CEREMONY SELECTION GUIDE ©
- Orange County Wedding Minister & Officiant Rev. Bruce Danzara
- Orange County Wedding Locations
- Finding the Wedding Minister or Officiant that is right for you
The ceremony structure, choices and options offered below are presented as guidelines. If you desire, facts about your relationship - how you met and fell in love, your friendship, dreams and goals can be included. Please choose one from each heading.
2. Who brings this woman to marry this man?
3. Who gives this woman in marriage?
4. Who gives their blessing for this marriage?
1. ______ and ______ the relationship that you have nurtured together stands for love that will blossom and grow with each passing day. Before you knew love, you were friends, and it was from this seed of friendship that is now your destiny. Marriage is the clasping of hands, the blending of hearts, the union of two lives as one. Marriage is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as your own, it is not total absorption into each other; it is looking outward in the same direction together. Marriage makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can be involved with life in ways you dare not risk alone. To make your relationship succeed will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open and honest with one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both promised today to share together. An intimate and secure relationship is not based solely on promises, but also on trust, respect, faithfulness and the ability to forgive. A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love.
2. ______ and ______, marriage is the most important of all earthly relationships. It should be entered into reverently, thoughtfully and with full understanding of its sacred nature. Your marriage must stand by the strength of your love and the power of faith in each other and in God. Just as two threads woven in opposite directions form a beautiful tapestry, so to your two lives when merged together will make a beautiful marriage. It is a mutual enrichment; a mingling of two personalities which diminishes neither, and enhances both. "Marriage is a fusion of two hearts, the union of two lives, the coming together of two tributaries, which after being united in marriage, will flow in the same channel in the same direction. To make your relationship succeed will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open and honest with one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both promised today to share together. An intimate and secure relationship is not based solely on promises, but also on trust, respect, faithfulness and the ability to forgive. A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love.
3. ______ and ______, today you are affirming before witnesses’ of earth and heaven that you believe God has intended that you should share life in the holy union of matrimony. Your marriage must stand by the strength of your love and the power of faith in each other and in Jesus Christ. There is no relationship on earth as intimate or meaningful as those you are about to enter. There is no human institution more sacred than that of the home you are about to form. The life that each of you experienced now, individually, will hereafter be inseparably united, for the two shall become one flesh. Christian marriage is based on this deep, invisible union of two souls who seek to find completion in one another. Solomon said that a cord of three strands is not easily broken, so too your two lives when merged together and entwined with Christ will create a beautiful marriage that is strengthened by Gods love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open and honest with one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both promised today to share together. An intimate and secure relationship is not based solely on promises, but also on trust, respect, faithfulness and the ability to forgive. A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love.
1. ______ and ______ want to welcome you to this celebration of their love for one another. Each of you has given something special to their lives. Your love and encouragement will forever be appreciated. Thank you for sharing one of life's happiest moments with them. May you be as important a part of their tomorrow as you are of their today.
2. Marriage is a supreme sharing of experience, an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. Today ______ and ______ proclaim their love and commitment to the world, and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them, in the new life they now undertake together.
- 3. ______ and ______ want to thank you for sharing with them on this special and joyous day. Those of you who have had the pleasure of spending some time with them, have seen for yourselves that they possess a very rare and exceptional love. We are here today to celebrate their love and participate in this most wonderful occasion.
4. We are assembled here in the presence of God to celebrate the marriage of ______ and ______. They ask for your blessing, encouragement, and life long support for their decision to become husband and wife. They are delighted that you here today. Thank you for your presence and participation on this special day.
5. We are gathered here today in the sight of God, and the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life's greatest moments. We are here to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words that will unite ______ and ______ in holy matrimony.
PRESENTATION OF BRIDE:
- 1. Who presents ______ to be married to ______?
- TRANSITIONAL READING:
- You can use the choices provided below or select another short reading. (See Reading Selection Guide)
1. Love Chapter - 1 Corinthians 13
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. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
2. Marriage Means Being In Love for the Rest of Your Life - Chris Ardis
Marriage is love walking hand in hand together. It's laughing with each other about silly little things, and learning to discuss big things with care and tenderness. In marriage, love is trusting each other when you're apart. It's getting over disappointments and hurts, knowing that these are present in all relationships. It's the realization that there is no one else in this world that you’d rather be with than the one you're married to. It's thinking of new things to do together; It's growing old together. Marriage is being in love for the rest of your life.
Declaration Of Intent: The Hand-Fasting Ceremony may be used as a substitute.
______ and ______ may this be the love that you bring into this relationship and may its essence touch all those with whom you come in contact. Just as the waters touch and nourish the many shores of the earth, may your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. As you come this day to affirm your love and commitment, may you always remember to value each other as special and unique individuals, and that you respect each others thoughts, ideas and feelings. May you be able to forgive and to forget when wronged - as from this day forward you will be each other's home, comfort and sanctuary.
1. _______, will you embrace/take _______ as your wife/husband? As your companion and best friend for life, will you treat her/him with love and devotion, honor and respect? Will you stand by her/him in the triumphs and tragedies of life, as a faithful and caring wife/husband? [I will]
2. _______, do you receive/embrace/take _______, to be your wife/husband? Do you promise to love, adore, and encourage her/him? Share the good times and achievements as well as the hard times and disappointments? Keep her/him in sickness and in sorrow and to be loyal to her/him forevermore? [I do]
3. _______, will you take this woman/man whose hand you now hold, choosing him/her alone to be your husband/wife? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, showing kindness, understanding and respect throughout your lives? [I will]
4. _______, will you have/take/receive this woman/man to be your wedded wife/husband to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of matrimony? Will you love her/him, comfort and keep her/him, and forsaking all others remain true to him/her as long as you both shall live? [I will]
5. _______, do you give yourself totally to loving _______, striving to do whatever you can to help her/him feel content and secure, treating her/him with affection, understanding and admiration throughout your life together? [I do]
6. _______ and _______, are you ready to enter into this marriage believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things? [We are]
7. _______, do you receive/embrace/take _______, to be your wife/husband? Do you promise love to her/him, respect her/him and care for her/him, under all conditions and circumstances of life to be a faithful wife/husband to her/him for the rest of your lives together? [I do]
EXCHANGE OF VOWS: (see Alternative Vows) You may write your own vows.
______ and ______ the vows that you are about to exchange serve as a verbal representation of the love you have promised to each other. For it is not the words that you speak today which will unite you together as one, but the inner sense of love and commitment that each of you feels within your soul. No other human ties are as tender, no other vows more sacred than those you now assume.
1. ______, I embrace/receive you this day to be my wife/husband … I will have no greater love than you… I promise to stand by you in happiness and adversity, in riches or poverty, in sickness or health. I promise in faithfulness to love and respect you and our marriage, for all my tomorrows and beyond.
2. ______, I embrace/receive you today as my wife/husband. I will be true to you in all things; I will share what I have and who I am. I will stay with you in heartache, celebrate life with you in joy and receive you as my equal.
3. ______, you are my companion in life and my one true love. I will treasure our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust and honor you, I will laugh and cry with you. With unfailing love I will stand by you through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy. As I have given you my hand to hold so I give you my life to keep so help me God.
4. ______, as your wife/husband and best friend I promise to love and encourage you; sharing hopes, dreams and secrets. I promise to be open and honest with you, caring for you in a lifelong commitment.
5. I ______, receive/take you ______, as my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy will.
6. I ______, receive/take you ______, to be my wife/husband. I will share the good times and hard times by your side. I give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and promise my faith and love to you, till the end of time.
7. ______, I take you to be my husband/wife, I promise to be faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect, help and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you to better understand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and the worst as long as we live.
8. ______, I promise to love you, to be your best friend, to respect and support you, to be patient with you, to work together with you to achieve our goals, to accept you unconditionally and to share life with you throughout our years together.
9.I, ______, take you, _______, to be my husband/wife, my constant friend, my faithful partner and the love of my life. In the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and family and friends, I promise to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in happiness as well as in sadness. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your aspirations, and to honor and respect you, this is my solemn vow.
RING CEREMONY PASSAGE: (Spoken by Officiant)
1. The ring, a circle, is one of nature’s simplest forms. The arc of the rainbow, the halo of the moon and the smallest of raindrops simulate the circle. When a stone is cast upon a pond, it generates waves in ever expanding circles. Consider this marriage as being two stones striking the water simultaneously. The ensuing waves interlock, and the growth of the enlarging circles show the combined energies of the lives of ______ and ______. The interlocking of these two lives will be symbolized in the exchange of rings.
2. The wedding ring is a symbol of unbroken unity, it portrays completeness and eternity. May the imperishable substance of these rings reflect a love shining with increasing radiance throughout your years together. May God bless these rings which you give to each other as the sign of your love, trust, and devotion.
3. 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.
4. These rings are a sign and symbol of the vows ______ and ______ have made to one another. Lord bless these rings, that ______ and ______ exchange and wear as a sign of the covenant between them, may they ever remain in your peace, living together in unity, in love, and in happiness, desiring to do your will.
5. The marriage ring seals the vows of marriage and represents a promise for eternal and everlasting love. It is a physical manifestation of the promises joining both the bride and groom together. The wedding ring is placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was traditionally believed that this finger was a direct connection to the heart - the perfect place for a symbol representing eternal love and commitment.
6. The ring is 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.
7. Above all rings the wedding ring denotes purity, loyalty and grace. It is made of the purest metal to speak of the purity of the marriage and is made in a circle to note the unending commitment you are about to enter.
8. Let these rings symbolize the devotion and commitment each holds for the other. These rings, given in love, are an affirmation to all that bear witness that ______ and ______ are truly joined/united together as husband and wife. May God bless your union with His never-ending bond of love and peace.
9. A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace. In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle, in which, wherever you go, you will always return to your shared life together..
10. The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two souls in endless love. The perfect circle of a ring symbolizes eternity, while gold is a symbol of all that is pure and holy. As you give these rings to each other, our prayer is that your love will be the same; pure and eternal. St. Augustine said "The nature of God is like a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference cannot be found." May these rings symbolize the nature of God in your lives.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS: (Repeated by couple)
______ please place this ring on ______ ring finger and repeat after me:
1. ______ I give you this ring as I give you myself. It is a circle without end. Such is my love for you.
2. Just as this ring is without end, so my love for you is unending/eternal. Just as it is made of imperishable substance, my commitment to you will never fail. With this ring, I thee wed.
3. I offer you this ring, shaped as a symbol of completeness and eternity, please wear this ring as a symbol/sign of our love and as a reminder of the promises we have made today.
4. I give you this ring as a sign of my devotion and love and with my all my heart I promise to you all that I am. With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.
5. I give this ring in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love with all that I am and all that I will become.
6. With this ring, I thee wed and with it, I bestow upon thee all the treasures of my mind, heart, and hands.
7. Love has given us wings, and our journey here begins, wherever the wind may carry us, I will stay by your side, ______ receive this ring as a sign of my love and devotion.
8. With this ring I promise to you my deepest love and devotion.
9. I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the name of God.
10. ______, in token and pledge/promise of our faith and abiding love, with this ring I thee wed. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
May the sacredness of this moment and the vows and rings you have exchanged ever remain as a priceless memory in the heart of each of you and may you have perfect love and peace together.
OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES
We highly encourage the use of visuals in the ceremony. No matter how beautiful the words of a ceremony are wedding guests remember what they see, not what they hear. Not only will the family and guests be delighted, but the wedding video and photos will be rich in imagery and creativity. The options listed below are visual and meaningful; adding time, creativity and dimension.
The Hand Blessing Ceremony is around 2 1/2 minutes in length; it is visual, meaningful, romantic and has an option for humor. It is placed it before the ring exchange because it puts the focus on the hands. I get great responses from family and friends.
The Sand Blending Ceremony is around 2 1/2 minutes in length: it is highly visual and very meaningful. The Sand Blending Ceremony is a beautiful and significant alternative to the Unity Candle ceremony. We provide two beautiful seashells, white sand for the bride and golden brown or blue for the groom. The combined sand makes a wonderful wedding keepsake for the bride and groom and a constant reminder of their promises on their wedding day.
The Red Rose Exchange is around 1 1/2 minutes in length: it is visual, meaningful and very romantic. The Bride and Groom present to each other a red Rose as their first gift as husband and wife. Two red roses are all that is necessary. The Red Rose Exchange is placed near the end of the ceremony just "after" being pronounced husband and wife.
The Mothers Rose Presentation is around 1 1/2 minutes in length: it is visual, meaningful and very touching. The bride and groom first present a rose to the brides mother; the bride embraces her mother followed by the grooms embrace. The bride and groom then present a rose to the grooms mother; the groom embraces his mother followed by the brides embrace. What an awesome surprise!
The Unity Candle Ceremony
It is a symbolic ceremony that has the bride and groom light a single candle representing their willingness to walk life's pathways together as one. It is placed near the end of the ceremony, following the Ring Exchange. The mother's usually light the two outer candles as they are escorted forward at the beginning of the ceremony.
The Hand Fasting Ceremony May be used as a substitute for the Declaration of Intent. Hand-fasting is a wedding ritual in which the couples' hands are tied together with a ceremonial cloth or cord. Hand-fasting is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.
The White Dove Release Ceremony As a true symbol of Love, the White Dove chooses its mate for life, therefore they are a very fitting and final addition to any wedding. They create a magical atmosphere as they circle the skies before leaving on their new journey together.
The Wine Ceremony The Wine Ceremony is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. Wine has certain properties that are sweet and bitter representing “Life’s Journey”. As you drink from one cup, you acknowledge to one another that your lives, until this moment separate, have become one.
The Breaking of the Glass Ceremony There are many different explanations for the breaking of the glass. The glass is broken to protect their marriage with the implied prayer...”May your bond of love be as difficult to break as it would be to put together the pieces of this glass.” After the glass breaks , everyone is invited to shout the Hebrew words “Mazel Tov,” meaning “Good Luck” and “Congratulations.
- Other visually meaningful options found in the Reading Selection Guide:
- Family Sand Blending Ceremony
- Hawaiian Lei Exchange
- Mothers Hawaiian Lei Presentation
- Butterfly Release
- Family and Friends Response
- MARRIAGE BLESSING:
- ______ and ______ if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, may it be the love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and by love which your marriage shall endure. Today your separate lives with your individual memories, desires, and hopes merge into one. You are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in the entire world whom you love above all others. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities and to share love. May you be a blessing and comfort to each other, sharers of each others dreams, consolers of each others sorrows, helpers to each other in all of life's challenges. May you encourage each other in whatever you set out to achieve. May you trust each other, trust life and be unafraid. May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you patience, tolerance, and understanding.
- PRONOUNCEMENT OF MARRIAGE:
- 1. ______ and ______ you have expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises you have just made. It is with these in mind that I now pronounce you husband and wife.
2. ______ and ______ because you have promised each other your love, devotion and commitment, I declare you to be husband and wife.
3. ______ and ______ since you have exchanged vows and promised one another your never-ending love, commitment and loyalty, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
4. ______ and ______ you have exchanged vows, promises and rings linking your destinies before God, family and friends, so by the will of God, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
5. ______ and ______ since you have each promised to the other your life long commitment, love and devotion, as a minister of the gospel, I now pronounce you husband and wife; The grace of Christ attend you, the love of God surround you, the Holy Spirit keep you. Amen.
6. ______ and ______ in God's presence and before family and friends, you have made your promises to be loving and faithful in your life together. Because you have promised your love to one another in this fashion, and have promised the same by the giving and receiving of rings, I now pronounce you husband and wife. What God has united let no one separate. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
- 7. ______ and ______, on behalf of the family and friends who love you both here and far away, we recognize and honor you as husband and wife.
1. ______ and ______ you may now seal your promises with a kiss.
2. ______ you may now kiss the/your bride.
PRESENTATION OF HUSBAND & WIFE:
1. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you _______________.
- 2. It is my privilege/pleasure to present to you ______________.
- 3. It is my honor to present to you for the first time ______________.
- 4. It is my pleasure to present to you the Newlyweds, _________ and _________.
- IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE:
- Depending on the choices made on this Ceremony Selection Guide your ceremony would be approximately is twelve minutes in length. To add time please go to the Reading Selection Guide.