Bringing of the Bride: Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply:
Who brings Bride to be married to Groom?
Father: I do her Father
And who’s blessings accompany her?
Father: She is accompanied by all her families blessings.
Opening: Welcome family and friends, this is a day for celebration. We have gathered here today to witness the marriage of Groom and Bride and as they share their special day with you, they ask for your blessings.
Groom and Bride have come before me today, because they have reached that point in their relationship where they desire a greater commitment. Today they are ready to pledge their love to one another in this union we call marriage.
Groom and Bride, think for a moment of the caterpillar. He begins life as a lowly, uninteresting little creature. Yet he is one day transformed by an extraordinary metamorphosis into the most exquisite and fragile butterfly. In a similar way, your relationship is changing today. You will no longer be just two good friends. Today you are being transformed by marriage, into one.
Why Do You Love?: Groom and Bride, have you ever thought about why you want to get married? Take a moment, and gaze into each other’s eyes. What is it that you see there that has captured your soul? What spark, what love, what beauty have you found in those eyes that has made you into a better person? Do you remember when you first met? When you first kissed? Can each of you recall the moment when the other turned your life and your heart upside down?
Now, today, you have come here to turn all of these emotions into something more. Today you stand before these witnesses and desire to make a commitment that will produce a lifetime of fulfillment.
Love is a verb. Although it can describe a state of being, love really is an ACTION verb. Over time, feelings can change. But if you keep performing acts of love for each other, cultivate the great art of forgiving and expect the best from your lover, your feelings will stay fresh & alive and you can transform your home into a castle where love thrives.
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Poet Carl Sandburg captured the essence of a love which can stand the test of time when he wrote:
“I love you. I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be. I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires, that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little. “A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall. But the most beautiful rose is one, hardly more than a bud, wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for larger and finer growth. Not always shall you be what you are right now. You are going forward toward something great. I am on the way with you and . . I love you.”
Vows: Groom, 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 understanding, do you Groom, take Bride, to be your wife? Will you love and cherish her, giving her assistance in all of life’s labors? Will you be true to her both in sickness and health, when things are going well and when there are difficulties? And will you be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
If so, you may answer, I WILL.
Bride, 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 understanding, do you, Bride, take Groom, to be your husband? Will you love and cherish him, giving him assistance in all of life’s labors? Will you be true to him both in sickness and health, both when things are going well and when there are difficulties? And will you be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
If so, you may answer, I WILL.
Rings: Groom and Bride have chosen rings as outward symbols of the commitment they make today. From earliest times, the ring has been a symbol of committed love. An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolizes a commitment to love that is also never ending.
Groom, do you have the ring that is the lasting symbol of your vows to Bride?
The ring is a circle. A circle has no end, so it symbolizes an enduring love. Let this ring remind you of the lifetime commitment you are making to Bride.
Place the ring on the third finger of Bride’s left hand and repeat after me as you make these vows to her:
“From this day on/I Groom, take you Bride/to be my wife/I will love you/I will cherish you/I will be true to you/no matter what comes into our lives/if we are rich or poor/if there is sickness or health/my heart belongs to you/so long as we both shall live.
Bride, do you have the ring that is the lasting symbol of your vows to Groom?
The ring is a circle. A circle has no end so it symbolizes an enduring love. Let this ring remind you of the lifetime commitment you are making to Groom.
Place the ring on the third finger of Groom’s left hand and repeat after me as you make these vows to him:
“From this day on/I Bride, take you Groom/to be my husband/I will love you/I will cherish you/I will be true to you/no matter what comes into our lives/if we are rich or poor/if there is sickness or health/my heart belongs to you/so long as we both shall live.
Charge to the Couple: Groom and Bride, may you never take each other's love for granted, but always experience that wonder that exclaims "WOW! out of all in the entire world, you chose me!" and when life is done, may you be found then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God that you found each other. Never forget to treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together in the first place. Although I'm officiating here today, it is not truly in my power to sanctify, legitimize or bless your relationship in any way, the two of you have already done that in your hearts.
And NOW, you are Husband and Wife.
YOU MAY SEAL YOUR VOWS WITH A KISS
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege to present to you, for the first time as husband and wife: