Sample Wedding Ceremony: Traditional and Secular

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Opening

Officiant: Good morning and welcome. Jamie and Skyler are so glad to have you here on this beautiful summer day—before we begin I’d like to ask you all to make sure your cell phones, beepers, handheld gaming devices, and iPads are all on silent.

Address

Officiant: Love is a miraculous gift, and a wedding is a celebration of that magic, and that is why we are here today. We are gathered together to be overjoyed for, and with, Skyler and Jamie, who are so wonderfully suited to one another that it is a pure delight for the rest of us to see how happy two people can be. They are the example of the love that in its light-heartedness dissolves the notion of love as hard work. They are the promise of possibility, the expectation of joyful surprise. We are here to celebrate, witness, honor, dance, laugh, sing, eat, and be glad because these two kids have found their beshert.

Divine light that illuminated our hearts and gives life to each cell of our being, we give thanks for the love that has gathered us together in this place, and especially for the beautiful, heartwarming love that Jamie and Skyler have chosen this day to consecrate in marriage. For all the beauty that you have bestowed upon them we give great thanks, for their open hearts and loving spirits, for their wisdom in choosing to love, for their willingness to walk on the path of true love, with all its joys and burdens and lessons. Bless them now with your joyful abundant radiance, so that the words they say, the feelings that beautifully transform them in these moments, and the dreams that they dare to dream can be lived out in their marriage.

First Reading

Officiant: And now Jamie and Skyler have asked Jamie’s sister to do a reading of {Name of Reading #1}

Reading #1—For Ideas for Readings, browse our Wedding Readings section

Address, Continued

Officiant: Marriage is a special place, the sheltered environment in which we can endlessly explore ourselves in the presence of another and in which we can offer the possibility of true reflection of another.

As the writer Richard Bach has so beautifully stated, “A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction… Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”

Marriage is the incubator of love, the protected environment in which a love that is personal and touching and real can grow and, as a consequence of that growth, develop in us our highest capabilities as loving human beings. We are each still and always growing, and when we marry, we promise not only our own growth, but also our willingness to witness and withstand the ongoing growth of another human being. That is because in marrying we promise to love not only as we feel right now, but also as we intend to feel. In marriage we say not only, “I love you today,” but also, “I promise to love you tomorrow, the next day, and always.”

We as Jamie and Skyler’s community witness this expression of love in Jamie’s {personal actions in support of Skyler}. In Skyler’s {personal actions in support of Jamie}. And each displays their respect and support for the other’s passions when {doing joint activities they treasure}.

Second Reading

Officiant: We will now have Skyler’s sister read {Reading #2}:

Reading #2—For Ideas for Readings, browse our Wedding Readings section

Conclusion of the Address

Officiant: Enfolded in joy, inhabited by hope, bathed in the infinite spectrum of light that is love, may you always be infused with it and beautifully illuminated by it. May every desire you have for your love be fulfilled, and may you be given the vision with which to clearly behold one another, the listening with which to perceive one another most genuinely, and the endless generosity of spirit with which to nourish one another’s soul and sweetly keep the promises you make here today.

Skyler and Jamie, I remind you that marriage is a precious gift, a lifelong dedication to love and a daily challenge to love one another more fully and more freely.

Vows and Expression of Intent

Officiant: Do you Skyler Rene Smith, take Jamie Harper Lee, to be your beloved spouse, knowing in your heart that you will be a faithful friend, and a loving companion? On this special day, in the presence of family and friends as witnesses, do you give your sacred vow that you will always be with Jamie and support her, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow? Do you promise to love her completely, to console and comfort her during difficult times, to laugh with her and to grieve with her, to share with her life’s simplest but most enduring pleasures, to be truthful and honest with her, and to cherish her, for as long as you both shall live?

Skyler: I do.

Officiant:  Do you Jamie Harper Lee, take Skyler Rene Smith, to be your beloved spouse, knowing in your heart that you will be a faithful friend, and a loving companion? On this special day, in the presence of family and friends as witnesses, do you give your sacred vow that you will always be with Skyler and support him, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow? Do you promise to love him completely, to console and comfort him during difficult times, to laugh with him and to grieve with him, to share with him life’s simplest but most enduring pleasures, to be truthful and honest with him, and to cherish him, for as long as you both shall live?

Jamie: I do.

Ceremony of the Rings

Officiant:  Jamie and Skyler have chosen to write their own vows:

May I have the rings. Skyler and Jamie’s rings are an external and visible sign of the internal and spiritual bond of love which unites their two hearts. May they serve as a seal of the vows Jamie and Skyler have made to one another. Bless these rings, symbols of eternity, beauty and strength. Bless the couple who give them and wear them—may they ever live in harmony, unity, love, and happiness from this day forward.

Jamie, please repeat after me:

{Jamie’s vows here}

Skyler please repeat after me:

{Skyler’s vows here}

Pronouncement and Kiss

Officiant:  Skyler and Jamie, by the power invested in me, I now pronounce you married! You may now kiss!

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