Ceremony Readings

Below, there are five categories I’ve compiled to assist you with your ceremony design.  You can use them as written, use only a portion, or combine various options together.  Readings can be used at any time during the ceremony (not just the area noted).  Select one of the links below to take you to that specific category within the page.  Wedding Ceremony Readings greatly add to the mood of your ceremony; they can be short or long, classic or unusual, romantic, traditional, contemporary, literary, spiritual, sentimental, playful, instructive, good advice for marriage, or any other content that reflects you as a couple.  Readings can help express the beauty of your love and add thoughtful content to your ceremony.  With all readings, Stephen can read them, or some couples choose to honor a member of their family, a close friend, or have someone in the bridal party read a selection.  Some readings are appropriate to read to each other as declarations of your love.

Pre-Ceremony Announcement to silence phones and put away cameras

On behalf of Groom, Bride and their families I’d like to welcome everyone.  Today is a beautiful day and many wonderful moments will be created. Groom and Bride have an amazing photography team and would appreciate you enjoying this beautiful occasion without distraction or any devices blocking any of the beautiful moments. At this time, please silence and put away all phones and cameras, and enjoy the ceremony.

Giving Away of the Bride

A Twist on Tradition

Officiant: I’ve never met a father who was willing to give up his daughter, so instead I ask, (Father of the bride) do I have your blessing for this marriage?

Father:  Yes, you do.

OR

Officiant: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

Father: Today, we choose not to give away (bride), but to share her with (groom) for the rest of our lives.

Non-verbal

When they reach the end of the aisle, the father or parents of the bride hug her, and then hug her fiancé. No words are said.

OR

If a couple walks up the aisle unaccompanied, they can walk first to their families, giving them each a flower and embracing, before meeting at the altar.

Blessing only

Officiant: “Does (name) have (his/her) family’s blessing to marry (name)?

Answer: (He/she) does

When a Parent is No Longer Alive

Officiant: Who presents this woman to be married to this man?

Answer: On behalf of all that have gathered here, and of all those not able to be with us today, I do.

Officiant: Does this couple have the blessings of their family for this marriage?

Answer: With the knowledge that (deceased parent) loved and supported this union as much as I do, I freely give my blessing.

Or

Answer: On behalf of those who are with us, and those who have gone before, I give my blessing to this union.

Presenting is an Honor

Officiant: Marriage is in itself a blessing. But doubly blessed is the couple who comes to the marriage altar with the approval and love of their families and friends. Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man?

Answer: On behalf of her loving family and friends, I do.

Blended Family: 

Officiant: Do you commit to holding up this family during the good and bad, and helping them to raise their children with light and love?

Audience: We do!

Special Thank You

Sample 1 – Groom and Bride would like to take a moment to recognize their parents on this special occasion. They offer their profound gratitude for all the love and care you have provided throughout the years. Parents, your unconditional gifts of love and support have inspired bride and groom to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts. Without you, this day would not be possible. Thank you for making this dream a reality.

Sample 2 – First we would like to give thanks to God for blessing us with each other. Thank you to our parents who have taught us the true meaning of love and commitment. We are who we are today because of you. You are appreciated more than you will ever know, and we love you very much. Thank you to our family and friends. We are so happy we could share this special day with you, and we are truly blessed to be surrounded with so much love and support.

Sample 3 – Thank you so much to our family and friends honoring us with your presence and love! Thank you to our parents, for sharing this important day with us and supporting us every step of the way! You have added to our joy by being with us on our wedding day.

Sample 4 – To our friends and family…Thank you to all for sharing this incredible day with us. We feel blessed to have so many loyal friends in our lives. We would like to extend a special appreciation to all of our guests who traveled from out of town to be here with us today. To our parents…Thank you for your unconditional love and support throughout our lives. Thank you for raising us to be strong, independent, and loving people. We look forward to sharing the values you’ve taught us with generations to come.

Sample 5 – We want to thank everyone for coming and for those who have helped us on this special day. We especially want to thank our family who have worked so hard to bring this day together, and the many others who have freely given of their ideas, support and labor to make this day possible.

Sample 6 – We would like to express our gratitude to our parents for their love and guidance. We also would like to thank our relatives and friends for coming today to share our joy. We ask God’s blessing and your prayers upon our marriage. You, our family and friends have made this special day even greater by sharing it with us, this is a day we will always treasure.

Opening Remarks

Stephen’s opening remarks: On behalf of Groom, Bride and their families I’d like to welcome everyone.  We have been invited here today to witness and celebrate with Groom and Bride a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding for each other has grown and matured, and now with love and commitment, they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.  No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important than those you are about to take.  Both of you come to this day with the realization that the bond of marriage is sacred, as are all of its obligations and responsibilities.

Stephen’s opening remarks: We are gathered here today to share this very special day with groom and bride and their love.  For the last _____ years, these two great people have become a strong couple in unity.  They have overcome obstacles together and excelled at the challenges that life has brought their way.  They’ve been building a strong life together that is celebrated today in their becoming one in marriage.  The love groom and bride share runs deep, and is strong enough to overcome any obstacle life brings their way.

Groom and bride, never forget what is worth remembering, or remembering what is best forgotten.  May you be friends to each other as only lovers can; and may you love each other as only best friends can.  Whenever you’re wrong, admit it, whenever you’re right, stay quiet.  A successful marriage requires falling in live many times, always with the same person.  May your marriage be filled with joy, may your trust grow stronger, and may your love increase as you grow as husband and wife.  Look out at your family and friends and remember, they are here to support your relationship and celebrate your marriage.  Look back on this moment often, and allow your love and friendship to continue to grow.  Enjoy the journey as you step into the next chapter of love story.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Friends and family of Groom and Bride, welcome.  We are gathered together to celebrate the very special love between Bride and Groom, by joining them in marriage.  All of us need and desire to love and to be loved, and one of the highest forms of love between two people is expressed on the day they become one in marriage.  Thank you for sharing your love with this beautiful couple on this special day.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Groom and Bride, your marriage today is the public and legal joining of your relationship that has already been united in your hearts. Marriage will allow you a new environment to share your lives together, standing together to face life and the world, hand-in-hand.  Marriage is going to expand you as individuals, define you as a couple, and deepen your love for one another.  To be successful, you will need strength, courage, patience and a really good sense of humor.  So, let your marriage be a time of waking each morning and falling in love with each other all over again.

Stephen’s opening remarks: For thousands of years couples have gathered under a grove of trees, an expanse of sky,  or at an altar to celebrate this beautiful and simple act of intention and promise.  Family and friends have looked on as those they love make known their choice, choosing their soul mate, their love, life and future.  At this special time many brides and grooms have risked the catch in their throats, the quickening of their heart, the dampening of their eyes; to sense the pivot of a moment where all that has come before yields to the possibilities of the future they are beginning.

Stephen’s opening remarks:  Dear family and friends, we are gathered here to join groom and bride in marriage, it is so fitting that you, their family and friends, be here to witness and participate in their wedding. The ideals, understanding, and mutual respect bride and groom bring to this union found their roots in the love, friendship and guidance you have given them throughout the years.  So, welcome, as we gather here today, thank you for being present to share the beginning of a next chapter of their love story as these two beautiful individuals join their lives together, before you, their closest family and friends.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. A ceremony does not create a marriage; Groom and Bride, only you can do that.  Through your love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive and to appreciate your differences, by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest.  This ceremony is a witness to your love and desire to become one in marriage; and your family and friends are here to affirm the choice you are making to stand together as husband and wife.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Groom & Bride, seeing that no moment is without meaning, we ask that you take this marriage as a beginning of your lives together. Today signifies the creation of a new home and a new family for you both. May you be fulfilled by each other’s love and friendship. May you be overjoyed by the promises you are about to make and the life together you will create.  Remember that in every marriage, there are good times and bad, times of joy and times of sorrow. Marriage is a journey – a time of adventure and excitement that is enhanced by the love, trust, dedication and faith you share in one another.  Good times are sweeter when shared, and difficult times are less harsh when borne by two.  May you continue to work to build a foundation that will support this lasting relationship of marriage being celebrated here today.  May the promises you make to one another today, be lived out to the end of your lives. Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys, but today is the day it all begins.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Groom & Bride, I’d like for you to 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, teacher and student, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.  For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband, and this is my wife.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Groom & Bride, I ask that you treat yourselves and each other with respect, remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration, difficulties or fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not just the frustration during that single moment in time.  If you’ll do this, you’ll overcome the challenges and frustrations that come your way.  If each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, your marriage will be filled with joy, and tough times will make you stronger as one in unity.

Stephen’s opening remarks: We are gathered here today in the sight of God to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments – The Joining of Two Hearts.  Today we will witness the joining of Groom and Bride in marriage.  For groom and bride, out of the routine of ordinary life, the extraordinary has happened, they met each other, fell in love and are celebrating the next step of their love story today and they become one in marriage. Romance is fun, but true love is something far more intimate, and bride and groom appreciate all of you being here to celebrate their love as they are united in marriage.

Stephen’s opening remarks: We have been invited here today to witness and celebrate with Groom and Bride as they become one in marriage.  They are taking the first step of their new beginning as husband and wife; their new life together.  The ability and desire for one human being to love another is perhaps the most precious and fulfilling gift that has been entrusted to us.  It is an all-consuming task, a lifelong endeavor — the journey we’ve been preparing for all of our lives.  Loving someone is a reason to stretch beyond our limits, to become more for the sake of the other.  It is to look into the soul of your beloved and accept what you see.  Loving is the ultimate commitment which challenges us to become all that we are meant to be.  As they join in marriage today, Groom and Bride are announcing to the world that they are welcoming that challenge.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Today is a very special day, we are here with bride and groom to witness their commitment as they become husband and wife.  Today you enter into the most intimate, rewarding and challenging relationships of life, becoming one in marriage.  You are adding to your life today not only the affection your heart desires; not only the happy companionship you will enjoy together; but you add the quality of a lifetime helpmate to your relationship.  In love you agree to be a strength to each other, you agree to carry a part of one another’s responsibilities, and then you hold to one another as you, by faith, give of yourself to the utmost. If you give yourself in love, become selfless for each other, your life together will be filled with an abundance of joy and appreciation.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Groom & Bride, take a moment to look around at your family and friends.  They are here not because you invited them; they could have declined your invitation. They are here because of love. Being in love is not when you think you are. It’s when the people around you can tell, and all of your family and friends can tell you are in love. They are here to witness the magic of love, the exchanging of rings, your vows of commitment to each other, and to continue to provide you both with support and guidance as you begin your new journey in life as husband and wife.

Groom and Bride, you are two friends who decided to journey together towards a common destination called marriage. You have known each other as acquaintances from that first day to this point of lifetime commitment. From the moment you decided to marry, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.  All those conversations that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will” — those late night talks and e-mails that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.  Look at one another and remember that the symbolic vows you are about to make are a way of saying to each other, “you know all those things we’ve promised, hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.”

Stephen’s opening remarks:  Groom & Bride, God knew this day would come in your life and He has a reason and purpose for both of you in His divine plan.  At first glance, you may have thought becoming friends was just part of everyday life, but it was part of God’s divine plan to bring the two of you together.  I’m thankful that God can take the broken, the hurt, the confused and make us whole again.  He is a God of second chances.  God extends His mercy, grace, love, kindness and compassion to fulfill His purpose in our life.  We all have challenges and struggles that we go through, shattered hopes and dreams, but it is a blessing to know that we can trust in our loving Father to see us through, that He will bless us and lead us to that someone special.  God loves us and mends our broken roads of yesterday and will lead us to the future He has planned.  I pray that all we say and do here today before God and our friends will be the beginning of a love that will grow stronger and closer every day.

Stephen’s opening remarks: On behalf of Groom, Bride, and their families I’d like to welcome everyone here today.  Although this is their day, it is also a tribute to all of you.  For knowing you, and interacting with you, has helped to make Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find one another, and they would like to thank all of you for that.  All of you are the threads of which are woven the tapestry of their lives.  Each one of you is an important piece in the story it tells.  It is the fabric they wrap around themselves and take comfort in when the world seems cold.  And on days like today, when everything is right in their world, that tapestry is proudly spread out and displayed for everyone to see, with all the glorious colors and textures that your diversity adds.  Each of you hold a special place in their hearts reserved for family and friends, and they are deeply grateful to have you here today.

Stephen’s opening remarks: Family and friends, it means the world to groom and bride having you here today.  Thank you for being their support system, their encouragement, their partners in crime, and for loving them through the ups and downs of life.  You all have helped make them who they are today, and for that, they are forever grateful.  They are truly blessed to have each of you in their lives.

Ceremony Readings

Stephen has had numerous couples share a paragraph or two of their love story as a special reading. This is always special, it allows all of the family and friends in attendance to get a glimpse into the love story and how the couple arrived at this special day, and all of the family and friends are part of the next chapter of your love story, as you become husband and wife.  If you’d like to share your love story, please send it to Stephen to include in your ceremony.

I Choose You: Groom and Bride there are three words stronger than I love you, and today you stand together in front of me, your family and friends to say those three words to each other: ‘I choose you’. After ___ years together, you two know many of the quirks, habits and things that drive each other nuts, and you know that there is no one else you’d rather make this journey with.

You are saying to one another, I choose you over all others. I choose you to share happiness with, I choose you to care for, I choose you to share my innermost self with. I choose you to have a family with, I choose you to grow old with, and I choose you to love forever.  Today you choose to cross the threshold and enter into a new and lasting lifetime commitment to each other.

You will have to keep choosing each other, every day throughout the years. Some days that will be easy, some days it will be harder. But during those hard times, if you will reflect back on today, and all of the reasons you chose to be here, all of the reasons you were excited to marry this person in front of you, you will continue to confirm your choice.  We’re here to witness and celebrate this new beginning, and show our faith that you have made the perfect choice in each other.  When you walk back down that aisle, side by side, it will be as husband and wife, and you will celebrate your marriage with the one that chose you!

The Art Of A Good Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.  A good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage, the little things are 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 never 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.

Marriage – Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.  While the commitment begins with the two of you, its effect radiates outward. It touches your family and friends and ultimately all of society. When this commitment is seriously made and continuously fulfilled, it leads to the richest and most rewarding of human relationships.

When a couple treats each other with kindness, love, and respect, the best of what marriage has to offer is the result.  Your relationship will take more than love. It will take trust to know in your hearts that you want the best for each other. Dedication to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And faith to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both.  Marriage is a give and take between two personalities and your joining together today becomes all the more important to recognize the significance of a devoted and affectionate family life.

How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog – by Taylor Mali:  First of all, it’s a big responsibility, so think long and hard before deciding on love.  On cold winter nights, love is warm.  It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises.  Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs. It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.  Love doesn’t like being left alone for long. But come home and love is always happy to see you.  It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long.

Love makes messes.  Love leaves you little surprises here and there.  Love needs lots of cleaning up after. Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk. Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block and leave you panting, breathless.  Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again. But most of all, love needs love, lots of it. And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Marriage joins two people in the circle of its love – By Edmund O’Neill –  Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.  Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.

Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.  Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.  When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.

Love, Moments and Marriage: Today is a celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it together forever.  You don’t have to have a ceremony to have a marriage, and when you think about it, the whole thing is a little strange, right?  You’re standing up here looking handsome and beautiful while being stared at by pretty much everyone who has meant anything to you up to this moment in life. So why do we do it?  The marriage ceremony has been an important celebration across nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society. We have thousands of important moments throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so special, we acknowledge its status by sharing it with others.

So, why this moment?  Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great unifier — our one universal truth.  No matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. That’s why you both are standing here. That’s why all of your family and friends are here, to see love on display.  We have all loved in our lifetimes, and in this moment, we’re reminded that the ability to love is the very best part of our humanity.  All of us here today have our own love stories, some are short, others long, some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part. There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing — and others that are exciting and full of adventure.  And that brings this beautiful couple here today. A time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought them here, as well as a time to look ahead at all the moments that are still to come.

We’re here to hope with you, to support you, to be proud of you, and to remind you that love isn’t just happily ever after, love is the experience of writing your story, love is the journey, not the destination.  Love is not just one moment — not even this moment. It’s every moment. Big ones like saying “I love you,” meeting each other’s families, getting engaged — but mostly a million little ones that come in between the big moments. And even though this journey is so incredible, words fail us when we try and explain it, but that’s just the way it is with love — it’s meant to be felt, not described.  We all know love when we see it, and we see it here today.

Love by Roy Croft:  I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you.  I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but what you are making of me.  I love you for the part of me that you bring out.  I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find…
I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.  You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself.  Perhaps that is what being your love means after all.

The Key to Love:  The key to love is understanding…as it is the little things that say so much by themselves.  The key to love is forgiving….to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes, the key to love is sharing …Sharing your good fortunes as well as bad, together.  The key to love is giving …Giving without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.

Reading Inspired by Corinthians 13 – Written by Amy K. Maddox
Love is patient and kind. After a long day of work and the dishes aren’t done and no one wants to make dinner, love counts to ten before speaking.  Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. It doesn’t compare to other marriages or other people, but is thankful for the one standing right in front of you.  Love isn’t boastful or proud or rude, it doesn’t say, “I told you so,” or “What were you thinking?” or “See, you should have taken a left back there, not a right.” Love holds its tongue, knows when to speak and when to be quiet. Love does not demand its own way. Love swallows pride, becomes humble, and considers others more than self.

Love is not irritable, love offers grace.  Love keeps no record of being wronged. It doesn’t remember the argument from three months ago and dredge it up whenever is convenient. Love lets that argument go. Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love is a champion, a best friend, an ally, a partner. Love, on our own, is impossible. I can guarantee that at some point you will lose patience. You will be rude. You will speak without thinking, or with thinking, and you will be irritable.

But the best thing about Love is that Love is a person. And when we can’t love—which is often—we fall on the one who can.  And because of God, we forgive each other for being rude, or irritable, or for holding on to that argument, or for not doing the dishes. We give grace, and we start again. Because Love—he never gives up, he never loses faith in us, he is our hope, and he endures through every circumstance.

An excerpt on Love from Winnie The Pooh (read by an 8 year old during a ceremony):  Piglet said to Pooh: “How do you spell LOVE?”  Pooh responded: “You don’t spell it……you feel it!”  Pooh went on to say….”If ever there is a tomorrow, when we are not together…..there is something you must always remember.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is, even if we are apart, always keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”

The Magic of Marriage – From the writings of Helen Farries:  It’s the eyes that say, “I Love you”.  Even though no word is said,  It’s the hand that touches your hand, pledging love for years ahead.  It’s the faith that’s bright and shining, when your own is not so strong.  It’s the magic little moments that so often come along.  It’s a million little memories that your two hearts store away,  it’s the endless little blessings that you find day after day.  It’s the dreams you share together,  it’s the joys and it’s the cares,  it’s the hope and disappointments, It’s the thoughts it’s the prayers.  It’s the sharing life together, from this moment through all lifelong!

The gift of one another:  Groom, Bride, your marriage is a gift from God, a miracle.  It is an opportunity to feel the joy of taking care of someone who takes care of you, to be challenged towards growth, yet gently nurtured, to love deeply and receive it in return.  It is about trust, friendship, and having a faithful partner to share all life has to offer.  It is a commitment to participate in a process of mutual evolution, understanding, and forgiveness.  It is indeed a sacred union to be treated with reverence.

Marriage is not a place to hide from the world.  It is a safe place to grow and become wiser.  It is a place to evolve into better people; so that you can go out in the world and make a difference by spreading the joy and wisdom that you have found with each other.  Together, in this marriage, you shall contribute more fully, for you both shall be more full.

Bride, Groom is a gift to you from God, but he is not a gift for you alone.  It is God’s will that in your love, this man might find within himself a greater sense of who he is meant to be.  You are asked to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be.  In this way, God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship.  May this man find the kingdom of heaven through the love you share.

And so it is with you also Groom, that although Bride is God’s gift to you, she is not a gift intended for you alone.  You are asked by God to so love this woman, that in your love she might find herself as God created her, so beautiful, strong, brave, and true, that the entire world might be blessed by the presence of a woman who shines so.  May she relax in your arms as she has never relaxed before.  May she know, from now on, that there is one on whose love she can depend forever.

And now you stand before this loving community of family and friends, ready to acknowledge to God and to the world: this is my beloved, the one with whom I choose to create the rest of my life.

Marriage: Marriage is one of the most important obligations that any two people commit to in their lifetime.  Marriage offers the greatest challenges to overcome, but in return, marriage gives us love, strength and support from one another. It is the couple who perseveres and demonstrates unrelenting patience and faith, who obtains the highest form of happiness within their marriage.  A good marriage is dependent upon many factors, but the first prerequisite is a strong bond of friendship and respect for one another.  Your love for each other will grow deeper with the passing of each day.  The genuine liking of each other, the willingness to accept each other’s strong and weak points with understanding and respect, is the foundation for a strong marriage.

My Love – Linda Lee Elrod:  When I met you, I had no idea how much my life was about to be changed… but then, how could I have known?  A love like ours happens once in a lifetime.  You were a miracle to me, the one who was everything I had ever dreamed of, the one I thought existed only in my imagination.  And when you came into my life, I realized that what I had always thought was happiness couldn’t compare to the joy loving you brought me.  You are a part of everything I think and do and feel, and with you by my side, I believe that anything is possible. (this day) gives me a chance to thank you for the miracle of you…you are, and always will be, the love of my life.

Blended Family Reading:  Bride and Groom you have just made a life-long commitment to share the rest of your lives with each other, yet the journey is not yours alone, for you have been blessed with beautiful children, and it is the strength of your love that shall nourish you all together as a family. Bride and Groom would like to take this moment to recognize the significant role that children’s name(s) play in this marriage celebrated today. You are a family drawn together by love and held together by devotion.  Bride & Groom would like to present each of you with a gift. I would like to share a poem that has been chosen by them for this special moment.

What is a Family? Author Unknown:  A family is …..the sweetest feelings; the warmest hugs, trust, togetherness and unconditional love.  The stories of our lives written on the same page, the nicest memories anyone has ever made.  Treasured photos, thankful tears, hearts overflowing with all the years.  Being there for one another, supporting and caring, understanding, helping, sharing.  Walking life’s path together and making the journey more beautiful because we are a family…..and a family is Love.

Closing Readings

Readings That Could Be Used as a Closing

  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “You know you are in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  Dr. Seuss
  • In closing: Groom and Bride as the two of you have joined this marriage uniting as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together – as from this day forward you shall be each other’s home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect.
  • Before I pronounce you husband and wife, I have just one more thing I would like you to do. Your wedding day is one that seems to fly. It’s a day filled with emotion, friends, rings, and dances. Many people remember how fleeting their own wedding day was. So I want you to take a few seconds to look into each others’ eyes. Think about that happiness you’re feeling in this place, in this moment. Really let that feeling register in your heart and in your mind. Now, I want you to think about your life together in twenty years. Where are you? What are you doing? We all know that your respective visions about the future are not identical, but always complimentary. Now, stop and look out at your family and your friends. Always remember, they are here to support your dreams, your goals, your marriage, the next chapter of your love story. I now pronounce you husband and wife.
  • As we close, remember, to make your relationship work it will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know, that in your hearts, you truly want what is best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open to one another – and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together, without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both have pledged to today.
  • In closing: For the last ____ years, you called each other boyfriend and girlfriend. ____ ago, you had to adjust to the strange new word fiancé. Today, your terms for each other are changing once again- this time for good. By the power vested in me by the State of Texas, I now pronounce you husband and wife!
  • As we close, may the rings that you have exchanged be an enduring reminder of the vows that you have pledged to each other today. May you keep these vows that you have made to each other, and may you be a blessing and a comfort to one another, share in each other’s joys, and console one another during times of sorrow. And, may the love that you have for one another continue to grow and blossom. For as much as the two of you have consented together in matrimony and have pledged your faith to each other, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.
  • Exchanging the Peace: A marriage needs the support and love of a community, cheering you on when you’re doing well, and bolstering you when times are hard. That’s part of the reason why we invite wedding guests to attend our wedding ceremony. At this time Groom and Bride would appreciate everyone’s participation in a special practice showing your love and support on their special day. If each guest will turn to your neighbors, say hello and shake hands. You might say “Peace be with you,” or “Peace and love.” By doing this, you are helping form a community that will support Groom & Bride for many years to come.
  • Before I pronounce you: Today you have pledged yourselves to a lifetime of caring for one another. May this be a commitment made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope and eternally renewed. As you stand before us, it is our hope that you will go through life loving, trusting, and caring for one another, completely and forever. Groom and Bride from this moment forward you will never be alone. You will carry with you the love of another person, giving you a completeness and renewed lightness. May your life together be immersed in love and excitement. May you strive to enrich each other in every possible way. And may you work to bring the peace you find together into the world around you.
  • Declaration of Marriage – Having pledged their fidelity to one another, to love, honor and cherish one another in the presence of this gathering and by the authority vested in me by the constitution and the laws of this state, it is my great honor to now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “‘A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end.”
  • As we close: The late Yogi Berra once said – Love is the most important thing in the world…but baseball is pretty good, too.
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”  Your reality begins now!  John Lennon
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “One of the most amazing gifts in life is to find someone who knows all your flaws, differences, and mistakes, yet still loves everything about you.” Unknown
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “You don’t marry the person you can live with … you marry the person you can’t live without.” Author Unknown
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “May you love deeply, laugh heartily, practice patience and smile often.  May you dream together, grow, be crazy, give, give in, and trust enough to take.  May you see many sunrises, listen to the rain, savor special moments and rediscover each other over and over.  May you have health, happiness and a lifetime of rich adventure.” Author Unknown
  • In closing: “Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Til’ death do us part is the length.” Fawn Weaver
  • In closing: “To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.” Robert Brault
  • In closing: A great spouse loves you exactly as you are. An extraordinary spouse helps you grow; inspires you to be, do and give your very best.” Fawn Weaver
  • In closing: “A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” Dave Meurer
  • In closing: “Marriage is a commitment- a decision to do, all through life, that which will express your love for one’s spouse.” -Herman H. Kieval
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “You meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you, and then you meet one person and your life is changed forever.” Jamie Randall
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “You don’t marry one person; you marry three: the person you think they are, the person they are, and the person they are going to become as a result of being married to you.” Richard Needham
  • A final thought before I pronounce you: “A happy marriage doesn’t mean you have a perfect spouse or a perfect marriage. It simply means you’ve chosen to look beyond the imperfections in both.” Fawn Weaver
  • Finally, remember…Your gift to me is uninsurable. No appraiser can put a value on it… It’s like fruit of the month or a lifetime subscription – a perpetual-motion happiness machine. It starts off fresh and brand new every day, shining up my whole world…” Ronald Reagan – in a letter to his wife Nancy
  • In closing: “Marriage: If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.” F. Burton Howard
  • In closing: “Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” Max Lucado
  • In closing: “Motto for the bride and groom: We are a work in progress with a lifetime contract.” Phyllis Koss
  • In closing: “The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes.” Amy Grant
  • In closing: “New love is the brightest and long love is the greatest. But revived love is the tenderest thing known on earth.” Thomas Hardy