner, lover, and best friend? Do you take her as your lawfully wedded wife for now and forevermore?

Do you, Alex take, Casey to be your partner for life. Do you promise to walk by her side forever, and to love, help, and encourage her in all she does? Do you promise to take time to talk with her, to listen to her, and to care for her? Will you share her laughter, and her tears, as her partner, lover and best friend? Do you take her as your lawfully wedded wife for now and forevermore?

Ceremony of the Rings

And now, seal your promises with these rings, the symbol of your life shared together.

Casey, please repeat after me:

Alex, this ring I give as token and pledge,
as a sign of my love and devotion.
With this ring, I thee wed.

Alex, please repeat after me:

Casey, this ring I give as token and pledge,
as a sign of my love and devotion.
With this ring, I thee wed.

Pronouncement & Kiss

Casey and Alex, by the power invested in me, I now pronounce you married. You may kiss!

 

Sample Wedding Ceremony: Short & Civil | A Practical Wedding

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Photo by APW Sponsor Emily Takes Photos


Sample Wedding Ceremony: Short & Civil | A Practical WeddingGenevieve Dreizen lives on Long Island and splits her time between the things she most loves: officiating weddings, teaching kids, drawing, and loving on her dog. She’s been officiating weddings since 2011 everywhere from the banks of the Hudson River to the top of the Empire State Building. When she’s not marrying awesome couples to each other in Central Park, find her running, zumba-ing, or redesigning board games. She loves working with APW couples and would be thrilled to hear from you for questions and inquiries alike.

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  • lindsay

    This is perfect. My friends asked me to perform their marriage ceremony and it’s this weekend and we’re getting together this week to go over short ceremony options. After the short ceremony, we’re going to a baseball game!

    • Emily

      Aw, that sounds like so much fun!

  • Meredith

    This is perfect. I still haven’t written our ceremony. I haven’t got the energy, time or brain power as the wedding is approaching way too fast. Thank you for the great base to work upon.

  • Sloane

    I like this a lot. Simple, gender-neutral. Loving, but not cliche.

    Please try not to laugh me off of the website, but, let’s say I’m having a private, civil ceremony done at a courthouse by the judge, should I also write the ceremony? Something like this? Also, is there any deviance guideline if my fiance is not going to wear a wedding ring?

    • Anon

      Check with the jurisdiction. When we did our City Hall wedding we did not have a choice of wording. When we got our licence we had to check a box to say if we were exchanging rings (we weren’t). It particularly annoyed me that the wording was not gender neutral – “one man and one woman” – and – “you may kiss the bride”. I chose a civil ceremony partly because I appreciate marriage equality and it annoyed me that the language didn’t reflect that. My husband and I joked that maybe they were using up the old forms. That being said, I didn’t ask them to change it since we are one man and one woman.

      • Sloane

        Thanks, Anon. I’m in the same boat — this kind of simplicity and neutrality is why we are going with a civil ceremony, so I will make sure to check. Being referred to as “your (meaning his) bride” makes me cringe. I will find out about exchanging rings as well. I am such a newb. Even at 24 I’ve never been to a wedding so not much comparable experience.

        • Anon

          I didn’t make a big deal about it because we are having a more elaborate ceremony that I wrote myself. Plus my husband has a girl’s name which causes enough confusion as it is without me insisting on gender neutrality. But certainly if it’s the only ceremony you’re having you should be comfortable with what is said. Sometimes you can download the text from the city website. Good luck!

  • ANDREA

    “May your love be so abundant that you have plenty to share with the rest of us as well” is a GENIUS line and I would like it to be in all weddings please.

  • Del678

    I think there are some great messages in here: a journey, partnership, listening, sharing etc.

    Two ceremony questions: Am I the only bride who doesn’t like every other sentence to be love this and love that? I think it was talked about in a resigning wife post comments section that sometimes (or often) love isn’t enough. I’d LOVE to see some ceremony addresses/readings that talk about all the other stuff that makes a wonderful marriage – besides “love”.

    Second question (maybe kind of a ceremony vent that couldn’t wait until Friday): am I the only bride who doesn’t think it’s necessary to have a practice run through at the venue for the ceremony. My MOH is being stressing about how she doesn’t know what the room looks like or where she’s supposed to stand. Whereas I’m like, ‘you will do what pretty much every BM in a western weddings for the last 100 year has done… walk down the aisle to the music and stand to the side out of the way’. NO ONE is going to say “OMG did you see that BM 1 was standing half a foot too close to the bride and had to shuffle back? Disaster!”.
    *also of note, yes we are running through the ceremony with the celebrant and yes we are all practising timing to the music, just not at the actual venue.

    • Elissa

      I’m with you on the love thing. I’m a bit allergic to “soppiness”, and my soppiness trigger is set /really/ low. Finding a middle ground in our ceremony that’s both “lovey” enough for my partner and not too lovey for me is going to be tricky. It was important to him that one reading at least was about love, and I was like “well, I suppooose, if you insist”. We’re about to dig into ceremony writing, so we’ll see how it goes getting that balance right…