A wedding officiant in Indianapolis serving all walks of life. Atheist, LGBTQ, Love based ceremonies focused on the couple.
Secular Humanist Wedding Ceremony Script
As a wedding officiant in Indianapolis, I perform mostly non-religious weddings. There is a difference between a civil ceremony and non-religious or secular ceremony. It's the different between getting married and having a wedding. A wedding is a ceremony. There are rituals involved. A wedding ceremony is very much like a church service but when you aren't religious - AT ALL - You might be a secular humanist. Basically, atheist. If you make that sort of statement about yourself your wedding ceremony is going to be a little different. The couple I married with this ceremony didn't want a wedding at all. The bride's mom wanted it so they gave in. They did everything they could be make it more "them." I always encourage every couple to make sure their ceremony is something they are comfortable with. I wouldn't want anyone to be any less then genuine when they are making a commitment like marriage. In fact, I'm pretty good at making everyone happy. Wording things so more religious people are happy as are the very non-religious couple. Sometimes, I've realized, I'm hired because I'm a neutral party to perform a non-religious ceremony for closet atheists. They can somehow blame the lack or religion on me. And, I'm OK with that. This is how this couple personalized their ceremony. They included their cats!!
Mawwiage is the weason we are here today.
"Instructions for Life in the New Millenium" by his holiness the 14th Dali Lama
“Take into account that great love
and great achievements involve great risk.
And that a loving atmosphere in your home
is the foundation for your life.
Be gentle with the earth, be gentle with one another.
When disagreements come remember always
to protect the spirit of your union.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.
Remember that the best relationship is one
in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.
So love yourselves, love one another,
love all that is your life together and all else will follow.”
Ushers escort the mothers down the aisle. They both light their unity candles and take a seat.
The rest of the bridal processes in with the sign coming last.
The Bride is then escorted down the aisle by her father. He gives her a hug and kiss, shakes Groom’s hand and places her hand in his and takes his seat.
Please be seated.
“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
So please join hands (if you haven’t already) There is a lot to be said about the power of holding each other’s hands. You were nervous today as you were separated. You walked down the aisle for your moment in time in your wedding ceremony. Once you come together, here in the front, you hold and and you can feel the release. You know you have someone who will be with you to continually make your burdens lighter.
Welcome! We are gathered here today to celebrate and to witness the joining of Bride and Groom in marriage.
As they promise to love, trust in that love,
honor one another as individuals, and anticipate with joy spending the rest of their lives together.
They are surrounded by you - their friends and family. Thank you for gathering here to witness their marriage and to share in the joy of this special occasion.
We’d like to take a moment to remember those who are not with us here today. We know they are here with us in our hearts
(Moment of Silence)
Groom and Bride, Today, as you two are joined in marriage, there is a vast and unknown future stretching out before you. The possibilities and potentials of your married life are great. We join with you in hoping you make real your dreams! That you are reborn in each other as you share your loves and dreams, wants and desires and together are enriched by them.
Through your commitment to each other, may you grow and nurture a love that makes both of you better people, a love that continues to give you great joy, and also a passion for living that provides you with energy and patience to face the responsibilities of life.
There was a time when your lives were two separate paths. Gradually, they were joined as you grew closer together. Today, you proclaim to the world your choice to stay on the same path together. May you be enriched by the unique view of the other!
“Irrational Season” by Madeleine L’Engle
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearful gamble… Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
Do you Groom, take Bride, to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do you part.
Do you Bride, take Groom, to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do you part.
The rings please…
The rings are the universal symbols of marriage. They mean many things. From now on you will wear these rings and they will remind you... They will remind you of the endless circle that they are. Like love, there is no beginning and no end. They will remind you daily that you are married. Sometimes they will remind you of the commitment that you have made - for better or worse. But, may they always remind you that there is one other person in the world that has pledged to love you forever, through thick and through thin and with all that they have.
please repeat after me....
Bride I give you this ring with all that I am and all that I ever will be. Wear it and know that I love you.
Groom, I give you this ring with all that I am and all that I ever will be. Wear it and know that I love you.
Lighting of the Unity Candle
The two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. Please light the candles and that together you light the center candle.
The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one. "
Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out.
The two of you now have a fire that represents love, understanding and a philosophy of life.
It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.
The new fire represents a new beginning - a new life and a new family. The fire should keep burning; you should stay together. You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.
Presentation by Bride to Groom’s Daughter
*I don’t think you need to mention this aloud. I think we will have her go up with Jason to light the candle together, and I will give her gift then.
Bride an Groom come back together and hold hands.
I have a few closing words for you about love. In my quest to bring these pearls of wisdom into your everyday lives I thought comparing love to Cats and quotes about them would be appropriate.
First, “There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person.”
That could also be said about love.
“With the qualities of cleanliness, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?”
Keeping this in mind, as a married couple, your home will not always be clean, patience can run thin, affection may wane and dignity can sometimes be stepped on. Good thing you aren’t asked to be cats - you are simply asked to be human, trying your best, putting love first and forgiving and moving on.
“As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind.”
That’s a great lesson to learn from a cat!
“Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
Take time to remember when you first fell in love you also worshiped each other - it may come in handy!
“A meow massages the heart “
And lastly, "No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." -Abraham Lincoln
Life and love are the greatest gifts bestowed upon humanity.
May your union grant you patience, tolerance, and understanding
as well as the passion and excitement every marriage should possess.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you support one another, as a sign of mutual independence.
May you continually rediscover your love in one another, as the greatest gift of all.
It is my great pleasure to acknowledge your union as “Husband and Wife.”
You may now seal your marriage with a kiss!!!
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Happy Couple, Bride and Groom!
May you live happily ever after!
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