Getting married is quite the event! The reception, the dinner, the dancing, the speeches, and at the center of it all: the ceremony itself. This short series of events is what legally binds you as man and wife, and what all of your friends and family came to see. Many couples following religious tradition will have strict texts to follow, but in 2018 a lot of couples are paving their own way. This means you have to craft your wedding ceremony script and we’re here to help!
With so many non-traditional and mixed weddings, it becomes difficult perfecting things like wedding invitations, wedding programs, and (arguably the most crucial since it’s the legally binding portion) the script and wedding vows.
We have plenty of wedding ceremony samples for all sorts of scenarios like this one. Pay attention and we’ll take the stress right out of it!
To start, here’s a short sample and the general structure that most scripts follow.
- Declaration of Intent
- Sharing of Vows
- Exchanging of Rings
- Conclusion & Pronouncement
- Closing Blessing
Welcome, family, friends and loved ones. We are gathered here today, surrounded by the beauty of creation and nurtured by the sights and sounds of nature to celebrate the wedding of _____ and _____.
You have come here from near and from far away to share in this commitment now they make to one another, to offer your love and support to their union, and to allow ______ and ______ to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them.
_____ and _____ thank you for your presence here today. They ask for your blessing, encouragement and lifelong support, for their marriage and life shared together. They also remember other loved ones who cannot be here to share this moment.
_____ and ____, marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, who trust that love, who honor one another as individuals in that togetherness, and who wish to spend the rest of their lives together. It enables the two separate souls to share their desires, longings, dreams, and memories, their joys and sorrows, and to help each other through all uncertainties of life.
A strong marriage also nurtures each of you as separate individuals and allows you to maintain your unique identity and grow in your own way through the years ahead. It is a safe haven for each of you to become your best self.
You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities, and love. It takes more than love to make this relationship work.
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.
Declaration Of Intent & Sharing Of Vows
_________ and _________, please join hands, look at one another now and remember this moment in
Officiant: Groom, do you take Bride to be your wife? I do.
Officiant: Bride, do you take Groom to be your husband? I do.
Officiant: _____, please take _____’s hand and repeat after me.
________, I take you as you are/ loving who you are / I promise from this day forward/ To be grateful for our love and our life/ To be generous with my time, my energy and my affection/ To be patient with you and with myself/ To fill our life with adventure and our home with laughter/ To inspire you to grow as an individual / To love you completely/ These things I pledge to you
Officiant: _____, please take _____’s hand and repeat after me.
_____, I take you as you are,/ loving who you are/ I promise from this day forward/ To be grateful for our love and our life/ To be generous with my time, my energy and my affection/ To be patient with you and with myself/ To fill our life with adventure and our home with laughter/ To encourage you to grow as an individual / To love you completely/ These things I pledge to you
Exchanging Of Rings
Officiant: Please present the rings
Your wedding ring is a symbol of your promise to one another. The ring, an unbroken, never ending circle, is a symbol of committed, unending love.
_____, as you place this ring on Bride‘s finger, repeat these words after me:
This ring symbolizes my love for you/ and the commitments we made today
_____, as you place this ring on Groom‘s finger, repeat these words after me:
This ring symbolizes my love for you/ and the commitments we made today
Conclusion & Pronouncement
______ and _____, you have come here today of your own free will and in the presence of family and friends, have declared your love and commitment to each other. You have given and received a ring as a symbol of your promises. By the power of your love and commitment to each other, and by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may now share your first kiss as husband and wife.
Congratulations. Friends and family, I now present to you the newly married couple!
If you’re ready, you can take the short wedding ceremony script sample and start making it your own. If you need examples for specific scenarios click through to the next pages. That’s exactly what we have for you.
Traditional Wedding Ceremony Script
Source: Lauren Fair photography
It’s all about following centuries of refinement when it comes to the traditional wedding ceremony script. Every single word and step has gone through the trial and error process and has been perfected to what we’re familiar with today.
Welcome and introduction
Although this is a legally binding event, the more critical factor with traditional weddings is that it’s a union under God. The introduction section of the wedding script should have a clear emphasis about this:
“Marriage is an honorable estate, and is therefore not to be entered into lightly, but reverently, advisedly, soberly and with God’s blessing.”
It’s customary to segway the introduction and declaration of intent with a reading from the Bible. This reinforces the “union under God” concept and does a great job at setting the mood. So a lifelong commitment of love is about to be made, and the right passage can really set the tone:
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
– 1 John 4:7-12
Declaration of intent
The Declaration of intent is a significant part of the wedding ceremony script. This is the part defines just how sacred marriage is:
“I call your attention to the seriousness of the decision which you have made and the covenant you are about to declare before God. The vows you are about to take are not to be taken without careful thought, for in them you are committing yourselves exclusively to one another for as long as you both shall live.”
Sharing Of Vows
Many Couples choose to write their own wedding vows, but with traditional weddings following a particular marriage ceremony script:
“I ____, take you, _____, to be my lawfully wedded husband/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, for as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow.”
Although following a script is mandated, many modern ceremonies are adding love quotes or other personal touches. Make sure to coordinate this with your officiant if it sounds like something you’d like to do.
Benediction and giving a rings
Wedding rings are the outward and visible symbol of incorruptible love and representative of God’s blessing. Your officiant will say a few words of hope so to evoke God’s strength into the rings:
“The wedding ring is a symbol of God’s eternal and unbroken love and grace, given to humankind in a unique blessing in this holy covenant. It signifies the uniting of _____ & _____ in this covenant.”
The officiant will, one by one, instruct the bride and groom to place the bands on the other’s wedding finger. He’ll ask you to repeat:
“I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness.”
This is the symbolic equivalent of signing a marriage contract.
Pronouncement and kiss
This is the part that everyone is waiting for. This marks the close of the ceremony and the beginning of the new couple’s Happily Ever After:
“_____ and _____, having witnessed your vows for marriage before God and all who are assembled here, by the authority invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride!
It is my pleasure to introduce to you for the first time…”
Christian Wedding Ceremony Scripts With Examples Of Vows
You’ll notice that there are a lot of similarities between traditional and Christian wedding ceremony script, but there are some key differences that you’ll want to pay attention to.
Welcome and introduction
This is very similar to a Traditional wedding script but, for the most part, is worded a little more lightly:
“Marriage is a gift from God, given to us so that we might experience the joys of unconditional love with a lifelong partner. God designed marriage to be an intimate relationship between a man and a woman.”
A reading from the Bible is also quite prominent in the Christian wedding ceremony. A passage from Corinthians isn’t mandatory. But, due to poetic and inspiring nature, it’s a wildly popular choice:
“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.”
– 1 Corinthians: 13
Declaration of intent
Again, the is similar to the traditional declaration of intent wedding script, but has the addition of including the father and/or mother of the bride as the ones who are willingly passing the union of the family on to the new husband:
“Who gives _____ to be married to ______?”
Sharing Of Vows
Wedding vows have been updated over the past few centuries. Back then, a wedding ceremony was a legal process that transferred ownership of a woman from her family to her new husband. The vows had a fairly pronounced emphasis on the “obey” side of “love and obey”. Today wedding vows have a focus on love and commitment.
“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. / This is my solemn vow.”
Historically any exchange of an item of value was an acceptable part of the wedding ceremony. Over time, a ring became the overwhelming item of choice. Why? Because a ring has no beginning and has no end; just like a healthy the love you have for your future husband or wife.
“May I have the token of Groom’s/Bride’s love for ______?
This ring I give in token and pledge / as a sign of my love and devotion. / With this ring, I thee wed.”
Prayers and Blessings
Another distinction with the Christian wedding ceremony is blessing the union. Since marriage is the strongest sacrament of the faith it’s customary to ask God to protect it:
“Lord, You guided them to each other, now guide them in this new journey as husband and wife. As they walk down this path, light their way so they may keep their eyes focused on Your will, their hands holding fast to Your truth, their feet firmly planted in Your Word, and their hearts bound together by Your love. This we pray in Your name. Amen.”
Pronouncement and kiss
The officiant will quickly review the steps you’ve taken, and ask you to seal your contract with a kiss:
“_____ and _____, since you have consented together in holy matrimony, and have pledged yourselves to each other by your solemn vows and by the giving of rings, and have declared your commitment of love before God and these witnesses, I now pronounce you husband and wife in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Those whom God hath joined together, let no man separate.
_____, you may kiss your Bride.”
Jewish Wedding Ceremony Samples
Jewish wedding ceremonies are chalk full of symbology. Centuries-old tradition comes alive with Jewish wedding ceremony script, which focuses equally on choreography, and scripted speeches.
The husband’s resolve is tested as he attempts to recite a lecture based on this week’s Torah section and his male friends and family members attempt to distract him.
Modern (conservative and reform) couples are including the bride and female guests at “the table”.
The Ketubah Signing
The groom signs the marriage contract in front of the Rabbi and at least 2 male witnesses.
At first glance, this seems as though the husband is ‘acquiring’ the bride, but it’s quite the opposite! Once the contract is signed it remains in the bride’s possession indefinitely.
The is the ‘veiling of the bride’ in which the groom sees the bride for the first time and proceeds to cover her face indicating that he is purely interested in her inner beauty.
Legend states that this is the result of Jacob being tricked into marrying his true bride’s sister. After a moment of verification that she is indeed his one-and-only, the ceremony proceeds.
The ‘canopy’ has evolved over the years, but it remains the place where the marriage is officially consecrated once the couple has been left alone for a short while.
Historically the canopy was adorned with rich colors and plush furniture. This is your best opportunity to customize the wedding and make it uniquely ‘you’.
When the couple first enters the huppah, the bride circles the groom seven times, representing the seven wedding blessings and seven days of creation, and demonstrating that the groom is the center of her world.
Conservative and reform couples repeat this process so that the bride is center of the groom’s world as well.
The betrothal ceremony begins with greetings, a blessing over the wine, and a sip taken by the bride and groom.
Aramaic is the language of law according to the Jewish faith, and this is what’s used to recite the biblical Song of Songs as the groom – and quite often repeated by the bride in some form – places the wedding ring on the bride’s right index finger.
Seven blessings are recited including praise to God and a prayer for peace in Jerusalem.
This is a great opportunity to allow the guests to participate by asking select friends or family to take their turn reciting.
The Breaking of the Glass
Almost everyone is familiar with this portion of the Jewish wedding ceremony, but even the devout have trouble pinpointing the exact symbolism here.
- a symbol of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem?
- a representation of the fragility of human relationships?
- a reminder that marriage changes the lives of individuals forever?
Regardless of your opinion, one thing’s for sure, it’s time to shout “Mazel Tov!”
After the whirlwind day, the couple is whisked off to their ‘tent of seclusion’. For 15 minutes the newlyweds enjoy their first moments of intimacy, their first meal together, or maybe just some peace and quiet and husband and wife before the big party start.
Protestant Wedding Scripts And Vows
Protestant weddings may seem the most familiar to you. It’s usually the type you see in movies! The most notable difference in the Protestant wedding is the structured opportunity for the audience to object to the marriage, and for the Bride and Groom to fess up to any reason that their marriage may not be legal.
The Introductory Prayer
The Protestant wedding ceremony script begins with the officiant – known as the Celebrant in this case – faces the audience and offers the introduction that Hollywood has made so familiar:
“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 the 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 is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given each other 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.”
Although this is a very common introduction, check with your church to see how their version differs. Different churches have been known to add their own personal flavor to the wedding script.
This is the unique part that we mentioned earlier. This is quite nice because instead of the audience being strictly spectators, they are active participants:
“Into this union _____ and _____ now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not be lawfully wed, speak now, or else forever hold your peace.
To the bride and groom: I charge you both, here in the presence of God and the witness of this company, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be married lawfully and in accordance with God’s Word, do now confess it.
One at a time, to the bride/groom: _____, will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband; to live together with her/him in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto her/him as long as you both shall live?
Individually they reply: I will.
To the congregation: Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
The congregation replies: We will.”
The presentation combines the “giving away” of the bride followed by a hymn. Modern Protestants sometimes opt for romantic quotes from poetry in place of the hymn, and follow this updated script:
“Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
She gives herself, with the blessing of her mother and father.”
Many modern Protestant couples are choosing to write their own wedding vow scripts but for those of you wanting to keep things traditional, here are the time-tested words:
“In the name of God, I, _____, take you, _____, 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.”
The Blessing and Exchange of Rings
The Celebrant starts by asking God to bless the rings:
“Bless, O Lord, these rings as a symbol of the vows by which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Bride and Groom place the rings on each other’s fingers and say:
“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, 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.”
The Celebrant joins the right hands of the bride and groom and says:
“Now that _____ and _____ 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 the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
“Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.
The congregation is directed to stand and recite the Lord’s Prayer, which is something committed to memory by most Protestant churchgoers:
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom comes, they 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, forever. Amen.”
In many cases, the couple is directed to kneel while further blessings, prayers, and songs are offered. To end the ceremony the Celebrant recited one final script:
“_____ and _____, having witnessed your vows of love to one another, it is my joy to present you to all gathered here as husband and wife. You may kiss the bride”
Secular Ceremony Script
Source: alovelyday.ch via Instagram
Most secular ceremonies work with a very simple wedding ceremony script. They’re often short, and very personal. They’ll mention the venue and will reference particular family and friends, sometimes with anecdotes. When it comes to the wedding officiant script:
“We come now to the words ____ and _____ want to hear the most today…the words that take them across the threshold from being engaged to being married.
A marriage, as most of us understand it, is a voluntary and full commitment. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life.
Before you declare your vows to one another, I want to hear you confirm that it is indeed your intention to be married today.
____, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to _____ in marriage? If so, answer “I do.”
If you’ve been religious your entire life, it may surprise you to find how similar a secular wedding ceremony script is to your own faith.
Simple (and Short) Civil Wedding Ceremony Script
Civil weddings are for those couples that want to forgo all of the pageantry and expense of a traditional wedding. They feel all of the love and passion as other couples, but perhaps prefer to spend their dollars on the honeymoon. There’s a small introduction and declaration followed by:
“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, _________________ do take you, _________________, to be my lawful wedded (wife/husband/spouse/partner). I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad. I give you my hand, my heart and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.”
Vows and rings are exchanged, and the pronouncement is made:
“_________________ and _________________ in as much as you have pledged yourself, one to the other, by the exchanging of vows and rings I, [Name of Officiant] , by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Marriage Act, do hereby pronounce you _________and _________ to be married.
You may exchange a kiss as a token of your joy.”
Baptist Wedding Ceremony Script
Source: andimans via Instagram
If you’re not family the Baptist faith falls under the Christian category of religions, and the baptist wedding ceremony script is not much different. There is, however, a little bit of a spin on the familiar wedding vows.
“With this ring I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I thee endow. In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, ’til death do us part.”
If your unsure as to what the defining difference is, Baptists believe in salvation in God alone – as opposed to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Baptists also do not follow the Holy sacraments as the way to salvation. Since marriage is one of the Holiest sacraments, there will be a fairly significant difference here.
Wedding Ceremony Script For A Handfasting
Source: angela.cardenas via Instagram
If you’re not sure what Handfasting is, you probably wouldn’t consider yourself a Pagan. Ropes bind the couple’s hand throughout a ceremony which the bride and groom both profess their lifelong love and devotion to each other. This romantic wedding ceremony script is usually very personal with hand-written introductions, vows, and everything else. But, like all other scripts, a certain structure needs to be in place.
“Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other.
As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.
With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.
The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul’s growth.
Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?”
Bride and Groom say, “Yes, We Seek to Enter.”
Non-religious Wedding Ceremony Script
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Many modern couples are non-religious or, just as often, combine two different religions. In both cases, a general structure wants to be followed which can accommodate everyone’s belief systems. It may seem impossible to blend different aspects of faith, but people do it all the time. Here’s how:
Welcome and introduction
“Welcome, family, friends and loved ones. We are gathered here today,
surrounded by the beauty of creation and nurtured by the sights and sounds of nature to
celebrate the wedding of _____ and _____. You have come here from nearby and from far away
to share in this commitment now they make to one another, to offer your love and support to
their union, and to allow _____ and_____ to start their married life together surrounded by the
people dearest and most important to them.”
One of the great things about non-religious weddings is the freedom to explore readings beyond the Bible:
“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.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring 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 proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
Declaration of intent
The wording is very similar to what you’ve read above, just with some key omissions and artistic license:
“_____, I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become, I promise from this day forward. To be grateful for our love and our life. To be generous with my time, my energy and my affection. To be patient with you and with myself. To fill our life with adventure and our home with laughter. To encourage you to grow as an individual, and inspire you to do so. To love you completely. These things I pledge before you, our friends and our family”
Sharing Of Vows
The Declaration of Intent and Sharing of Vows are fairly integrated with the simple addition of:
“_____, do you take _____ to be your wife? I do.”
The couple takes turn placing wedding rings on each other’s fingers:
“Your wedding ring is a symbol of your promise to one another. The ring, an unbroken, never ending circle, is a symbol of committed, unending love.”
Pronouncement and kiss
The Ceremony comes to a thrilling conclusion:
“You have come here today of your own free will and in the presence of family and friends, have declared your love and commitment to each other. You have given and received a ring as a symbol of your promises. By the power of your love and commitment to each other, and by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now share your first kiss as husband and wife.”
Romantic Wedding Ceremony Script For When It’s Just The Two Of You
Many modern couples are choosing to ditch the guest list. Some do this for financial reasons, many more do this because marriage is an incredibly intimate thing and feel that an audience may dilute its significance.
This is a growing trend that drops the stress of seating plans, speeches, and all of the other prep work that some brides dread.
It’s just the 2 of you, we suggest writing your ultra-romantic (or simple, or religious, or…whatever you want!) wedding ceremony script together. There’s going to be fewer opportunities to create lifelong memories with so little (compared to traditional ceremonies) going on. Take advantage.
Non-Traditional Modern Wedding Ceremony Scripts With Examples Of Vows
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A non-traditional wedding ceremony is difficult to describe, and the wedding script is even harder. By definition, these ceremonies shirk tradition in favor or a more personal style. Non-traditional can mean anything from an unexpected venue, running shoes instead of heels, or a t-shirt gun instead of a bouquet.
Although you’ll likely have a very unique wedding ceremony script for this type of wedding, you still have to make sure that it follows the general pattern of a usual wedding. Rather than provide samples, here’s some advice:
- Work with vendors who “get it”.
- Stand your ground. Go into this know that a few of your guests may not be entirely on board, but that’s okay.
- Go All In. If you’re going to do this, be as geeky as you possibly can be.
If this sounds like you, there’s so much fun to be had! So have a great time with the evening’s playlist, and re-write the rules to previously staunch wedding invitation wording.
Bonus: Funny Wedding Ceremony Script
If you’re planning on a funny wedding ceremony script, you probably don’t need much help….or encouragement. But, during our research, we found some samples that we just can’t help sharing. So here’s a little comic relief as (maybe a much-needed) break from your wedding planning:
“I promise to hold off secretly watching episodes of Game of Thrones – until we are actually together.”
“In front of our friends and family gathered here, I promise to love and cherish you in good times and in bad. I promise to put down the toilet seat – and to replace the toilet roll when it’s over and to never, ever, ever forget our wedding anniversary or your birthday.”
“I vow to stand by your side when the zombie apocalypse comes and, should you be turned into one, I promise to let you bite me, so I can too be one and, therefore, stay by your side forever.”
Now that’s love!
If you’ve come this far and have read through all of the traditional and modern wedding ceremony scripts, you’ve surely recognized a pattern. Regardless of faith or style, the overwhelming theme is love and a desire to share it with the world. Open with an introduction, read a passage from the Bible, a book, or a movie, share your unwavering vows, exchange the wedding rings, kiss, and run off into the sunset.