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.
Giving Away of the Bride
Traditional Giving Away: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Answer: Brides escort(s) will affirm “I do, her mother and I, We do, her family does”. Select the answer you prefer.
OR Answer: Today, we choose not to give away (bride), but to share her with (groom) for the rest of our lives.
A Twist on Tradition: 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?
Answer: Yes, you do.
Non-verbal: When they reach the end of the aisle, the escort of the bride hug her, and then hug her fiancé. No words are said.
Non-verbal: 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: “Does (name) have (his/her) family’s blessing to marry (name)?
Answer: (He/she) does
When a Parent is No Longer Alive: 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.
When a Parent is No Longer Alive: 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: 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.
Parents Blessing (after the bride reaches the front row and stops). This wedding is also a celebration of family. It is the blending of two families that have been separate up to this moment, but united from this day forward — blending their different traditions, strengthening the family tree. To honor this uniting of the families, Bride and Groom wish to ask their parent’s blessing.
To Bride’s Mom and Dad, do you offer this couple your goodwill? Do you welcome Groom as a member of your family and give him your love and affection? PARENTS SAY: We do.
To Groom’s Mom and Dad, do you offer this couple your goodwill? Do you welcome Bride as a member of your family and give her your love and affection? PARENTS SAY: We do.
Thank you parents.
Parents Support and Affirmation: As the bride arrives at the front row (father and mother are beside her), the groom walks over and his parents stand beside him.
Today as groom and bride join in marriage, they have the love and support of their parents. The relationship between children and their parents is one that’s often understated, yet very deep. And one of the rare occasions when it can be publicly acknowledged is at a wedding ceremony.
On this occasion, BRIDE’s parents proudly stand here beside their daughter representing her family. And GROOM’s parents proudly stands beside their son representing his family. They are displaying, for all of us to see, their individual and combined love for BRIDE and GROOM.
I’d like to ask bride and groom’s parents, who brings this man and woman to be married to each other? Parents affirm: “We do.”
Parents, are you willing to sustain and strengthen this marriage by giving BRIDE and GROOM the public commitment of your love and support through all the ups and downs ahead of them? Parents affirm: We are.”
Thank you parents.
All family and friends confirm: To all those gathered here today, do you commit to holding up this family during the good and bad, and helping them to raise their children with light and love?
Answer: Audience: We do!
All family and friends support: A successful marriage is made up of two people, each putting the other before themselves and giving to that person 100% first, last, and always. However, as BRIDE and GROOM’s journey unfolds there will be opportunities and challenges that will strain, and perhaps even weaken, them. They may move back and forth between the seasons of their love, sometimes strong as the autumn harvest time, and sometimes tender, tentative, and fragile as the springtime shoots that brave the frost. In those times they will need the support and caring of all of you who have come to celebrate this joyous union.
So in the joining of these two families, I ask all of you to take a vow in their presence and in the presence of each other. Do you pledge to honor and support their marriage? Do you pledge to be neutral and support them equally? And will you always be there for them and embrace them with the love of family and the joy of sharing your lives with them? Audience affirms: We will.”
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 supporting us every step of the way! All of 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.
Stephen’s opening remarks: 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: On behalf of Groom and Bride, I would like to thank you all for being here this afternoon. For taking the time, making the journey, and for all the effort that it takes not only to be a part of this day today, but to be a part of Groom and Bride’s lives. Groom and Bride have invited you here to this beautiful location as they embark on their biggest adventure yet.
As Groom and Bride’s journey continues to unfold there will be both opportunities and challenges— things that will strain and perhaps even weaken them. And in those times, they will need the support and caring of all of you who have come here today. So, in the joining of these two families, I ask all of you to take a vow in their presence and in the presence of one another.
Audience, Will you honor and support their marriage and promise to support them equally? Will you always be there for them and embrace the joy of sharing your lives and milestones with them? Please say, “We Will.”
Stephen’s opening remarks: We are gathered here today to share this very special day with groom and bride and to celebrate 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. Now we celebrate this beautiful moment as groom and bride become one in marriage.
Stephen’s opening remarks: Family and friends, we are gathered today 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 has been shaped by your love, friendship and guidance you have given them throughout the years. Thank you for being present to share the beginning of the 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 one of 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 to celebrate your 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. 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” — all those discussions that included “someday”, “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. As you 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 you for that. You are the threads of which are woven the tapestry of their lives, you are an important piece in the story it tells. And on days like today, when everything is right in their world, that tapestry is proudly spread out and displayed for everyone to see. Each of you holds 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.
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, you will continue to confirm your choice. We’re here to witness and celebrate this new beginning, and to 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 the rest of your life with the one that chose you!
The Art Of A Good Marriage – 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. 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 not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
Marriage – Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. In marriage, 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. When this commitment is 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. Marriage is a give and take between two personalities and your joining together today leads you to the next step in your journey.
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.
The journey continues: Whenever we attend a wedding, we’re given the opportunity to reflect on our own relationships. We may look at the couple standing before us and be tempted to compare their love to the quality of our own. The truth is that every relationship is as unique as the individuals in it, but one thing holds true; each of us is a powerful creator of love, and for love to exist between two people, each person must allow the vulnerability of giving his or her love to the other, and each person must be open to receiving that love.
On this particular day, we should remember that a wedding is a symbol — a heartfelt and meaningful symbol, but a symbol nonetheless. And this ceremony is not magic, it cannot create a relationship that does not already exist and has not already been celebrated in the commitments Groom and Bride have made to one another, both large and small in the days since they first met.
What we are celebrating today is a symbol of how far they have come together and is a symbol of the promises they will continue to make to one another throughout their lives together.
The vows that you are about to make are simply a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised each other, all of those hopes and dreams? Well, I meant it all – every last word.” I want you to look at one another and remember this moment. And remember that sometimes in the ebb and flow of life, love, and relationships, we insist on permanence, and continuity. But in love, much as in life, the only stability is in the change, the growth, and the support you have for one another.
Therefore what you promise today must be renewed and reaffirmed tomorrow, and every day going forward because nothing is easier than standing here, and reciting these words, and nothing is more difficult than living them day in, and day out. Groom and Bride, before this day you have been many things to each other. But after these vows, you can proudly say to the world, “This is my Husband” and, “This is my Wife”.
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? 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. 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 today and that’s why all of your family and friends are here, to see love on display.
Today is a time to pause, look back, and smile at all the memories that brought you 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 is the experience you will create together. Love is the journey, not the destination. Words often fail us when we try to explain love, 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 God. And because of God, we forgive each other for being rude, or irritable, or for holding on to that argument. We give grace, and we start again. Because Love never gives up, never loses faith in us, God 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.”
From This Day Forward – From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together, let us find our favorite places, and go together…Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain, being alone together, and in crowds together…From this day forward, together, Let us love! Let Us Walk Together. Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free. Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have solitude and individuality.
Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone, yet be near, when I need you. Let us share our love. Give freely of your love, but do not smother me, my soul must breathe a free air. Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation, is stale and without life. Let us share our lives. Share my life, but do not try to shape it. Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me. Let us share ourselves. Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams.
Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be. Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom or bind your soul. Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams. Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom. Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom. As we share our lives, as we walk through life together, know my love is yours, but not my soul for it must be free.
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.
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.
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.
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 – By 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.
Extract from The Bridge Across Forever – Richard Bach – 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. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.
An Excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, It is not excitement, It is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, And this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
And when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
From the movie “Frozen” – We’re not saying you can change them, ‘cuz people don’t really change We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed Throw a little love their way (throw a little love their way) and you’ll bring out their best. True love brings out their best! Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper, that’s what it’s all about! We need each other to raise us up and round us out. Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but when push comes to shove… The only fixer-upper fixer that can fix up a fixer-upper is true love.
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.
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
- 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.”
- 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
- 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, stop and look out at your family and 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!
- 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. May your life together be immersed in love and excitement.
- Declaration of Marriage – Having pledged your fidelity to one another, to love, honor and cherish one another in the presence of this gathering and by the authority vested in me from the Great State of Texas, it is my honor to now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
- 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: 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
- 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: “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
- 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: “The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes.” Amy Grant