Brief Ceremonies

Even the briefest ceremony should be dignified and meaningful. There are many reasons to choose a brief
ceremony: if there is little time for planning, if a member of the wedding party is ill, if there are young children
involved, for couples who are eloping, or who just want to have a basic legal wedding without any fuss.

Here are some sample ceremonies to choose from.

A Very Brief Elopement Ceremony – Example 1  (less than 5 minutes)

___________ & __________, today you celebrate one of life's greatest moments and give recognition to the worth
and beauty of love, as you join together in vows of marriage.

(Groom) ___________________, do you take ________________ to be your Wife? Do you promise to love, honor,
cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her?
("I do")
(Bride_____________________ , do you take __________________ to be your Husband? Do you promise to love,
honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him?
("I do")

Repeated Ring Vows... although rings are not required
(Groom),I _____________, take you, ________________ to be my Wife, and pledge my love to your forever.
(Bride), I _________________ , take you _______________, to be my husband, and pledge my love to you forever.

________________________ and _________________________, in so much as the two of you have agreed to
live together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, by the authority vested in me by
the State of New York I now declare you to be Husband and Wife. Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.

(Officiant and witnesses sign the state  marriage license).





A Short Ceremony – Example 2  (5 - 8 minutes)

Let us begin :

May the promises you make to one another be lived out to the end of your lives in an atmosphere of profoundest joy.

_____ and _____ welcome you, their family and friends. Each of you has given something of yourself into their lives.
It is fitting then that you share in this celebration of their commitment to each other and to their lives joined in
marriage.

(Groom)
Do you _____, choose to marry _____? To speak the words that will join you with her as your wife for the rest of the
days of your life?
Answer: I do.
(Bride)
Do you _____, choose to marry _____? To speak the words that will join you with him as your husband for the rest of
the days of your life?
Answer: I do.

(Groom)
_____ take _____ 's right hand and repeat after me.

_____, I choose you to be my wife.
I promise freely from this day forward
To be worthy of your trust and deserving of your confidence;
To be generous with my time, my energy and my love;
To be patient with you and with myself,
To trust you;
To be devoted to you and our life together.
These things I pledge before you, our friends, and our family.

(Bride)
_____ take _____ 's right hand and repeat after me.
_____, I choose you to be my husband.
I promise freely from this day forward
To be worthy of your trust and deserving of your confidence;
To be generous with my time, my energy and my love;
To be patient with you and with myself,
To trust you;
To be devoted to you and our life together.
These things I pledge before you, our friends, and our family.

What pledge do you offer in symbol of these vows?
Answer: "These rings"
"May these rings remind us well of our vows to each other."

(Groom)
_____  ,place the ring on  _____ 's left  hand and repeat after me.

_____, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity, love, respect and trust.

(Bride)
_____  ,place the ring on  _____ 's left  hand and repeat after me.  

_____, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity, love, respect and trust.

_____ and _____, you have exchanged vows and rings, and consented to marry in the presence of this company .
By the authority vested in me by the State of New York, I pronounce you husband and wife.

You may now kiss the bride.

Now that the ceremony is over and the experience of living day by day is about to begin, go and meet it gladly.

It is my great pleasure to present to you this newly united couple, ___________ and _______ May we all continue to
support and honor their union, I wish you all continued peace and joy.






A Traditional Ceremony – Example 3  (10 - 15 minutes)

Let us Begin:

(Opening words)

Dear family and friends -we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of ________ and ___________.

Since time immemorial, people have performed ceremonies to mark a transition, a change of status.

Today we gather for the happiest of ceremonies – the change of status from single individuals to a married couple.
Traditionally, that change is indicated by passing the brides hand from her family to her husband-to-be.

Who brings this bride to be married today?

Today is the day that ____________ and  _____________will formally and publicly make their promises to one
another. Although this is indeed a high point, marriage is a journey not a destination. Marriage is more than any one
single event or promise. It is a series of decisions that have been made, and will continue to be made over and over
again, every day, that shows each of their care and concern for the one whom they each love most in the world.
Marriage is a promise that is renewed daily through a couples actions and a responsibility taken on in the spirit of
faith, and hope, and love, that brings comfort in times of sadness and heightens our greatest joy.

(Declaration of Intent)
. ________ and ___________.may the promises you make this day live always in your hearts and in your home so
that all which you share now deepen and grow through the years, leading you through a lifetime of happiness.

A wedding is more than a celebration of the Love which lives in our Bride and Groom's hearts today. It reaches into
the future and proclaims their intentions for that which tomorrow shall hold. A couple who wed are joined not only by
the mutual affection and love they share, but also by their hopes, dreams and by their promises of what will be... The
promises and vows they make this day shall guide them into their common future. I will ask you now if you are
prepared to make these promises.

(Vows)

(Bride)

___________, Have you come here today of your own free will to take ________ to be your husband, that you may
live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?"
(Answer): "I have."

"Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your life?"
(Answer): "I will."

(Groom)

_________ Have you come here today of your own free will to take ___________ to be your wife, that you may live
together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?"

(Answer): "I have."

"Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your life?"

(Answer) "I will."

"Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other. Seemingly your relationship
will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken word. May that power bring you all the warmth and
closeness, security and comfort, joy and happiness that this world has to offer."

(Exchange of Rings)

Traditionally,  the passage to the status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a
symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for
each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken.

"May I have the rings please?"

(Officiant is given the rings)

(Groom)
"__________ do you take ___________ to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you vow to love her and care for her
for as long as you both shall live? Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths, and offer yourself to her
with all of your own faults and strengths? Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion and to always put the
promises you make this day above all else?"
(Answer) : "I do."

"Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me?"

"I _________take you __________to be my wife. I will love and honor you, respect and cherish you all the days of
my life."

(Bride)
"_________, do you take ___________ to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you vow to love him and care for
him for as long as you both shall live? Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths, and offer yourself to
him with all of your own faults and strengths? Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day above all else?"

(Answer): "I do."

"Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me?"

"I ________________take you ________ to be my husband I will love and honor you, respect and cherish you
all the days of my life."

(Proclamation)

You have declared before all of us that you will live together in marriage. You have made special promises to each
other, which have been symbolized by the joining of hands, taking of vows and the giving and receiving of two ring's.
By the authority vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you to be husband and wife.

With abiding confidence and affection, we send you forth on your journey of life together.  May you be filled with
thanks and wonder, humor and fun, hope and perseverance so that you may grow in wisdom and grace.

(Presentation)

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, family, loved ones; it is with great pleasure that I now introduce to you for the first
time, Mr. and Mrs._______________

You may now kiss the bride!








An Informal  Ceremony with a Unity Candle- Example 4  (10 - 12 minutes)

Let us Begin:

(Opening words)

Friends and family, your presence is welcome on this glorious evening. We have come to celebrate the marriage of
________ and ________________.

It is one of life’s richest surprises when the fateful meeting of two individuals leads them to proceed together along a
common path. It is indeed one of life’s finest experiences when a chance relationship grows into a permanent bond of
love. This meeting and this love are what bring us together today.

The uniting of these two friends to establish a new family is an important and memorable event. It brings together two
separate families and backgrounds and creates a union that is a sign of hope and joy for the future.

In their love for each other, which they publicly express in this ceremony, ____________and _________
demonstrate not only their joy in the present but their commitment to share the future together. This is a time of
celebration for all of you who know and love them.

(Declaration of Intent)
Before ____________and ______________, are joined together in marriage in my presence and in the presence of
these, your family, friends and community, I am bound to remind you publicly of the solemn, the serious and the
permanent nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.

______________ and ____________,
Do you come here freely, and without reservation, to enter a marriage as companions living together as one,
enjoying equality? Do you promise to love, respect, assist and look after each other for the rest of your lives? Are
you prepared to live in harmony, and jointly strive for the welfare of your family?

(Answer)  We do.


(Vows)

To Groomt)

___________, please take ____________'s hand while i recite these vows.

Will you  _____________ offer yourself to ______________ as your wife,
Your friend, your lover and your lifelong companion.
Will you share your life with hers; build your dreams together, support her through times of trouble,
And rejoice with her in times of happiness;
Will you treat her with respect, love and loyalty through all the trials and triumphs of your lives together.
This commitment is made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope, And eternally made new.

(Answer) I will

To Bride)

___________, please take ____________'s hand while i recite these vows.

Will you  _____________ offer yourself to ______________ as your husband,
Your friend, your lover and your lifelong companion.
Will you share your life with his; build your dreams together, support him through times of trouble,
And rejoice with him in times of happiness;
Will you treat him with respect, love and loyalty through all the trials and triumphs of your lives together.
This commitment is made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope, And eternally made new.

(Answer) I will

(Unity Candle Ceremony)

_________and _________ have chosen to affirm their love by the lighting of a Unity Candle.
The flame of the candle represents light and spirit; and fire is often said to symbolize inspiration, aspiration, power &
passion.
By lighting a Unity Candle, they signal their desire to not only join as one in their union, but to unite two families
together as one.

Will a member of the bride and groom’s families please light a side candle which represents the separate lives,
families and experiences before the wedding day?

(Family members each light a candle).

A candle has been lit for each of your families.

______ and ________, please use those candles to light the Unity Candle together.

(Bride and Groom take the side candles and use them to light the center ‘Unity’ candle.)

Prior to this moment you each walked a separate path.
With the lighting of the center candle you have now symbolically joined your once separate lives.
As two flames combined into one light, so now are your friends and family joined, through you, into one.


(Exchange of Rings)

From the Egyptians came the custom of placing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand.  They believed
that from this finger, a 'vein of love' went directly to the heart.  Your rings that circle themselves are natural symbols
of unending love.

(To Groom)
______________please repeat these vows phrase by phrase after me.

With this ring  I take you, _____________, as my wife. I offer all that I am in return,
and pledge to remember, over every day of our lives together,
why we unite here today.

(To Bride)
______________please repeat these vows phrase by phrase after me.

With this ring  I take you, _____________, as my husband. I offer all that I am in return,
and pledge to remember, over every day of our lives together,
why we unite here today.

(Announcement)

In a moment we will finish with the Declaration of Marriage but first _______ and _______would like me to make this
announcement:
Immediately after the ceremony please allow the Couple to recesses out to the porch where you can
express your joy and congratulations to them and the family.

After the ceremony, your are invited to please come up and sign the Wedding Certificate that the couple
designed to include all of their friends and family here today.          

(Proclamation)

And now, _____________and _________have declared before all of us that they will live together in marriage. They
have made special promises to each other. They have symbolized it by joining hands, taking vows and exchanging
rings .
By the authority vested in me by the State of _____________, I now pronounce you to be husband and wife..

You may kiss each other!

(Presentation)

Therefore, on your behalf and on the behalf of the community, I introduce the newly wedded couple…_______and
______!
Modern Ceremonies
Sample Ceremonies
1 .A Very Brief Elopement Ceremony
2 .A Short Ceremony
3. A Traditional Ceremony
4. An Informal Ceremony with a
Unity Candle
5. A Romantic Ceremony
6. Non-denominational Christian Ceremony
7. A Same-Sex Ceremony
8. A Vow Renewal Ceremony
(scroll down)
A Christian Ceremony; Example # 6; (10 - 15 minutes)

Let us Begin:

(Opening words)

We are gathered here today before God, our families, and friends to celebrate the marriage of _______
and _______. We are gathered to rejoice in the gift of love that our Creator shares with us. We affirm today
that God who is both the Creator and Sustainer of life desires us to fully experience our humanity. None of
us can be an island isolated without need of community with others. We offer praise and thanks to God who
has blessed us with the wonder of life, breath, hearts, minds and souls. We rejoice in the realization that we
are most alive when we wholeheartedly embrace the gifts that God has given us, especially God's gift of
love in all the ways that gift is bestowed.

Who brings this bride to be married today?
(Parent replies and is seated)

(Memorial Candle)

It has been said that through others, we are complete. Through marriage, we broaden our circle of family
and friends and recall those who gave us life. It is in this spirit of remembrance that _____ and
______would like to light a memorial candle, for loved ones who are no longer among us.

(Bride and Groom together light the memorial candle).

(Declaration of Intent)

_______ and _______, to create a life together with the blessing of God requires that you honor the divine
in each other and in yourself; that you honor the many voices of the soul – the joys, the delights, the love, as
well as the anger, the fear, the illness, and the unhealed wounds; that you not ask your life partner to be any
less than a fully formed person, committed to you in love, but still possessed by that strange and sometimes
bewildering gift of freedom. We are to accept our life partners for all that they are, embracing each other in
all our complexity -- in times of delight, in the fullness of dreams, in moments or sorrow, conflict, or loss. This
is both God's blessing and charge to you: to live together with courage and honor whatever time in its
unfolding mystery may bring.

I will ask you now if you are prepared to make these promises.

(Vows)
(Bride)
_______, will you have this Man to be your husband, and will you promise your life to him, in all love and
honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with him, and cherish him, according to the
ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?

(Answer): I will

(Groom)

_______, will you have this Woman to be your wife, and will you promise your life to her in all love and
honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with her, cherish her, according to the
ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?

(Answer) I will

Almighty and ever-blessed God, whose presence is the happiness of every condition, and whose favor
hallows every relation: We beseech you to be present and favorable unto these your servants, that they may
be truly joined in the honorable estate of marriage, in the covenant of their God. As you have brought them
together by your providence, sanctify them by your Spirit, giving them a new frame of heart fit for their new
estate; enrich them with all grace, whereby they may enjoy the comforts, undergo the cares, endure the
trials, and perform the duties of life together, under your guidance and protection through Jesus Christ.

Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other. Seemingly your
relationship will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken word. May that power bring
you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy and happiness that this world has to offer.

(Reading)

_____ and _______ have chosen a biblical passage – I Corinthians 13:4-8 –which  expresses their
feelings of love and grace on this wonderful day.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails  

(Exchange of Rings)

Traditionally, the passage to the status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings. These
rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver
and no receiver for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the
vows you have taken.

May I have the rings please?

Officiant is given the rings)

(Groom)
__________ do you take ___________ to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you vow to love her and care
for her for as long as you both shall live? Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths, and offer
yourself to her with all of your own faults and strengths? Do you promise to be a faithful and loving
companion and to always put the promises you make this day above all else?;

(Answer) : I do.

Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me

I _________take you __________to be my wife. I will love and honor you, respect and cherish you all the
days of my life.

(Bride)
_________, do you take ___________ to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you vow to love him and
care for him for as long as you both shall live? Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths, and
offer yourself to him with all of your own faults and strengths? Do you promise to be a faithful and loving
companion and to always put the promises you make this day above all else?

(Answer): I do.

Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me

I ________________take you ________ to be my husband. I will love and honor you, respect and cherish
you all the days of my life.

(Proclamation)

Now that _______ and _______ have pledged themselves to each other by solemn vows with the joining of
hands and the giving and receiving of rings, by the authority vested in me by the state of New York, I
announce to you that they are husband and wife, a new family, and life's partners in the name of God
beyond us, God within us, and God between us. Those whom God has joined together, let no one put
asunder. May the grace of Christ attend you, and the love of God surround you, the Holy Spirit keep you,
that you may live in faith, abound in hope, and grow in love, both now and forevermore..  

You may now kiss the bride.

With abiding confidence and affection, we send you forth on your journey of life together. May you be filled
with thanks and wonder, humor and fun, hope and perseverance so that you may grow in wisdom and grace.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, family, loved ones; it is with great pleasure that I now introduce to you for the
first time, Mr. and Mrs. ______________







A Same Sex Ceremony - Example 7 (10 -12 minutes)

Let us Begin:

(Opening words)

Friends and family, your presence is welcome on this glorious evening. We have come to celebrate the Wedding of
________ and ________________.

Since time immemorial, people have performed ceremonies to mark a transition, a change of status. Today we
gather for that happiest of ceremonies – the change of status from single individuals to a married couple.

It is one of life’s richest surprises when the fateful meeting of two individuals leads them to proceed together along a
common path. It is indeed one of life’s finest experiences when a chance relationship grows into a permanent bond of
love.

This meeting and this love are what bring us together today. The uniting of these two friends to establish a new
family is an important and memorable event. It brings together two separate families and backgrounds and creates a
union that is a sign of hope in the midst of a troubled society.

In their love for each other, which they publicly express in this ceremony, ____________and _________
demonstrate not only their joy in the present but their commitment to share the future together. This is a time of
celebration for all of you who know and love them.

(Declaration of Intent)

Before you,____________and you, ______________, are joined together in marriage in my presence and in the
presence of these, your family, friends and community, I am bound to remind you publicly of the solemn, the serious
and the permanent nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.

______________ and ____________, do you come here freely, and without reservation, to enter a marriage as
companions living together as one, enjoying equality? Do you promise to love, respect, assist and look after each
other for the rest of your lives? Are you prepared to live in harmony, and jointly strive for the welfare of your family,
and for a just and equal society?

(Answer) We do.

(Vows)

(To first participant)
___________, please take ____________'s hand while i recite these vows.

Will you  ______, take  ______, to be no other than himself.
Loving what you know of him, trusting what you do not yet know,
will you respect his integrity and have faith in his abiding love for you,
through all your years, and in all that life may bring you.

(Answer) I will

To second participant)
___________, please take ____________'s hand while i recite these vows.

Will you  ______, take  ______, to be no other than himself.
Loving what you know of him, trusting what you do not yet know,
will you respect his integrity and have faith in his abiding love for you,
through all your years, and in all that life may bring you

(Answer) I will

(Blessing)

Above you are the stars, below you are the stones.
As time passes, remember...
Like a star should your love be constant,
Like the earth should your love be firm.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with each other,
For storms will come, and they will go quickly,
Forced to dissipate in the light of your love.
Be free in giving of affection and of warmth.
Have no fear, and let not the ways or words of the unenlightened give you unease.
For the Old Gods are with you,
Now and always!


(Exchange of Rings)

Traditionally,  the passage to the status of married couple is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a
symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for
each is the giver and each is the receiver.

(To first participant)
______________please repeat these vows phrase by phrase after me.

With this ring I take you, _____________, as my spouse.
I offer all that I am in return,
and pledge to remember, over every day of our lives together,
why we were united here today."

(To second participant)
______________please repeat these vows phrase by phrase after me.

With this ring I take you, _____________, as my spouse.
I offer all that I am in return,
and pledge to remember, over every day of our lives together,
why we were united here today.

(Proclamation)

And now, _____________and _________have declared before all of us that they will live together in marriage. They
have made special promises to each other. They have symbolized it by joining hands, taking vows, exchanging rings
and by signing their wedding certificate.
By the authority vested in me by the State of ______________,, I pronounce that you are now and forever, legally
married..

You may kiss each other!

(Presentation)

Therefore, on your behalf and on the behalf of the community, I introduce the newly-weds_________ & ______!








A Vow Renewal Ceremony – Example # 8 (10-12 minutes)

Let us begin.

(Opening Words)

Friends, family and loved ones, we are here today to bear witness to the joyous marriage of _______ and ________
_______ and________, when you first joined hands and hearts ___ years ago, you did not know where life would
take you. You promised to love, honor and cherish one another through all things. Life has surely brought you both
wonderful blessings and difficult tribulations. Therefore, you have fulfilled your promise.
Let this be a day of gladness, thanksgiving, possibility, and good fortune for all of us, but especially for ¬¬____ and
______ who are here to renew and celebrate their love. Just as spring blossoms anew after a harsh winter, so must
spouses renew their love for each other in their daily lives. Today begins the new spring of this year's love. So may it
be renewed each day in your hearts.

(Reading)

_______ and ______  selected this reading to express the wisdom, grace and joy we feel on this wonderful occasion.
From “Shall We Dance”….

“We need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet, what does anyone life really mean? But in
a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the
mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice
it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

(Vows)

_____&_____, I remind you that marriage is a precious gift, a lifelong dedication to love and a daily challenge to love
one another more fully and more freely.

With this in mind, _____&_____, have you come here freely and with the intention of a renewal of your marriage
vows?

(Both answer, We Have)

Will you continue to love and honor each other as man and wife every day as you have promised to do?

(Both answer, We Do.)

Will you love, comfort and honor, keeping each other forever more?

(Both answer, We Will)

(Instead of the Vows below, Bride and Groom may each choose to read a Personal Vow they have written. Children
and other guests may also read tributes to the couple)

Groom do you again take Bride as your wife, will you continue to be faithful to her in tender love and honor, offering
encouragement and companionship and will you continue to live with her and cherish her?

(Groom answers I do)

Bride do you again take Groom as your husband, will you continue to be faithful to him in tender love and honor,
offering encouragement and companionship and will you continue to live with him and cherish him?

(Bride answers I do)

(Rings)

_____ & _____ have rings as the outward symbols of their ongoing commitment to each other. From earliest times,
the ring has been a symbol of wedded love. An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolizes a commitment to love
that is also never ending.

(Groom), hold (Bride's) hand, touch her ring, symbolically giving it to her again, and say to her these words.
From this day on, I recommit myself to you, and this ring is a symbol of my pledge.

(Bride), hold (Groom’s) hand, touch his ring, symbolically giving it to him again, and say to him these words.
From this day on, I recommit myself to you, and this ring is a symbol of my pledge.

Let these rings serve not as locks binding you together, but as keys, unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each
other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever.

(Pronouncement)

_____ and _____, today you came knowingly to renew your promises of love for one another, not as newlyweds but
as a married couple, with the knowledge that life is a journey, not a destination, and you have committed to travel
together. Go now and enjoy the love you share forevermore. It is my honor and pleasure to once again pronounce
you husband and wife!

You may now kiss each another!
A Romantic Ceremony; Example 5; (10 - 15 minutes)

Let us begin.

(Opening Words)

We are gathered here today to take part in that most time-honored celebration of the human family, uniting a
woman and a man in marriage.
__________  and __________  have come to witness before us, telling of their love for each other. We remember
that theirs is a love whose source is the affection of those who loved them into being. We remind them that they are
performing an act of complete faith, each in the other; that the heart of their marriage will be the relationship they
create. In a world where faith often falls short of expectation, it is a tribute to these two who now join hands and
hearts in perfect faith.

______ and   _______ have chosen a poem to underline their love for each other.    

“Sonnet from the Portuguese" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

(Declaration of Intent)

__________, will you receive __________ as your wife?
Will you pledge to her your love, faith and tenderness,
cherishing her with a husband's loyalty and devotion?

(Answer): I will.

__________, will you receive __________ as your husband?
Will you pledge to him your love, faith and tenderness,
cherishing him with a wife’s loyalty and devotion?

(Answer): I will.

(Vows)
__________ and __________, receive each other from your fathers and mothers, who give you into each other's
keeping, by saying now, each to the other, words which will tell of your love.
__________, please repeat after me:

I, __________, take you, __________,
to be no other than yourself,
in all the ways life may find us,
tending you in sickness
and rejoicing with you in health,
as long as we both shall live to love.

__________, please repeat after me:

I, __________, take you, __________,
to be no other than yourself,
in all the ways life may find us,
tending you in sickness
and rejoicing with you in health,
as long as we both shall live to love.

(Exchange of Rings)

Will you now give and receive a ring?
(Answer): We will.
May I have the rings please?

This circlet of precious metal is justly regarded as a fitting emblem of the purity and perpetuity of the Marriage
State. The ancients were reminded by the circle of eternity, as it is so fashioned as to have neither beginning nor
end; while gold is so incorruptible that it cannot be tarnished by use or time. So may the union, at this time
solemnized, be incorruptible in its purity and more lasting than time itself.

__________, please place this ring on __________’s left hand and repeat after me:

Wear this ring forever, __________,
as a symbol of love and peace
and of all that is unending.

__________, please place this ring on __________’s left hand and repeat after me:

Wear this ring forever, __________,
as a symbol of love and peace
and of all that is unending.

(Proclamation)

In the years which shall bring __________ and __________ into greater age and wisdom, we pray that their love
shall be ever young; that they shall be able always to recover, from moments of despair, the passionate ways of
youth. 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.

Inasmuch as __________ and __________ have declared their love and devotion to each other before family and
friends, by the authority vested in me by the State of New York, I pronounce them to be a married couple.
I now greet them with you as husband and wife.

You may now kiss the bride!