• Rev Robin Hannon

Writing The Ceremony

Writing the Ceremony

Many clients have asked me how they might write their own ceremonies. Writing vows is a lot more difficult that it would seem. At Abiding Love Weddings I can professionally write your vows to tell your story your way. However for the intrepid client who really wants to write their vows, below are some ideas, and a skeleton ceremony that shows the flow of writing a ceremony. There are many online help resources as well, but this should be a good start.

General Outline

Giving Away the Bride/Bridegroom: Minister asks “Who gives this brid’s hand in marriage?” Response from father or parents “I Do” or “We do” (Optional)

Opening Poem (Optional)

The Convocation: Words spoken to commence the ceremony

The Invocation: Invoking a Higher Power (optional)

Ritual: Examples – Candle lighting, sharing wine, giving gifts etc (Optional)

Reading: Poem, passage, etc about love, marriage, and relationships (Optional)

The Address or sermon: Message by the minister to bride and groom

The Consecration: Blessing on the marriage that’s about to take place

The expression of Intent: The “I do” part

The Inclusion of Children: Second marriages and otherwise (Optional)

Exchange of Vows: Repeated after minister

The Ring Blessings: Symbolism and blessings

The Exchange of Rings

The Pronouncement of Marriage

The Benediction: Final blessing and close of ceremony

The Kiss

Presentation of Newlyweds to Guests (Optional)

Announcements (Optional)

Non-Traditional Wedding Ceremony

Let us begin:

Presentation: “Who gives this Bride for Marriage”


Examples of Convocations:

I’d like to welcome all of you to ___ and ___ celebration of marriage. Each of you has added something special to their lives. Your love, guidance, and friendship have brought us together today to celebrate the expression of their love and commitment to each other.

Marriage is the unity of two people in a symbol of love and respect. But in this unity we also celebrate the individuality of each partner. For part of what brought ___ and ____together was a mutual admiration for the strength of their individual feelings and beliefs. Only in continuing to cherich their differences will they sustain a lasting love.

Friends, we are gathered here today to share with________ and_____________ in the most important time of their lives. In the time they have been together, their love has grown & matured and now, they shall begin their journey together as husband & wife.

Greetings to one and all. As families and friends, you form the community of support that surrounds ________________and _____________________. Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in honoring and loving each other. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and support, not your judgment. Encourage them with your kindness and loving hearts, and honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today.

Welcome everyone! ___ and ____ have asked all of you to be with them here today because each of you has given something of yourselves into their lives. Your friendship and love will always be appreciated.

One of the greatest joys of a wedding day is the joining together of the couples family and friends. ___ and ___ are forever grateful to each and every one of you for the loving, caring, friendship, and support that you have given them throughout their lives. Being able to share their wedding day with you, surrounded by your love and support, is a blessing. Knowing that your best wishes go forward with___ and ____ strengthens them as they embark upon their journey as husband and wife.

We are gathered here today to witness the coming together of two people, _____ and ____, whose hearts and spirits are entwined as one. They now desire to profess before the entire world their intention henceforth to walk the road of life together.


Examples of Invocations

This marriage has already taken place in the hearts and minds of ___ and ____. We are here today so all of us may listen to the vows and help them celebrate their commitment to each other. As an outward sign of the inward union of two hearts, marriage is one of the most joyous of all relationships in life. May this moment help all of us recall and renew the joys in our own lives.

To these two young people, this marriage signifies the birth of a new spirit, a spirit which is a part of each of us, yet not of any one of us alone. This "birth of spirit" reminds us of a season when all life is reborn and blooms again. It is appropriate, therefore, that this wedding of Jennifer and Chris be under the open sky, where we are close to the earth and to the unity of life, the totality of living things of which we are part.

This ceremony is an opportunity for ___ and ___ to celebrate their love and to honor everyone who has given so much to them. They have been preparing for this day all of their lives and have chosen you as their witnesses. As their witnesses, you have the privilege of experiencing their love in its highest form. Love is the strongest power there is. Love can change lives and make the world a better place. Marriage and family are the most significant bonds in our lives.

As two very different threads woven in opposite directions can form a beautiful tapestry, so can your two lives merge together to form a very beautiful marriage. To make your marriage work will take love. Love should be the core of your marriage, and love is the reason you are here. It will also take trust to know in your hearts that you want the best for each other. It will take dedication to stay open to one another, and to learn and grow together even when this is not always so easy to do. It will take faith to always be willing to go forward to tomorrow never really knowing what tomorrow will bring. Lastly it will take commitment to hold true to the journey you both now pledge to share together.

A mountain needs a valley to fill complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be that way with both of you. May you need one another, not to fill you emptiness but to know your fullness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all your endeavors, yet not fail in little graces. May you look for things to praise and pay no attention to small faults. May you have happiness and may you find it making each other happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving each other. In the time____ and ____ have been together their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured. Like a beautiful flower their love has been watered and nourished. Now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife. Their hearts and spirits are entwined as one. They now desire to profess before the entire world their intention to walk the road of life together.

____ and ______ have come together today to share the beauty of their love. Like a beautiful sunset, a fragrant garden, or the soft waves of the ocean upon the sand their love has painted a beautiful and lasting picture. Today ____ and ____ wish to consecrate their love before their family and friends and share the beautiful vision that their love has become.


Examples of consecrations

May the spirit of Love always be with ___ and ___ as they make their solemn vows to each other. May they be given the sweetness of heart and the steadfastness to live in the joy of loving each other always.

Nothing is easier than saying words and nothing harder than living them day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redirected tomorrow. At the end of this ceremony legally you will be man and wife, but you still must decide each day that stretches out before you, that you want to be married.

A good marriage must be created.

In the marriage, the little things are the big things.

It is remaining young at heart with a desire to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I Love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is remaining grateful for each other each and every day.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together, facing the world.

It is doing things for each other in the spirit of joy.

It is making the commitment to forgive and forget.

It is not only marrying the right person,

It is being the right partner.

In the years which shall bring ___ and ___into greater age and wisdom, we hope that their love shall be ever young; that they shall be able to always recover from moments of despair. In this hope, may they keep the vows made on this day, in freedom, teaching each other who they are, what they yet shall be, enabling them to know that, in the fullness of being, they are more than themselves and more than each other, that they are all of us, and that together we share joyously the fruits of life on this earth, our home.


Examples of foundation:

Marriage is the beginning of a new life, a chance at fulfilling long-held dreams, and an opportunity for great personal and spiritual growth. Marriage endures through the ages of trends and fads. Marriage thrives and continues to live as a promise of a beautiful dream come true. As long as individuals are drawn together a marriage will be a natural unfolding of that relationship.

Feelings come alive at a wedding such as great happiness, apprehension, and sometimes pure relief. There is an acute awareness that something special, something that goes to the very heart of life is about to happen. Something is gone forever and something is born, brand-new and tender. Something to be nurtured and cared for, protected, and cherished, challenged, and strengthened in your new marriage.

Each of you brings gifts to the other today. There are gifts of hope, laughter, focus and seriousness of purpose. There is a new found sensitivity and recognition of the beautiful and the profound. Since childhood you have searched for and dreamed about that special someone who would embody and express the gifts you now stand ready to give and to receive. For the world is in need of the beautiful, the good, and nothing is better suited to evoke that than a good marriage.

A strong and resilient marriage is not an escape from the world but rather a contribution to it. Bride and Groom may you now combine and strengthen your gifts to be offered as a distinct and beautiful one to the world. As you now stand before this loving community of family and friends we acknowledge that in effect you are saying, “This is my beloved, the one with whom I chose to create the rest of my life.”

Marriage is a supreme sharing; perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyful uniting of a man and a woman whose care and affection and understanding have flowered into a deep and abiding love. Those who take it’s sacred vows have their lives blended together into one, as the waters of two rivers are joined when they come together to form an even greater one.

A true spiritual marriage is an act of metamorphosis, a profound mystery of creation and rebirth, as two become one. It is not a giving up or loss of oneself, but rather a giving over of oneself to something greater - a transformation of self in which each one can say, “I am no longer only I but also we.” It is a process in which each can be challenged to discover new possibilities in themselves and each other.


Here you will find a multitude of vows to pick from

Ring Vows

(_______, repeat after me your ring ceremony): _______, I give this ring to you, as a sign of my love I give myself to you to be your husband, So that from this day forward, you shall not walk alone. I feel so honored, to have you as my wife. I vow to love and sustain you, In the covenant of our marriage. As long as we both shall live.

Exchange of Wedding Rings What token of your love do you offer? Would you place the ring(s) in my hand? May this/these ring(s) be blessed as the symbol of this affectionate unity. These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go – may they always return to one another. May these two find in each other the love for which all men and women year. May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home which they establish together be such a place that many will find there a friend. May this/these ring(s) on her/their finger(s) symbolize the touch of the spirit of love in their hearts. Handing ring to the Groom MINISTER TO GROOM: GROOM'S NAME, in placing this ring on BRIDE'S NAME finger, repeat after me: BRIDE'S NAME), you are now consecrated to me as my wife from this day forward and I give you this ring as the pledge of my love and as the symbol of our unity and with this ring, I thee wed. Handing ring to the Bride MINISTER TO BRIDE: BRIDE'S NAME, in placing this ring on GROOM'S NAME finger, repeat after me: GROOM'S NAME, you are now consecrate to me as my husband from this day forward and I give you this ring as the pledge of my love and as the symbol of our unity and with this ring, I thee wed.


Check out the many blessings on this page such as the Irish Wedding Blessing, Cherokee Wedding Blessing, Etc

#writing #vows #ceremony #outline

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