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Contents:

Click on topic to read wedding ceremony

  1. Simple Basic Civil Marriage Ceremony
  2. Poems and Wedding Readings
  3. Religious Marriage Ceremony
  4. Simple Vow Renewal Ceremony
  5. Wine Ceremony
  6. Modern Civil Ceremony
  7. Sample Wedding Program
  8. Other Web Pages And Ceremony Help

Components of a Wedding Ceremony

Generally a wedding ceremony consists of several parts beginning with the Entrance of the Wedding Party usually to music then:

1. Welcome or Introduction done by the Officiant.

2. Presentation of the Bride to the Groom by either the parents or special person.

3. Reading of a Poem or Bible verse by Officiant or special person.

4. Recitation of the Wedding Vows either traditional or words written by the couple.

5. Exchange of rings and/or giving of gifts to children of the couple.

6. Any special event like  lighting candles, drinking wine, or other special ceremony addition.

7. Declaration of Marriage where the Officiant declares the couple married and closing remarks.

8. The First Kiss as a Married Couple.

9. Exit or recessional usually to music.

 

Below are some simple assists in creating your own ceremonies. The basic simple ceremony where things can be added to it and some more complicated ceremonies plus a list of poems and readings.


NOTE: A photo of a reading, or scan does not allow me to cut and paste it to a sample ceremony. If you like a quote not in my list e-mail it as a text file so I can use it. Smartphones sometimes send things as images which I cannot print out. Simply e-mail the web page link you found the quote on and name the quote so I can get it as a text file. Or cut and paste it in an e-mail as text.

Member of

American Association of Wedding Officiants


1. Basic Civil Ceremony

Simple Basic Wedding Ceremony

 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 Louisiana, I now pronounce you husband and wife. (You may now kiss .)

 

( This can be used as a base to work from by adding in other parts from the above parts list.)


Sample New Civil Ceremony

We are here today in the presence of family and friends to share with Bride and Groom the most important moment in their lives. We do this as the legal requirement to be married in Louisiana but this ceremony does not alter the love required to be husband and wife. Without the love between these two people we would not be here today.

What is marriage? It has been said that marriage is that relationship between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual and the obligation reciprocal. --Bride-- and --Groom you are now to bring together the best parts of your individuality, uniting spirit, talent and experience to create something better than either of you alone can offer. You must, and I’m sure will, work hard to maintain this union.

By this ceremony you will become husband and wife, but the soul of your marriage depends on the constant renewal of the choices and promises out of love for one another you make today.

Life together will sometimes be playful and effortless, sometimes frustrating and difficult. Each day your relationship will strengthen if you choose to continue to love and honor one another.

Love is something beyond the excitement of romance and being in love. It is a committed, thoughtful decision. Love is nurturing. Love is listening. Love is caring about your partner. Love lightens burdens because you divide them. Love intensifies joys because you share them.

If you truly love you will always be loyal to one another. No matter what the cost always believe in one another, always expect the best of one another and above all else, always support one another in every day living.

(Reading Choice Here - Julie Bielicki) It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life—it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential.

Bride and Groom came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and most importantly, the fun of true friendship.

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.

It is the wish of everyone here today that your marriage bring each of you much happiness. Happiness in marriage doesn’t just happen though. You must work on it. Remember to say “I love you”, hold hands whenever you get the chance, and at no time take the other for granted.

Family and friends, we are witnesses to the union of two individuals who choose to commit to a life together. Our responsibility as their friends and witnesses is to provide them as a couple with our love, support and approval.

For the beauty around us, the strength it offers and the peace it brings, we are grateful and honored to be a part of the life you have chosen to live as husband and wife from this day forward.( Recoznize loved ones present or departed optional here)

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

Will you, Bride take Groom to be your wedded husband, to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, and forsaking all others, so long as you both shall live? (I Will)

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

Rings please… Place the ring on the bride’s finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed. Place the ring on the groom’s finger and say: With this ring, I thee wed.

In as much as Bride and Groom 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 Louisiana, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

(Kiss)

 

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2. Poems

Sample Wedding Readings and Poems

 Generally I open the service by reading a poem of your choice:

 


Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

 


A Love Like This, Dan Fogleberg

And now the lonely days are done
And with each rising of the sun, love begins anew
And if you ever ask me why
I know that my love will never die I'll say these words to you

Of all the souls I've ever known
Mine sings to yours and yours alone and yours sings just to me
In all this world I'll never find
A heart that could beat as close to mine and this time I can see

A love like this is so hard to find
And so many never do
And loves like this, when they even exist
Are precious and few, you know they're precious and few

Down the miles, through the years
Yours is the star by which I steer, the brightest star I've known
And when I feel all hope is gone, yours is the love that leads me on
The light that guides me home
The light that guides me home
Your light will guide me home

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The Key to Love, Author Unknown

The key to love is understanding ...
as it is the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness ....
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
The key to love is sharing ...
Sharing and acing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.
The key to love is giving ...
Giving without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.
The key to love is respect ...
Respect realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas;
that you don't belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.
The key to love is inside us all ...
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients
that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work ...
but the rewards are more than worth the effort ...
and that is the key to love.

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Carl Sandburg

I love you. I love you for what you are,
but I love you yet more for what you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals.
I pray for your desires, that they may be great,
rather than for your satisfactions,
which may be so hazardously little.
A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall.
But the most beautiful rose is one,
hardly more than a bud,
wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for larger and finer growth.
Not always shall you be what you are now.
You are going forward toward something great.
I am on the way with you and . . I love you.

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Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

Geniuses of countless nations
Have told their love for generations
Till all their memorable phrases
Are common as goldenrod or daisies.
Their girls have glimmered like the moon,
Or shimmered like a summer moon,
Stood like a lily, fled like a fawn,
Now the sunset, now the dawn,
Here the princess in the tower
There the sweet forbidden flower.
Darling, when I look at you
Every aged phrase is new,
And there are moments when it seems
I've married one of Shakespeare's dreams.

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The Colour of My Love, David Foster and Arthur Janov

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart
Knowing that we'll never part.
I'll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn, so much to try.

I'll paint my mood in a shadow blue,
Paint my soul to be with you.
I'll sketch your lips in shaded tones,
Draw your mouth to my own.

I'll trace a hand to wipe your tears
And trace a look to calm your fears.
A silhouette of dark and light
To hold each other oh so tight.

I'll paint the stars in the evening sky,
Draw the light into your eyes,
A touch of love, a touch of grace,
To softly fall on your moonlit face.

And with this ring our lives will start,
Let nothing keep our love apart.
I'll take your hand to hold in mine,
And be together through all time.

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Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments. Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fix'd mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
within his bending sickle's compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

 


 

Fidelity by D.H. Lawrence

Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man's heart and a woman's,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

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Judy Bielicki, Melbourne, Australia

It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life -- it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. {Bride's Name} and {Groom's Name} came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.

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Touch the Air Softly by William Jay Smith

Now touch the air softly, step gently, one, two ...
I'll love you 'til roses are robin's egg blue;
I'll love you 'til gravel is eaten for bread,
And lemons are orange, and lavender's red.

Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom.
I'll love you 'til windows are all of a room;
And the table is laid, And the table is bare,
And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air.

I'll love you 'til heaven rips the stars from his coat,
And the moon rows away in a glass-bottomed boat;
And Orion steps down like a river below,
And earth is ablaze, and oceans aglow.

So touch the air softly, and swing the broom high.
We will dust the grey mountains, and sweep the blue sky:
And I'll love you as long as the furrow the plough,
As however is ever, and ever is now.

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Love's Coming by John Shaw Neilson

Love's Coming

Quietly as rosebuds
Talk to the thin air,
Love came so lightly,
I knew not he was there.

Quietly as lovers
Creep at the middle moon,
Softly as players tremble
in the tears of a tune;

Quietly as lilies
Their faint vows declare
Came the shy pilgrim:
I knew not he was there.

Quietly as tears fall
On a warm sin,
Softly as griefs call
In a violin;

Without hail or tempest,
Blue sword of flame.
Love came so lightly
I knew not that he came.

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Oath of Friendship -- Anon., China, 1st Century B.C.

I want to be your friend
For ever and ever without break or decay.
When the hills are all flat
And the rivers are all dry,
When it lightens and thunders in winter,
When it rains and snows in summer,
When Heaven and Earth mingle
Not 'til then will I part from you.

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What is Love? by Walter Rinder

Love is just not looking at each other and saying "You're wonderful".
There are times when we are anything but wonderful.
Love is looking out in the same direction.
It is linking our strength to pull a common load.
It is pushing together towards the far horizons, hand in hand.
Love is knowing that when our strength falters, we can borrow the strength of someone who cares.
Love is a strange awareness that our sorrows will be shared and made lighter by sharing;
that joys will be enriched and multiplied by the joy of another.
Love is knowing someone else cares that we are not alone in life.

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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

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How do I love thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being an Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief's, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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Love's Philosophy by Percy Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle:-
Why not I with thine?
See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
Now sister flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:-
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

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Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

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The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.

Traditional Shoshone Indian Love Poem

Fair is the white star of twilight, and the sky clearer
at the day's end, but she is fairer, and she is dearer
She, my heart's friend.
Fair is the white star of twilight, and the moon roving
to the sky's end; but she is fairer, better worth loving
She, my heart's friend."

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Aztec Indian Wedding Poem

I know not whether thou has been absent:
I lie down with thee, I rise up with thee,
In my dreams thou art with me.
If my eardrops tremble in my ears,
I know it is thou moving within my heart.

 


Cherokee Blessing

God in heaven above,
Please protect the ones we love.
We honor all that you created
As we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honor Mother Earth --
And ask for our marriage to be abundant,
And to grow stronger through the seasons
We honor fire --
And ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts.
We honor wind --
And ask that we sail through life safely and calm as in our father's arms.
We honor water --
To clean and soothe our relationship that it may never thirst for love.
With all the forces of the universe you created,
We pray for harmony and true happiness
As we forever grow young together.

Eskimo Wedding Vow

You are my husband/wife
My feet shall run because of you.
My feet dance because of you.
My eyes see because of you.
My mind thinks because of you.
And I shall love because of you.

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Excerpt from Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

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From The Prophet by Kahil Gibran

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.

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I Ching

When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids.

Additional Love Poems can be found at this page http://www.geocities.com/revapril/LovePoems.html

 

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3. Religious Ceremony

 Christian Wedding Ceremony

Submitted by Zion Bible Hour

OPENING STATEMENT

MINISTER

"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

MINISTER

"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

MINISTER

"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 Cor 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

MINISTER

"_____ 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."

MINISTER

"_____, 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."

MINISTER 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

MINISTER

"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

MINISTER

"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.)

MINISTER WITH GROOM REPEATING

"_____, this ring I give to you in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love."

MINISTER

"_____, 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.)

MINISTER WITH BRIDE REPEATING

"_____, this ring I give to you in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love."

 

Light Unity Candle & Sign License

MINISTER

"The candle represents the joining together of two individuals to live together as one in spirit.______and ________, the candle yet to be lit, represents the new family which is being created today. _____ and _____ are leaving their families to make a new life together."

(Bride & Groom light candle)

(Bride, Groom, & Witnesses sign license)

 

PRAYER

MINISTER

"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

MINISTER

"What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Forasmuch as Anthony and Amanda 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

MINISTER

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

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4. Simple Marriage Vow Renewal

Vow Renewal Ceremony

Let this be a day of gladness, thanksgiving, possibility, and good fortune for all of us, but especially for (Groom) and (Bride), who are here to renew and celebrate their love. Just as spring blossoms anew after a harsh winter, so must spouses renew their love for each other in their daily lives. Today marks the ________ anniversary of your marriage vows and today you renew your vows and love as husband and wife. Today begins the new spring of this year's love. So may it be renewed each day in your hearts.

Favorite Poem:


(_________________________________)

Vows:


Groom and Bride, have you come here freely and with the intention of a renewal of your marriage vows?
(Both answer, We Have)

Will you continue to love and honor each other as man and wife every day as you have promised to do?

(Both answer, We Do.)

Will you love, comfort and honor, keeping each other forever more?

(Both answer,We Will)

Groom do you again take Bride as your wife, will you continue to be faithful to her in tender love and honor, offering encouragement and companionship and will you continue to live with her and cherish her?
(Groom answers I do)

Bride do you again take Groom as your husband, will you continue to be faithful to him in tender love and honor, offering encouragement and companionship and will you continue to live with him and cherish him?
(Bride answers I do)



Rings:

The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. These circles are designed without an ending, so they speak of eternity. May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love glowing with increasing luster through the years and may all good and holy beings upon this Earth bless these rings which you give to each other as the sign of your love, trust, faithfulness, respect and devotion.

Groom, repeat after me...
With this ring, I continue my promise to you that I will be your faithful partner in life,

Bride, repeat after me...
With this ring, I continue my promise to you that I will be your faithful partner in life,

Pronouncement:

May your joys be sweet as spring flowers that grow
As bright as a fire when winter winds blow
As countless as leaves that float down in the fall
As serene as the Love that keeps watch over all.

I now pronounce that you have today reaffirmed your life�s commitment to one another, go forth in love and friendship for the rest of the days of your lives.

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5.  Wine Ceremony

Written by JK Schwehm

 

Red wine and white wine in a small carafe is placed next to an empty carafe with a wineglass on a small table near the couple. The center carafe, called the Marriage Carafe is sometimes a bit larger than the two outside "individual" carafes. Alternatively there would be 2 carafes and one empty glass. If the �individual carafes� are carried in the Wedding Processional the Marriage Carafe or Wine Glass is already sitting on the table and only the two individual filled carafes are carried forth.
When the Wine Ceremony is done � music can be played or there can be no music at all.
The Wine Ceremony can be divided into two parts. The presenting of the two individual carafes filled with red and white wine to be placed on the table near the larger empty carafe during the processional. Then part two the pouring of the two separate wines into the empty carafe and drinking the combined wine by the wedding couple. Part two follows the exchange of vows. The ceremony can be one part with the wine already sitting on the table and the couple just combining the wines before drinking them.
Part One can take place during the Wedding Processional with one of the attendants on both sides carrying the red or white carafe and placing it on the table. Or a bit earlier the parents of the couples come forward with a bottle of wine and fill the smaller carafes already on the table just before they are seated and then the wedding processional starts.



Ceremony:

After the vows the Officiant announces " We Now Shall Perform the Wine Ceremony" The couple goes to the table and each takes the individual carafe and pours some wine into the larger carafe. The groom then takes the larger filled carafe with the combined wine and pours some in a glass for the bride. The bride then takes the Larger Carafe with the combined wines and pours some into a glass for the Groom. He may now toast his bride with, " Now Our Lives Are One" and drinks from the glass she responds the same. They place the wineglass back and face back to the officiant. Who states.


�This Ceremony represents the two individual lives are now combined like the two wines into one single life. The drinking of the combined wine signifies the commitment you now make to live your lives as one family. May you remember this day of commitment you have sealed with drinking of the new wine joining your lives as one."

He may also announce that immediately after the service others may drink the new wine of their commitment to one life if they so desire. Or Rose wine served at the reception to mark this ceremony. Originally  a French wine country tradition in joining two vineyard owners in marriage.

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6.   Modern Civil Ceremony:

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  Louisiana and in the historical Western tradition of the act of marriage.

__________ 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 need support. I choose you as the one with whom I will spend my life.

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 Louisiana, I hereby pronounce you are husband and wife. You may now kiss.

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7. Sample Religious Wedding Program:


The Marriage Celebration and Blessing

Of   BRIDE  and  GROOM

day, the Number of Month

Two thousand and five

at half past twelve o'clock

Location Hotel


 The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage

 

The Seating of the Parents

Air & Hornpipe from The Water Music Handel

The Processional

Canon in D Pachelbel

The Bridal Processional

Trumpet Voluntary Clark

Dr. Schwehm, facing the people and Bride and Groom with Bride to the right and Groom to the left, addresses the congregation and says:

"Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people."

"The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God."

"Into this holy union Bride and Groom now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now, or else for ever hold your peace."

Then Dr. Schwehm says to Katie and Groom:

"I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God's Word, you do now confess it."

The Declaration Of Consent

Dr. Schwehm says to Bride

"Bride, will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?"

Bride answers "I will."

Dr. Schwehm says to Groom:

"Groom, will you have this Woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?"

Groom answers "I will."

Dr. Schwehm then addresses the congregation:

"Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?"

The People answer "We will."

The Presentation of the Bride

Dr. Schwehm then addresses Mr. :

"Who presents this woman to be married to this man?"

Mr. Webster answers: "I do".

The Ministry Of The Word

Dr. Schwehm then says to the people: "The Lord be with you."

The People respond: "And also with you."

Dr. Schwehm continues.

"Let us pray. O gracious and ever-living God, you have created us male and female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

The people may be seated

Scripture 1

"A Reading from Song of Solomon"

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7

My beloved speaks and says to me: " Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce� as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned."

"The word of the Lord." People: Thanks be to God

Psalm

Psalm 128

1 Happy are they all who fear the Lord, *

and who follow in his ways!

2 You shall eat the fruit of your labor; *

happiness and prosperity shall be yours.

3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, *

your children like olive shoots round about your table.

4 The man who fears the Lord *

shall thus indeed be blessed.

5 The Lord bless you from Zion, *

and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days

of your life.

6 May you live to see your children's children; *

may peace be upon Israel.

Scripture 2

"A Reading from Tobit"

Tobit 8:5b-8

Tobias said to Sarah, " Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, " Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors, and blessed is your name in all generations forever. Let the heavens and the whole creation bless you forever. You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the human race has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together." And they both said, " Amen, Amen."

"The word of the Lord." People: Thanks be to God

How Great Thou Art

Dedicated in loving memory to Mary Gambrell Webster

Oh Lord my God

When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the works

Thy hands have made

I see the stars

I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout

The universe displayed

Then sings my soul

My Saviour, God, to Thee

How great thou art

How great thou art

Then sings my soul

My Saviour, God, to Thee

How great Thou art

How great Thou art

Scripture 3

"A reading from 1st Corinthians"

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

"The word of the Lord." People: Thanks be to God

The Marriage

Groom, facing Bride, takes her right hand in his, and says:

"In the Name of God, I, Groom, take you, Bride, to be my 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, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."

Then they loose their hands, and Bride, still facing Groom, takes his right hand in hers, and says:

"In the Name of God, I, Bride, take you, Groom, to be my 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, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."

They loose their hands.

Dr. Schwehm asks God's blessing on the rings as follows:

"Bless, O Lord, these rings to be a sign of the vows by which this Man and this Woman have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord." People: Amen

Bride places the ring on the ring finger of Groom's hand and says:

"Groom, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Groom places the ring on the ring-finger of Bride's hand and says:

"Bride, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Dr. Schwehm joins the right hands of husband and wife and says:

"Now that Bride and Groom have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

"Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder."

The Prayers

All standing, Dr. Schwehm says: "Let us pray together in the words our Savior taught us:"

The Lord's Prayer is then recited by the People and Dr. Schwehm

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.

The Layreader then reads several prayers, to which the People respond, saying, "Amen."

"Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon this man and this woman whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony." People: Amen

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. People: Amen

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life. People: Amen

Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to see each other's forgiveness and yours. People: Amen

Make their life together a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair. People: Amen

Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you. People: Amen

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. People: Amen

Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed. People: Amen

Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all your children are united one to another, and the living to the dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your Son and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity, now ad for ever. People: Amen

 

The Blessing Of The Marriage

The people remain standing and Dr. Schwehm says::

"Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his name. By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantel about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever." People: Amen

Dr. Schwehm says:

"I now present Mr. and Mrs. Groom Name. You may now kiss the bride."

The Recessional

Bridal March Mendelssohn

The Wedding Party

Parents of the Bride

Names

Parents of the Groom

Names

Maid of Honor Best Man Ushers Others

Names

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8. Other Web Pages and Help With Ceremonies


WEB PAGES:
http://weddings.about.com/od/yourweddingceremony/a/PersonalizeVows.htm
http://weddings.about.com/od/traditionsandcustoms/a/newarkwedding.htm<

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/11588/a_stepbystep_guide_to_writing_your.html
Suggested Books:
1. Wedding Readings: Centuries of Writing and Rituals on Love and Marriage by (edited ) Eleanor Munro.
2. Complete Book of Wedding Vows: Hundreds of Ways to Say "I Do" by Diane Warner
3. Words For Your Wedding by David Glusker and Peter Misner.
4. With These Words I Thee Wed: Contemporary Vows for Today's Couples by Barbara Eklof.
5. Sacred Threshold: Rituals and Readings for a Wedding With Spirit by Gertrud Nueller Nelson and Christopher Witt.


Looking for an Officiant outside of Louisiana see the American Association of Wedding Ministers 

 



 Art Note Cards For Sale At this Link


Minister E-Mail Address

Jerry Kenneth Schwehm  served as as Justice of the Peace in 1990 to 1994 in  Slidell, La. and was ordained in 1989 as a Lay Minister after serving as Elder and Deacon in his church for many years. He has a BA and JD from Louisiana State University (1972) and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from a  local Bible Church in 1990. He has performed numerous wedding ceremonies and is available in the Greater New Orleans and South Mississippi area to perform your personalized marriage ceremony. He will go to your location or at his office in Fig House. He may be contacted at the above e-mail.


Starry Night Cathedral invitation
Starry Night Cathedral by figstreetstudio
See other announcements and invitationsat Fig Street Studio. Save the date, reception or wedding invitations can be made with art from New Orleans.

Chaplain JK Schwehm
65115 Highway 41
Pearl River, La. 70452
Tel: (504) 617-6359 Answer Service


Best way to contact is e-mail or leave message and I will return your call.






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