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Sample Wedding Vows

I wrote these wedding vows for friends who were getting married.  These vows have since been used my many other couples, in some modified form.

 

1. The Greeting of the Group

Greetings all, friends and family. We are gathered here today to celebrate that the lives of ____(bride)____ and ___(groom)___, braided together by a growing love the last two years, will now be joined in marriage.

Up to this point their love has been nurtured privately. In many ways, that deepest connection is private and between them alone, but today, the promise of that bond is made public.

Packed into this yard, standing patiently - you may have wondered why ___(bride)___ and ___(groom)___ chose such a tiny space to get married. Didn't we tell them this yard couldn't fit 200 people? We did. But they had their reasons.

It was not just that they wanted to get married in the safety and warmth of their back yard. In putting you together, shoulder to shoulder, they wanted to remind you that in addition to being connected to ___(bride)___ or ___(groom)___ you also exist as a group interconnected to each other in hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways.

This group is bound together by our family relationships - husbands to their wives, parents to their children, uncles, cousins. We are bound to others here by interconnected friendships. Many of you have shared challenges together - learning to be writers or doctors with each others help. There are mentors and their students. Neighbors. Lovers with marriages to come. And we are bound by shared memories of those not who are not with us today -- those who have let us travel down the corridors of time without them. In particular, many of you are bound by shared memories of ___(groom)___'s father ___________. These are strong and permanent ties.

So when ___(bride)___ and ___(groom)___ thought of gathering people together, they wanted to see not only the faces of the individuals they have loved over the course of their lives. They wanted to put you together, shoulder to shoulder to form a whole - a single solid entity -- a group that will witness the declaration of their union. They believe that the strength of this group will reinforce and protect their private union. And in return, they have a promise for you.

With their home as a resource - a place to bring friends and family -- they promise to do their part to nurture long standing relationships and forge new connections between those gathered here. It is to begin this process of weaving this group even tighter that they have squeezed you into this space, and they hope that this will continue as we share a walk, a drink, a toast, a meal, and a dance.

 

2. We now have a reading by ___________.

 

3. (Spoken to everyone)

___(groom)___ and ___(bride)___ stand in front of you today, so truly excited about the years of marriage ahead.

Their marriage will be the intertwining of two life stories. As individuals, they have each had a unique and life-shaping past, and now they willingly choose to set aside the solitary exploration of their individual lives to discover who they are in the presence of one another.

We celebrate with them, their arrival at this point in their lives. We are incredibly happy for them that the story of their lives now includes each other. And that their love has brought them and us to the joyous occasion of their marriage ceremony.

 

4. (Spoken to bride and groom)

___(groom)___ and ___(bride)___, if you will turn to me: Because you will be safe in marriage, you can risk; because you have been promised a future, you can take extraordinary chances. Because you know you are loved, you can step beyond your fears; because you have been chosen, you can transcend your insecurities. You can make mistakes, knowing the other will be there to catch you. And because mistakes and risks are the very essence of change, of expansion, in marriage you will expand to your fullest capacity. Within the nurturing shelter of marriage, you will continue to grow and develop, so you can discover your individual paths and offer your gifts back to each other and the world. Marriage, then, makes you free-to see, to be seen, to love. Your souls are protected so your hearts can open.

In a sense, the person you marry is a stranger about whom you have a magnificent hunch. This person is someone you love, but her depths, his intimate intricacies, you will come to know only in the long unraveling of time. To get married is to embark on the journey of getting to know each other, of coming to see each other as you really are. This companionship on life's journey is the hallmark of marriage, its natural province, and its sweetest and most fundamental gift.

The contract of marriage is most solemn and is not to be entered into lightly, but thoughtfully and seriously with a deep realization of its obligations and responsibilities. No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important than those you are about to pledge.

Moment Of Silence

 

5. Declaration Of Intention

Will you please, as an _expression that your hearts are joined together in love, now join your hands and face me.

Pause as (bride) passes her bouquet and takes (groom's) hands

Do you, ___(groom)___, offer yourself wholly and joyfully, and do you choose ___(bride)___ as the person with whom you will share your life, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, loving what you know of her, and trusting what you do not know yet?

Do you, ___(bride)___, offer yourself wholly and joyfully, and do you choose ___(groom)___ as the person with whom you will share your life, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, loving what you know of her, and trusting what you do not know yet?

 

6. Presentation of Rings

Pastor: Will you now give and receive a ring? Bride and Groom: We will.

Ring Bearer brings rings to (groom), who offers his in open hand to (bride).

___(bride)___, as you place the ring on his finger will you repeat after me: May this ring forever be to you the symbol of my growing love. With this ring, I thee wed.

___(groom)___, as you place the ring on her finger will you repeat after me: May this ring forever be to you the symbol of my growing love. With this ring, I thee wed.

Please turn outwards now.

 

7. Pronouncement Before these witnesses, you have joined yourselves in solemn matrimony. May you strive all your lives to meet this commitment with the same love and devotion you now possess. For love is truly the greatest gift we are given to share. Delight in each other's company and never take each other for granted.

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of California, … I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.

You may kiss the bride.