Ceremony Texts


Opening Words

You must all be very special to this couple because they have asked you to be here to share their happiness and their joy and to be with them as they publicly declare their love and commitment to one another.

This is one of the most important things

that two people will ever do,

and it is our privilege to be here with them today

as they take these important steps together.

The poet Rowena Edin-White describes the significance of today

in her poem ‘Wedding Day’
Now comes the knitting, the tying, entwining into one,
Mysterious involvement of two, whole, separate people
Into something altogether strange and changing, new and lovely.
Nothing can be,  will never be, the same again:
Not merged into each other irrevocably, but rather
From now on we go the same way, in the same direction,
Agreeing not to leave each other lonely, or discouraged, or behind.
I will do my best to keep my promises to treasure you and keep you warm;
And we will make our wide bed beneath the bright
And ragged quilt of all the yesterdays that make us who we are,
The strengths and frailties we each bring to this marriage,
And we will be rich indeed.
(Rowena Edlin-White)

This wedding celebrates the joy and the beauty of life.

groom and bride view marriage as a relationship based on love,

concern and respect that allows individuals to grow in their respective ways.

Marriage is the maturing of love, freely given and gladly returned

and is both ordinary and extraordinary, because it is about everyday living.

It is the couple’s belief that there is equality

between men and women in every way,

and so marriage is a cooperative venture in every sense.

It is a relationship based on love, respect and a determination

on the part of both wife and husband to adjust

to each other’s temperaments and conditions,

in health or sickness, joy or sadness, ease or hardship.

Marriage is about partnership and sharing,

and has less to do with perfection

than with loving someone for who they really are,

their faults as well as their virtues.

What I say and even what bride and groom say

is far less important than how they behave towards each other

and how they settle their differences when they disagree.

If they can do that with tenderness and love

then they can look forward to a future of happiness and contentment, whatever life casts their way.


The Asking
And so we come now to the vows and promises

that these two will make to each other. 

No other human ties are more tender

and no other vows more important than those you are about to take.

Both of you come to this day with the deep realization

that the contract of marriage is sacred

as are all of its obligations and responsibilities.
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.
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.

groom and bride, Please face each other and join your hands?

groom and bride, will you allow each other to change and develop,

to live together as equal and different individuals,

and to recognise and accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses?

We will

Will you seek to trust the ebbs and flows of your love,

understanding that the nature of it may change,

having faith that it will always return?

We will

Will you seek always to learn from your shared experiences,

and to build from them a full and caring friendship

based on trust and on respect?

We will

Introduction of Rings
All of you have witnessed these solemn declarations.

groom and bride will now exchange rings

as tangible and lasting symbols of their commitment to one another.

Each ring is a symbol of their unending love.

A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth, and of the universe.

It is a symbol of wholeness, and perfection, and of peace.

The rings you give and receive this day are symbols of the union

you enter as husband and wife;

one unbroken circle, in which, wherever you go,

you will always return to one another.

Ring Exchange
groom as you place this ring on brides finger, please repeat after me:

As this ring surrounds your finger,

so my love surrounds you;

wear it and know that I love you.

bride as you place this ring on groom finger, please repeat after me:
As this ring surrounds your finger,

so my love surrounds you;

wear it and know that I love you.

Closing Words
May every joy and happiness be yours;

May your love grow stronger and deeper with each passing year. 

Here in the space between you both,

lies all the future of the fragment of the universe which is your own.

Your lives are now bound into each other’s keeping.

Following the declarations made before me

and in the presence of these witnesses,

it is now my happy duty, bride and groom

to pronounce you husband and wife. 

You may now kiss
Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present the married couple.


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