My friends, we are gathered here to celebrate your happiness as you exchange your wedding vows. The ceremony itself is just a symbol of the true marriage. The true marriage is invisible, a sacred union of hearts and lives bound together by the strongest and yet the most tender of all ties. It is a union created out of friendship, out of respect, and out of love. Two lives, two hearts joined in friendship and love.
We are all rejoicing with you, that you two have found each other, that you can share the deeper meaning of the human experience with each other. But, even now, your future with all its hopes and disappointments, its successes and sorrows, is still hidden from your eyes. But love can make it easy and perfect love will make it a joy!
A wedding is a celebration of the commencement of a new chapter in your journey together, and marriage is a formal expression of that life-long commitment, friendship, and love. Marriage is what you make of it. Your future is a mystery, but whatever it holds, whatever you undertake together will bring you inestimable joy. In presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage, you perform an act of faith. If you can recognize each other’s needs and compromise, together you will find a sense of personal freedom, as well as personal responsibility. Working together, you will find in each other companionship and love, understanding and compassion, challenge and agreement. Individually, neither of you are perfect. Perfection lies in the two of you loving and working together, as equal partners. To be loved is to know happiness and contentment. To give love is to know the joy of sharing oneself. It is through the miracle of love that we discover the fullness of life.
PartnerA and PartnerB in presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage, you perform an act of faith. This faith can grow and develop and last, but only if you both decide to make it so. A lasting and growing love is not guaranteed by any ritual. If you would have the foundation of your marriage be the devotion you have for one another, not just at this moment, but for all the days to come, then treasure the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Establish that your love will never be blotted out by the common, nor obscured by the ordinary in life. Faults will surface where now you find comfort, and admiration can be shattered by the routine of daily life.
Dedication, love, and joy can grow only when you nourish them together. Stand fast in that hope and confidence, having faith in your shared destiny just as strongly as you have faith in yourselves and in one another today. Only with this spirit can you forge a union that will strengthen and endure all the days of your lives.
Today you choose to marry; to take one another forever into your hearts, and loving each other fully, you will promise that you shall be steadfast always in your love. You are choosing to take this journey with one another, wherever it leads, whatever the outcome, no matter what may befall you, through all the days of your lives. Are you ready to make the pledges to which you commit yourselves to each other in sacred matrimony? Both: Yes!
PartnerA: I, PartnerA, take you, PartnerB, to be no other than yourself; loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know; with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me through all our years and in all that life may bring us.
PartnerB: I, PartnerB, take you, PartnerA, to be no other than yourself; loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know; with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me through all our years and in all that life may bring us.
Blessing and Exchanging of Rings
May we please have the rings? A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth, and of the universe. It is a symbol of wholeness, and perfection, and of peace. The rings you give and receive this day, then, are symbols of the circle of shared love into which you enter together as husband and wife. May these rings remind you always of the love you share on this day.
PartnerA: I give you this ring as a symbol that I am part of your journey, and you are a part of mine. With this ring I thee wed, and share my life, and pledge my love.
PartnerB: I give you this ring as a symbol that I am part of your journey, and you are a part of mine. With this ring I thee wed, and share my life, and pledge my love.
May your love and your understanding grow with the years. May you seek each other’s happiness and recognize each other’s needs. May your shared adventure always be rich with moments of both serenity and excitement. Life’s problems will test you, and life’s successes will lift you up. Together you will find a sense of personal freedom, as well as personal responsibility. May you find in each other companionship and love, understanding and compassion, challenge and agreement. May you find peace in your place in the universe and in our midst. May you feel the love of each other always. Go in peace.
PartnerA and PartnerB, your vows have been witnessed by those who love you and you have exchanged symbols of your everlasting commitment. I, therefore, have the great joy and honor to declare that you are now, and forever, husband and wife. You may seal your marriage with a kiss!
Welcome everyone! We are gathered today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to unite PartnerB and PartnerA in marriage. They describe the beginning of their relationship as “truly a time of magic.” In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has steadily grown. And now they’ve decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.
They have chosen each one of you to witness their wedding ceremony. You’ve come to share in the commitment they now make to one another, to offer your love and support to their union, and to allow them to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them. They thank you for being here today. They ask for your blessing, encouragement, and life long support, for their decision to be married.
They also remember the loved ones who cannot be here to share this moment with them today. They hold those people too, deep in their hearts.
Reading: Union – 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, this- is my wife.
In witnessing this ceremony, we are observing an outward sign of an inward union that already exists between PartnerA and PartnerB. This ceremony is a symbol of how far they have come together and a symbol of the promise that they will make to each other to continue to live their lives together and to love each other solely and above all others. Many of you have agreed that it’s about time!
Today you’re making a statement to each other; I choose you, above all others, to be my best friend and partner for life. Today you make a promise to be true to each other for now and for all time. So I ask you: Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, and respect one another all the days of your life?
Both: We do.
Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life, come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?
Both: We will.
PartnerB, please repeat after me:
Today I pledge to you what has already been yours for so long – my eternal love. I promise from this day forward to be a comfort and safe haven in your life, to hold you close, to listen deeply when you speak, to uphold you with my strength, to be supportive and to weigh the effects of the words I speak and the things I do, to never take you for granted, and to always give thanks for you, my wife, and your presence in my life, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.
PartnerA, please repeat after me:
Today I pledge to you what has already been yours for so long – my eternal love. I promise from this day forward, above all else to live in truth with you and to communicate fully and fearlessly. I promise to love you unconditionally, to be devoted above all others, and to always see in you, my husband, your light that to me is home.
I give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace and pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.
Blessing and Exchanging of the Rings
Having this love in your hearts, you have chosen to seal your vows by exchanging rings.
May we please have the rings?
The perfect circle of the ring symbolizes eternity. The precious metal came from the ground as a rough ore and was heated and purified, shaped and polished. Something beautiful was made from raw elements. Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
As you look at these rings over the years, remember that. And just as you will protect the rings, you will protect the commitments you’ve made to one another today. May these rings be from this day forward, your most treasured adornment, and may the love they symbolize, be your most precious possession.
Please repeat after me:
PartnerB: I give you this ring as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you.
PartnerA: I give you this ring as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you.
Today you have pledged yourselves to a lifetime of caring for one another. May this be a commitment made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope and eternally renewed.
Despite all our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great unifier – our one universal truth. That no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. That’s why you both are standing here together. That’s why you all are here to watch them stand together. We have all loved in our lifetimes, and in this moment, we’re reminded that the ability to love is the very best part of our humanity.
PartnerB and PartnerA, may your life together be immersed in love and excitement, and may you strive to enrich each other in every possible way. May the magic that has been an enduring part of your love for each other, continue forever.
It is with great honor and joy that, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may seal your marriage with a kiss.
Nature Wedding Ceremony
Welcome, friends and family. You have been invited today because you are the people—the friends and family– that are most important to PartnerA and PartnerB. They want you to share their happiness, and to witness their new beginnings as a family. We are all here today to celebrate this love and commitment.
Before we begin, I invite you all to release any distractions and to feel present in these moments. PartnerA, PartnerB, and anyone else who wishes to, please take a moment to pause. Pause and fully breathe in this place and this time. Breathe in the air; the sky, trees, rivers, and mountains surrounding us. Breathe in with our love for each other and all creatures. And then, let us breathe out, feeling the ground beneath our feet and the sunlight upon our skin.
(Pause, breathe) Now we have all arrived.
PartnerA and PartnerB have chosen to marry in a way that puts them in connection with nature and the natural world, and to show their tolerance and respect for people of all beliefs. The outdoor setting of this ceremony is meant to be friendly towards the environment and you will find other sustainable choices all through the ceremony and the reception as well.
Marriage is what you make of it. Your future is a mystery, but whatever it holds, whatever you undertake together will bring you inestimable joy, and the love you share can truly help to change the world. In presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage, you perform an act of faith. This faith can grow and develop and last, but only if you both decide to make it so. A lasting and growing love is not guaranteed by any ritual.
Your community is here to support you in that expression, to celebrate the love you have discovered in each other, and to witness the commitment you are about to make.
Love is the energy that binds our universe together, makes us whole, and human. While we may all be young in consciousness, and our lives fleeting, the matter of which we are made is as old as the universe itself.
PartnerA and PartnerB, as you proceed into your future, happy and difficult times will come as surely as the sun rises and sets, as surely as the seasons cycle and change. The years ahead will bring changes in season, and many types of weather — blustery days when the sun is hidden behind clouds, the cleansing rain and joyful promises of spring, the long warm days of summer, and the bounty and beauty of fall.
Throughout the years to come, let your love stand strong, mature and deepen, remaining steady in its foundation whatever changes life may bring.
Expression of Intent
PartnerB and PartnerA, today you choose to marry; to take one another forever into your hearts,
and loving each other fully, you will promise that you shall be steadfast always in your love. You are choosing to take this journey with one another, wherever it leads, whatever the outcome, no matter what may befall you, through all the days of your lives. Are you now prepared to enter into this covenant of love?
PartnerA: I promise to be your partner from this day forward, to keep you as my favorite person. I promise to laugh with you, go on adventures with you, support you through life’s tough moments, be proud of you, grow old with you, and find new reasons to love you every day. I will do my best to bring out the best in you, share our happiest moments together, and love you absolutely– for the rest of this lifetime and for whatever may come next.
PartnerB: I promise to be your partner from this day forward, to keep you as my favorite person. I promise to laugh with you, go on adventures with you, support you through life’s tough moments, be proud of you, grow old with you, and find new reasons to love you every day. I will do my best to bring out the best in you, share our happiest moments together, and love you absolutely– for the rest of this lifetime and for whatever may come next.
Tree Ceremony / Elemental Blessing (can include children)
Human beings are not separate from nature, nor will we ever be. We are a part of a larger tapestry, both spiritual and physical, taking part in a complex and ever-evolving dance of Creation with All That Is. And when we consciously choose to reconnect to the natural world while sensing the magic, beauty, and Love that flows through all things, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is from this place of awareness, and of spirit-filled living, that miracles happen with more grace and ease than we could ever imagine.
PartnerA and PartnerB are aware of the interconnectedness of all things, and of the importance of honoring natural cycles and the elements of which they are both separate from, and an inseparable part of. It is for this reason that they have chosen to include an Elemental Blessing – to call forth the support of these ancient and timeless energies to fill their union with light, love, and magic that carries them through their lives together.
The family has chosen a _______ tree to represent their new family unit.
To its roots, which represent commitment not only to their new marriage, but to the family as a whole, PartnerB and PartnerA will add soil from their home lands: (hand jar to each)
On these lands they walked, learned, and grew, drawing wisdom from the past and building the foundation for a bright future. (pour dirt)
Earth: Spirits of Earth, we ask that you give unto those you see standing before you this day, the rock-solid place to stand and fulfill their destinies. May their journey mirror the vast plains and fertile fields, expansive and fully alive. May they find the right seeds to sow to ensure a bountiful harvest in every era of their lives. And when they look up at the North Star, may they know that it is as bright and constant as their love for each other, as well as the love that the Divine has for them.
Water: We will add water from the Boise River (hand jars to both). This river has special significance for the family. To them it represents a meeting place, a convergence of different streams into one steady current. The river represents adventure, fun, and opportunity. Wherever the flow of life may lead, whether you are near or far apart, know that each of you are always loved, and that you will always have a route back home.
Spirits of Water, we ask that love flows freely between the shores of these lives, which will soon become One; that their love for one another, and the comfort that loved ones have to share with them be as deep as the sea, a source of respite and rejuvenation that forever flows around and through them. May they be well-loved, and love well, letting the surety with which Water makes its journey to the ocean, flowing over rocks or around trees, shape-shifting into mists that hover in the dawn’s pure light, serve as a reminder that their love can evolve and transform as they grow and mature as individuals, and as a family, with the passing of time.
Fire: We ask the spirits of Fire to bless Bride and Groom with a steady flow of passion and desire for each other; for their dreams; for life itself so they may go forward living their purpose and sharing their gifts in ever-expansive ways that strengthen the union and bless all the world around them.
May they remain vital and strong for all their days together, each day fortified with a vibrancy rooted in boldness and courage. As Fire clears the way for new growth, may they know that this power is theirs as well – to create, to expand, to bring about the richness and quality of life that comes from merging with the love of one’s life.
Air: We ask the spirits of Air to keep open the lines of communication between this couple. May their future be as bright as the rising sun. As Air flows freely to and from, and through us all, may their hearts, minds, and souls come to know the world and each other in this manner. Seeing not only with their eyes, but may they grow wiser together as their love deepens.
And now your tree is planted.
Like this tree, your family and marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And like this tree, a marriage and family requires constant nurturing and nourishment. As you provide the sun, soil, and water for this tree, you promise to provide the encouragement, trust, and love needed on a daily basis to consciously nurture and nourish your connections to each other.
Tend to your family as you would any other living thing, with tenderness, nourishment, and plenty of light… and you are sure to succeed. May you be each other’s protective canopy. May your roots grow deep.
(Return to original places)
May we please have the rings?
A circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth, the universe. It represents wholeness, peace, unity, belonging. Today you are exchanging wedding rings. We place these circular tokens upon your hands to serve as a reminder of the vows you have made and the love you have promised to share.
PartnerA: I give you this ring as the symbol that I have cast my lot with yours, that I am bound to you always, through my love, with my soul, and all my heart.
Partner B: I give you this ring as the symbol that I have cast my lot with yours, that I am bound to you always, through my love, with my soul, and all my heart.
Please cross arm, and take each others’ hand.
(PartnerB and PartnerA take each others’ left hands- elbows close similar to an arm wrestle pose, fingers interlaced)
There is a Pueblo blessing: “Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here. Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go. Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.”
Just as two interlocking circles form an infinity symbol – an endless weave of sacred geometry and spiritual significance – your lives intertwining are made more tangible by this exchange.
(PartnerB and PartnerA can lower and release hands)
Above you are the stars, below you are the stones. As time passes, remember- like the star should your love burn brightly; like the stone should your love be firm. Our wish for you both is that you allow nature to be a sanctuary for your love. May you find comfort and solace in sharing wild spaces together, and may the inhabitants of those wild spaces be your teachers through this love and life together.
PartnerB and PartnerA, the vows you made today have been witnessed by those who love you.
You have exchanged symbols of your everlasting commitment.
And so, it is with great honor and joy that, by the power of the beautiful love that you share,
I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss!