Minister -- There is no greater gift than the love that makes two people one. To behold this love blossoming between two hearts is always a joy; and to behold the vows of lovers as they take each to the other, throughout all the changes of life, is a glorious moment of the soul. It speaks of the great conviction by which people mutually rely upon and believe in one another. In a world where faith often falls short of our expectation, it is a wonderful tribute to two people to see them joining hands and hearts in perfect faith.
We are gathered to unite this man and this woman in marriage, which is an institution founded in nature, ordained by the state, sanctioned by the church, and made honorable by good men and women in all ages. It is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but discreetly, advisedly, and with due reverence. This celebration is the outward token of a sacred and inward union of hearts, which the church may bless and the state make legal, but which neither state nor church can create or annul, as this union is created by loving purpose and kept by abiding will. Into this legacy, these two lovers come to be united.
Walt Whitman once wrote:
"Afoot and lighthearted
Take the open road, healthy, free,
The world before you,
The long, brown path before you,
Leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
I give you my hand!
I give you my love,
More precious than money,
I give you myself
Before preaching or law.
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other
As long as we live?"
Minister to Groom -- ________, will you have this women to be your wedded wife, to live together after ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her, so long as you both shall live?
Groom -- I will.
Minister to Bride -- ________, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together after ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto him, so long as you both shall live?
Bride -- I will.
Groom -- I, ________, take you, ________, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, and thereto I give you my love.
Bride -- I, ________, take you, ________, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, and thereto I give you my love.
Minister -- What token of these pledges do you offer?
Best man presents rings.
Minister -- Bless this act, that the intentions of this moment, symbolized by this visible act, shall be fulfilled through the days of their lives. Amen.
Groom -- With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.
Bride -- With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.
Minister -- O thou who art the Spirit of Love for the human race, send thy blessing upon these thy servants, whom we bless in the name of love. Enable them faithfully to perform this covenant that they have made in our presence. May their hearts be united in the bonds of each other's joys, consoled of each other's sorrows, helpers to each other in all the vicissitudes of life. Grant that they may faithfully discharge the duties that belong to the condition into which they have entered, and that, as good companions, they may walk the road together from this day forward. Amen.
For inasmuch as ________ and ________ have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, and thereto have engaged and pledged themselves to each other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring and joining hands, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.
May you always be in love.
May your love be as beautiful on each day you share, as is on this day of your wedding.