“Marriage is a Celebration”
(includes vows to stepchildren)
Welcome. Today is a very special day. We are celebrating the marriage of (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name). A day that they proclaim their love and commitment to each other.
Today is a celebration for the rest of us as well, for it is a pleasure for us to see love in bloom, to participate in the wedding of two people so suited to one another. Therefore, (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name), we thank you. You’ve brightened our day and shown us that love can bloom, that marriage is a worthy enterprise when happy, open- hearted people enter into it joyously.
Let us open with a prayer.
Dear God, fill this space with your supreme light and love. May your Divine grace pour through our hearts to infuse this ceremony with joy and magic. May your blessings fall on (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) today and always and may you remain in their hearts and provide the guidance necessary for them to grown closer to you and to each other in their journey together. Amen.
We always marvel at how small the world is, even when it seems so vast. (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) meeting is a unique and divine orchestration of the universe, entering each other’s lives at just the right moment, each having been prepared by the experiences of their lives.
The happiness they have today is built on the ordinary life they’ve shared together since then. Unlike a young love that burns like a brilliant fire and produces bitterness and sadness as the flames diminish, their relationship has burned slowly and steadily, like coal, giving them time to find peace and comfort with calmness that comes after the excitement of first love.
Guests’ Vow of Commitment
You have been invited here today because this couple feels close to you. It is with you they share their joys, accomplishments and dreams, for both themselves and their future. They also share their concerns and fears and turn to you for advice and support. When giving counsel, remember the promises they will make today, and encourage them to grow together through challenging times. (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) ask that you not just witness the ceremony, but participate fully with your thoughts and prayers.
If you agree that you will do so, respond by saying, “I will.”
The Commitment of Marriage
It is written in Ecclesiastes that it is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. That vow that (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) make today is to give their love to each other freely, unconditionally, self-sacrificially. Making this choice is extraordinary. Making and keeping that choice again and again, day after day, is nothing short of miraculous.
(Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name), I remind you that the God who brought you together and nurtured this relationship is the key to your success as a married couple. May you allow into your marriage this presence, which shall guide your thinking and actions. Call on Him consistently and often.
When differences present themselves, take counsel together in secret, lest others magnify a speck into a mountain. Harbor not in your hearts any grievance, but rather explain its nature to each other with such frankness and understanding that it will disappear, leaving no remembrance. Let there be no secrets one from another. Choose fellowship and amenity and turn away from jealousy and hypocrisy.
The bond that unites hearts most perfectly is loyalty. True lovers once united must show forth the utmost faithfulness to one another. You must dedicate your knowledge, talents, fortunes, bodies, and spirits to God and to each other.
Your thoughts must become lofty, your ideals luminous, your minds spiritual, so that your soul may become a dawning place for the Sun of Reality. Let your hearts be like two pure mirrors reflecting the stars of the heaven of love and beauty.
Make your home a haven of rest and peace, a place of happiness for all who enter it, where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company; a place for music and for laughter, for growing and sharing, for prayer and love.
Exchange of Vows/Hand-Fasting
Marriage is a sacred covenant of the physical, emotional, intellectual, material and spiritual. Today (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name) express this covenant through a traditional Celtic hand fasting, using colored ribbons to represent their vows to one another.
Minister presents two green ribbons to the Bride and Groom to tie on each other’s wrists.
The color green symbolizes the earth, representing the physical and material. As you tie the green ribbon onto the other’s wrist, please repeat together after me:
“With this green ribbon I promise to love you always, to share all in the material world I have with you. We are partners in life and love, and we will always work in concert for the rest of our lives together.”
Minister presents two yellow ribbons to the Bride and Groom to tie on each other’s wrists.
The color yellow symbolizes air, representing all that is intellectual and mental. As you tie the yellow ribbon onto the other’s wrist, please repeat together after me:
“With this yellow ribbon I promise to communicate as clearly as I am able, to share my thoughts with you, to share my hopes and dreams as well as my fears and insecurities. I promise to be open to hear you whether the words are good news or bad. I promise to always look for the good in your words.”
Minister presents two red ribbons to the Bride and Groom to tie on each other’s wrists.
The color red symbolizes fire, representing the power and passion in your relationship. As you tie the red ribbon onto the other’s wrist, please repeat together after me:
“With this red ribbon I promise to always feed the fire of our physical passion, to never take you for granted, and to always remember you are, and to treat you as, my love; to always be open to your expression of your love and to share myself totally with you.”
Minister present two blue ribbons to the Bride and Groom to tie on each other’s wrists.
The color blue symbolizes water, representing the emotional and love. As you tie the blue ribbon onto the other’s wrist, please repeat together after me:
“With this blue ribbon I promise my heart will always be open to you, to love and respect you and always put you first in my life, to always consider your feelings when making decisions and to put our relationship as the first priority before all else.”
Minister presents two white ribbons to the Bride and Groom to tie on each other’s wrists.
The color white symbolizes Spirit, representing the spiritual and philosophical in life. As you tie the white ribbon onto the other’s wrist, please repeat together after me:
“With this white ribbon I promise to keep my mind open to your spiritual and philosophical thoughts, to offer a safe environment free of judgment and ridicule, and to always strive to understand you so that by bringing our two halves together, we make a stronger whole.”
Exchange of Rings
Do you each have a ring to offer the other as a token of the vows you have made here today? (Rings are presented to Minister.)
These rings symbolize all the circles we dance through out lives. The circle symbolizes the continuity of life, the never-ending nature of the universe and the constancy of this couple’s love for one another.
(Groom’s Name), (Bride’s Name) is God’s gift to you but she is not a gift for you alone. You are asked by God to so love this woman, that in your love she might find herself as God has created her, so beautiful and strong and brave and true, that the world might be blessed by her presence. May she know, from now on, that there is one on who love she can depend forever. By placing this ring on (Bride’s Name) finger, you accept this to be true.
Groom places ring on Bride’s finger
And so it is with you also (Bride’s Name), that although (Groom’s Name) is God’s gift to you, he is not a gift intended 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 by God to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be, that through your love he might be healed and made strong. In this way God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship. May this man find the kingdom of heaven through the love you share. By placing this on (Groom’s Name) finger, you accept this to be true.
Bride places ring on Groom’s finger
Vow of Commitment to Stepchild
Today you join your lives together and begin a new family. The circle and substance of family is not made by blood alone but by love, respect and commitment. Indeed, the circle of family made by choice can be as stronger or stronger than that of blood.
(Bride or Groom’s Name), as you have made promises to (Bride or Groom’s Name), you also enter a covenant with (Stepchild/ren Names). Do you have a token of this covenant to offer?
(Bride or Groom’s Name)
Stepchild/ren to come forward
(Bride or Groom’s Name), please repeat after me:
“I promise to always to treat you with love and respect. I promise to foster my relationship with you and always be there for you in any way I can. I promise to support you in your relationship with both your mother and father and I promise always to listen. I also promise always to treat your parent with love and respect and model for you a healthy, loving and supportive relationship with the belief that one day you too will find such happiness in love.”
May I have the ring(s) please?
(Bride or Groom’s Name), as you place this ring on your stepchild’s finger, please repeat after me:
“Please accept this ring as promise of my friendship, love and loyalty.”
Let mutual love and respect be the foundation of this family. Let them be as one, living, loving and growing together, dancing and singing together, laughing and crying together, and let no secrets divide the circle of family.
Let us bow our heads in prayer.
Spirit of Love and Life, out of this whole world these two souls have found each other. Their destinies shall now be woven into one design and their perils and their joys shall not be known apart.
May those who are nearest to them be constantly enriched by the beauty and the bounty of your love for them and their love for each other. May their work be a joy that serves the world and may their days be good and long upon the earth.
Bless this couple and their married life. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to magnify and praise each other’s points of strength, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. May they never take their love for granted but find reasons to thank you for the gift of each other.
May they serve happily, faithfully together and when the sun is setting and life is over, may they be found then as they are now, hand in hand, until at last one shall lay the other into your peaceful arms. Amen.
We recognize with full awareness that only a couple can administer the sacraments of marriage to each other, and only a couple can sanctify it, declaring what only two hearts can declare, and what only two souls can make real.
And so now, inasmuch as you (Groom’s Name) and you (Bride’s Name) have announced the truths that are already in your hearts, and have witnessed the same in the presence of your family, friends and God, we observe joyfully that you have declared yourself, and pronounced by me, to be husband and wife.
(Groom’s Name), you may kiss your Bride.