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A Wedding Your Way


Please note that the ceremonies I have here serve as a guide for you.  I can always customize them to your liking; I can combine two different ceremonies, or work with you to write a ceremony from scratch that is tailored to meet your specific needs..


Standard Civil Ceremonies

Sample 1

5:30 -- Entire wedding party dressed and in sanctuary for pictures
6:45 -- Wedding party in annex
6:55 -- Solo(s)
7:00 -- Seating of Honored Guests

Begin Processional Music
1. Seat groom's grandmother
2. Seat bride's grandmother
3. Seat groom's parents
4. Seat bride's mother

Begin Processional
1. Minister and Groom enter from side
2. Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
3. Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man
4. Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

Begin Wedding March
1. Bride with Father enters (Bride's mother stands as signal for all to stand)
Congregation asked to be seat

OPENING REMARKS
Minister: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the union of 
(Groom's Name) and (Bride's Name) in holy matrimony, which is an honorable 
estate, that is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and 
soberly.

Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
If any one can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let 
them speak now or forever hold their peace.

GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Father: My wife and I do.
(Then the bride is given away)

(At this point the couple may improvise by playing a favorite song, reading etc.)

WEDDING VOWS
(Minister: addressing the groom who repeats the marriage vows):
(Name), I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife. Before these witnesses I vow to 
love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take you, with all your 
faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I 
will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose 
you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

Or,
I (Groom's Name) take thee (Bride's Name) to be my wedded wife, to have and to 
hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and 
in health, to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

Or,
I(Groom's Name) take thee (Bride's Name) to be my wedded wife, before these 
witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take 
you, with all your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults 
and my strengths. I will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I 
need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  To have and 
to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 
and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

(Minister: addressing the bride who repeats the marriage vows):
(Name), I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband. Before these witnesses I vow 
to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take you, with all your 
faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I 
will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose 
you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

Or,
I (Bride's Name) take thee (Groom's Name) to be my wedded husband, to have and 
to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 
and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

Or,
I(Bride's Name) take thee (Groom's Name) to be my wedded husband, before these 
witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take 
you, with all your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults 
and my strengths. I will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I 
need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  To have and 
to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 
and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The Blessing of the Rings;
the wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond 
which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows [Groom's name] 
and [Bride's name] have made to one another. May she and he, who give them, and 
who wear these rings, live together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their 
lives

The Exchange of rings:
Groom says:
[Bride's name] I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, 
and all that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.
Bride says:
[Groom's name], I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, 
and all that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.
The Wedding Song/ Soloist/ Hands of Groom and Bride/ Apache Prayer
Minister: (to the couple): You may now share a kiss.
(The couple kisses.)

Minister: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. _________________.

Recessional
•        Bride and Groom
•        Matron of Honor and Best Man
•        Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
•        Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
•        Groomsmen/ushers return for honored guests who are escorted out in 
reversed order of their entrance.
•        Ushers may dismiss rest of guests or usher them out row by row

 

 





Sample 2

Welcome to family and friends:

You are here to witness a wedding. Today we unite __________ and __________ 
as husband and wife. What we do today is done in conformity to the laws of  New 
York State and in the historical Western tradition of the act of marriage.

The most important thing in life is to love someone. The second most
important thing is to have someone love you. The third most
important thing is to have the first two happen at the same time.
That is what has happened to _______ and ________. They have fallen
in love and have come to make a public commitment of their love for
and loyalty to one another.

__________ and __________, you have requested that I marry you. Do you both 
do this of your own desire and free will?
Groom & Bride answer "We do."

Do any of the witnesses know of any reason why we may not legally continue with 
this wedding?
Witnesses answer "We do not."

Vows:
Then let us continue. __________, if it is your desire to become the husband of 
__________, then repeat after me.

I, __________, take you, __________, to be my wife. In this moment I promise 
before these witnesses to love you and care for you all of our days. I accept you 
with your faults and your strengths, even as I offer myself with my faults and 
strengths. I promise to support you when you need support and to turn to you when

I, __________, take you, __________, to be my husband. In this moment I promise 
before these witnesses to love you and care for you all of our days. I accept you 
with your faults and your strengths, even as I offer myself with my faults and 
strengths. I promise to support you when you need support and to turn to you when 
I need support. I choose you as the one with whom I will spend my life.

__________ and __________, you have shared promises in our presence. Do you 
have a rings that you wish to exchange?

Couple replies "We do."

Rings
__________, will you give your ring to __________ and repeat these words:
I give you this ring as a  reminder of the promises we exchanged today.

__________, will you give your ring to __________ and repeat these words:
I give you this ring as a  reminder of the promises we exchanged today.

__________ and __________, you have exchanged your promises and given and 
received rings in my presence. By these acts you have become husband and wife. 
According to the laws of the state of New York, I hereby pronounce you are 
husband and wife. You may now kiss.

Sample 3

The step which you are about to take is the most important into which human beings 
can come. It is a union of two people founded upon mutual respect and affection. 
Your lives will change, your responsibilities will increase, but your joy will be 
multiplied if you are sincere and earnest with your pledge to one another.

__(Groom)___________, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to love 
her, comfort her, honor and keep her, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto 
her, for so long as you both shall live?

_ (Bride)____________, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to love 
him, comfort him, honor and keep him, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto 
him, so long as you both shall live?

Take hands and repeat after me:
I, __(Groom)___________, take you, __(Bride)___________, to be my wedded 
wife, to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to 
cherish, from this day forward.

I, ___(Bride)________, take you, _(Groom)__________, to be my wedded 
husband, to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and 
to cherish, from this day forward.

Do you have a ring for the bride?   
Please place the ring on the bride's finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed.
Is there a ring for the groom?
Please place the ring on the groom's finger and say: With this ring I thee wed.

Let these rings be given and received as a token of your affection, sincerity and 
fidelity to one another.

In as much as _____________ and _____________ have consented together in 
wedlock and have witnessed the same before this company, and pledged their vows 
to each other, by the authority vested in me by the State of New York, I now 
pronounce you husband and wife. (You may now kiss).

Sample 4

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the marriage of _________________ and 
____________________, who have found that special "someone" to love and trust 
with heart, mind, and soul. They have someone special to come home to - after a 
long search. They have found someone to support them and comfort them in times 
of trial. They also know they have good reason to be happy together and we rejoice 
with them in their union.

We also celebrate with them the love they have discovered in each other and we 
support their decision to commit themselves to each other for the rest of their lives. 
Marriage is an honorable estate not to be entered into lightly but thoughtfully and 
reverently. Marriage is a commitment to take another person as a Friend, 
Companion and Lover.

Who gives __________________ to be married to __________________?

The uniting of two individuals from two separate families and backgrounds to 
establish a new family, is an important and memorable event. The uniting of this 
couple is an occasion of great significance
which we can all celebrate. Marriage is not a casual event nor is it
simply a private affair between two individuals.

Marriage is to be entered into responsibly and prayerfully. This
marriage brings together this day two individuals, two families, and
two communities of faith. It deserves and needs the support of a wider
commitment to each other by offering ______________ and _______________ our 
continued support, love, and best wishes in their lives together, in their love together 
which they publicly express in this ceremony.

Rings

The marriage ring seals the vows of marriage and represents a promise for eternal 
and everlasting love. It is a physical manifestation of the promises joining both the 
bride and groom together. The wedding ring is placed on the fourth finger of the left 
hand because it was traditionally believed that this finger was a direct connection to 
the heart - the perfect place for a symbol representing eternal love and commitment.

(Groom places Bride’s ring on her finger)
" I promise to you _____________, before our family and friends, to
commit my love to you; to respect your individuality; to be with you
through life’s changes; and to nurture and strengthen the love between us, as long 
as we both shall live."

(Bride places Groom’s ring on his finger)
" I promise to you_____________, before our family and friends, to
commit my love to you; to respect your individuality; to be with you
through life’s changes; and to nurture and strengthen the love between us, as long 
as we both shall live."

We who have come together today have heard the willingness of
____________________ and ________________ to be joined in marriage. They 
have come of their free will and in our presence, have declared their love and 
commitment to each other. They have given and received a ring as a symbol of their 
promises. Therefore, by the power vested in me by the laws of the state of New 
York, I take great pride and pleasure as I declare them husband and wife.

You may now kiss your bride.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present to you Mr. And Mrs. _________.

(Back to top)


Religious Ceremonies

Sample 1

5:30 -- Entire wedding party dressed and in sanctuary for pictures
6:45 -- Wedding party in annex
6:55 -- Solo(s)
7:00 -- Seating of Honored Guests
Begin Processional Music
1. Seat groom's grandmother
2. Seat bride's grandmother
3. Seat groom's parents
4. Seat bride's mother

Begin Processional
1. Minister and Groom enter from side
2. Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
3. Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man
4. Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
Begin Wedding March
1. Bride with Father enters (Bride's mother stands as signal for all to stand)
Prayer
Congregation asked to be seated

OPENING REMARKS
"Dearly Beloved: We are gathered here, in the presence of God and of this 
company, that ______ and ______ may be united in holy matrimony. We are here 
to celebrate and share in the glorious act that God is about to perform - the act by 
which He converts their love for one another into the holy and sacred estate of 
marriage.

This relationship is an honorable and sacred one, established by our Creator for the 
welfare and happiness of mankind, and approved by the Apostle Paul as honorable 
among all men. It is designed to unite two sympathies and hopes into one; and it 
rests upon the mutual confidence and devotion of husband and wife.
May it be in extreme thoughtfulness and reverence, and in dependence upon divine 
guidance, that you enter now into this holy relationship."

GIVING OF THE BRIDE
"Being assured that your love and your choice of each other as lifelong companions 
are in God's will and that you have your families' blessings. I now ask. Who gives 
this woman to be married to this man?"
BRIDE'S FATHER
"Her mother and I do."
(Bride's father places her hand in Groom's hand and is seated)

DECLARATION OF INTENTION
"The apostle Paul compared the relationship between husband and wife to that 
between Christ and the church. Marriage is a decision of two individuals to share the 
same type of pure, Christian love described by Paul."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not 
boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it 
keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It 
always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails....
"This kind of love enriches each part of life and marriage enriches love. Two lives, 
shared with this kind of love, can hold more fulfillment and happiness than either life 
alone."

"_____ (GROOM), are you ready to enter into this marriage with _____ (BRIDE), 
believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things?"
GROOM
"I am."
MINISTER
"_____ (BRIDE), are you ready to enter into this marriage with _____ (GROOM), 
believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things?"
BRIDE
"I am."

MARRIAGE VOWS
"_____ do you take _____ to be your wedded wife, to live together after God's 
ordinance in holy matrimony? Do you promise to love her, to honor and cherish her, 
in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, and to be to her in all things a good 
and faithful husband as long as you both shall live?"
GROOM
"I do."

"_____, do you take _____ to be your wedded husband, to live together after God's 
ordinance in holy matrimony? Do you promise to love him, to honor and cherish him, 
in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, and to be to him in all things a good 
and faithful wife as long as you both shall live?"
BRIDE
"I do."

MINISTER WITH GROOM REPEATING
"I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this 
day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer in sickness and in health, to 
love and to cherish, till death do us part. According to God's holy ordinance, and 
thereto I pledge thee my faith."

CELEBRANT WITH BRIDE REPEATING
"I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded husband,  to have and to hold, from 
this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in 
health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part. According to God's holy 
ordinance, and thereto I pledge thee my faith."

PRAYER
"Father in heaven, You ordained marriage for your children, and You gave us love. 
We present to You _____ and _____, who come this day to be married. May the 
covenant of love they make be blessed with true devotion and spiritual commitment. 
We ask that You, God, will give them the ability to keep the covenant they have 
made. When selfishness shows itself, grant generosity; when mistrust is a 
temptation, give moral strength; when there is misunderstanding, give patience and 
gentleness; if suffering becomes a part of their lives, give them a strong faith and an 
abiding love. Amen."

EXCHANGE OF RINGS
"It is a Christian custom to exchange rings as a symbol of love. As the rings have no 
end so your love should have no end. As the rings are made of gold symbolizing 
purity, so should your marriage have purity. As often as either of you see them, you 
will be reminded of this moment and the endless love you promised."
"____, what token to you give that you will perform your vows?" (Minister receives 
ring and says to bride.)
"_____, do you receive this ring in token of the same?"
BRIDE
"I do." (Groom places ring on Bride's finger.)
CELEBRANT WITH GROOM REPEATING
"_____, this ring I give to you in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding 
love."
CELEBRANT
"_____, what token to you give that you will perform your vows?" (Minister receives 
ring and says to groom.)
"_____, do you receive this ring in token of the same?"
GROOM
"I do." (Bride places ring on Groom's finger.)
CELEBRANT WITH BRIDE REPEATING
"_____, this ring I give to you in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding 
love."

Sign License
MINISTER
(Bride, Groom, & Witnesses sign license)

PRAYER
"Let us pray: O thou eternal God, who art our Father and our Friend, as you have 
heard these words of promise just spoken, may the Holy Spirit deepen in the mind 
of this man and this woman the sense of the sacred and binding power of their vows. 
And as in Thy Name these words were spoken to make these lives one, may your 
rich blessing be added. Give them Your grace and guidance that they may loyally 
fulfill the vows they have taken. May Your joy abide with them always, that thus they 
may be a blessing to each other, and to those about them, finding in the 
blessedness of the home life on earth a sample of the happiness of Thine eternal 
home. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
(Bride and Groom join right hands.)

DECLARATION OF THE MARRIAGE
"What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. For as much as 
____ and ____ have consented together in holy matrimony, and have witnessed the 
same before God and this company and have pledged their love and loyalty to each 
other, and have declared the same by the joining and the giving of rings, I, 
therefore, by the authority of the state, pronounce that they are husband and wife, 
in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
"The Groom may now kiss the Bride."

PRESENTATION
"I now present to you Mr and Mrs _____."


Sample 2

OPENING REMARKS
Minister: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God, and in the 
presence of these witnesses, to join together (Groom's Name) and (Bride's Name) 
in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, since the first 
man and the first woman walked on the earth. Therefore; it is not to be entered into 
unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and soberly.
Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
If any one can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let 
them speak now or forever hold their peace.

GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Father: My wife and I do.
(Then the bride is given away)
Minister: I require and charge you both that if either of you know any impediment 
why you may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, you confess it now. Be 
assured that if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God's word 
allows, their marriage is not lawful.

(CELEBRANT: addressing the groom)
(Groom's Name), do you take (Bride's Name) for your lawful wedded wife, to live 
together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, 
honor, comfort, and cherish her from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping 
only unto her for as long as you both shall live?
Groom: I do.

(CELEBRANT: addressing the bride):
(Bride's Name), do you take (Groom's Name) for your lawful wedded husband, to 
live together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, 
honor, comfort, and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping 
only unto him for as long as you both shall live?
Bride: I do.

(At this point the couple may improvise by playing a favorite song, reading a 
scripture, etc. suggested scriptures might be genesis 2:21-25, mark 10:6-8 and 1 
cor 13:4-7)

Reader 1: A reading from the book of Genesis, chapter 2, versus 21 through 25:
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was 
sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the 
Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought 
her to the man. The man said, "this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; 
she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man." for this reason a man 
will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one 
flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Reader 2: A reading from the gospel of Mark, chapter 10, versus 6 through 8:
But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a 
man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will 
become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.

Reader 3: A reading from the Apostle Paul, the first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 
13, verses 4 through 7:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is 
not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always 
trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

CELEBRANT: Let us pray for this man and woman as they make their marriage vows.
Father, as (Groom's Name) and (Bride's Name) have chosen each other, help them 
and bless them that their love may be pure, and their vows may be true. Through 
Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

WEDDING VOWS
(CELEBRANT: addressing the groom who repeats the marriage vows):
I (Groom's Name) take thee (Bride's Name) to be my wedded wife, to have and to 
hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and 
in health, to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part, according to God's holy 
ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

(CELEBRANT: then to the bride who repeats the marriage vows):
I (Bride's Name) take thee (Groom's Name) to be my wedded husband, to have and 
to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 
and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part, according to God's 
holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS
(The CELEBRANT then gets the bride’s ring from the best man)
CELEBRANT: (praying over brides ring): Lord, bless this ring that he who gives it and she 
who wears it may abide in your peace, and continue in your favor until life's end, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

(Groom: placing ring on bride's finger):
With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.
CELEBRANT: (praying over groom's ring): Lord, bless this ring that she who gives it and 
he who wears it may abide in your peace, and continue in your favor until life's end, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

(Bride: placing ring on groom's finger):
With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.

(Music may be inserted here.)
The Wedding Song/ Soloist/ Hands of Groom and Bride/ Apache Prayer

CELEBRANT: Let us pray
Father, we pray for all married persons, that they may continue to give, be able to 
forgive, and experience more and more of the joy of the Lord with each passing day. 
And especially for (Groom's Name) and (Bride's Name), now beginning their married 
life together, that they may have divine assistance, the constant support of friends, 
and a long life with good health. May your fullest blessing come upon (Bride's 
Name) and her husband (Groom's Name), from this day forward, for ever and ever, 
Amen.

May Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, always be at the center of the new lives you 
are now starting to build together, that you may know the ways of true love and 
kindness. May the Lord bless you both all the days of your lives and fill you with his 
joy. Amen.

CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY/ ROSE CEREMONY
Those, whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
In so much as (Groom's Name) and (Bride's Name) have consented together in holy 
wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, having given 
and pledged their troth, each to the other, and having declared same by the giving 
and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.

CELEBRANT: (to the couple): Seal the promises you have made with each other with a kiss.
(The couple kisses.)
Minister: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. _________________.
Now let us pray as Jesus has taught us:
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Recessional
•        Bride and Groom
•        Matron of Honor and Best Man
•        Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
•        Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
•        Groomsmen/ushers return for honored guests who are escorted out in 
reversed order of their entrance.
•        Ushers may dismiss rest of guests or usher them out row by row.



Actual Ceremonies

The Bride and groom would have written their own vows which they would like to 
exchange at this time.

(Thwana goes first and then Andrew)

Before we continue further, it is Thwana and Andrew’s wish that you all join with 
them in a moment of reflection to remember the loved ones, who could not be with 
us today. See them in your minds eye, sitting among us in their rightful places, 
beaming with pride, rejoicing for that which Thwana and Andrew have found in each 
other and sharing in the love and joy that is this day. Secure in the knowledge that 
they are all loved and remembered. Let us prepare to have a moment of silence to 
honor, acknowledge and pay respect to them.  The candles up here are going to be 
lit in remembrance of Thwana’s relatives: Lillian Glass her mother, Warren Norris 
her father, Donnell Glass her brother, Catherine Glass her grandmother, Edwina 
Waters her aunt and Lucy Rogers her great grandmother the matriarch in Thwana’s 
family. Most of these people passed in the last 18 months. I would like to invite 
Thwana to step forward and lit these candles.

Thwana steps forward and lights the memory candles
then return to place.

Minister:
Thank you

Soloist steps forward and begins singing.

WEDDING VOWS
Andrew and Thwana you have requested that I marry you, do you so of your own 
free will and desire?  Then please face each other and hold each others hands.

Andrew if you desire to become Thwana’s husband then repeat after me.
I Andrew take thee Thwana to be my wedded wife, before these witnesses I vow to 
love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take you, with all your 
faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I 
will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose 
you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  To have and to hold from this day 
forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, 
honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

Thwana if you desire to become Andrew’s wife then repeated after me.
I Thwana take thee Andrew to be my wedded husband, before these witnesses I 
vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take you, with all 
your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my 
strengths. I will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. 
I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  To have and to hold from 
this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, 
to love, honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.
THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The Blessing of the Rings;
the wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond 
which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows [Groom's name] 
and [Bride's name] have made to one another. May she and he, who give them, and 
who wear these rings, live together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their 
lives

The Exchange of rings:
Andrew says:
Thwana I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all 
that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.

Thwana says:
Andrew, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all 
that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.

Thank you

Music starts, signing of license.

Apache Prayer read by Hakeem
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will 
feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no 
loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, 
but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey 
ahead and through all the years, May happiness be your companion and your days 
together be good and long upon the earth.

Minister: (to the couple): You may now share a kiss.
(The couple kisses.)

Minister: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Pickens
Recessional
•        Bride and Groom
•        Matron of Honor and Ring Bearer


Sample 2

Shamie and Ian…
Friends, we have been invited here today to share with Shamie and Ian a most 
important moment in their lives. In the time they have been together their love and 
understanding of each other has grown and matured. Now they have decided to live 
their lives together as husband and wife.

Shamie and Ian, the step, which you are about to take, is the most significant into 
which human beings can come. It is a union of two people founded upon mutual 
respect, adoration and affection.
As your lives will change and grow, your joy will be multiplied through your sincere 
and earnest pledge to one another. Your unity will symbolize the true depth of 
commitment between two individuals who have finally found each other.

Here I would like to welcome Heather, Thea (Taya) and George to share a few 
poems for us dedicated to Ian and Shamie.
Poem by Heather Levine
Poem by Thea Nunez
Poem by George Sullivan

Thank you
Ian, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to love her, comfort her, honor 
and keep her, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her, for so long as you 
both shall live?

Shamie, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to love him, comfort 
him, honor and keep him, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto him, so long 
as you both shall live?

Take hands and repeat after me:
I,(Groom) Ian, take you, Shamie (Bride) , to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, 
for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to cherish, from this day 
forward and for the rest of our lives.

I, (Bride) Shamie, take you, Ian (Groom), to be my wedded husband, to have and to 
hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, to love and to cherish, from this day 
forward and for the rest of our lives.

May I have the ring for the bride?   
Please place the ring on the bride's finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed.
May I have the ring for the groom?
Please place the ring on the groom's finger and say: With this ring I thee wed.
Let these rings be given and received as a token of your affection, sincerity and 
fidelity to one another.

In as much as Ian and Shamie have consented together in wedlock and have 
witnessed the same before this company, and pledged their vows to each other, by 
the authority vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband 
and wife. (You may now kiss the bride).


OPENING REMARKS
Welcome to a ceremony through which Cristy and Kevin will be joined in matrimony.  
We gather here today to honor their commitment as well as witness and celebrate 
their union.

Kevin and Cristy met at college in New Paltz New York in 1992 where they lived in 
the same dorm and shared a drawing class. Fate did not bring them together until 
nine years later when they bumped into each other in the middle of East 7th Street 
in downtown Manhattan. The rest is history as their love for each other has brought 
them here, under a bridge in Brooklyn, ready to spend the rest of their lives together

TO BRIDE AND GROOM
Cristy and Kevin, the step which you are about to take is the most important into 
which human beings can come. It is a union of two people founded upon mutual 
respect and affection. Your lives will change, your responsibilities will increase, but 
your joy will be multiplied if you are sincere and earnest with your pledge to one 
another.

(Minister: addressing the bride and groom):
Kevin and Cristy, you have requested that I marry you.  Do you both do this of your 
own desire and free will?  Then let us continue.  Kevin, if it is your desire to become 
the husband of Cristy, then repeat after me.

WEDDING VOWS
I (Kevin) take thee (Cristy) to be my wedded wife, before these witnesses I vow to 
love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take you, with all your 
faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I 
will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose 
you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  To have and to hold from this day 
forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, 
honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.
(Minister: addressing the bride):

Cristy, if it is your desire to become the wife of Kevin, then
repeat after me.
I (Cristy) take thee (Kevin) to be my wedded husband, before these witnesses I vow 
to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.  I take you, with all your 
faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I 
will help you when you need help, and will turn to you when I need help. I choose 
you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  To have and to hold from this day 
forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, 
honor, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The Blessing of the Rings;
the wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond 
which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows Kevin and Cristy 
have made to one another. May she and he, who give them, and who wear these 
rings, live together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their lives.

The Exchange of rings:
Groom says:
Cristy I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that 
I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.

Bride says:
Kevin, I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that 
I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed.
Minister: (to the couple):
By the power given to me, by the state of New York I pronounce you husband and 
wife. You may now share a kiss.
(The couple kisses.)

Minister: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. McGoff.

(Back to top)


Sample 4

Grace and Darrell…

-- Entire wedding party dressed and in sanctuary for pictures
-- Wedding party in annex

Ring bearer/ flower girl Coryn
Begin Wedding March
Bride with Brother enter
Congregation asked to be seat

OPENING REMARKS
Minister: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God and 
this company to witness the union of Darrell and Grace in Holy Matrimony, which is 
an honorable estate, that is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but 
reverently and soberly.

Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
If any one can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let 
them speak now or forever hold their peace.

GIVING AWAY OF THE BRIDE
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
Brother : I do.
(Then the bride is given away)

Seven years ago Grace and Darrell meet in College at Princeton University.  It was 
indeed love at first!  Now here they are dressed in their best and ready to become 
one.  Before we go any further, it is Darrell and Grace’s wish that we all join them in 
a moment of reflection.  Remember now, the loved ones, who could not be with us 
today. See them in your minds eye, sitting among us in their rightful places, beaming 
with pride, rejoicing for that which Darrell and Grace have found in each other and 
sharing in the love and joy that is this day. At this time the family will light a candle 
for Darrell’s Father . . . Riley.

Coryn, lights the memory candle then returns to her place.

WEDDING VOWS
(Minister: addressing the groom who repeats the marriage vows):
Grace and Darrell you have requested that I marry you, do you do so of your own 
free will and desire.  If so please turn to each other and hold hands.

Darrell if you desire to be Grace’s husband then please repeat after me…
I Darrell take thee Grace to be my wedded wife,
before these witnesses I vow to love you
and care for you as long as we both shall live.  
I take you, with all your faults and your strengths,
as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
I will help you when you need help,
and will turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  
To have and to hold
from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love, honor, and cherish,
'til death do us part.

Grace if you desire to be Darrell’s wife then please repeat after me…
I Grace take thee Darrell to be my wedded husband,
before these witnesses I vow to love you
and care for you as long as we both shall live.  
I take you, with all your faults and your strengths,
as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
I will help you when you need help,
and will turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.  
To have and to hold
from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love, honor, and cherish,
'til death do us part

THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The Circle is a perfect figure, without beginning, without end, with no area of 
weakness. It is a symbol of the Cycle of Life, of birth, death, and rebirth. The rings 
shall serve as a physical reminder of your vow, and that all things begin and end 
and begin again, as is the nature of life itself. The rings will remind you that life goes 
on, that moments pass, yet your love is constant. When you are engulfed in anger 
or in sadness, look to your hand, and remember that the wheel turns forever 
onward, and that it is love that turns the wheel. May he and she who give and will 
wear the rings be blessed abundantly and live together in love peace and happiness 
for the rest of their lives.

Ring Vows
May the bestman please present the groom’s gift for his bride
“Darrell, will you now place this ring upon your beloved’s finger and give voice to that 
which is in your heart?”

"All that I am, All that I do.
All that I shall dream shall be ours together.
I take you as my wife, my friend, my lover
From this day forth."

May the maid of honor please present the bride’s gift for her groom
“Grace will you now place this ring upon your beloved’s finger and give voice to that 
which is in your heart?”

"All that I am, All that I do.
All that I shall dream shall be ours together.
I take you as my wife, my friend, my lover
From this day forth."

Minister:
“Together you share the joy of a deep commitment and a sacred trust.
You have given each other the most precious gift of love. Treasure it, nurture it, and 
encourage it with all the honesty you used in creating it. You are sharing something 
rare and beautiful. Always speak the truth, and listen attentively, so that you may 
understand each other’s thoughts and intentions. Inspire each other by sharing your 
accomplishments. Say ‘I love you’ often to retain the warmth between you.  
Remember to laugh a lot, even when you’re angry, after all, you’re each other’s best 
friend.  Stand together and for each other
Always be content in mind and spirit.
Make each day a blessing
and a fulfillment of your dreams.”


Minister: (to the couple): You may now kiss the bride.  
(The couple kisses.)
Minister: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Penn.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Welcome 
family and friends on this beautiful day to this blessing ceremony. You are all very 
dear to Joanne and Keith, which is why you have been chosen to share in the 
blessing of their daughter.  Keith and Joanne recognize that a child comes forth from 
God, that a child is a  Divine creation and that the heavenly Father's perfection is in 
exemplified in the creation of a child. Baptism symbolizes our oneness and faith in 
God.

In Luke chapter 18 we read: People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him 
touch them.  When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called the 
children to him and said, “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who 
will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.  Amen

So let our spirits rejoice, and remember that in the love and emotion that pours forth 
from each of us, lie the hopes, dreams, best wishes and blessings that are the gifts 
our hearts have come to offer this child on this day.”

Prayer

Keith can you please lead us in prayer.

Libation – Officiant

It is important for us to know where we come from, so we will begin with an 
ancestral blessing. This is where we honor the bloodlines, the history and the people 
who have all gone into the creation of this child.

An African proverb tells us that people who lack the knowledge of their past are like 
a tree without roots. So in the spirit of remembrance, we pour this libation. We pour 
to honor the past, so that we may learn from it. We pour to honor the importance of 
family. We raise our cup to God to show our reverence for the original source of our 
lives. We use cool water to freshen the road our ancestors travel to be here with us 
today. We use cool water as a symbol of the continuity of life, to purify and to 
nourish our souls.






As we gather here today, we ask that God and our ancestors watch over us and our 
families.  We ask for their blessings as we pour this libation in their honor.

For our Motherland
For our ancestors and their indomitable spirits
For our elders from whom we can learn much
For our children who represent tomorrow’s hope
Let the spirit of God and ancestors bring us closer in unity

May we all leave here more blessed than when we came


Charge to Parents – Officiant
Joanne and Keith in presenting this child for a blessing you are to be convinced in 
your own mind that you are immersed in the Spirit of God and God in you.

Joanne and Keith, will you teach your child the Truth of being, that from childhood 
she may realize her unity with God, and all that this implies? Will you try to conduct 
your own lives so that not only by word, but by example she may learn to live 
joyously, creatively, and harmoniously with Divine Principle? Will you do this to the 
best of your ability?

(They reply: WE WILL)

Introduction of Godparents – Officiant

Many cultures believe that it takes a whole community to raise a child with a 
balanced perspective. As hers parents the duty befalls you to safeguard Amina’s 
future. Have you chosen those who will aid you in giving love and council to your 
child as he grows?

Keith & Joanne: “We Have.”

Whom do you entrust to help you raise  your daughter  and see to it that she is 
raised as you would have raised her?”

*Parents say who they chose and why

(Charge the godparents, at this point. They will have come forward with the parents, 
standing to the rear of them)

Godparents are secondarily responsible for the spiritual well-being of a child.  They 
serve as a lifelong source of support, counsel and encouragement.  Nicole and 
Burnell as the godparents of this child, you are charged not only with faithfulness to 
the ideals stated in the charge to the parents, but also with the responsibility of seeing 
to her spiritual well being should need arise and it also  to stand in the place of friend 
and counselor whenever needed.


Godparents Reading – Godparents
Proverbs 4:1-12 (Godfather reads 1 – 6, Godmother reads 7 – 12)


Naming and Introduction of the Child – Father

Officiant asks:
What name has been chosen for this child?

Father responds: “I now present Amina Kayla Irby. Amina is Arabic for 
“trustworthy”. Kayla is Swahili for “pure”. It is our hope that she will remain pure of 
heart and spirit, upright and honorable for all of her days.”

Blessing Ritual and Prayer - Officiant

I christen you Amina and baptize you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Spirit. The Father in whom you live, the son, the Christ within you, and 
the Holy Spirit, the moving, creative Principle of all life. May this child come to know 
that as she is now enfolded in my arms, so always will God's arms enfold her, God's 
strength uphold her and God's joy fill her heart.

If there are others here who would like to bless the baby, please step forward. We 
will have a crystal bowl, with purified water in it. I ask each of you, in turn, to pass 
your right hand over the top of the bowl, then place the hand on the baby's crown or 
over its heart and say either whatever is in your  heart or simply, "May God bless 
you abundantly."        


Benediction - Officiant

O Thou infinite spirit of Eternal Life and Love, I dedicate this child to Thy care and 
keeping to the end that Thy perfect intelligence may guide and direct her and Thy 
unfailing Love may draw her into the ways of eternal happiness. And so it is.

And now, may the lord bless you and keep you, may he lift up his face to shine upon 
you and give you everlasting peace, love and joy. I accept this for all of you in the 
name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let us all pray as He taught us to 
pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Amen