No matter how modern your trendsetting wedding may be, there’s sure to be a fair amount of tradition baked in. In other words, a reception rich with toasts, the famous wedding ceremony script, and an officiant to make it legit!
We’ve assembled a convenient list of wedding script samples to help even the most confident of brides-to-be through these nerve-racking moments. Your perfect day involves everything you’ve dreamed about. This includes graceful vows and other speeches. We’re here to help you make it come true.
Traditional Wedding Ceremony Script
Source: Lauren Fair photography
Traditional wedding vows come from a strong sense of community and an integral step in the path to God. In fact, when you look into wedding ceremony scripts you’ll find something out. Almost regardless of religion, that they all share these things in common.
However, before we get into the nuances of various religions and practices, it’s important to first understand the root of the wedding vow. This is hands down the most significant promise that you will ever make. To make this promise and mean it for the rest of your life, understanding the heart of it is necessary.
There used to be a split among Western Christians, where most modern religious wedding vows derive from. Lower classes would simply vow to be together while the wealthy would draw up contracts submitted to public record. In both cases, it was not uncommon for the bride to vow to “love, cherish, and obey”. She would do it for him, or to strengthen her family value within society. This is what kicked off what we know today as the modern wedding vow.
In Christianity, marriage is the 6th of 7 sacred sacraments; the outward expression of inner grace assigned by Christ himself. In short, it’s much more than a pledge. Of course, many churches have been flexible with the promise to “obey” given the historical origin and modern understanding of gender dynamics. But, the significance of the oath remains.
Once the importance of the vow sinks in, the next step in the process is to understand the general structure. In almost every case there is:
- A formal introduction, and thanks for gathering
- A procession of the wedding party
- Exchanging of vows, which is where the wedding script or I love you quotes come in
- Exchanging of rings
- A symbolic ceremony like lighting a candle or breaking a glass
As long as this general structure is clear andorganic, the wedding ceremony will come together smoothly.
Catholic Wedding Ceremony Scripts With Examples Of Vows
Generally speaking, weddings from different backgrounds will have beautiful movements and planned words throughout the ceremony. Although, none are more familiar than the classic Christian wedding ceremony script; the wedding vows.
No doubt that the wedding vows are the heart and soul of the wedding. They define the threshold between dating and ‘until death do us part’. Although, you’ll spend only a moment uttering these solemn promises in front of your friends, family, and God, every second counts. On top of the audience, there will be a million emotions to work with.
“I, (Husband), take you,(Wife, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”
Shake the nerves by committing the script to memory. We don’t mean get familiar with the words. Engrain them. Schedule it into the wedding plan to say these words over and over again. Therefore, say them softly and say them loudly, and at every volume between. Rehearse them to music and test different tempos. Find the mix that suits you best.
When the time comes, you’ll be ready. When you utter your vows, you won’t have to worry about getting it right. All you’ll need to think about is what the words mean and how in love you are.
Furthermore, a very important note is to check with your particular sects exact wording. Couples of the Protestant faith will experience a slight difference.
“I take you,(Groom’s Name), to be my wife and I promise before God and all who are present here to be your loving and faithful husband/wife, as long as our lives shall last. I will serve you with tenderness and respect, and encourage you to develop God’s gifts in you.”
Certainly, you can see that the meanings are the same and that most of the words are similar. But, consider the history behind it all. Naturally there are deep seeded reasons why the variations are there, and they should not be considered lightly. Thus, ask your religious leader what the meaning is and you’ll find a much richer purpose to your vows.
Jewish Wedding Ceremony Scripts
For those of you of the Jewish faith, your simple wedding ceremony script is a work of art. We call it simple because there really isn’t a script to speak of. We call a work of art because, instead of a script, a series of choreographed steps and blessings dating back thousands of years.
For this reason, we’re keeping it concise. Delving deeply into the meaning behind each step could fill pages. But we encourage you to research further in each of these. In order, the steps are:
- Signing of the Ketubah, and ancient agreement of commitments
- Badeken, a traditional lifting of the veil to make sure that the bride is the woman the groom wants to marry.
- Chuppah, a ritualistic procession of the immediate family to represent the Home; the centerpiece to Jewish life.
- Kiddushin, blessings of betrothal where 2 cups of wine are sipped upon by the bride and groom. This is done once the rabbi’s blessings are recited to confirm the couple’s dedication to building a proper Jewish home.
- Exchanging of rings, part of Jewish law stating that a marriage is not official until the groom gifts the bride with an object of value.
- The Ketubah, a particular sort of prenuptial agreement outlining the roles and rights of the husband, read in Aramaic.
- Seven blessings covering joy, hope, and a relationship with God.
- Everyone’s favorite, the breaking of the glass. The legitimate symbolism of this act is up for debate. However, one thing that everyone will agree on, it’s the signal to yell “mazal tov” and get the party started.
- Finally, the Yichud. The newlyweds recuse themselves from the party in an intimate period of reflection, allowing them to digest the significance of what’s just transpired.
Hence, with many modern Jewish weddings, couples are preferring to verbalize their bond during the ceremony. There’s some flexibility depending on how conservative you are, but the most common and acceptable vows are:
“With this ring, you are made holy to me, for I love you as my soul. You are now my wife.”
“With this ring, you are made holy to me, for I love you as my soul. You are now my husband.”
For Jewish couples, get familiar with this process. Of course, your rabbi will help you. In this case, for couples planning to write their own secular wedding ceremony script, consider taking some of these ideas and work them into your ceremony.
Up against, non-traditional couples tend to steer away from scripts and vows that involve God in which case symbolism is highly recommended. Jewish ceremonies are rich with symbolism that you can loosely follow or use to inspire choreographed moments of your own design.
Protestant Wedding Scripts And Vows
Meanwhile, protestants have a fairly short wedding ceremony script which is similar to Catholic wedding vows.
“In the name of God, I, (bride’s name), take you, (groom’s name), to be my wife/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.”
However, the difference isn’t exactly in the words. The difference lays in the fact that it doesn’t have to occur in a church with a priest to become official. Anyone recognized by your state or province can bind you in wedlock wherever you like. In general, traditional Catholics would not officially recognize a marriage that was not officiated by a priest. Protestants carry the belief that God is around us everywhere and that a marriage does not have to be in a church.
Aside from this, the concept and process are fairly similar. What’s interesting here is that Protestant wedding ceremonies can differ by denomination. Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, and Lutheran all have variations when it comes to unity candles, audience interaction, sermons, and music.
In some cases, there is tons of room for creative input. In other cases, the proceedings are stringent. The very best advice that we can give you is to consult with your officiant to plan the particulars of your ceremony. Thus, we suggest that you do this as early as possible to avoid changes to your plans after you’ve already the spent time and energy.
If you want to start with a basic idea, the structure goes like this:
- A traditional call to worship.
- “Giving Away”, usually by the bride’s father.
- Exchanging of vows. Again, check with your officiant if you have to follow a script or if you can write your own.
- Exchanging of the rings, with the extra promise “With this ring I wed you, and pledge my faithful love.”
- Lighting the Unity Candles. Sometimes this is not permitted, sometimes this is done solely between the bride and groom, and sometimes the parents join in to symbolize the union of 2 families.
- The Pronouncement of “I now pronounce you husband and wife”. There is often more to the script than this as well as singing of the Lord’s
- Prayer. Once again, it’s best to check with the officiant.
If you’re a couple of both Catholic and Protestant faith, it’s best to stick with the Catholic requirements. Still, there are often complications getting the Catholic church to recognize the marriage, and being one of the 7 sacred Sacraments this is a very important issue.
Non-Traditional Wedding Ceremony Scripts With Examples Of Vows
Working with a non-traditional wedding ceremony script can be really fun! Most brides and grooms want their wedding to be “official”, so it’s important not to deviate from standards too far. But, it’s really easy to add your personal flair when you’re not about some specific scripts and steps.
A small step outside of the norm can go a little something like this:
“I promise to make your dreams mine, to support you, to cherish you and to devote my life to your happiness.”
But, don’t be shy in working with some cute love quotes.
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” So, let’s be weird together – forever.”
– Dr. Seuss
If you’re the type of couple that fell in love with each other’s humor, by all means do not stop at the wedding.
“I want us to grow old and crusty together, to shake our collective fists at teenagers, and to talk endlessly about the old days when things were better, cheaper, and generally more wholesome.”
If you don’t want to overdo it, you can always sneak in a few silly thoughts into an otherwise formal wedding vow like:
“You are the one I want to binge watch Netflix with forever”.
If you and your soon-to-be spouse are super geeky, own it! There’s nothing more entertaining than a wedding ceremony performed in Elvish or Klingon.
The only mandatory part of a non-traditional wedding script is to make sure your counterpart is on board. The easiest way to turn your wedding into a trainwreck is to crack a joke after your (almost) husband or wife pours their heart out.
You also let your guests know what to expect. If the theme of the rest of your ceremony is super serious, it would be entirely out of place to be funny at the last moment. Doing this could involve a humorous spin to your formal wedding invitation wording, an unexpected song for the walk down the aisle, atypical outfits, or unusual decorations. Straightforward notices and subtle cues both do the trick.
If your preference is a non-traditional wedding, it’s best to work together to make it just right. Rather than just the bride making all the decisions and tending to all the arrangements, make it a true team effort. At this point, you both are ready. On the whole, if you have fun with the process you’ll have fun with the ceremony, and that’s what matters most!