Sample wedding ceremony: Involving God

Wedding ceremonies can be tailored to the religious beliefs of the wedding couple, or be what some refer to as “non-denominational” – that is, God is mentioned spiritually but the ceremony itself is not religious. The example shown here illustrates a “non-denominational” approach – it does not typify but neither is it contrary to any Catholic, protestant, or particular religious heritage. This sample is “short and sweet”. You may want to consider additions or revisions. We will construct a ceremony that will be treasured, will fit your personality in a wonderful way, and will be comfortable.

Specific spiritual content is entirely optional. References to God may be generalized [“God”] or as specific [“Jesus Christ”] as you choose. We’ll be happy to speak privately of our convictions and reasons, but weddings are not for preaching or trying to persuade.

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Outline of a non-denominational wedding ceremony

Seating of Honored Guests

Processional

Question: ‘Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man?’

Welcoming Guests

Optional Readings

Prayer

Remarks Concerning Love and Marriage [optional]

Intentions [this is the “legal part”]

Wedding Vows

Exchange of Rings [optional]

Pronouncement of Marriage

Kiss of Love and Devotion

Reintroduction

Recessional

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Sample content of a non-denominational wedding ceremony

Seating of Honored Guests

Processional

Question: ‘Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man?’

Welcoming Guests

In the beauty of this place, we gather as a family of friends. We are excited and happy to celebrate the marriage of _____ and _____. We hope that everyone today will experience a renewed appreciation of the miracle of love as _____ and _____ become husband and wife.

Optional Readings

Prayer    

God of love, shower your grace upon _______ and _______, who come to you and pledge to live together in joyful marriage. Mix abundant wisdom and devotion in with their unity, that each may generously give to the other strength, counsel, comfort, and companionship. When difficulties or conflicts arise, as life presents these, give patience and permanence to this marriage. Throughout good times and bad, give faith and abiding hope. Give _______ and _______ such fulfillment of mutual affection that their marriage will be an example and an inspiration to all.

Remarks Concerning Love and Marriage [optional]

Optional, but recommended. Your guests have come to celebrate – and are therefore focused upon – your relationship. But what is happening is also inspirational. This brief moment in the ceremony allows your guests to think about themselves (their own relationship, hopes, or plans). Generally, these remarks lead to personal conversations later at your reception.

Intentions

_______ and _______, you have come here to be united in marriage, which consists in your mutual consent, sincerely and freely given; it is proper, then, to declare the sincere intent you both have.

_______, will you have _______ to be your wife/husband, to openly share your life with her/him? Will you love …, cherish …, honor …, encourage …, and tenderly care for _______ in all the changing circumstances of life — and putting _______ above all others, remain true to _______ in every way?

Will you make this pledge to _______ that when marriage is difficult you will believe it can work, you will want it to work, and will you do your part to make it work? And when all is wonderful, that you will rejoice over your life together and continue to keep your marriage growing and strong so long as you both live?

[each will respond]

Wedding Vows

Facing one another and holding hands, the bride and groom will repeat after the pastor:

I, _______, in the presence of these witnesses, take you, _______, to be my wife/husband, and solemnly pledge to you my loyalty and love, so long as we live.

Exchange of Rings [optional]

The pastor will briefly describe the significance of the rings, and then receive them from the best man. The bride and groom will repeat after the pastor:

Receive this ring as a pledge and reminder of my devotion and respect for you.

Pronouncement of Marriage

Because _______ and _______ have consented together to be married and have declared this in the presence of these witnesses, it is my great pleasure to proclaim you: husband and wife!

What here has been joined together, let nothing tear apart!

Kiss of Love and Devotion

Reintroduction

The pastor may say: Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you _____ and _____  __________.  Please let us know your preferred way of being introduced as newlyweds.

Recessional