This is the first draft of Jessica and Brandon's Wedding Ceremony. They had a very emotional wedding at The Montage in Indianapolis. It was a gathering of family and friends. We included quotes from the Beatles in memory of Jessica's mom who had passed away. The day was a celebration of Jessica and Brandon but even more, a celebration of an amazing group of people living and loving. They didn't have "sides" for the wedding party. They had them standing on risers all around them.
This is a copy of the template I sent them after our first meeting to start writing their ceremony. It's the perfect tool to choose a non-religious, traditional wedding ceremony script.
Jessica is escorted down the aisle by her father. He gives her a hug and kiss, shakes Brandon’s hand and places her hand in his. He steps back and the Officiant asks:
Who gives this woman to be married?
Dad: Her mother and I do.
Officiant: Thank you.
To all: Please be seated.
Welcome! Thank you for joining us today to celebrate and to FINALLY witness the joining of Jessica and Brandon 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.
Moment of Silence
We’d like to take a moment to remember those who are not with us here today. Either they were unable to make it or they are not longer with us. We know that they are here in spirit. We’d like to first start by having a candle lighting ceremony. One candle is being lit to represent Brandon’s father who has passed away. The other candle is for Jessica’s mom Julie. Jessica’s Aunt (name) will read a poem in honor of Julie.
Poem read here
Words to remember Jessica's mom and memories of the day
When I first sat down with Jessica and Brandon to discuss this ceremony we talked about Jessica’s mom and not only how important she was to her but to many, if not all of you here today. They explained to me that all of you here are important to them and this is not only a celebration of their relationship but a wonderful time to spend with all of you. A reunion. It’s kind of a real bummer the venue doesn’t carry Miller light so you can all properly toast Julie. I also thought it would be fun to have some candy cigarette so we could all pretend to smoke a Virgina Slims. I’m not sure, maybe part of the dinner will be hand cranked popcorn and potato chips with barbecue sauce? Or, Maybe that’s the after party? One thing I do know for sure is that today will be filled with much love. Not just for Brandon and Jessica but between all of you. Make today a day you will remember all your lives. Remember it for the better. Remember all the things with real meaning that will never change. Show your affection for one another. Make new, wonderful memories.
Like the candles here
The candles will remain lit throughout not only the wedding ceremony but the reception in their honor.
Words About Love And Marriage
Jessica and Brandon, 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!
The first reading is
This is just an example. Most weddings have 2 readings, some have none or 3 or more. Your aunt will read one. For more ideas: https://www.weddingceremonypro.com/readings.html
By: Mari Nichols-Haining
Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...
Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.
I’m putting this in here to look at too because I think it suits you
Because one of the things Brandon and Jessica like to do is garden the next reading is;
Thoughts In a Garden
This is a special place,
a place where people have brought beautiful living plants,
here to establish them,
to nurture and care for them,
that they may forever surround us with the beauty we now see.
And into this place where we stand,
you have brought something beautiful --
the relationship that is becoming your marriage.
Here you are declaring it and pledging it,
promising to establish and nurture it.
We are aware of the special beauty between the two of you,
just as we are aware of the special beauty of this place.
We are with you now in this appropriate place to celebrate your relationship as it is and as it is yet to be,
and in doing so,
we ask only that you remember how your life together will have the same seasons and needs as this garden.
There will be growth like spring and loss like fall;
there will be giving as the blossoming flower,
and rest as the seed beneath the snow.
All the seasons will be yours,
but remember, too,
that gardens are not must happenings.
The more wonderful the garden,
the more skilled the gardener.
So you will have to care deeply for the life that is yours together,
and nurture it.
You will have to appreciate your differences and cultivate them.
You will have to take care of yourself,
if for no other reason than out of love for the other.
And you will need the support of family and friends to reach full growth.
As you caringly chose this place to declare your marriage,
so remember its lessons for your life together through the seasons that are yours to share.
And may those seasons bring you and yours joy and happiness.
The ending of this is a very nice lead into the vows
by Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will" - those late night talks that included "someday and somehow and maybe"- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word." 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, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife
Here are 4 choices of “I do” vows. You can choose one or re-write them all into one that you do like or choose another you may find. These are updated traditional vows.
I know that you are writing your own vows but some couples choose to do both, answer the “question” and then speak their own words.
We can make these “repeat after me” vows. Please feel free to write you own. More vows: http://www.marrymeinindy.com/vows.html
Brandon, do you take Jessica to be your best friend, your faithful partner and one true love? Do you promise to encourage and inspire her and to love her truly through good times and bad? Will you be there forever? to laugh with her, to lift her up when she’s down and to love her unconditionally through all your adventures in life together?
Jessica, do you take Brandon to be your best friend, your faithful partner and one true love? Do you promise to encourage and inspire him and to love him truly through good times and bad? Will you be there forever? to laugh with him, to lift him up when he’s down and to love him unconditionally through all your adventures in life together?
Do you Brandon, take Jessica to be your wife, your partner in life and one true love. To cherish your union and love her more each day than you did the day before. Will you trust her and respect her, laugh with her and cry with her, loving her faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles you may face together. Do you give her your hand, heart, and love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live.
Do you Jessica, take Brandon to be your husband, your partner in life and your one true love. Will you cherish your union and love him more each day than you did the day before. Will you trust him and respect him, laugh with him and cry with him, loving him faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles you may face together. Do you give him your hand, heart, and love, from this day forward for as long as you both shall live.
I know that I am here today as the officiant of your wedding. However, that is really just to make it legal. What you are really doing today is making a public proclamation of your love. Here, in front of these witnesses who will hopefully stand by you. And, even beyond that, you are here to make these promises to each other.
What I’d like the two of you to do now is to take each others hands (if you haven’t already) and look into each other’s eyes - because it is nearly impossible to look into each other’s eyes and lie. But even more so, by looking into each other’s eyes you are looking into each other’s soul’s. That is where your love for each other truly flows from. Take this time to have your souls speak in their language as I speak these words...
Jessica and Brandon, Do you choose to be husband and wife?
Do You promise to give the best of yourselves and to ask for no more than you can give?
Do you promise to respect one another as your own person and to realize that your interests, needs and desires are no less important than the other’s?
Do you promise to share your time and attention, and to bring joy, strength and imagination to your relationship?
Do you promise to keep yourselves open to each other, to allow the other see through the windows of your world and into your innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams?
Do you promise to grow along alongside each other, willing to face changes as you both change in order to keep your relationship alive and exciting?
Do you promise to love one another in good times and in bad, with all you have to give, and all you feel inside,
in the only way you know how ... completely and forever?
Brandon, do you take Jessica to be your wife?
Jessica do you take Brandon to be your husband?
These are the traditional vows. Often, when couples write their own vows we do these and they you can say your own vows. Sometimes this is what people envision and dream their vows to be! :-)
Do you Brandon, take Jessica, 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 Jessica take Brandon, 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.
Here is another option. Sometimes, couples will choose a traditional vow to answer the “question” and then they will share their own vows and then put the rings on each other when they are done That would be here. You can decide when you read the verbiage how it flows for you. Essentially, you can skip the next part of you like.
The Meaning of the Wedding Rings
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.
Wedding Ring Exchange
please repeat after me....
Jessica, 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.
Jordan, 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.
Jordan and Dominic come back together and hold hands for the final blessing:
The Final Blessing
Navaho wedding Blessing
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.
May all your days be blessed with love and friendship. May each day and night of your lives be a new beginning.
May your home be filled with laughter and the warm embrace of a summer’s day.
May you find peacefulness and beauty, challenge, and satisfaction, humor and insight, healing and renewal, love and wisdom, as in a quiet heart.
May you always feel that what you have is enough.
(you can probably do this better then me but it’s a cute idea
A few last words of advice you may be familiar with:
Brandon: She Loves you! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
To the two of you:
Life is very short, there’s not time for fussing or fighting my friend.
Sometimes, it’s Whatever gets you through the night …
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
When you are looking for the answer…..
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be...
And All you need is love.
Jessica, in a moment,
Close your eyes and He'll kiss you
I now pronounce you: “Husband and Wife.”
You may kiss your bride!
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr and Mrs:?!??!?!
May you live happily ever after!
As a wedding officiant, I want every couple to the the wedding ceremony they want. Since I started giving couples tools to create their own ceremonies I haven't performed the same ceremony twice. Here are some of the ceremonies.
Rachel and Dominic's Traditional Wedding Ceremony Script with a Prayer from Grandpa. Valle Vista, Greenwood, IN
DaWonda and Dorothy's Same-Sex Christian Wedding Ceremony Script. Featuring a Unity Candle of Remembrance, Family Sand Ceremony and Jumping the Broom!
LaKieta And Josh's Wedding Ceremony Script. Wood Burning Unity Ceremony. Falls Park Gazebo, Pendleton, IN.