Sample Civil Ceremony

Who presents this woman in marriage?

Groom, please bring your Bride.

Welcome!

Today we are gathered to witness and celebrate the beginning of a new partnership between two people who believe that every future endeavor will be more fruitful and joyous because of their love and commitment to each other.  For Groom and Bride their marriage will be joint venture, an unending collaboration of their heart connection.

This wedding unites two lives in the miracle of love.  It combines old traditions with new meaning. It joins two families and creates a new one.  It brings together the unique qualities of two very special people and multiplies their joys for all the days that lie ahead of them in their new roles as husband and wife.

Marriage encompasses not just a legal condition but a state of mind; the commitment of two hearts that feel that something greater and more enduring can be borne out of their combined efforts.

Couples sometimes come from different backgrounds and beliefs, yet they feel their love is strong enough to overcome the many obstacles that can come with daily life. The decision that Groom and Bride have made to come together and to join their two lives into one is not a job description for the faint of heart. 

To allow oneself to become vulnerable, on all levels to a spouse takes extraordinary courage.  But love can make us strong and courageous.  It can make the most cynical believers in goodness and hope. Love can ignite our dreams and fire our passions making all things possible.

Marriage is an exciting undertaking for two people who are deeply in love. Through patience and understanding Groom and Bride are laying the framework that will strengthen and support their marriage.  It is this lifetime commitment made today that will allow this couple to stand united in the face of adversity and be able to bask together in the light of good fortune and achieved goals.

Vows

Groom and Bride, please face each other, joining hands with your companion, confidante and friend.

Marriage begins in the giving of words. We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word. And this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one another, we are making a commitment to share all of life’s possibilities.

Personal Vows

Groom Personal Vows:

Bride Personal Vows:

Traditional Vows

Groom, please repeat after me:

I Groom, take you Bride to be my wife | I promise to be a comfort and safe haven in your life | to hold you close | to listen deeply to your dreams and aspirations | to nourish you with gentleness | and shield you with my strength | and to love you for all of our days upon this earth

If this is your promise before these witnesses, please say I DO

Bride, please repeat after me:

I Bride, take you Groom to be my husband | I promise to be a comfort and safe haven in your life | to hold you close | to listen deeply to your dreams and aspirations | to nourish you with gentleness | and shield you with my strength | and to love you for all of our days upon this earth?

If this is your promise before these witnesses, please say I DO

Ring Exchange

May I have the rings please? 

The wedding rings are an outward and visible sign not only to you, but to those around you of the inward and spiritual commitments that you have made here today.

Groom, as you place this ring on Bride’s finger please repeat after me:

Bride, with this ring, I give you my promise | from this day forward you shall not walk alone. | My arms are your shelter; my heart is your home. | Wear this ring always | as a reminder of my love and commitment to you.

Bride, as you place this ring on Groom’s finger please repeat after me:

Groom, with this ring, I give you my promise from this day forward you shall not walk alone. My arms are your shelter; my heart is your home. Wear this ring always as a reminder of my love and commitment to you.

I would like each of you, at this moment to lean across each other and whisper a promise that you will keep for the rest of your lives.

We have witnessed before us the gathering and uniting light of two people very much in love.  May the two of you, now married, fulfill this covenant, which you have made to each other.  May you easily give and take from each other, encouraging each other in whatever tasks lie ahead. Having grown to trust yourself and to trust the other, may you be open to trust and to welcome all the beauty and wonder your marriage and life will hold.

Sand Ceremony

"Today, Bride and Groom, have chosen to commemorate their marriage through the celebration of the Sand Ceremony. This ceremony symbolizes the inseparable union of Bride and Groom into a new and eternal marital relationship. Bride and Groom will simultaneously pour separate containers of sand into a common vessel. Each grain of sand in their separate containers represents a unique and separate moment, decision, feeling or event that helped shaped Bride and Groom into the separate and unique individuals that they are today. As they pour their separate containers of sand into a common vessel, those separate and independent individuals will cease to exist. Instead they will merge into a loving and supportive marital community. Bride and Groom, just as the grains of sand can never be separated into their individual containers again, so will your marriage be."

Special Reading

In closing let me share with you a quote on Love:

St. Augustine in speaking to his son said: "Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision.

You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

What a beautiful image this portrays of all the roots, intertwined in strength and support. These roots represent not only you, but your children as well

Concluding Statement

It was once said, “Happiness sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” Perhaps this too is the way love arrives.  It happens when you didn’t realize you had left your heart wide open.

The ultimate happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.  Groom & Bride have found love in each other, and today they have made promises and spoken words of commitment.  They understand that, “to love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it.”

Groom… Bride… in closing let me share with you a beautiful description of perfect love.

 “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.”

My prayer for you is that you use this as a measuring rod in your love for one another and may the lifetime of your marriage be as beautiful as the day of your wedding.

And now by the authority vested in me by the State of California... I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Groom, to seal this union, you may now kiss your beautiful bride.

Will you now please turn toward your family and friends.

It is my great pleasure to congratulate and introduce to you for the very first time…

Mr. and Mrs. Groom and Bride Last Name

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