This civil wedding ceremony script was written by American Marriage Ministries to serve as a starting point for your own wedding ceremony. It includes a section called the "Thesis Of Natural Community" that invokes the natural world in describing the sacredness of forming relationships and building families. We encourage you to use this script as is or build on this script for a more personalized ceremony for the couple.
officiant to the reception
"Welcome. A wedding is such a wonderful occasion, filled with hopes, dreams, and excitement. We are here today to celebrate the love that [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] have for each other, and to recognize and witness their decision to journey forward in their lives as husband and wife. Being married is like trying to keep your balance in a three-legged race. You are walking side by side in a forward momentum, yet each of you is making choices, moment by moment, that will either help you maintain balance together or cause you to lose your rhythm, your balance, or your way.
While you are two separate individuals, you walk along one path together. Your every gesture, word, expression, and action, and those you withhold or omit, will determine the quality of your experience together. It is through loving, kindness, caring, and sharing that a successful marriage journey is created. A good marriage takes patience, dedication, humor, and forgiveness. You keep your love alive through the choices you make moment by moment, day after day, and year after year. Through practice, you learn how to love yourselves and each other with devotion and freedom."
officiant to the reception
"Spiders build webs, birds build nests, and we build safe and comfortable havens through our loving. [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B], through your marriage, and through your love, may you give the gifts of tenderness, comfort, joy, and peace to each other to nurture you throughout the years. [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] have brought us together here for an occasion of great joy and a cause for great celebration. Having found each other, they have built the kind of relationship that will serve them well as the foundation for their marriage.
They have chosen each and every one of us to be here with them to witness their Wedding Vows as they join together as husband and wife. Each of us knows that a marriage is not created by a law or a ceremony; rather it occurs in the hearts of two human beings. It grows out of loving, caring, and sharing ourselves with another. And so it is that [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] have connected their hearts and souls, one to the other, drawing upon the depths of their being, into the deep well of human need the need to live united, loving, and complete.
So, in witnessing this ceremony today, we are observing only an outward sign of an inward union that already exists between [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B]. Today, they have come before us to publicly affirm their love; to promise to nurture themselves, each other, and this union; and to acknowledge its centrality in their lives. They do so knowing that marriage is at once the most tender, yet challenging, of all relations in life.
And so, we have gathered here together as family and friends to witness and to celebrate the coming together of [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] as they enter into the sacred and joyous covenant of marriage. For those of us blessed by a true partnership of love, we feel safe in the presence of our loved one. There is no need to hide any part of ourselves for fear of being judged or rejected. We can just be together from moment to moment, believing that those moments will thread together into eternity.
There is a gentleness to the presence of love that softens life’s rough edges. It makes us somehow braver to go forth into the world knowing that the shelter of someone’s love awaits us at day end. We are most vulnerable when we love. We place our trust in another to honor us and to care for us, to treasure us and to receive our love.
In love, we trust that the other will provide a safe haven in which we can experience and share the fullness of our being with one another. And in so doing, we trust that our lives will be far richer than had we chosen separate journeys through this world. We trust that our love will fill us full and make us wiser and more beautiful beings. We find that our union graces our lives with balance, a sweetness beyond any we have ever tasted, and a treasure beyond any measure of value we have ever known."
officiant to partner a
"Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer keeping yourself unto her for as long as you both shall live?
If so answer 'I do'."
officiant to partner b
"Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer keeping yourself unto him for as long as you both shall live? If so answer I do."
officiant to the reception
"If there is anyone present who may show just and lawful cause why this couple may not be legally wed, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. By the authority vested in me by the State of [WEDDING STATE]."
officiant to the couple
"I now pronounce you both husband and wife."
End of the Wedding Ceremony.