Officiant: It is with great pleasure that we gather today to witness the
joining of two hands, and two hearts in matrimony. These two people,
[Name] and [Name], have fallen in love so deeply, so completely, that
today, they make a bond, a sacred covenant, whereby their hearts, their
bodies, and their minds shall be united as one in marriage for the rest
of their days.
[Name] and [Name]’s respective families, together with their friends, each represent a circle of love; a circle of love where members care for, and nurture each other, in times of joy and in times of sorrow.
Today, [Name] and [Name] join their lives together to make a new circle of love, one that overlaps with, and is made stronger by those from which it has emerged. You have been invited here because of their special relationship with you, to witness the creation of this sacred bond.
Honoring those not present – Optional
At this time, we would like to honor those who could not be with us today. We offer a special remembrance of [Name(s)].
Although they are not here with us physically, we feel blessed they are with us in spirit on this beautiful day. We bow in silence to honor their memory. (Pause for a few moments.)
Declaration of Intent to Marry
Officiant: The covenant of marriage is one that can be entered into only
by persons who are both legally and spiritually free to offer
themselves to each other. Therefore, in the presence of all of the
witnesses here, I will ask [Name] and [Name] to state their intention.
[Name] and [Name], have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in the holy state of matrimony?
They respond: “Yes” or “We have.”
Officiant: [Name] and [Name], please face each other and join hands, and in so doing, join hearts.
To Partner 1: Please repeat after me:
I, [Name], take you [Name],
to be my lawfully wedded spouse/partner/husband/wife, to have and to hold,
to love and to cherish,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
from this day forward, until death do us part.
Repeat for Partner 2
Blessing of Rings
Officiant: Do we have the rings?
May these rings that [Name] and [Name] are about to exchange, forever remind them of their covenant with one another, as well as the circle of love they have publicly created here today. May their compassion and kindness for one another always be like these rings, with no beginning and no end. May the precious metal remind them of their precious commitment, and if either begins to tarnish, may they joyfully undertake the sacred duty to make it shine brightly again. May their relationship always be like these rings, separate but close, simple but beautiful. May these rings always belong to their hands, and their love always belong in each other’s hearts.
Exchange of Rings
To Partner 1: Please look into [Name]’s eyes, and place the ring on
his/her hand, and repeat after me, “With this ring, I thee wed.”
Repeat for Partner 2
Community Vow of Support – Optional
Officiant speaks to guests: Now that you have heard [Name] and [Name]
recite their marriage vows, do you, their family and friends, promise
from this day forward, to encourage them and love them, and to help
guide and support them in being steadfast in the promises they have
made?” If you agree, please say, “We do.”
We will close with a final blessing for your marriage:
(Apache Wedding Blessing)
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life inside you.
Go now to your dwelling to enter the days of your life together.
And may your days be good, and long upon the earth.
[Name] and [Name],
with the support of your families and friends,
by the vows you have made to one another,
by the strength of your covenant,
it is my pleasure to pronounce you [husband/wife/married/life partners/legally married/etc].
You may seal your marriage with a kiss.
Presentation of the Married Couple
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor and privilege to present to you for the very first time, [Insert Married Names]!