Sample  Ceremonies
A Ceremony of Love, Wedding Minister









Nancy Turner,
Wedding Minister
A Ceremony of Love

After creating the
perfect vows to share
before your family and
guests I will be honored
to perform your
wedding ceremony
.
Nancy Turner
Wedding Officiant
707-927-3392
Contact By E-mail
Zales
See the
Alternative Elements
Page   
for ideas on including
unique references in
your ceremony.  
Also see the
Poetry Page
for more ideas.
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You may use any of the FREE
Ceremony Samples shown on this page.
For help with personalizing a ceremony
please
contact me
SOULFUL
Because you will be safe in marriage, you can risk; because you have been promised a future, you can take extraordinary chances.  Because you
know you are loved, you can step beyond your fears; because you have been chosen, you can transcend your insecurities.
You can make
mistakes, knowing the other will be there to catch you.  And because mistakes and risks are the very essence of change and expansion; in
marriage you will expand to your fullest capacity.  Within the nurturing shelter of marriage, you will continue to grow and develop, so you
can discover your individual paths and offer your gifts back to each other and the world.
Marriage, then, makes you free-to see, to be seen, to love. Your souls are protected so your hearts can open.
In a sense, the person you marry is a stranger about whom you have a magnificent hunch.  This person is someone you love;
her depths, his intimate intricacies, you will come to know only in the long unraveling of time.
Your love changes your perception of everything around you.  With love in your heart you can see the splendor of sunshine sparkling on
dew-kissed grass, in the hummingbird whose iridescent colors glitter like jewels in the garden and in the fragrance wafting from a rose.  
You can observe beauty in kind gestures, caring smiles and thoughtful words.  You can see the magnificence in spring rain,
fall leaves, snow-capped mountains and gleaming lakes all because your perception is now enveloped in your peaceful spirit and is based in
love and gratitude.
TRADITIONAL
   We begin this ceremony by gathering together from all those present, cherished
friends and loving family, our sincerest wishes for happiness, our most precious
feelings of affection and our fondest hopes for the future, as we offer them to ___ and
___ on this, their special wedding day.
_____ and _____ join together so they may strengthen each other in all labor,
minister to each other in all sorrow and share with each other in all gladness.  
Marriage is an act of faith and a personal commitment as well as a moral and
physical union.
   Marriage has been described as the best and most important relationship that can
exist between two human beings; the foundation is made of love and trust, the sides
spring upward as a single growing energy of life, the top is open for the inspiration
that promotes such commitment.  This marriage shall be a life-long declaration to
the ideal of loving kindness, backed with the will to make it last.
   ___, Will you take ___, to be your wedded wife/husband, to love, cherish, and
continually bestow upon her/him your heart's deepest devotion?  If so, answer, "I
will".
    [Repeat]
    Please hold hands.
       You are husband and wife, from this day forward, to love and to cherish, to
have and to hold, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in
health, in sadness and in joy, to share your lives together as long as you both shall
love.
   Your rings now, shall be recognized as symbols of your affectionate union.  
___, In placing this ring on ___'s finger, repeat after me: "___, I give you this ring as
a pledge of my love and as a symbol of our unity".
    [Repeat]
       Your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.  Wherever you go, you will
always return to each other.  Your relationship will continue to grow in
understanding and compassion as your home longs to become such a place of peace
that those who visit there will feel only your quality friendship and love.  We all
join in declaring that your rings symbolize the spirit of love in your hearts.
   In as much as ___ and ___ have consented together in marriage before this
company; have pledged their faith and declared their unity by the giving and
receiving of rings, they are now joined in mutual devotion and lawful marriage.
   By the authority vested in me, but most of all by the power of your own love, I
pronounce you husband and wife, together.
MULTI-DENOMINATIONAL
   We are gathered in this beautiful place to witness
the joining of ___ and ___ in marriage.  While
walking quietly on mornings like this looking at
birds, at wildflowers, at the wind on the bay, and
the hills in the distance they acknowledged their
common sense of spirituality, and the growth of
their love.  It's given them a feeling of timelessness
and peace, and a sense of the connectedness to life.  
They've learned here that falling in love with
another person and getting to know them is a little
like the exploration of a wild and lovely place.  
That loving another person can deepen your sense
of connectedness to all of life; and the intimacy and
surprise of these experiences are a form of reverence
and wholeness.  It is this that they wanted to share
with you, on the day of their wedding.
   To last, the marriage of these two must be a
consecration of each to the other, and of both to the
wider community of which they are a part.
   For the first reading, ___  and ___ have chosen a
poem by ___.
   Who presents/gives the bride in marriage?
Bride's Family: We do./She gives herself, and we
share her giving, joyfully.
    [Repeat for Bridegroom]
___, will you have this woman/man to be your
wife/husband, to live together in the holy estate of
marriage?  Will you love her/him, comfort her/him,
honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health,
in sorrow and in joy, and be faithful to her/him, as
long as you both shall love?
I will.
    [Second reading]
___ and ___, it's time to speak the pledges that will
marry you.  Please face each other.
I, ___, take you, ___, to be my wife/husband, to be
the mother/father of my children, to be the
companion of my heart, to have and to hold, from
this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer
or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to
cherish, till death do us part.
Will you who witness these pledges do the utmost
to support this marriage?
We will.
   Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple.  
Round like the sun, like an eye or like arms that
embrace.  Circles, for love that is given coming
back round again and again.  Therefore, may these
symbols remind you that your love, like the sun,
illumines; that your love, like an eye, must see
clearly; and that your love, like embracing arms, is
a grace upon this world.
   Groom/Bride: ___, with this ring, I thee wed.
    [Third reading]
       ___ and ___ have chosen each other from the
many men and women of the Earth, have declared
their love and purpose before this gathering, and
have made their pledge to the other, symbolized by
the holding of hands and the giving and receiving
of rings.  Therefore, I declare that they are husband
and wife.
Let all others honor them and the threshold of their
home.  May they carry into their marriage the
beauty and the tranquility of this place, and keep
in it always, the sense of exploration and the peace
and intimacy they have shared here.
May they find here a good beginning for their
married life and the fruitfulness of many years to
come.
    [The kiss]
ZEN
   We have come together for the marriage of ___ and ___.  May
they continue to deepen their life with each other and with all
sentient beings.
Marriage begins in the giving of words.  We cannot join
ourselves to one another without giving our word.  And this
must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one
another we join ourselves to the unknown.
   May I extend my joy to you on this happy occasion.  ___ and
___, you are about to take a new step forward into life.  This day
is made possible not only because of your love for each other, but
through the grace of your parents and of the whole society.  It is
my hope that your fulfillment and joy in each other and in
yourselves will increase with every passing year.
    [Poem of your choosing]
       Courtesy and consideration, even in anger and adversity, are
the seeds of compassion.  Love is the fruit of compassion.   Trust,
love, and respect are the sustaining virtues of marriage.  They
enable us to learn from each situation, and help us to realize that
everywhere we turn we meet ourself.  We nourish ourselves and
each other in living by the following five precepts:
    *In every way we can, we allow our deepest Self to appear.
    *We take full responsibility for our own life, in all its
    infinite dimensions.
    *We affirm our trust in the honesty and wisdom of our own
    body, which with our love and reverence always shows us
    the true way.
    *We are committed to embrace all parts of our self,
    including our deepest fears and shadows, so that they can
    be transformed into light.
    *We affirm our willingness to keep our heart open, even in
    the midst of great pain.
    [Poem of your choosing]
       Now ___ and ___ celebrate their love and proclaim their
union with rings of precious metal.  The precious nature of their
rings represents the subtle and wonderful essence they find
individually, through their mutual love, respect, and support.  
The metal itself represents the long life they may cultivate
together, not only in years, but in all the infinite dimensions of
each moment they share.
   Now ___ and ___ will take their marriage vows.
I, ___, take you, ___, to be my Wife, in equal love, as a mirror for
my true Self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish, in
sorrow and in joy, till death do us part.
I, ___, take you, ___, to be my husband, in equal love, as a mirror
for my true Self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish,
in sorrow and in joy, till death do us part.
    [Poem of your choosing]
CONVENTIONAL
   Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this Man and this Woman in holy
Matrimony; instituted of God in Paradise, and into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
Who presents this Woman to be married to this Man?  Father answers, "I do", and then steps aside.
    I read now from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13: Verses 4-8
    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.
    [Bride gives her bouquet to Maid of Honor]
       Will you please, as an expression that your hearts are joined together in love, now please join your hands.
___, do you take ___, to be your wedded wife/husband, to live together in marriage; do you promise to love her/him, comfort
her/him, honor and keep her/him for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others,
be faithful only to her/him, so long as you both shall live?
    Groom/Bride: "I do".
    [Repeat]
    [Best Man gives Minister the rings]
       These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love.  The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward
and spiritual bond, which unites two loyal hearts in endless love.  It is a seal of the pledge you have made to one another.  May
you live together in unity, love, and happiness for the rest of your lives.
    [Groom/Bride repeat after Minister]
"With this ring, I thee wed".
    How Do I Love Thee? Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach,
    when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day's most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
    I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use in my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose with my lost saints.  I love with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life; and,
    if God chooses, I shall but love thee better after death.
    [Groom recites personalized version]
    Apache Wedding Prayer
    Now you will feel no rain, for I will be shelter to you.
    Now you will feel no cold, for I will be warmth to you.
    Now we are two bodies, but there is only one life before us.
    We go now to our dwelling place to enter into the days of our togetherness and may our days be good and long
    upon this Earth.
       For in as much as ___ and ___ have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, and
thereto have engaged and pledged their love for each other, and have declared the same by the giving and receiving of a ring
and by joining hands, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.  What God has joined together, let no man put usunder.
   You may kiss the bride.
    [Bride retrieves bouquet.  Bride and Groom face their guests]
       Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you ___ and ___, husband and wife.
NATURE
We meet by the sea, so that you may become one by the border of this constant and unlimited force. As these waters
are limitless, flowing and ever changing, so is your love.  Your love is as eternal as the sea, as all encompassing as
the wind and as solid as the earth beneath our feet.   Dear friends you are the sea and also the land.  It is not your
purpose to become each other, but rather to recognize each other and learn to see and honor each other for what you
are: each other’s opposite and complement!
   The commitment you are about to make is an important one.   In human relations, to marry is one of the biggest
risks.  Each must ask themselves what they hope for as their love grows and deepens and how much risk they are
willing to take.  Because the nature of love is to create, the marriage itself is created, so that, together we become
greater.  When a life commitment is made it is not a rejection of freedom, but rather a demonstration of how love
instead of being ruled by possession, is rather one of participation and co-creation.  The essence of this pledge is the
taking of another person as lover, companion, and friend.
   Marriage is at its best when we love and marry our best friend; when motivated by love, we seek the truth in
each event and act on that truth; when we grow in understanding and acceptance of ourselves and our partner.
This commitment begins in the giving of words.  We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word.  
And this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one another we unite ourselves to the
unknown.  Marriage is founded on sincerity, trust, and a willingness to share and grow.  These qualities have
attracted you, each to the other, and can best be developed during a lifetime spent together.
   Courtesy and consideration, even in anger and adversity, are the seeds of compassion.  Love is the fruit of that
compassion.  Trust, love and respect are the sustaining virtues of marriage.  They enable us to learn from each
situation, and help us to realize that everywhere we turn we meet ourselves.
   To express the meaning of marriage is a reading by James Kavanaugh - To Love is Not to Possess:   “To love is not
to possess, to own or imprison, nor to lose one's self in another. Love is to join and separate, to walk alone and
together, to find a laughing freedom that lonely isolation does not permit.  It is finally to be able to be who we
really are no longer clinging in childish dependency nor docilely living separate lives in silence, it is to be
perfectly one's self and perfectly joined in permanent commitment to another–and to one's inner self.  Love only
endures when it moves like waves, receding and returning gently or passionately, or moving lovingly like the tide
in the moon's own predictable harmony, because finally, despite a child's scars or an adult's deepest wounds, they
are openly free to be who they really are–and always secretly were, in the very core of their being where true and
lasting love can alone abide.”
   Please turn and face each other.  _____, will you love _____ without clutching, appreciate her without judging,
join with her without invading, invite her without demanding, criticize without blaming and help her without
insulting?  I will.  And do you _____, choose _____ to be your wife; Do you promise to share your life with her as
you love, honor and care for her with tenderness and affection, and to cherish and encourage her own fulfillment
through all the days and changes of your lives?  I do.
    [repeat]
       _____ and _____, together please repeat after me each of the following lines:
  •  May I fill you with loving kindness
  •  May I keep you safe from all danger
  •  May I always hold you in tender compassion
  •  May I help you be well in body and mind
  •  May we find peace
  •  May we be free
   You choose to celebrate your love and proclaim your union with rings of precious metal.  The ring is also an
ancient symbol of wedding vows representing your unbroken circle of love because love freely given, has no
beginning, and no end.  These rings illustrate the long life you will cultivate together, not only in years, but in all
the infinite dimensions of each moment you share.
   _____, as you place the ring on _____’s ring finger, repeat after me:
“Accept this ring as a constant reminder of the special bond that exists between us.”
    [repeat]
       May your rings always remind you of the power of your love and forever remain an outward demonstration of
the inward commitment to your vows while representing the subtle and wonderful essence of your individuality,
mutual love, respect, and support.  Forevermore, be full of kindness and understanding, thoughtfulness and
rejoicing.  May you enter into each other’s sorrow with sympathy, into each other’s joy with gladness, into each
other’s hope with faith and trust, and into each other’s need with a sure presence of love.
   I encourage you both to preserve and renew this marriage, to keep it fully alive, to grow and change with one
another, to maintain your capacity for wonder and spontaneity, and to remain flexible, warm and sensitive to each
other.  _____ and _____, may you continue to love each other all of your lives as husband and wife remembering
always to be each other’s best friends.
   In closing, I return to the essence of this ceremony by saying: May your love hold within it the essence of life
that is so plentiful here by the sea.  So, may your love touch and enrich all those with whom you come in contact,
just as these waters touch and nourish the many shores of the Earth!
   _____ and _____, by the power vested in me, but most importantly by the power of your own love, I pronounce
you as husband and wife.  Congratulations, you may seal your vows with a kiss!
   From A Love Symphony-By Arthur O’Shaughnessy
    “And then I went down to the sea, and heard it murmuring too, part of an ancient mystery, all made of
    me and you.  How many a thousand years ago I loved, and you were sweet--longer I could not stay, and
    so I fled back to your feet.”
CIVIL
Please take a moment, calm your thoughts.  Let go
of any anxieties and remember the truth: That this
is a world filled with beauty, that your lives are
filled with possibilities, while your dreams are
being born, nurtured and fulfilled.
   Sometimes there are challenges and sorrow, but
greater is your love and joy. The future may be
uncertain, but that means that there is no limit as
to how beautiful, joyful and successful you can
make it.  
Any anxiety you may have about the future is only
an illusion.  Let it go.  Let if fade away as the
beauty and perfection of right now washes over
you. The best thing you can do for the future is to
live with everything you have in the present.  
What you have together, right now, is completely
as it should be.  It is your time to live.  
   Right now, you are creating real, lasting and
positive values for your world.  You are following
your heart.  
Breathe in the beauty and love that is around you.  
It is your gift.  It is your good fortune.  It is yours to
live, to experience and to fulfill; right now.

   Welcome, I am honored to perform this ceremony
for _____ and _____ in the presence of family and
friends and to share in the joy of this occasion.  No
words of any other person truly marry each of you
to the other; this is accomplished when you
exchange your promises and commit yourselves to
this marriage and each other.   By entering into this
marriage you are pledging yourselves to a lifetime
in which each partner will enrich the life of the
other.  You will be partners standing together as
one to cushion the difficulties and enhance the
pleasures of your life experiences together.  
   Love, Loyalty and understanding are the
foundation of a happy and enduring relationship.   
No other human ties are more tender and no other
vows more important than those you now assume.    
   Do you _____ choose to be married to _____?
   Do you _____ choose to be married to _____?
   _____, please place the ring on _____’s ring finger
and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed,
and pledge my constant love.  I will hold you in my
heart forever.”
   _____, please place the ring on _____’s ring finger
and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed,
and pledge my constant love.  I will hold you in my
heart forever.”  
   Now that you have been joined in solemn
matrimony may you strive all your lives to meet
this commitment with the same love and affection
you feel today.  May you encourage each other in
whatever you set out to achieve and may you
continue to love each other all your lives
remembering always to be each other’s best friends.
   In the glow of the forest, in the shadows of the
trees, in the fullness of nature, you have offered
yourselves to each other as husband and wife.  May
you continue to change, constantly grow and never
cease to invigorate the living thing that is your
love while you reach for the skies.
   By the power vested in me, but most importantly
by the power of your own love, I now pronounce
you husband and wife.    

Congratulations! You may seal your vows with a
kiss!

    “Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give
    thanks for another day of loving.”
    ~ Kahlil Gibran
LOVE
   At this time _____ and _____  wish to acknowledge their family and
friends’ and the significance of the life-giving relationships that they receive
from them.  Let us who share in this circle of celebration today, be renewed
in our own commitments to one another, so that we consciously participate in
creating a kinder and ever improving society.
   Although you all have lives of your own, you are inseparably bound to
each other, especially to _____ and _____.  In the quiet of this very special
moment, we pause and give thanks for all the rich experiences of life that
brought _____ and _____ to this high point in their lives.  We are grateful for
the values that they have found and forged with their own strivings.  We are
grateful that within each of them is the dream of a great love and the
resources to use that love to create a home that shall endure. We are
especially grateful for the values that have flowed into them from those who
have loved them and nurtured them and pointed them along life’s way.
   The word ‘love’ is used in so many ways.  Within the context of a
relationship, you decide that love is first a choice, and then a decision made
by both individuals.  This decision is the foundation of why we are all here
today.  We both understand that making this choice to love one other is only
the beginning.  A human relationship is a duality that is both fragile and
strong.  The fragility incites us to try harder, to tolerate one another, and
asks that we express ourselves openly without judgment or fear.  The
strength of our love inspires us to live beyond our self, caring equally and
wholly for the other.  There is gratitude for the completely random way in
which you found one another and realized that you shared a similar
awareness of the world in which we live.  That you walk through life with a
similar, indefinable awe and connectedness to one another and to all life.  
Most importantly, you fell in love with the beauty you saw in one another, a
beauty that goes deeper then the surface and fused your souls. For all of your
similarities there exist the same number of differences and herein lies the
real beauty of your love.  Ultimately you both strive to find the humor in
life, and try not to take yourselves too seriously.
   You have proclaimed that the side effects of this marriage may include:
laughter, pleasure, pain, jealousy, fear, doubt, pride, sorrow, loyalty,
pregnancy, bliss, headache, irritation, itchy skin, and a compulsion to
meditate.  All of which you have chosen to unconditionally accept, come
what may!
   _____ and _____, no words of any other person truly marry each of you to
the other.  This is accomplished when you exchange your promises and
commit yourselves to each other and this marriage.  By entering into this
marriage you are pledging yourselves to a lifetime in which each partner
will enrich the life of the other.
   _____, do you now choose _____ to be your wife/husband, to share your life
openly with her/him, to speak truthfully and lovingly to her/him, to accept
her/him fully as she/he is and delight in who she/he is becoming, to respect
her/his uniqueness, encourage her/his fulfillment and compassionately
support her/hism through all the changes of your years together?  
And, _____, will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live
together in marriage?  Will you love her/him and give her/him your
respect?  Will you comfort, honor and keep her/him in sickness and in
health, in joy and in sorrow, so long as love and life shall endure?
   The ring is an ancient symbol of wedding vows as the circle is considered
to be the most perfect expression of all forms in nature.  May these rings be
the symbol of your unbroken circle of love, because love freely given, has no
beginning, and no end.  May your rings always remind you of the power of
your love and forever remain, an outward demonstration of your vows and
respect for each other and forever be a public showing of your commitment to
each other.
   _____, in placing this ring on _____’s finger, repeat after me:
    "I, _____, give you, _____, this ring as a pledge of my love and as
    a symbol of our unity”.
       Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves
often of what brought you together.  Give the highest priority to the
tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.   When
frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all
relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right
between you.  In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the
face of the sun in your lives, remembering that even if you lose sight of it
for a moment, the sun is still there.   And if each of you takes responsibility
for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and
delight.
   In as much as _____ and _____ have declared their unity by the giving and
receiving of rings; and, by the authority bestowed upon me, but most of all
by the power of their own love, I declare that _____ and _____ are now joined
in lawful marriage and mutual devotion as husband and wife, together.
Your lives are now joined.  Wherever you go, you will always return to each
other!
   Congratulations, you may seal your vows with a kiss!
NURTURE
   Let us, who share in this circle of celebration today, be renewed in our own commitments to one another so that we may participate
in a kinder and ever improving society.
   The surface personalities of ___ and ___ are completely opposite and one might think that their union is miraculous but the
important facts are that they share the common goals of family and security, the mutual desires for companionship with laughter and
humor, and the shared morals of compassion and honesty with a united love of nature.  They want you to know how fortunate they
feel to be able to formalize their relationship before their parents and share with you in the joy of this occasion.
   We give thanks for the nurture and support of family and friends.  Let us, who share in the circle of celebration today, be renewed
in our commitments to one another so that we may all participate in a kinder and ever improving society.
   God will always provide you with the means to create a home - not just a place of private joy and retreat, but a temple where the
values of your lives are generated and upheld.  May your home, now and always, encompass the beauty of nature while it protects the
elements of your belief system with simplicity and exuberance, beauty and color; a home with books, poetry and music, all of which
vibrate in concordance with the rhythms of life and the highest strivings of men and women.  By entering into this marriage, you are
pledging yourselves to a lifetime in which each partner will enrich the life of the other.  
    _____, please repeat after me: “I, _____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband, to have and hold from this day forward, for
    better or worse,  for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and cherish unconditionally, and forsaking all
    others, as long as I live.  Please take this ring and be my wife/husband”.
       You are now two partners standing collectively as one.   Together, as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.  May
beauty surround you in the journey that lies ahead and through all the years to come.  May happiness be your companion and may
your days together be good and long upon this Earth.  Go into the world and fulfill your lives.  Adhere to your ideals.  Give one
another new experiences of joy.  Challenge one another so that you may grow.  Hold fast to your love as it continues to mature,  so
your life together may be a source of strength and inspiration to the community of your family and the wider circle of the world.
Now that you have joined yourselves in marriage, may you strive all your lives to meet this commitment with the same love and
devotion that you now possess.  And, may the feelings that brought the two of you together continue to grow as you go forward in
your partnership that is now one in marriage.  At this time, by virtue of the power vested in me, but most of all by the power of your
own love, I pronounce that you are husband and wife.