(Serving the Amicalola Falls area in the North Georgia Mountains)
This ceremony is in the style of the
more traditional wedding vows. It has prayers and the somewhat old-fashioned
way of pledging oneself to one's spouse, instead of saying "I promise myself to you".
The blanks in the ceremony are to be filled in with the names of the bride and groom in order to personalize it for the day of the wedding. It can then be a keepsake of the occasion.
Ceremony for ______________ and _______________
Day, Date, Time at Place or Venue
Friends, we are gathered here at this hour in the presence of God to witness and celebrate the coming together of two separate loves. We have come here for the joining of this man ___________ and this woman ______________ in marriage, to be with them and to rejoice with them in the making of this important commitment.
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
(This is definitely part of the more traditional wedding vows.)
_________________________ and ______________________, on this day of your marriage, you stand apart from all other human beings. You stand within the circle of your love, and this is as it should be. But love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather it is to serve as a source of common energy, as a form in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward, your opportunity is to come closer together than ever before, to love one another in sickness and in health, for better or for worse.
But at the same time your love is to give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destinies, to make your special contribution to the world. Again, while marriage is the intimate sharing of your lives, it can yet enhance your differences and individuality. Give yourselves in love but do not give yourselves away. A good and balanced relationship is one in which neither person is overpowered or absorbed by the other. To love well is not to dominate but to share.
We are here today, then to celebrate the love which ___________________ and _______________ have for each other and to give recognition to their decision to accept each other totally. Into this state of marriage these two persons come now to be joined.
As you know, no minister, no priest, no rabbi, and no public official can marry you. Only you can marry yourselves by a mutual commitment to love each other, by working toward creating an atmosphere of caring and consideration and by being willing to face together the tensions and anxieties that underlie life.
__________, do you take ____________ to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have her and keep her in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better or worse, until death do you part? This part is the most formal wording of the pledge to each other and thus makes it one of the more traditional wedding vows.)
Answer: I do
__________, do you take ____________ to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have him and keep him in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better or worse, until death do you part?
Answer: I do
What symbol do you bring signifying your mutual commitment?
These rings are of God: so may your love for each other be the most precious possessions of your lives. These rings also constitute a circle; may they symbolize the never-ending loyalty and honor that shall encompass your marriage. (The mention of God makes this one of the more traditional wedding vows also.)
Groom (while putting ring on bride’s finger)…
I, ___________, take you as my wife. I pledge to share my life with you, to speak the truth to you in love; I promise to honor and care for you, to cherish and encourage your fulfillment, to love and respect you through all the changes of our lives.
Bride (while putting ring on groom’s finger)…
I, ___________, take you as my husband. I pledge to share my life with you, to speak the truth to you in love; I promise to honor and care for you, to cherish and encourage your fulfillment, to love and respect you through all the changes of our lives. (The phrasing of the ring vows is of the more conventional kind also, which is why it is one of the traditional wedding vows.)
Since ____________ and _____________ have vowed to be loyal and loving toward each other, formalizing in our presence the existence of the bond between them, we bear witness to this wedding ceremony and declare them to be husband and wife.
Optional Unity candle ceremony or music at this point.
(If unity candles are used, bride and groom each pick up one lighted candle and together light the center one as the following words are read):
Let us give praise to the joy of life in whose spirit this candle is lit. As together you now stand, so may you in faithful union and devotion to each other draw contentment, comfort and happiness from the light of life and thereby may find life’s joy doubly gladdened, its bitterness sweetened and all things hallowed by true companionship and love.
Let us pray.
O Great Power moving among us for love, may these two people now married, fulfill the covenant which they have made. May they openly give and take from each other, encouraging each other in whatever trials that befall them, sharing in each other’s joys, helping each other as each occasion requires. Having grown to trust themselves and each other, may they not only accept and give love between themselves but also experience love and consideration for others in a community of sharing. Amen.
We who are here present, and those who are absent but thinking of ____________ and __________ this day, hope that the inspiration of this hour will not be forgotten. May you continue to love each other through all your days together.
And now, as you go forth from this place together, may the blessing of God, your family and friends, attend you and keep you together always in understanding, tenderness and love. (The benediction using the word "God" is one of the more traditional wedding vows also.)
______________, you may kiss your bride.
I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. __________________.
This ceremony uses the term "pledge" which means "promise" within the ring vows. It is somewhat quaint which makes this one of the more traditional wedding vows in its wording.
This one is also somewhat lengthy and includes an optional Unity Candle ceremony as well. A sand ceremony can be substituted for the candle if wind might be a factor.