Same Gender Wedding Ceremony Script
When I first decided to become a wedding officiant back in 2008 one of the things that drew me to the idea was performing same-gender ceremonies. It was not legal then but there were commitment ceremonies. I still remember the first ceremony I performed for two women. Explaining it to my son the kindergartner was interesting, to say the least. My son declaring "two grandma's can so get married!" warmed my liberal heart. When these two grooms came to me to perform a vow renewal for them I embraced the opportunity. They were legally married in NYC and wanted to have a wedding here in Indiana with family and friends. I enjoyed talking with them and trying to better understand their point of view. This is the ceremony we wrote together.
Welcome family and friends! Thank you for joining Groom and Groom today as they speak their vows to each other and enter in the journey of marriage. Their marriage.
I'm here as the wedding officiant. However, no priest, rabbi or legal official really has anything to do with what marries two people or what makes a marriage successful. A marriage is two separate people bringing all that they are and sharing themselves. They are committing to share themselves and to accept the other in all things. So what does that really mean?
When I was first contacted by Groom he said they were going to NYC to be legally married and that they were throwing a party for family and friends back here in Indiana. But, the more they thought about it, the more they wanted an actual wedding ceremony to confirm and share their love and to make a vow to each other in front of those they cared for the most.
I've got this great job. Not only because I'm around people in love sharing the best day of their life to date....but, oh the stories I could tell! The drama, the crazy people in the prospective families. I Pride myself in being open to marry anyone however they want to be married.
When the three of us sat down to talk about this wedding I asked them why they were going to another state to get married if it has no legal meaning in Indiana. Groom explained that he has always considered New York to be a second home, spending summers for the past 30 years at the family vacation home in the Adirondack Mountains, both parents born in NY, and family who still live in NY. However, what stands out to me most about our conversation was that this is not a commitment ceremony. It is a marriage. They are not seeking to become partners in life they are becoming one as husband and husband. I don't know about you, but I find this profound.
When I asked about parents I was surprised to hear all the parents would be here tonight. That is not as common as you may think. Be it a gay or straight marriage. But Groom and Groom explained that they were raised in an open, loving, environments. Both sets of parents have been together since they first married. Groom and Groom have seen first hand what long and lasting love and commitment truly mean!
This is love. This is open hearts and open minds. This is what raised Groom and Groom. This is what makes them them who they are. This is what the two of you bring to your marriage. Yeah! Thank you everyone here!
The Grooms said they would like to include some readings from civil rights and gay rights history that are important to them. One reading comes to mind almost instantly. That is the decision given by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall which ushered in a new era in 2004 when that State became the first in this country to legalize same-sex marriage. It truly speaks to what is important to these two men:
“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations….Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” ... Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”
by Robert Fulghum
"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of
commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will" - those late night talks that included "someday and somehow and maybe"- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word." Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now
you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, we are married, for life."
Groom, do you take Groom to be your husband to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do you part?
Groom, do you take Groom to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do you part?
Personal Vows exchanged here
Groom and Groom, may you live happily ever after. May all your days be blessed with love and friendship. May each day and night of your lives be a new beginning.”
May your home be filled with laughter and the warm embrace of a summer day.
May you find peacefulness and beauty, challenge, and satisfaction, humor and insight, healing and renewal, love and wisdom, as in a quiet heart.
May you always feel that what you have is enough.
I now pronounce you husbands for life!
You may kiss the groom!