Wedding Chicks

Inspirational Wedding Ideas

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts You’ll Want to Borrow

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Couple laughing during exchange of ringsInspiration:

Alright so we’ve definitely covered something old, a whole lot of something new ((peep our latest, everything is trendy/new/what’s hot in weddings RN)), and recently a bunch of something blue, but borrowed isn’t as obvious. Unless we’re talking using mom or grandma’s dress … or donating yours after the wedding. That’s why today I felt like it was a good time to talk wedding ceremonies. Why? Because couples have been getting married for thousands of years, and even though weddings have become hella personal as of late 🙌🙌🙌, the basic structure/format of a wedding ceremony is essentially the same, across the board. Sooo, as you can guess, the wording is going to sound pretty familiar from one wedding to the next, it’s the most blatant #somethingborrowed there is, really.

My husband is actually officiating my sister and future brother-in-law’s wedding next month, and he’s been carefully considering what he’ll say on their big day for at least half a year. And in the last few months, he’s spent whatever free time he has at night scoping out sample scripts and finding verses and verbiage that he thinks vibes with their overall style and personality. That’s where borrowing comes in, real hot. Because there’s certainly nothing wrong with a little wedding plagiarism here, at least that’s what A Practical Wedding tells us!

Two brides now pronounced wife and wife

The majority of couples who get married in a religious ceremony usually defer to the preferences of the religious leader and the tie-the-knot traditions typical to their house of worship, but when it comes to secular/non-religious weddings, ceremonies can be a much cleaner slate. In this case, it’s up to the soon-to-be weds and their selected officiant(s) to strategize the flow of the service. The only things that are must-haves/requirements are the declaration of intent (i.e. the formal “I dos” and legal acknowledgement that ‘yes, I want to marry this person, and yes, I’m here by choice” and the pronouncement, whereby the officiant confirms the two are officially married. Everything else is an open [vow] book, waiting to be filled with as many or as little sentiments as the couple wishes. It’s their day!

Since I’ve been in the throes of helping my husband get ordained and ready to marry my sister and brother-in-law, I’ve put together a few thoughts on what makes a personalized wedding ceremony super special and successful (though, don’t get hung up on the word, everrrry ceremony will be successful, you’re getting married - it’s successful no matter what). You could basically just look at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May wedding ceremony as a modern muse, too: it was multicultural, included updated/modern vows (with a nod to equal partners in the marriage) and music from a kickass gospel choir.


"I Do" personalized vow book for wedding day
Inspiration:

And I added a couple sample scripts that you’re moreeee than welcome to incorporate into your own wedding days. This website is fantastic for some formulaic pointers and this one is a great wedding script generator! Just fill in the bride and groom’s names, add in personalized touches, proofread, and print!

Be on the same page.

Whether you and your partner decide to write your ceremony yourselves or leave it up to your officiant to write the script, the important thing here is to be on the same page. This ceremony is about you and your love, so it should be in your taste, entirely. My husband knows my sister and brother-in-law nearly as well as I do, and he is hellbent on making sure the ceremony reflects them as a couple. So, before he even started putting together a sample script, he scheduled time to sit down with the two of them and get a gauge on what they wanted. Neither of them wanted to include religious elements (as my sister is Catholic and my brother-in-law is Jewish), they really just wanted a ceremony that spoke about their own love story, that included vows that were relatable and sweet, and that got them married without too much pomp and circumstance. Being on the same page with your officiant is crucial to the authenticity of the wedding and your overall level of comfort with the ceremony.

Groom reciting his vows off his vow bookInspiration:

Don’t wing the vows.

Not every couple wants to exchange handwritten vows, and that’s okay!! Personalized vows certainly don’t supersede more traditional vows. That said, if you do want to write your own vows, it’s important that you and your fiancé both dedicate sufficient time to perfecting your prose. You’ll be making promises to each other, reminiscing on the most epic and monumental moments of your relationship (as much as you wish to share), and committing to a lifetime together, so your words should be reasonably rehearsed. Know that your vows are truly for you both, so you don’t need to feel pressure to appeal to any of your guests. Yet, being on the same page with your officiant, you should have a game plan about how much time should be spent on each portion of your ceremony - and together, you’ll agree on an appropriate amount of time for your vow exchange.


Two grooms sharing a smooch after their wedding ceremony
Inspiration:

Programs do have a purpose. 

We’ll say it again: weddings do have a pretty familiar format, from one to another, in that they all usually have a processional, a welcome, readings or an anecdote/address/sermon of sorts, vows, exchange of rings, pronouncement, first kiss, and recessional. But apart from that, they can be as bespoke and tailor-made as possible. That’s why wedding programs aren’t just for show, they serve a purpose, especially if a bride and groom are having a religious ceremony or one that might be extraordinarily unique. Providing guests with something to reference while they sit for the ceremony is super helpful - 1) to make guests feel included in the day and 2) to help them understand what is taking place during the wedding ceremony. I won’t lie, I love programs, and I think they’re the perfect place for couples to share messages with their guests and let them in on anything that’s particularly meaningful to them or their love story.

Couple laughing during wedding ceremony Inspiration:

Okay, here are some sample wedding ceremony scripts for your perusal! But before we jump in, just one really important thing for you to consider....

only invite people to the wedding, who you KNOW will come to the ceremony.

That’s like our most critical piece of advice, especially when you’re mulling over your biggest budget killer. People who don’t come to your ceremony (without a good reason, of course), don’t deserve to party with you. And yes, it’ll happen. Trust us when we say that, because there will be people who you’ll notice aren’t there. And those fine individuals aren’t actually fine, they suck👎. The wedding ceremony is the most important part of your big day and your happily-ever-after that follows, so guests should be there for it all.

Bride and groom recessing from their wedding ceremony with bubblesInspiration:

PERSONAL FRIEND AS OFFICIANT WEDDING CEREMONY SCRIPT

Prepared by Heather Lee for Minted.com

Welcome.

Officiant: Please be seated.

First, I’d like to begin by welcoming everyone and thanking each and every one of you for being here on this most happy of days. It’s no accident that each of you are here today, and each of you were invited to be here because you represent someone important in the individual and collective lives of NAME and NAME.

I truly can’t think of a better venue than _________ [“paradise” for a destination wedding, “this beautiful church” for a more religious affair, etc.] for an occasion that I know is not only monumental for the wedded-couple-to-be, but for all of us who are lucky to know and love them as individuals; but even more so as a perfect pairing.

The most remarkable moment in life is when you meet the person who makes you feel complete. The person who makes the world a beautiful and magical place. The person with whom you share a bond so special that it transcends normal relationships and becomes something so pure and so wonderful, that you can’t imagine spending another day of your life without them. For NAME, that happened about 20 years ago when s/he met me and we became best friends [add some humor if your officiant is a friend]. But about X years ago s/he met NAME, who is pretty wonderful, too. I know how deeply these two care for and love one another, and I feel privileged to be here today among all of you as a witness of their commitment to a lifetime of love for one another.

I think I’ve had the good fortune to meet most of you here today at some point or another, but for those of you whom I haven’t met, my name is [short biographical info about how the officiant knows the couple].

The Love Story.

Officiant: Now, NAME and NAME have asked that I keep this speech short, classy, and family-friendly, and politely asked me to leave out stories that are unflattering to either of them. So I’ve had to redline stories about previous flings...drugs or alcohol...encounters with the police...but I do feel comfortable saying, “I told you so.” Which is exactly what I said when I learned that NAME and NAME’s relationship was becoming truly serious.

As a third-party spectator to their developing love, it was extremely clear that the two of them represent a perfect pairing because each of them complements the other so well. They balance one another, and while each of them are tremendous individuals on their own, together they are even better. And being better together, as a team, a unit, and partners in crime, is what has been many years in the making and ultimately leads us to being here today, witnessing their commitment to one another in front of those they love most.

I wish I could tell you a single story about NAME and NAME that summarizes their relationship and how they enrich each other’s lives, and the lives of each of us, but the truth is there isn’t one single event that is a good encapsulation of what they mean to me, to each other, and to all of us. But what I do know is that both of them care deeply and passionately for each other; they protect each other; they make each other laugh and think outside themselves; that time magically seems to both fly and slow down when they’re together. They help each other in ways that are obvious and unnoticed, but always appreciated.

I also know that it’s not just anyone with whom you can have communication with simply a look, or remember the weirdest names of each other’s Lyft drivers, or surprise each other with reservations at a restaurant you’ve been eyeing for years, or say “I’m sorry” every time it’s warranted (...eventually). They do that for and with each other.

But it’s also my personal experiences with NAME and NAME that highlight the quality of their love. It doesn’t matter if I’m with them in person, or simply in a bizarre group text with them—when I’m engaging with NAME and NAME, I am always enjoying myself. And I am certain that that’s part of what makes them so special to each of us: how happy and contented we feel when we are with them. And what I wish for them on their wedding day is that their lifetime together as a team is one of complete contentment; full of those moments that they wish would never end, and that they continue to make one another smile and laugh as they make each of us do.

So, without further ado…

The Vows. 

Dearly beloved and honored guests:

We are gathered together here to join NAME and NAME in the union of marriage.

This contract is not to be entered into lightly, but thoughtfully and seriously, and with a deep realization of its obligations and responsibilities.

The grooms/brides/bride and groom have each prepared vows that they will read now.

[Exchanging of vows]

Officiant: And now:

NAME, do you take NAME to be your husband/wife?

Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and protect him/her, forsaking all others, and holding only unto him/her forevermore?

[“I do.”]

And NAME, do you take NAME to be your husband/wife?

Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and protect him/her, forsaking all others, and holding only unto him/her forevermore?

[“I do.”]

The Rings. 

Officiant: NAME and NAME will now exchange rings as a symbol of love and commitment to each other. Rings are a precious metal; they are also made precious by you wearing them. Your wedding rings are special; they enhance who you are. They mark the beginning of your long journey together. Your wedding ring is a circle—a symbol of love never ending. It is the seal of the vows you have just taken to love each other without end.

NAME, please place the ring on NAME’s left hand and repeat after me:

As a sign of my love

[“As a sign of my love”]

That I have chosen you

[That I have chosen you”]

Above all else

[“Above all else”]

With this ring, I thee wed.

[“With this ring, I thee wed.”]

And NAME, please place the ring on NAME’s left hand and repeat after me:

As a sign of my love

[“As a sign of my love”]

That I have chosen you

[That I have chosen you”]

Above all else

[“Above all else”]

With this ring, I thee wed.

[“With this ring, I thee wed.”]

The Good Wishes. 

Officiant: To make your relationship work will take love. Continue to date each other. Take time to show each other that your love and marriage grows stronger with time.

It will take trust to know that in your hearts, you truly want what is best for each other.

It will take dedication to stay open to one another—and to learn and grow together.

It will take loyalty to go forward together, without knowing exactly what the future brings.

And it will take commitment to hold true to the journey you have both pledged today.

The Declaration of Marriage / "The Kiss"

Officiant: And now by the power vested in me by _______________, it is my honor and delight to declare you married. Go forth and live each day to the fullest. You may seal this declaration with a kiss.

[Kiss]

I am so pleased to present the newlyweds, NAMES.

Bride holding vow book in her armsInspiration:

TRADITIONAL WEDDING CEREMONY SCRIPT

Prepared by Nina Calloway for The Spruce

Welcome.

Officiant: Welcome, family, friends and loved ones. We gather here today to celebrate the wedding of NAME and NAME. You have come here to share in this formal commitment they make to one another, to offer your love and support to this union, and to allow NAME and NAME to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them.So welcome to one and all, who have traveled from near and far. NAME and NAME thank you for your presence here today and now ask for your blessing, encouragement, and lifelong support, for their decision to be married.

Definition of Marriage.

Officiant: Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that—through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as lifemates and partners.

Declaration of Intent.

Officiant: Will you, NAME, take this woman to be your wedded wife?

Groom: I will 

Officiant: Will you, NAME, take this man to be your wedded husband?

Bride: I will

Readings. 

Officiant: In the spirit of the importance of strong friendships to a marriage, NAME and NAME have asked two friends to read selections about love that especially resonate with them.1st READING, followed by 2nd READING.

Support of Community.

Officiant: Two people in love do not live in isolation. Their love is a source of strength with which they may nourish not only each other but also the world around them. And in turn, we, their community of friends and family, have a responsibility to this couple. By our steadfast care, respect, and love, we can support their marriage and the new family they are creating today.

Officiant: Will everyone please rise. Will you who are present here today, surround NAME and NAME in love, offering them the joys of your friendship, and supporting them in their marriage?

All: We will

Officiant: You may be seated.

Wedding Vows.

Officiant: We've come to the point of your ceremony where you're going to say your vows to one another. But before you do that, I ask you to remember that love—which is rooted in faith, trust, and acceptance— will be the foundation of an abiding and deepening relationship. No other ties are more tender, no other vows more sacred than those you now assume. If you are able to keep the vows you take here today, not because of any religious or civic law, but out of a desire to love and be loved by another person fully, without limitation, then your life will have joy and the home you establish will be a place in which you both will find the direction of your growth, your freedom, and your responsibility. Please now read the vows you have written for each other.

Bride and Groom: I NAME/NAME, take you, NAME/NAME to be my husband/wife, my constant friend and partner, and my love. I will work to create a bond of honesty, respect, and trust; one that withstands the tides of time and change, and grows along with us. I vow to honor and respect you for all that you are and will become, taking pride in who we are, both separately and together.I promise to challenge you and to accept challenges from you. I will join with you and our community in an ongoing struggle to create a world we all want to live in, where love and friendship will be recognized and celebrated in all their many forms. Our home will be a sanctuary and a respite for us and for those whom we cherish. Above all, I will give you my love freely and unconditionally. I pledge this to you from the bottom of my heart, for all the days of our lives.

Officiant: May I have the rings, please?

Please repeat after me: I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.

Officiant: By the power of your love and commitment, and the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss each other!

Bride and groom's first kiss at altar with mountain in backInspiration:

MODERN WEDDING CEREMONY SCRIPT

Prepared by Shutterfly editors

Welcome.

Officiant: Good afternoon. NAME, NAME and I would like to welcome everyone on this gorgeous day. It’s because of all of you—because of this strong community—[NAME] and [NAME]’s relationship has strengthened and grown and led them to this very moment. Thank you for being here, now let’s begin.

[NAME] and [NAME], what you’ve accomplished here today is no small feat. Your journey began way before you sent out the invitations, chose this beautiful venue or even decided to spend the rest of your lives together.

Your journey began the moment you first met. You took the time to learn what makes the other person smile, what makes them laugh and how to best support them when life is less than simple. You welcomed each other’s families, communities and lifelong friends, and joined them together with warmth and enthusiasm. You built a new village with your love, and have worked every day to support this village as it changes and grows.

Marriages bring hard days, just as they bring beautiful ones. This day is a reminder of what your love has already accomplished, and the amazing possibilities of what it can continue to accomplish and overcome in the many, many years ahead of you.

Reading.

Officiant: As our reading today, [NAME] has asked his/her cousin to perform an original poem to honor their vows.

(Reading to proceed)

Wedding Vows.

Officiant:  [NAME] and [NAME], please take each other’s hands and repeat after me:

Couple: [NAME], I swear to you/ that I will dedicate my life from this day forward/ to filling our days with beauty and laughter./ I will celebrate your spirit and all of your accomplishments/ work to inspire you/ and be here to remind you of your beauty and strength./ I take you today as my partner/ my confidant/ my other half/ and I will love you for the rest of my life.

(Officiant turns to other partner and repeats the vows)

Officiant: [NAME] and [NAME], do you take one another as partners, form this day forward, as husband and wife/husband and husband/wife and wife? Please yell a hearty “We do!”

(Couple says “We do!”)

Officiant: And to everyone here, do you promise to stand by this couple, to remind them of their vows, and to act as an example of love and family? Please yell a hearty “We do!”

(Crowd says “We do!”)

Exchange of Rings. 

Officiant: [NAME] and [NAME] have chosen these rings to represent the unbreakable circle of life and love. Please place them on each other’s ring fingers and repeat after me.

Couple: I give you this ring/ to remind you of this day/ when in front of our closest community/ we vowed that our love can overcome all things/ that our love unites, inspires and celebrates/ and will continue do so for the rest of our lives.

Officiant: [NAME] and [NAME], it is with such joy that I now send you out into the world to spread the beautiful light that you share with those around you. By the power vested in me, I now, for the first time, pronounce you married. Now kiss and go celebrate!