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Part Four: Wedding Vows (Civil Ceremony), Rings, Declaration of Marriage

tiger wedding

An unusual wedding guest appears while wedding vows are shared!

The sample wedding ceremony vows below are read to you a few words at a time, and you may repeat them very softly if you wish. Renewal of wedding vows are the same as the vow options below.  

__________________, do you take _______________ to be your husband, to love him, to cherish him, and to continually bestow upon him your heart’s deepest devotion? {I do.} And _____________________________, do you take _________________ to be your wife, to love her, to cherish her, and to continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion? {I do.}

Please join hands, face one another and repeat after me: __________, you are my beloved, to love and to cherish, and to have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, in sadness and in joy, to share our lives together, from this day forward. (Both bride and groom repeat these vows individually).

Alternative vows

(These can be used after the “I Do’s” in place of the vows which appear in the standard ceremony) First alternative vows: Please join hands and repeat after me: __________________, I take you as my wife/husband. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love; I promise to honor and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfillment through all the changes of our lives.

Second alternative vows: ___________, I take you as my wife/husband, to laugh with you in joy, to grieve with you in sorrow, and to grow with you in love.

You may also choose to write and say your own vows to each other, either in addition to or instead of the repeated vows. If you do this, we suggest your vows be about the same length and that you have your officiant hand your vows to you to read rather than try to memorize them or ad lib.

Dress wedding ring

Wedding Ring Ceremony

Wedding Ring Ceremony 

What tokens of your love and devotion do you have to offer one another?
{These Rings/This Ring}
May these rings be blessed as a symbol of this affectionate unity. Your two lives are being joined today in one unbroken circle. Wherever you go, may you always return to one another in your togetherness. May you find in one another the love for which all men and women yearn. May you grow in understanding and compassion. May the home which you establish together be such a place of sanctuary that all who are here today and others through the years will find there true friends. May these rings, soon to be on your fingers, symbolize the touch of the spirit of love that is in both your hearts. _______________, in placing the ring on ___________________’s left hand, please repeat after me: ____________________, I give you this ring as a pledge of my love, and as a symbol of our unity.
Alternative Ring Ceremony
Bless, O Lord, these rings, that they who wear them may abide in Thy peace, and continue in Thy favor, unto their life’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. _________, in placing the ring on ________’s finger, please repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


Declarations of Marriage

______________ and _________________, you have consented together to marriage before this company, pledged your faith and declared your unity by each giving and receiving a ring, and, as you are now joined together in mutual esteem and devotion, it is my privilege as an ordained minister to pronounce that you are married.
Alternative Declaration
Because _________ and __________ have exchanged these vows of love in our presence, we now recognize them as husband and wife.

Native American
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no more loneliness for you, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, to enter into the days of your togetherness, and may your days be good, and long upon, the earth.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

Give to one another new experiences of joy. Challenge one another so that you may grow. May the love you hold for each other, now sealed in marriage, continue to mature with the passing years. May you never take each other for granted, but always experience the wonder of your union. Be slow to anger, quick to forgive, leaving no tracks of resentment behind each day. May your love consist not only in gazing into each other’s eyes, but in looking outward in the same direction. May your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to yourselves, your families, your friends, and to all whose lives you touch.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. And may the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May God give you His peace in your going out and in your coming in, in your lying down and in your rising up, in your labor and in your leisure, in your laughter and in your tears, until that day when you come to stand before Jesus in that day in which there is no sunset and no dawning. Amen.

Declaration and Benediction From the Book of Common Worship:

For as much as _______________ and ______________ have consented together to holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and before this company, I pronounce that they are Husband and Wife, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. What God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Let us pray. May God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve and keep you; the Lord mercifully with His favor look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that you may so live together in this life, that in the world to come you may have life everlasting. Amen.

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