Here’s a sample wedding ceremony that the two of us have used in performing alternative weddings as official ministers in the state of Ohio. We offer this as an example of some text that you are welcome to use if you are planning your ceremony. (This is a ceremony performed for a heterosexual couple. It could be easily adapted for a ceremony for a same-sex couple.)
Welcome. We’d like to welcome you — friends and family — to this celebration of the marriage of ___________. (names of people getting married)–We welcome you to this moment in your lives and to the place you have come to in each other’s hearts. We join with you on this day, as you commit before God and those gathered here that from this point forward you will live in a union of partnership that you remain separate individuals with separate wants and desires while forming this vital, growing partnership between two equal people for the purpose of your spiritual growth.
Meditation of Universal love
There are so many names for God When we speak of God in this ceremony, we invite you to call on whatever name you call your Higher Power. We invite you to participate fully with your thoughts and prayers, asking for a blessing of this couple and their married life. You are here because this couple feels close to you and asks that you join with them in this dedication of sacred purpose.
You represent symbolically all the people in the world who will be touched in any way by the life of this couple. You represent their friends and family, now and forever. They have chosen this act of marriage and this public, holy ceremony in which to proclaim it. Together, let us all give thanks and to hold the vision of universal love.
Let’s have everyone join hands and allow the love, light and power flow through each of you on this blessed day.
To the Couple:
(names) we congratulate you on the journey of your lives, on the strength and the courage it has taken for each of you to make your way to this place. Both of you have professed a very serious, joyful love for each other.
You receive on this day the blessings, for yourselves and all the world. In the words of Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet:
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love; Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
The Bible has these words to say about love in 1 Corintians 13:
“Love is patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. If does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.”
You are being asked to be fully together without giving up yourself. We would offer these 7 steps of co-commitment to give you some guideposts on your journey.
*Commit yourselves to full closeness and to clearing up anything that stands in the way.
*Commit yourselves to your own complete development as an individual.
*Commit yourselves to revealing yourselves fully in the relationship not to concealing who you are.
*Commit yourselves to the full empowerment of each other, your son and the people around you.
*Commit yourselves to acting from the awareness that you are 100 percent the source of your reality.
*Commit yourselves to having a good time in your close relationship.
*Commit yourselves to learning to live in a state of continuous positive energy
(Bride’s name, Groom’s name) is God’s gift to you, but he is not a gift for you alone. Although this man does not complete you, may your love help him to find within himself a greater sense of who he is meant to be and know that he is a beautiful soul. You are asked to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be, that he might be healed and made strong.
(Groom’s name, Bride’s name) is God’s gift to you, she is not a gift intended for you alone. Although this woman does not complete you, may your love help her see herself as God created her, so beautiful and strong that the entire world might be blessed by the presence of her light. You are also asked to see the good in her and to accept her for who she is and who she shall be, that she might be healed and made strong.
Our prayer for both of you is that you experience the vastness of what love, connection and union is all about. Through the union with one person, may you see the interconnectedness with all people.
From this point forward, (Bride’s name), (Groom’s name) needs will carry the same priority as your own. Likewise, (Groom’s name), from this point forward, (Bride’s name) needs will be seen to be as important as your own.
You will not be two conflicting or competing forces, but rather the energies of your lives will blend into harmony and oneness. You will be two people who give more to the world as a couple than they ever could give alone.
Thanks to Parents:
To the parents of _______________ Congratulations on the part you have played in raising (Bride and Groom names). On their behalf, and on behalf of all those here, we thank you. With this marriage, God joins your families and it is the family unit that will rebuild the world. With this in mind, we ask you (Bride parents names) to accept and love (groom’s name) as your own son and you,(Groom’s parents names), to accept and love (Bride name) as your own daughter. We ask that you love any children from this union as you love your own.
May the miracle of this marriage extend throughout your all of your families. (Bride and groom hug and thank parents)
Bride and Groom’s vows to each other
(Bride and Groom write their own vows and say them to each other)
Introduce couple to witnesses
End of Ceremony