A Wedding Ceremony

I recently had the honor of being the officiant at the wedding for two dear friends and it was an amazing experience. Writing the ceremony was a bit more involved that I expected but I’m rather happy with how it turned out. 

The only change that I made here are the names of my friends and their parents to respect their privacy.

Regular text is the description of what’s going on. Indented, italics text are the parts spoken by the officiant. All music is played on a cello.

Song for people to take their seats – As time goes by

Bridesmaids and groomsmen materialize up front while guests are taking their seats.

When guests are all in place, song changes to Personal Jesus, officiant enters.

I would like to welcome everyone on this most beautiful day to the wedding of Wilma and Fred  They’ve asked to take this time to recognize the consistent, loving support that they’ve each received from their parents through the years. They feel very fortunate to have their parents as examples of love and life-long commitment in marriage. Wilma’s parents have been married for 42 years and Fred’s for 40. Wilma and Fred intend to follow in their parents footsteps. In escorting their children to the dais, Sue and Tom and William and Alice are again showing their love and continued support as Wilma and Fred come together in marriage.

Emily enters at start of processional song, walks up front, gives the rings to the officiant, trades a fist bump w/ sparkles and takes a seat w/ her mom.

Fred and parents enter on the left and Wilma and parents enter on the right, walking with their parents to the dais. Once their, the parents take seats in the front row.

Wilma and Fred, today you are surrounded by your friends and family, all of whom have gathered here to witness your marriage vows and to share in today’s joy. As you join yourselves in marriage, there is a vast and unknown future stretching out before you. The possibilities and potentials of your married life are great; and it now falls upon your shoulders the task of choosing your values and making real your dreams. Through your commitment to each other, may you grow and nurture a love that makes both of you better people, a love that continues to give you great joy, and a passion for living that provides you with energy and patience to face the future you create together.

This June, my wife and I will be married 18 years. She is the cornerstone of my life. I would be a mere shadow of myself without her.

From the very beginning of our relationship, I knew I wanted to spend my life with her. It took her a little longer but when I asked, she agreed to get married. It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had disagreements, argued even, we’ve haven’t always seen eye to eye. We’ve also shared laughter, shared joy, gone on many adventures and have had many wonderful experiences together that I wouldn’t trade with anyone.

Through it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, we’ve always had each other. We made a commitment, a commitment whose foundation is love, that we will travel this life together, that we will meet whatever may happen side by side, together.

I share that story to say this – I see a commitment in Wilma and Fred that is built on that same foundation of love. It has grown from their first encounter 22 years ago on the big island to the love they have today. They are here to commit to themselves, to their families and to their friends that they will live the rest of their lives together.

It takes work to build a strong marriage. It takes care, patience and a willingness to love each other through each moment life presents you. Wilma and Fred, remember to treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Take responsibility for making the other feel safe, and to be the tenderness, compassion and kindness that your commitment deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear seem to storm your relationship, as they do to all relationships from time to time, remember to focus on that which is right between you, not just the momentary troubles. In this way, you can survive the times when dark clouds drift across the face of the sun in your lives, remembering that, just because you may lose sight of it for a moment, does not mean the sun has gone away. If each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, the clouds will soon dissipate and the sun will shine again.

Ok, let’s proceed!

We are gathered here today in the presence of family and friends for the purpose of uniting Wilma Smith and Fred Jones in marriage, and to share in the joy of this memorable occasion.

Wilma and Fred have written vows that they would like share.

(please turn and face each other)

Fred, do you take this person, Wilma to be your lawful wedded spouse?

Fred responds.

Fred, repeat after me and state your wedding vows to Wilma:

Today, I Fred, commit to you, Wilma:
I will learn from you and with you.
I will listen to you and I will hear you.
I will grow with you.
I will strive to work with you.
I will trust you.
I will care for you and respect you.
I will challenge you and be challenged by you.
I will adventure with you
and love you as we travel our lives together.

Very short pause.

Wilma, do you take this person Fred, to be your lawful wedded spouse?

Wilma responds.

Wilma, repeat after me and state you wedding vows to Fred:

Today, I Wilma, commit to you, Fred:
I will learn from you and with you.
I will listen to you and I will hear you.
I will grow with you.
I will strive to work with you.
I will trust you.
I will care for you and respect you.
I will challenge you and be challenged by you.
I will adventure with you
and love you as we travel our lives together.

Officiant gives Wilma’s ring to Fred and Fred’s ring to Wilma.

Wilma and Fred, repeat after me and state your shared vows:

Today before witnesses, I commit to you:
My journey becomes our journey.
My goals become our goals.
My family becomes our family.
My life becomes our life.

Slide the ring each other’s finger.

Wilma and Fred would now like to ask for the support of their family and friends. They realize that these vows, this commitment, is their own to create and grow into a healthy, loving marriage. But they also know that family and friends are vital to help make it so. To that I ask you, will you stand with them and support them in their marriage and commitment to each other? If you agree, please say “we will.”

Guests respond.

By virtue of the authority vested in me as deputy commissioner of civil marriages for the county of Alameda, I now pronounce you married under the laws of the state of California!

Be excellent to each other!

You may now kiss your spouse!

Wilma and Fred leave the dias hand in hand.

 

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