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Christmas Themed Wedding Ceremony Script with Unity Candle Lighting

Groom and bride pose with a festive holiday wreath of holly and flowers during their snowy winter Christmas wedding.

This religious Christmas themed wedding ceremony uses Christmas carols as its foundation and inspiration, with a focus on unconditional love, appreciation of family and friends, gift giving, Christian faith, light and joy, and the magic of holiday spirit. Written by ordained AMM Minister Chanelle Carlin.

This is an original Christian wedding ceremony script written by AMM Minister Chanelle Carlin.  


This religious Christmas themed wedding ceremony uses Christmas carols as its foundation and inspiration, with a focus on unconditional love, appreciation of family and friends, gift giving, Christian faith, light and joy, and the magic of the Christmas Spirit.  


Carols and seasonal hymns in this script include O Holy Night, Silent Night, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and Joy to the World. You'll also find a reading of Mari Nichols-Haining's poem, "Why Marriage?" 

Any of the carols included below can be replaced with other holiday song lyrics, readings, or love poems, chosen to suit a couple's unique tastes and style.


Note: This script includes the signing of the Marriage Certificate *during* the ceremony. The license signing adds only one to two minutes to the length of your ceremony, and gives guests the opportunity to witness the entirety of the marriage rite. This also allows the couple to continue on to the rest of their celebrations right away, following the recession.  


Set up

  • Each guest will be handed a tea light candle as they enter, to be lit during the ceremony. 


  • Silent Night plays while Partner B and any wedding attendants walk into the ceremony. 
  • O Holy Night plays while Partner A and any wedding attendants walk into the ceremony. The Officiant asks guests to stand as Partner A enters.
  • The author recommends a version of O Holy Night by Katie Melua
  • Partner A or B passes their flowers to an attendant to be held during the ceremony, and the Officiant invites the partners to hold hands and look at each other.  
  • The Officiant grounds the couple in the moment by quietly reminding them to breathe, and asking if they're ready to proceed.  
  • Once the couple acknowledges they're ready, the Officiant will welcome the guests and continue with the rest of the ceremony. 


Officiant to Guests

Good (morning/ afternoon/ evening), friends!

My name is (Officiant), and I am delighted to welcome you (today/ this evening) as we celebrate the joining of these two people in love, (Partner A) and (Partner B), and their families on this day. 
It is a bright and joyous time for us all to gather together, filled with love, light, and the making of new and beautiful memories. 

(Partner A) and (Partner B) have chosen this "most wonderful time of the year" to wed because… (use specific answers from the couple). 

  • The Officiant should gather this personal information from the couple before the ceremony. Then, modify this section to reflect their answer. Before the ceremony, ask your couple: Why did you choose Christmas as a time to celebrate your marriage? 

You have all chosen to be here to celebrate with them at this moment in time because of your unconditional love for them and so that they can begin their marriage enveloped in that love.  

Officiant to Couple

Throughout your relationship thus far, you have had many experiences and many opportunities to show your love to one another. But today, your wedding day, all begins anew, and (Partner A) and (Partner B), as you become closer to each other over the course of your marriage, may you feel a deepening sense of oneness and love. 

Officiant to Partner A

With that in mind, do you, (Partner A), come freely and without reservation to be married to (Partner B)? If so, please say I do. 


I Do. 

Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B), do you come freely and without reservation to be married to (Partner A)? If so, please say I do. 


I Do. 

Officiant to couple

Thank you both. 

Officiant to Guests

On this felicitous day, we are gathered to celebrate the unconditional love shared between (Partner A) and (Partner B) with the fervent hope that it will continue for them throughout their lives. 

Lighting the Remeberance Candle / Memory Candle 

  • A candle is lit to remember friends and relatives who are not able to be present at the ceremony. This is a great time to remember specific people by name, OR to honor all ancestors in the couple's families -- as the wording below reflects.
  • Before the ceremony, a candle should be set up on a small table near the altar for this purpose. In a small space, this candle can be placed directly on the wedding altar.

Officiant to Couple

On this day, as you stand at the doorway to your future together, take a moment to reflect on all that came before to bring you to ths moment... to acknowledge the love and support of those loved ones who are here to share in this sacred event... and, also, to remember those family members and loved ones who are no longer with us.

(Partner A) and (Partner B), will you please light the memory candle together. 

  • The Couple walks over to the table holding the Memory Candle.

Officiant to Guests

Let's join together in a moment of remembrance as we listen to a Christmas Carol that (Partner A) and (Partner B) have chosen.  

  • The author recommends "Amid the Winter's Snow" (aka Hymn for Christmas Day) 
  • The Couple lights the candle and then returns to the ceremony spot in front of the officiant. 

Wedding reading 

Officiant to Guests

As (Partner A) and (Partner B) prepare to share their vows with each other, I would like to share an excerpt from a beautiful poem credited to Mari Nichols-Haining called "Why Marriage?" 
"Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, 
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body... 

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, 
Who won't hold them against me, 
Who loves me when I'm unlikable, 
Who sees the small child in me, and 
Who looks for the divine potential of me... 

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night 
With someone who thanks God for me, 
With someone I feel blessed to hold... 

Because marriage means opportunity 
To grow in love in friendship... 
Because marriage is a discipline 
To be added to a list of achievements... 

Because marriages do not fail, people fail 
When they enter into marriage 
Expecting another to make them whole... 

Because, knowing this, 
I promise myself to take full responsibility 
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness 
I create me, 
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage 
Together we create our marriage... 

Because with this understanding 
The possibilities are limitless." 

Exchange of Vows 

  • In this section, the couple will exchange personal written vows.
  • Note for the OFFICIANT: If the couple chooses not to share their own personal vows, it is good to have some alternative vows on hand (see below) that the couple can repeat after you or you can read them aloud as a question and they can just say "I do." 

Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B), will you please share your vows with (Partner A)?

  • Partner B shares their vows. 

Officiant to Partner A

(Partner A), will you now share your vows with (Partner B)? 

  • Partner A shares their vows. 

+ For help writing your own vows:

Browse Articles about Custom Vows 

Exchange of Rings

Officiant to Couple

You’ve chosen to exchange gold rings as a symbol of these sacred promises. Like these simple gold circles, these promises are without beginning or end. They will not break, fade, or tarnish with the daily ups and downs of life, but instead remain a bright and constant reminder of the unconditional love that lights the path you walk together. 

 These rings take on another meaning on this special day. In celebration of your Christmas wedding, these small pieces of gold symbolize the precious gifts of gold given to the baby Jesus by the wise men. Treasure them, take comfort in them and the promises they represent, and let your love and faith be strengthened by them.

Please take these rings, and honor each other and your love in their giving.  

  • Note to the officiant: If the couple chooses to exchange silver rings, change the wording here to let guests know that silver is said to represent the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the wise men, shepherds, and all, to the manger. If the rings are of an alternate metal or material, simply refer to them as symbols of the promises the couple has made.

Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B), please place this ring on the ring finger of (Partner A's) left hand and repeat after me. 

(Partner A), today I join my life and heart with yours,  
As your (husband / wife/ spouse), 
As your dearest friend, 
And as a trusted lover and tireless supporter.  
Depend on me,
Confide in me,
And let me walk side by side with you, heart to heart, hand in hand, always. 

Officiant to Partner A: 
(Partner A), please place this ring on the ring finger of (Partner B's) left hand and repeat after me. 
(Partner B), today I join my life and heart with yours,  
As your (husband / wife/ spouse), 
As your dearest friend, 
And as a trusted lover and tireless supporter.  
Depend on me,
Confide in me,
And let me walk side by side with you, heart to heart, hand in hand, always. 


Officiant to Guests

Now, looking forward, we invite (Partner A) and (Partner B) to light the Christmas unity candle and make a wish (or say a prayer) for their life together. 

  • the COUPLE move to light their Christmas unity candle, which should be placed on the wedding altar. they will use small lit taper candles to light the larger unity candle.


We commit ourselves to each other in this time of winter, but as is symbolized by the Christmas spirit, the unconditional love that brings us here today is the warmest thing I have ever known in my life.  

  • Once the candle is lit, the couple hands the taper candles to an attendant/s who will start the process of lighting the guests candles. the Couple then returns to the ceremony spot in front of the Officiant, and join hands while the Officiant explains the next step. 

Officiant to Guests 

And now, to each of you here, you’re asked to add illumination to this moment.

(Partner A) and (Partner B) ask that you each light a candle to bless them in their marriage. You were each handed a tea-light candle as you arrived. Please take the taper as it's passed to you and light your candle, and then hand the taper to the person next to you.

We'll do this in silence as we send our warmest wishes to the couple.  

  • Another Christmas Carol plays during the candle lighting. 
  • All guests light their candles and then continue to hold them. for guests who are not able to hold a candle comfortably in their hands, small tables can be provided along the sides of ceremony space. Once everyone's candles are lit, the Officiant will again address guests and begin with the license signing.

Marriage LICENSE SIGNING Ceremony 

  • In states that require one or two witnesses to sign a marriage license, these participates will stand to join the couple at this time. Otherwise, only the officiant and the couple will need to sign the license.

+ See if your state requires witness signatures here: 

Witness Requirements on Marriage License

Officiant to guests

Now, as (Partner A) and (Partner B) [and their two official witnesses] sign the marriage paperwork, which will make their marriage legal, I invite each of you to please raise and hold your candles in the air and think of a special blessing or wish for a happy marriage.

As you hold your candle in your hand and that thought in your heart, you also shine a light on their love. 

  • Play "It came Upon a Midnight Clear", or another carol of the couple's choosing.

Officiant's Final wish 

Officiant to Guests

As we prepare to conclude our ceremony, I'd like to offer a final wish to (Partner A) and (Partner B). 

As this Christmas brings a new beginning to your relationship, you've chosen to be together forever. May you always stand heart to heart, hand in hand and cherish each other every single day. 


Officiant to Couple

(Partner A) and (Partner B), on this (date) day of December, (year), during this most wonderful time of the year, you’ve expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises you’ve made.

Therefore, in accordance with the laws of the State of (Name of State) and the power vested in me by American Marriage Ministries, it is my honor to pronounce you married. 

I invite you to share your first kiss as a married couple under the mistletoe. 

  • OFFICIANT NOTE: As you invite couple to kiss, you need to step away from the couple so that you're not directly behind the couple in their photos. 


  • The Officiant and the couple should practice this part of the ceremony during their rehearsal, or discuss it before the ceremony, and check with the couple for any announcements that should be made. 
  • After the kiss and the cheering subsides, Officiant will make their closing remarks. As Officiant begins to speak, the couple turns to face their guests (this is sometimes called a FACE - OUT presentation). Guests can see the newlyweds smile, and the photographer/s will have an easier time taking photos of the beaming at their guests.  
  • If one or both of the partners entered with a bouquet, they will take it back from the attendant now and hold it during the presentation. 

Officiant to Guests

In just a moment, you'll all be continuing your celebrations and family photos. I invite you all to head (to the location of the reception). 

On your way out, please extinguish your candles and place them on the table -- not yet though.

First, on behalf of (Partner A) and (Partner B), thank you all again for joining us and celebrating their marriage today. They are grateful for all of your love and support and wish you a very Merry Christmas. 

And finally, it's my honor to officially present to you for the very first time...


  • Officiant should ascertain how Couple prefers to be introduced prior to ceremony 
  • Guests cheer again and then Couple will recess and walk back up the aisle. 


  • The Couple walks back up the aisle to a cheery Christmas Carol, such as "Joy to the World." The author recommeds a version by the Pentatonix.
  • the Officiant then releases guests to head to reception, in whatever way the couple has previously mentioned. 
  • Guests blow out their candles as the couple walks past and they can then place them on table or basket as they leave the ceremony spot and head to reception. 





Chanelle Carlin is a celebrant of life and wedding officiant based in Washington State. She "specializes in outdoor elopements and bespoke intimate wedding ceremonies in the naturally beautiful Pacific Northwest, including Oregon and North Idaho."


Chanelle owns and operates Chanelle Carlin Weddings, LLC



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