Ceremony Ideas

Here is a large selection of options for the wording for the various parts of the ceremony.  These ideas are designed to compliment and enhance the tropical theme weddings that are so popular here in the Florida Keys.  We can also do a more traditional, religious ceremony if that works for you.  And if you have found wording that you like or if you want to reword some of my suggestions, please don’t hesitate to be creative…it’s YOUR wedding!

Wedding Programs traditionally consist of at least five  parts:

  • The Opening Comments
  • The Intent
  • The Wedding Vows
  • The Ring Exchange
  • The Closing and Pronouncement

 WEDDING PROGRAM OPENING COMMENTS

#1  –   This day,{date},  {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}  are here in ({town} , in the beautiful Florida Keys, to avow their marriage.  May their life together be filled with happiness, good health, many friends, much love and all of the wonderful things that life can bring. Before these witnesses, their dearest family and friends, and pledge their love, their lives and their hearts to each other. May their hearts always be full with kindness and understanding and may they always be free of any pretense or mistrust. May they always be sweethearts, lovers and friends, and together, may they meet the cares and obstacles of life more bravely and may they always find contentment in the joy of their companionship

#2   –   Welcome family and friends.  Love is a miraculous gift, and a wedding is a celebration of that magic, and that’s what we’re here to do today.  We are gathered together to be overjoyed for and with {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}  , who are so wonderfully suited to one another that it’s a pure delight for the rest of us to see how ebulliently happy two people can be.

When we think of love we sometimes talk about people who “deserve” one another.  Not only do and deserve one another, but they are a perfect match, a pair, a fit, soul mates, if you will; and their marriage, far from being something they have had to work hard to achieve, was pure inevitability.  They were given to one another and fell so deeply in love that they had no choice.

They are the embodiment of true romance which, matured, becomes true love.  They are the example of love that in its lightheartedness, dissolves the notion of love as hard work.  They are the promise of possibility, the expectation of joyful surprise.

Today is also a celebration for the rest of us, for it is a pleasure for us to see love in bloom, to participate in the wedding of two people so delightfully suited to one another.  It lifts our spirits to be in the presence of such a love, to bask in the sweet energies of two people who so obviously adore one another, who want to play together, laugh together and walk together for a lifetime.

So, HOORAY!  We’re here to celebrate, to honor, to laugh, to dance and to be glad because the real fun has just begun!  Love is alive and well in the land. {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name} are here to prove it, and we are here to share in their joy.

#3   –   Beloved family, friends, accomplices and witnesses, we have come here to the edge of the earth to celebrate the marriage of {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}, who through being ruthlessly and wonderfully themselves, have chosen to be married.  This is an occasion of both profound joy and great responsibility, and we who partake in it bind ourselves as witnesses to the labor of love that these two are undertaking here.       {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}, you give us hope, you remind us of love, and we are overjoyed to be your witnesses as you vow to marry, and to create a home where you can best love each other (and your child/children).

Dear family and friends,{Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}  acknowledge that the living examples in their lives of other true loves has helped remind them that the commitment of marriage is a true blessing, and not one to be taken lightly.

In celebration of this, you married couples here this evening are invited to give a brief renewal of your own marriage vows to each other as the sun sets on the birthday of a brand new marriage.  Please feel free to face your partner, hold hands and repeat after me: “I love you, and thank you again for the gift of your love.  Thank you for being here to love me all these years, in every way you have, in all the ways you will.  I pledge again to love you for the rest of our days.”

#4   –   Family and friends, {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}have invited us here today to {town}, in the beautiful Florida Keys, to share in the celebration of their marriage. We come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognize a bond that already exists.  This marriage is one expression of the many varieties of love.  Love is one, though its expressions are infinite.

It is fitting to speak briefly about love.  We live in a world of joy and fear, and search for meaning and strength in the seeming disorder.  We discover the truest guideline to our quest when we realize love in all its magnitudes.  Love is the eternal force of life.  Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage.

But, you must “be of love a little more careful than of anything.” The giving of yourself in love is difficult, for you must learn to give of your love without total submission of yourself.  Therefore, in your giving, give your joy, your sadness, your interest, your understanding, your knowledge-all expressions that make up life.  But in this giving, remember to preserve yourself-your integrity, your individuality.  This is the challenge of love within marriage.

Although you will be sharing one life, never forget, you are two separate people.  Cherish and affirm your differences.  Love each other.  Keep your commitment primary.  Together you will laugh and cry, be sick and well, be happy and angry, share and grow.Grow, sometimes together, sometimes separately.  But never remain stagnant.  Love and life are always changing, always new.

If you will ensure a healthy lasting marriage, always, always value each other.  Although you will disagree, remember to respect each other’s feelings, needs, and wants.  And above all, never, never, lose your sense of humor. It is in this spirit, I know, that you two have come to be married. So let us proceed.

#5   – {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name} are met here today to become one through the rite of matrimony.  As the waters of the sea are vast, flowing, deep and endless, so may be their love for each other.  May their love hold within it the essence of life and be constant, enduring and limitless.  They are today pledging their love and their lives to each other for all the days that remain to them.  They celebrate their commitment to a strong and enduring relationship and as the seas touch the many shores of the earth, may their love and their lives enrich everyone with whom they come in contact.

#6   –    Welcome Family and friends.  This day, {Date} ,{Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}   are here in {town},  in the beautiful Florida Keys, to avow their marriage. It means the world to them that you have traveled so many miles to share in this special celebration.  They have asked you here because they hold you, their family and friends, as a valued part of what they are as individuals, and what they will become as a married couple.  Your presence is a gift of support and caring, and they appreciate your sharing their very special occasion.

We are gathered here today to take part in the most time-honored celebration of the human family-uniting a man and woman in marriage.  {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}have come to witness before you, telling of their love for each other.

{Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}, if you would have the foundation of your marriage be the devotion you have for one another, not just at this moment, but for all the days to come, then treasure the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Establish that your love will never be blotted out by the common, nor obscured by the ordinary in life. Dedication, love, and joy can grow only when you nourish them together. Stand fast in that hope and confidence, having faith in your shared destiny– just as strongly as you have faith in yourselves and in one another today. Only with the spirit can you forge a union that will strengthen and endure all the days of your lives.

#7   –   We are gathered here today, in {town}in the beautiful Florida Keys, to celebrate the marriage of {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name} .  You may ask, why did we have to come to{town} to do what we could have done back home in {hometown}?  The reality is that beautiful moments should happen in beautiful places and most of life’s greatest experiences require a journey of some dimension.  {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name}would like to thank all of you for making the journey to share in this most special of days.

Marriage is an outward symbol of an inward union of hearts, a union created by friendship, respect, faith, passion and love.  Love is one of the greatest experiences that we as humans can have, but it is when love is combined with real friendship that both are infinitely enhanced.

#8   –    Before these witnesses, {Bride’s name}  and {Groom’s name} pledge their love, their lives and their hearts to each other.  May they ever be true and loving, never bringing remorse or heartbreak into their marriage.  Temper their hearts with kindness and understanding and may they always be free of any pretense or mistrust.  May they always be sweethearts, helpmates and friends, and together, may they meet the cares and problems of life more bravely.  May they find contentment in the joy of their rich companionship.

#9  –   This day, {Bride} and {Groom} are here in{town}, in the beautiful Florida Keys, to avow their marriage. May their life together be filled with happiness, good health, many friends, much love and all of the wonderful things that life can bring.

Through the ages, one of the most meaningful definitions of love is taken from the Book of Corinthians: “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 in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And of the three blessings, faith, hope and love, the greatest of these is love.

#10 – This day,{Bride} and {Groom}are here in {town} the beautiful Florida Keys, to make public their love for each other, to give notice to their truth; to declare their choice to live and partner and grow together-out loud and in your presence, out of their desire
that you will all come to feel a very real and intimate part of their decision, and thus make it even more powerful. They’ve also come here today in the further hope that their ritual of bonding will help bring us all closer together. If you are here tonight with a spouse or a partner, let this ceremony be a reminder-a rededication of your own loving bond.

#11 – Dear Family and Friends, I welcome you today in celebration of{Bride} and {Groom}  ‘s Love. God lives in us, and his Love has been brought to full expression
through this couple this {morning/afternoon/evening}. The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves and especially in spite of our selves.
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. It is where 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 after the honeymoon, it should continue through the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together to face the world and forming a circle of love that gathers the entire family. It is doing things for each other, in the spirit of joy, not sacrifice. It is speaking words of appreciation. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR!  It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is allowing each other to grow.  It is establishing a relationship in which 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. And out of the entire world {Bride} and {Groom} have chosen one another.

#12 – Friends, we are gathered here today, on this beautiful day at this beautiful place to celebrate the love of two beautiful people,{Bride} and {Groom} , as they make their pledges of marriage before God and before this company. Jesus Christ was once asked, “What is the greatest Law that mankind must follow?” And he answered them by saying that we must love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves. I think that when he said these words, he touched upon something we all feel very deeply in our hearts, and that is that love is the greatest gift we can offer one another, and that is what makes marriage so very special, and such a cause of joy and celebration for all of us who have come here today to share in this event.

Marriage is an act of faith and ever-deepening commitment, as well as a loving union between a man and a woman. It has been described as the best and the most important relationship that two people can share, the creation of a single growing energy of spiritual life. Marriage can be a lifelong unfolding of loving kindness, backed by the will to make it last. There is no limit to the knowing of another’s soul, and when you learn to love one person, you grow in love for all of humanity.

We ask that the vision you have of one another be always informed by that radiant power which first brought you together. Love is stronger than your conflicts, bigger than life’s changes, the miracle always inviting you to learn, to blossom, to expand. It is to love that you must always return.
#13  –  We are here today, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is. We do not create this marriage today, but celebrate the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in your lives. Marriage is a supreme sharing of experience, and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyous union of two people whose companionship and mutual understanding have flowered into romance.  Today you proclaim your love and commitment to the world, and begin the new life you now undertake together. When we love someone, we see things others do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities which make our beloved special and unique. To be loved is to be seen and known as we are known to no other. One who loves us, gives us a unique gift: a piece of ourselves, but a piece that only they can give us.

The secret of love and marriage is the emergence of the larger self. It is the finding of one’s life by losing it. Such is the privilege of husband and wife- to be each himself, herself, and yet another; to face the world strong, with the courage of two. To make this relationship work takes more than love alone. It takes trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so.  And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both.

These other qualities are not easy to come by. They are not a destination, but a journey.
The true art of married life is this journey. It is a mutual enrichment, a give and take between two personalities, a mingling of two lives, which diminishes neither, but enhances both.  It is a relationship based on love, respect, and a determination
by both partners to adjust to each other and support one another, in health and in sickness, in joy and in sadness, in ease and in hardship.

Through this union of hearts, we give ourselves, our lives and love into the hands of the one we love.  We do so trustingly and generously and each of you receives a gift: the life and love of the other. And so, {Bride} and {Groom}, as you go off on the path you will walk together, may it be a path of ever deepening, ever broadening love that you will travel, arm in arm throughout eternity. It is in this spirit and for this purpose that you have come here to be joined.  So let us proceed!

#14  – You are met here today by the waters to become one through marriage and to celebrate the union you begin. You are today, pledging your love and your lives to each other  for all the days that remain to you. As the waters of the ocean are deep and endless, so may your love for each other. May your love hold within it the essence of life and be constant and lasting. Your love is as the ocean, constant and flowing; your love is as the wind, gentle and all encompassing; your love is as the earth, solid and firm; your love is as a fire, warm and radiant.

Yet your love extends beyond ocean, wind, earth and fire; it is greater than who you are and meaningless without you;  it is more powerful than your past yet the foundation for your future. {Bride} and {Groom}, marriage challenges us not to lose our individuality, for that is what brought you together in the first place.  Instead, marriage should encourage us to walk side by side heading in the same direction. Love is one of the greatest experiences that we as humans can have, but it is when love is combined with real friendship that both are infinitely enhanced.  Let your love be an inspiration to others to reach for what is good within us all. May your love be so abundant that there is always plenty to share.

# 15 – Welcome everyone!  The ability and desire of one human being to love another is perhaps the most precious and fulfilling gift entrusted to us.  It is an all-encompassing task, a lifelong endeavor, the journey we prepare for all of our lives.  Marriage will allow you, (bride) and (groom) a new environment to share your lives together, to face life and the world, hand-in-hand.  You union will expand you as individuals, define you as a couple and deepen your love for one another.

Our setting at the beach today serves as a beautiful metaphor for marriage.  Just as the conditions on the sea range from a blissful calm to a raging storm, so our relationships change through time.  The shore absorbs the pounding of the surf as our love endures the pressures of change and growth.


INTENT

#1   – {Groom/Bride}, do you take {Bride/Groom} to be your lawful wedded wife/husband, to live together in the estate of matrimony, to love, honor, comfort her/him and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her/him so long as you both shall live?

#2   –  {Groom/Bride}, do you take {Bride/Groom}  to be your wife/husband, and do you pledge your trust in her/him today, in all love and honor, in faith and tenderness, to live with and cherish her/him always?

#3   –   {Groom/Bride}, do you choose to marry {Bride/Groom}  and to speak before your family and friends the words that will commit you to her/him as her/his husband/wife for the rest of the days of your life?

# 4   –   Do you,{Groom/Bride} take {Bride/Groom} , to be your lawful wedded wife/husband, and do you promise to be her/his faithful, loving and devoted husband/wife in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, as long as you both shall live?

#5  –  {Groom’s name}, today you join your life to {Bride’s Name}’s. Will you have her as your wedded wife, to live together in the covenant of faith, hope, and love?  Will you listen to her deepest thoughts, be tenderhearted, kind, and wise in your daily care of her,  and will you promise to stand faithfully at her side  as a loving and devoted usband,  in sickness and in health ?  Will you encourage her in times of doubt, comfort her in times of sorrow, and honor her always?  And will you cherish and adore every moment of your life together as long as you both shall live?

(Bride’s Name), today you join your life to {Groom’s name} ’s.  Will you have him as your wedded husband, to live together in the covenant of faith, hope, and love?  Will you be his partner and companion, lover and best friend and will you find joy in his successes as well as the ones you share together? Will you promise to stand by his side and be his loving, faithful,  and devoted wife, in sickness and in health?  Will you promise to laugh with him through good times,  to struggle with him through bad, and appreciate him always? Will you undertake to care for his happiness and well-being?   And will you cherish and adore every moment of your life together as long as you both shall live?

 #6  –  Will you, {Groom/Bride} ,take {Bride/Groom}  to be your husband/wife? Will you love him/her, comfort him/her, honor and keep him/her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon him/her your heart’s deepest devotion, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him/her as long as you both shall live?

WEDDING VOWS

Wedding Vows may be repeated after the officiant or read or spoken from the heart or from memory.  Some couples elect to write their own vows.  Here are some suggestions:

#1   – From this day on, I choose you, {Groom/Bride}, to be my wife/husband, to live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side and sleep in your arms; to be joy to your heart and food to your soul; to bring out the best in you always; and, for you, to be the most that I can.

#2   – I, {Groom/Bride} , choose you, {Bride/Groom}, to be my beloved wife/husband. To love you, to be a comfort and a safe haven in your life, To hold you close, to listen when you are sad or angry, To learn compassion with you, To nourish you with my gentleness, to uphold you with my strength, To weigh the effects of the words I speak and the things I do, To never take you for granted, but always give thanks for your presence, To be faithful, to nourish your mind, express the truth, And warm you with my laughter.  I promise you this from my heart, For all the rest of my days.

#3   –   I, {Groom/Bride}, take you, {Bride/Groom}, to be my wife/husband, as my friend and my love. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in health and in sickness, in failure and in triumph.  I will cherish and respect you, comfort and encourage you, and stay with you from this day forward.

#4  –  I, {Groom/Bride, take you, {Bride/Groom}, to be no other than yourself.  Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me.  Through all years and all that life may bring us, I will strive everyday to make our relationship stronger.  My promise to you today is to be your friend, your love and your partner for all the days of our lives.

#5 – I, {Groom/Bride}, take you,  {Bride/Groom} to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband, knowing in my heart that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love.  On this special day, I give to you, in the presence of God and these witnesses, my sacred promise to stay by your side as your faithful wife/husband  in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad.  I promise to love you without reservation, honor and respect you, provide for your needs as best I can, protect you from harm, comfort you in times of distress,  grow with you in mind and spirit, encourage you to achieve higher goals, always be open and honest with you and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

#6.   {Bride/Groom} , how blessed I am that I can walk beside you, lean upon you, and live within the warmth of your love. I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give. I promise to respect you as your own person, And to realize that your interests, desires and needs Are no less important than my own. I promise to share with you my time and attention And to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship. I promise to keep myself open to you, To let you see through the window of my world Into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams. I promise to grow along with you, To be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, With all that I have, in the only way I know how. Completely and forever.

#7    My dear {Bride/Groom} , I choose to truly love you with kindness, faithfulness and respect, Through every circumstance that life may bring. Because I treasure you, I will daily devote myself To support, encourage, comfort and defend you As we together face the coming moments of Sorrow and joy, sickness and health, poverty and wealth. When I have been wronged, I will forgive, When I do wrong, I will confess with contrition, When conflict dims our days, I will exercise the patience of true love and seek the light of wise counsel. Most of all, I will rejoice and thank the Lord For completing me with the gift of you. I know that no matter what may come, I will remain by your side with enduring devotion and fidelity For as long as we share our lives on earth.

#8  –   {Bride/Groom} , today, I join my life to yours as your friend, your lover, and your companion. I choose now to stay this path with you,  wherever it leads, whatever the outcome;  To travel with you through the adventures of life, loving you at my side; in all that we will find, I pledge to you my friendship, my faith and my love.

#9 –  (Groom speaks) I promise to be true to you, to love you and cherish you. I promise to hold you when you are sad, laugh with you  when you are happy, and never stop loving you. I will always be there in good times and bad,  and I will strive to be the best husband I can be now and forever.   Finally I promise to commit myself to you because today I join my life to yours  not only as your husband but as your best friend, lover and partner.   I consider it an honor and a privilege to be the one you’ve chosen and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.

(Bride speaks) I promise to always encourage your dreams and support you in everything you do; to be honest and faithful, and respect you as an individual; to be your best friend and always listen to you with an open mind and open heart;  to always stand by your side because together there is nothing we cannot overcome; to grow old with you and create a lifetime full of happiness and memories.  Finally I promise to commit myself to you because today I join my life to yours  not only as your wife but as your best friend, lover and partner.  I consider it an honor and a privilege to be the one you’ve chosen and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.

#10  –  I, {Groom/Bride}, take you, {Bride/Groom}, to be my husband/wife, my partner in life and my one true love.  I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

#11  –  Today (Bride/Groom), I join my life to yours,  not only as your husband/wife, but as your friend, your lover and your confidant.  Let me be the shoulder you lean on, the rock on which you rest, the companion of your life.  With you, I will walk my path from this day forward. 

#12 – I thank you (bride/groom) to be my (wife/husband), my friend, my love and my lifelong companion.  To share with you, to build our dreams together, while allowing you to grow with your dreams; to support you through times of trouble and rejoice with you in times of happiness; to treat you with respect, love and loyalty through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together; and give you all the love I can give my whole life long.  This commitment is made in love, kept in faith and lived in hope eternally.  Together we will be better than we could be alone.

WEDDING RING EXCHANGE

Intro into ring exchange:

#1  –   From the earliest times, the circle has been a symbol of completeness, a symbol of committed love.  An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolizes a commitment of love that is also never-ending.  As often as either of you looks at this symbol, I hope that you will be reminded of the commitment to love each other that you have made today. As a token of mutual fidelity and affection the rings will now be given and received.

#2   –   May I have the rings, please. This circlet of precious metal is justly regarded as a fitting emblem of the purity and perpetuity of the Marriage State. The ancients were reminded by the circle of eternity, as it is so fashioned as to have neither beginning nor end; while gold is so incorruptible that it cannot be tarnished by use or time. So may the union, at this time solemnized, be incorruptible in its purity and more lasting than time itself.

#3   –    Traditionally, the marking of the passage to the status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings.  These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love.  Love freely given has no beginning and no end.  Love freely given has no giver and no receiver – for each is the giver and each is the receiver.  May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.

#4   –   Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux, has written:  Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle.  The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are the stars.  The wind in its greatest power whirls.  Birds make their nest in circles.  The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.  Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.  The life of a man or a woman is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.  The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe.  it is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace.  In this ring is the symbol of unity, in which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle, in which, wherever you go, you will always return unto one another to your togetherness.

#5 – The ring is the traditional symbol of the promises binding two people together in marriage.  It is the promises themselves which are important, but the ring is a physical reminder of ties which cannot be seen by the human eye.

#6  –  The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe.  It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace. This ring is a symbol of unity, in which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.

#7  –  The exchange of rings is symbolic of the melding of two lives into one.  As the rings encircle your fingers, let love encompass your hearts.

#8  –  What tokens of your love and devotion do you have to offer to one another? (These Rings)   May these rings be blessed as a symbol of this affectionate unity. Your two lives are being joined today in one unbroken circle. May you find in one another the love for which all men and women yearn. May you grow in understanding and compassion. May these rings, soon to be on your fingers, Symbolize the touch of the spirit of love that is in both your hearts.

#10  –  The ring, a circle, is one of nature’s simplest forms. The arc of the rainbow, the halo of the moon and the smallest of raindrops simulate the circle.  When a stone is cast upon a pond, it generates waves in ever expanding circles.  Consider this marriage as being two stones striking the water simultaneously. The ensuing waves interlock, and the growth of the enlarging circles show the combined energies of the lives of {Bride}and {Groom}. The interlocking of these two lives will be symbolized in the exchange of rings.

#11 – The ring is an ancient symbol, so perfect and simple.

 It has no beginning and has no end. It is round like the sun and the moon.

 It is a circle; for love that is given comes back round again.

 Your rings are precious because you wear them with love.

 They symbolize your commitment in marriage.

They remind you of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are

 as individuals, but also who you are a couple.

 

To be spoken as rings are exchanged:

{Groom/Bride}, place the ring on {Bride/Groom}’s finger and repeat after me:

a.  – With this ring, I thee wed, in love and truth, and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow.

b.  –   I hope that you will wear this ring as a reminder that I love you every single day of your life.

c.  –  I, {Groom/Bride}, give to you, {Bride/Groom} , this ring as a symbol of my commitment to love, honor, and respect you.

d. –  Wear this ring forever,  {Bride/Groom}, as a symbol of love and peace and of all that is unending.

e.  –  {Bride/Groom}, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.

f.  –  I give you this ring as a token that I shall love you, in all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever.

g.  -{Bride/Groom}  , I give you this ring as a symbol of my constant respect and love for you.

h.  –  As this ring encircles your finger, from this day forward, so will my love forever encircle you.  Wear this ring as a symbol of my love.

i.  –  I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment to love, honor, and respect you. One life, One heart, One Soul, from this life to the next, you are my Wife/Husband.

j.  –  {Bride/Groom}, I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness.  With this ring, I thee wed, in love and truth, and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow.

k.  –  I give you this ring as a pledge of my love, and as a symbol of our unity.

CLOSING

#1   –   In as much as  {Groom}and {Bride} this day consented together in holy wedlock and have given and pledged their love, each to the other, in the presence of this company, by the virtue of the authority vested in me under the laws of the State of Florida, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

#2   –   Now, because you have chosen one another, honored each other with the precious gift of your rings, and pledged to love and care for each other for all the days of your lives, it gives me great joy to pronounce you husband and wife.

#3   –  As {Groom}and {Bride}  join their lives in marriage, they also bring you together in a new relationship, creating new bonds of trust and ties of affection.  Will you give them your love, blessing, and your support.  If so please show them your support by saying “we will”.

Before this gathering, {Groom}and {Bride} have promised each other their love and have given each other rings to wear as a sign of their deep commitment.  Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me under the laws of the State of Florida, I now declare you to be husband and wife.

#4   –  Inasmuch as {Groom} and {Bride} have declared their love and devotion to each other before family and friends, I now greet them with you as husband and wife.

#5 – {Groom}and {Bride}, you have expressed your desire to be husband and wife.  You have shown your love and affection by joining hands and making promises of devotion to one another, and you have sealed these promises by the giving and receiving of rings.

Remember always to give to one another new experiences of joy.  Challenge one another so that you may grow.  May the love you hold for each other, now sealed in marriage, continue to mature with the passing years.  May you always experience the wonder of your union.  Be slow to anger, quick to forgive, leaving no tracks of resentment behind each day. May your love consist not only in gazing into each other’s eyes, but looking outward in the same direction.

May your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to yourselves, your families, your friends, and to all whose lives you touch.  Today {Groom}and {Bride}   have become a family. May they be content in each other’s presence and may they find joy, happiness, peace and a lot of laughter together.

Now, by the virtue of the authority vested in me under the laws of the State of Florida, it gives me great joy to pronounce you husband and wife.

#6  –  This is a moment of celebration. Let it also be a moment of dedication. The world does a good job of reminding us of how fragile we are. Individuals are fragile; relationships are fragile, too. Every marriage needs the love, nurture and support of a network of family and friends. On this wedding day, I ask you not only to be family and friends of {Bride}or {Groom}, but family and friends of and together, friends of the relationship.  In the moment of silence that follows, I ask each of you, in you own way, to confer a silent prayer, blessing, wish or hope upon this marriage.     May the love you have found grow in meaning and strength until its beauty is shown in a common devotion to all that is compassionate and life-giving. May the flow of your love help brighten the face of the earth. May the source of all love touch and bless you and grace your lives with color and courage.  Now that and have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.

#7  –  May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitement a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.And long, long years from now, may you look at one another and be able to say “Because of you, I have lived the life I always wanted to live; Because of you, I have become the person I longed to be.” Now by virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of Florida, I pronounce that you are husband and wife.

#8  –  May the love you have found grow in meaning and strength until its beauty is shown in a common devotion to all that is compassionate and life-giving.  May the flow of your love help brighten the face of the earth and the blue in the sky.  May the source of all love touch and bless you and grace your lives with color and courage. I now happily pronounce you husband and wife.

#9. –   Always remember to do the simple and beautiful things that will make this love a treasure. Play. Communicate with each other. Laugh often. Focus on what you want and entice your intentions into being. Plan for the things that are important to you and do them.  This love is to be nurtured, to be lived out to the fullest in every aspect of its dreams – in the simple activities of shared daily life, in realized hopes and long-deferred plans, in a quality of emotional exchange and spiritual communion toward which the whole of your life has been leaning. And finally, be thankful for each other. Love is always a gift and this great gift has been given to you. {Bride} and {Groom} , we ask that you always keep your feelings of joy, excitement, possibility and challenge about what you are undertaking here.  We hope that you always have peace of heart and strength of spirit so you may honor these vows that you make here today. And we know that your love for each other will gently guide you through your lives. I now pronounce you husband and wife.

 

First kiss options:

You may kiss your bride!

You May Kiss!

You may kiss the bride!

 

OPTIONAL WEDDING READINGS

On Marriage from the Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping, For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together, For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Blessing of the Apaches

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 full and long upon the earth.

Cherokee Prayer

God in heaven above, please protect the ones we love.  We honour all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.  We honour Mother Earth, and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.  We honour fire, and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts.  We honour wind and ask that we sail through life safe and calm as in our father’s arms.  We honour 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.  Amen.

Blessing for a Marriage

May your marriage bring you all the excitement a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance and understanding.  May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness.  A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it.  So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of loneliness. May you invite one another, but never insist. May you embrace one another, but not overwhelm. May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the smaller ways. May you look for things to priase and often say, “I love you.”

If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you have sense enought to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – both physical and spiritual, obvious when you are side by side, but still there when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

All I Want Is to Love You Forever

All I want is to love you for the rest of my life… to wake up every morning with you by my side, knowing that no matter what happens, I’ll be able to come home to your loving arms.   All I want is to share everything with you…to talk to you about our ideas, our dreams, the little everyday things that make us laugh, and the not-so-little that we can’t help worrying about.  All I want is to give you my love…as a place you can always come to for acceptance or the simple comfort that silence brings, when things left unspoken can still be understood. All I want is to grow old with you…to watch our life unfold, our dreams, one by one, come true.  All I want is to love you…Forever.

 

Unknown

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.  In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives; remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.  And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

As written by Robert Fulghum  

You have known each other from the first glance  of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed,  you have been making commitments in an informal way.  All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal,  or during long walks – all those conversations that began with,  “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late-night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.

All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying  to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised,  and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment, you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher,  for you have learned much from one another these past few years.

Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.

Traditional Irish Wedding Blessing

May God go with you and bless you. May you see your children’s children. May you be poor in misfortune. May you be rich in blessings. May you be slow to make enemies. May you be quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Irish Wedding Blessing #2

May the road rise to meet you,  May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you; May you see your children’s children. May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on, May blue be the skies above you, May pure be the joys that surround you, May true be the hearts that love you.

The Key to Love: by Anon, 1st century BC, China

The key to love is understanding… The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness…to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing…facing 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…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…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.”

From “The Irrational Season”, by Madeleine L’Engle

“Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling.”

“Love Is Friendship Caught Fire”, by Laura Hendricks

“Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.”

 

River Song By: Lynda King

You and I found the gift of a lifetime, A love that will last eternally. Many have been in our lives But no one has ever reached the depths of our love, The love of you and I. We were not seeking and yet we found,Not needing and yet we received. Different and now one, My love reaches out to you and your love to me.

Poem by Elizabeth Barret 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 and ideal Grace, I love thee to the level of everyday’s Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
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 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 love thee better after death.

Prayer for a Marriage

Let us now join in prayer. Spirit of Love and Life: out of this whole world, 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. B{Bride}and {Groom}, may your home be a place of happiness for all who enter it; a place where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company, a place for growing and a place for sharing, a place for music and a place for laughter, a place for prayer and a place for love. May those who are nearest to you be constantly enriched by the beauty and the bounty of your love for one another, may your work be a joy of your life that serves the world, and may your days be good and long upon the Earth.

A Reading

His hello was the end of her endings, Her laugh was their first step down the aisle.
His hand would be hers to hold forever, His forever was as simple as her smile. An ocean couldn’t prevent it. A New York minute wouldn’t let it pass. Does the universe decide for us, Which love will fade and which will last. He said she was what was missing. She said she instantly knew. She was a question to be answered. And his answer was “I do.”

A Reading
Colossians 3:12-19

Put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And be thankful.

MARRIAGE ADVICE
Jane Wells (1896)

Let your love be stronger than your hate and anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise,
For it is better to bend a little than to break. Believe the best rather than the worst.
People have a way of living up or down To your opinion of them. Remember that true friendship Is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Please hand this down to your children and Your children’s children.

WHY MARRIAGE?

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind and my body…. Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me, Who loves me when I am unlikable, Who sees the small child in me, and Who looks for the divine potential in me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night, with someone who thanks God for me, with someone I feel blessed to hold…..Because marriage means opportunity, to grow in love and friendship…… Because marriage is a discipline to be added to a list of achievements….. Because marriages do not fail, people fail, when they enter into marriage expecting another to make them whole…..Because knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility For my spiritual, mental, and physical wholeness. I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage, Together we create our marriage… Because of this understanding, The possibilities are limitless.

 

Other Options

Sand Ceremony #1

{Bride}and {Groom}, you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings, and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other. Today, this relationship is symbolized
through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand; one, representing you, {Groom}, and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be and the other representing you,{Bride},and all that you were and all that you are and all that you will ever be.  As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one.
Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will be your marriage.

Sand Ceremony #2

We will now perform a sand ceremony. A sand ceremony is similar to the Unity candle, showing the uniting of two families. Each mother will now bring forward a vial of sand
representing the unique values and traditions of their family. They will pour the sand into this container.  As we combine these two containers, the individual grains of sand still exist, but are so intertwined that they can not be separated— just as {Bride} and {Groom} will continue to be individuals, yet inseparable.

Sand Ceremony #3

There is a song that speaks of “a long and winding road” and before you met, your lives were on such a road… each going in different directions and seemingly leading to different destinations. But somewhere along the way you took a fork in the road to a destination called “love”  and today you find yourselves standing together at the entrance of a new path that will join your once separate journeys into one.

Before each of you there is a container of sand.  Each container represents the separate journeys you once were on.  They also represent your own sets of friends and families that once were apart. I will ask that in a moment you both blend your individual ontainers of sand together… representing the coming together of your friends and family, through your marriage, into one. And as the sand is blended into one container,
your once solitary journeys will now be one of companionship,as you walk a single path together into your future.  I now ask that you blend your containers of sand together.

As the sand has blended together, your lives are now joined. Your friends and families are one as well, for now you will share those who are in your lives and will walk hand-in-hand along the path of your marriage… united and strong as husband and wife.

Sand Ceremony Including Children

{Groom} and {Bride}, you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings, and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives.

Today you have formed a new family. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other and with {child/children}.  Today, this new family relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these individual containers of sand into one container. Each container represents all that each of you were, all that you are,and all that you will ever be. As these containers of sand are poured into this container,the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will be your new family.

Stone Ceremony

(Prior to ceremony, stones are handed out to each guest)

In the moment of silence that follows, I ask each of you to take out the stones that were given to you earlier. These stones will be placed in a prominent location in {Groom} and {Bride}’s home and will represent all of the positive energy you have transferred to them today. I ask you now, in you own way, to confer a silent prayer, blessing, wish or hope upon this marriage.

Knot Ceremony

After the vows and ring exchange, “______ and ______ have chosen to do something special to symbolize their love for each other by literally tying the knot.”

Then officiant hands one rope to the bride and one to the groom and says:
“Each of these ropes represent your past, your own individual and separate lives before today. As you intertwine your ropes, you are joining your two lives into one, representing the present. The finished knot symbolizes your future, and how your love and marriage will continue to be strong. ______ and ______, please tie the knot.” Bride and groom then tie the two ropes into a fisherman’s knot.

Everyone will enjoy watching the bride and groom endeavor to get their knot tied. When they have completed tying the knot officiant states, “______ and ______ have tied a fisherman’s knot. This knot, when the ends are pulled, becomes so strong that the rope will break before it comes undone. Please pull the ends of your rope.”

After they tightened the knot officiant states, “May this love knot be a reminder of the strength of your love and the binding together of your two hearts.” Great symbolism and a great ceremony for your wedding!

 

UNITY CANDLE

(Please note that there is almost always a breeze in the Keys, so for outdoor ceremonies, candles used should be enclosed with a globe.)

{Bride}and {Groom}, together as you light this candle of unity, you symbolize the flame of your individual selves joining to ignite the partnership of marriage. You bring the warmth, strength and wisdom of your family’s fire as kindling for your own.
From this day onward, may you bask in the beauty of the light of your love, may its light shine bright and steady upon your path together and may its heat keep you warm through all the days of your lives. This candle you are about to light is a candle of marriage. Its fire is magical because it represents the light of two people in love. This candle before you is a candle of commitment because it takes two people working together to keep it aflame. This candle is also a candle of Unity because both must come together, a spark of themselves, to create the new light. As you light this candle today, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives. May it fire your courage providing strength and joy.

HANDS CEREMONY

Please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.  These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.  These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

WINE CEREMONY

Through time, wine has been a symbol of life.  Its grapes teach us the value of patience, and that life’s gifts ripen over time.  {Bride}and {Groom}, may your life together continue to grow and ripen more fully with each day.  As you fill each other’s cups, drink in life deeply – a life full of love, laughter, and joy.  (Bride and groom fill each other’s cups, but drink from their own.)

Chuppah explanation

{Bride}and {Groom} stand together today underneath a wedding canopy called a Chuppah. In Jewish tradition, the chuppah shelters the bride and groom during their wedding ceremony. It also symbolizes the marital home that will shelter them through life’s storms. But the chuppah is open on all sides, to symbolize openness and welcome to their family and friends.

 

Breaking of the Glass #1

The breaking of the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony serves to remind us of two very important aspects of a marriage.  The bride and groom – and everyone – should consider these marriage vows as an irrevocable act – Just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable.  But the breaking of the glass is also a warning of the frailty of a marriage; that sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo – just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass.  Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and the love of their life.

I now happily pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss your bride and you may now break the glass.

Breaking of the Glass #2

It is customary in Jewish weddings for the end of the ceremony to be marked  by the crushing of a wine glass under the groom’s foot.  This tradition has many meanings.  It is a symbol of the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem; a representation of the fragility of relationships; and a reminder that marriage changes the lives of individuals forever.  When {Groom} crushes the glass, it is customary for the congregation to say “Mazel Tov” which means “good luck”.

Breaking of the Glass #3

We conclude this ceremony with the breaking of the glass.  It is a joyous ceremony.
There are many different explanations for the breaking of the glass. Today, the fragility of the glass suggests the frailty of human relationships. The glass is broken to protect this marriage with the implied prayer… May your bond of love be as difficult to break
as it would be to put together the pieces of this glass. After the bride and groom break the glass, I invite everyone to shout the Hebrew words “Mazel Tov,” which means “Good Luck” and “Congratulations.”

Rose Ceremony

(The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife)

“Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings, which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect, and a public showing of your commitment to each other. You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.”  For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.

In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.”  So it is appropriate ,that for your first gift as husband and wife, your gift would be a single rose. Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.  In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all.  Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose.  In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this.  In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday.  But in fact, today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

{Bride} and {Groom} , I would ask that wherever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot, both as a recommitment to your marriage and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based on love.

In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.  It is easiest to hurt the one we most love.  It is easiest to be most hurt by the one we most love.  It might be difficult sometimes to say “I am sorry” or ” I forgive you” or “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected; for that rose says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words. That rose says the words, “I still love you”. The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.

Inclusion of Children

At this time,  {Bride} and {Groom} wish to present gifts to   {child} and {child}.

Groom:  {Child’s/Children’s Name(s)} I love your Mother and today I have taken her as my wife. {Child’s/Children’s Name(s)}, I love you, too.  I want to be as a father to you, and I invite you into my heart.  We will have happy times together, you, your Mom and I, and with this {gift} your Mom and I give you our love.

Bride: Not only do I choose your Father, I choose you to be my family.  I promise to make our home a haven where trust, love and laughter are abundant and where memories are created, shared and cherished. I feel blessed to have each of you in my life.