This wedding ceremony script was written by a bride I married. She and her husband are very practical secular humanists. One of my associates was supposed to officiate the wedding but she was stuck in bed unable to move so I stepped in. I'm glad I got the opportunity. I loved talking with the bride as we awaited the ceremony. She'd decided more people had drama issues when they had a bridal party so she chose not to. She was extremely pragmatic and quite happy! She planned the whole wedding and wrote the ceremony herself. It's always a nice balance as a wedding officiant to see both sides. The romantic, huge weddings on one end and something like this, with readings from Carl Sagan on the other.
Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of Bride and Groom in marriage. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.
Bride and Groom, Today you've gathered your friends and family together to celebrate this special day with you.
Throughout time, what people have found that is essential for a strong and long lasting relationship is that it be founded on love. Love is friendship, quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good times and bad. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present and hopes for the future, and it doesn't brood over the past. It is the chronicles of problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories and common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that you lack. If you don't have it, no matter what else is there, it isn't enough.
The reading will be a book passage from Carl Sagan
Consider our planet. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived here on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Once we lose our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe which dwarfs -- in time, in space, and in potential -- the tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors. And for small creatures such as we, this vastness is made bearable only through love.
This day represents so much for both of you. Of course, it is the day you begin your lives together as husband and wife. Your wedding is a public proclamation of your love, made here in front of your friends and family. But beyond that, and most importantly, you are here to make promises to each other, the promises that are the foundation of your marriage. Your vows are how you put your relationship into words- what it means today, and what it will mean for the rest of your lives.
Bride and Groom have written their own vows as promises to speak to one another.
You can find other traditional and non-traditional vows here.
The ring is the symbol of the commitment which holds these two together. The wedding ring is the visible sign of an invisible bond which unites two hearts in love.
Bride and Groom, as you exchange these rings, may they be symbols of your promises to each other and remind you of your devotion. May you feel honored to call each other.... husband and wife.
may you remember that from this day the one you love is always beside you.
You came here today to affirm your love for one another and formally acknowledge that which your hearts already knew…that your lives are meant to be shared as one, that you are stronger together than you are apart, and that, for all the days yet to come, you wish to share together all life’s joys and challenges, committed one to the other.
You have made this affirmation and commitment in the presence of the most important people in your lives.
May you forever feel that the life you share is the life you have always wanted.
I now pronounce you Husband and wife!
YOU MAY NOW KISS THE BRIDE!!!!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you for the first time as husband and wife Bride and Groom!