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Mindful Wedding Ceremony with Buddhist Reading & 4 Love Mantras

Golden buddha statute, holding white flower petals at the wedding ceremony

This unique Buddhist wedding ceremony script centers true and mindful love, and includes a reading of Thich Nhat Hanh’s four mantras of love and true presence. Written by mindfulness teacher and ordained minister, Rev. Karla Johnston, this original wedding officiant script includes an exchange of vows, a declaration / statement of intent, and a sweet pronouncement.

This original Buddhist marriage ceremony script is written by mindfulness practitioner and AMM Minister Rev. Karla Johnston. It includes a simple Buddhist reading and quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh on the 4 mantras of love and true presence in relationship with others.


Use this officiant script as-is, or personalize it with your favorite Buddhist quotes on love and marriage, details from your love story, or a special unity ceremony. 



For more inspiration on how to plan or officiate a Buddhist wedding: 




Officiant to the reception

Please rise in honor of our couple.  



“Standing quietly… 
you smile your wondrous smile, 
I am speechless, 
and my senses are filled… 
I bow deeply to you.” 
- Thich Nhat Hanh 

Declaration of Intent


Today we have come together as a community of family and friends to witness the deepening  commitment of (Partner A) and (Partner B) in marriage. We bring hearts and minds together, our  whole being, to be fully present to celebrate the love between (Partner A) and (Partner B). 

Officiant's  Message: 4 mantras of love & true presence


Poet, peace activist, and Zen teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh says there are four Love Mantras that can  sustain and grow a relationship, so that it not only survives but thrives.

A mantra is a line, a phrase, that once spoken can change a situation for the betterment. When one speaks the mantra it unites the speaker’s body, heart, and mind in absolute unity with the object of their attention.  

When we see our beloved one is struggling in some way, we bring our body and mind together by connecting to our breath and we approach our loved one, look them in the eyes and say the first mantra, “Darling, I am here for you.”*

When we commit to being truly present with whatever is arising, together, transformation of hardship is possible.  

The second mantra relies on a daily practice of recognizing the presence of your beloved one. How wonderful this person is who stands beside you today! They have chosen to love and  treasure you for the rest of your life! So we express our gratitude and say, “Darling, I know that  you are here beside me and it makes me very happy.”*

With this mantra, we touch the truth and fragility of life, we give thanks for our beloved and the fact that we have found each other.

The third mantra is used in situations when you know your beloved one is suffering. When we suffer, we have a strong need for the presence of stability and love. If we are suffering and our loved one ignores us, then we suffer even more. So, what we do right away is go to our loved one and say, “Darling, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.”*

When we communicate like this, our loved one is relieved immediately, even before we do anything to help, and it opens not only their heart but our heart to see a way out, together.  

The fourth mantra is the most difficult one to say and it may require practice for the rest of your life. In true love, pride does not have a place. If you are suffering and you do not see a way out, you must go to your beloved one and ask for help. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is admit our suffering. If we are injured, especially by our loved one, we would rather isolate and distance ourselves from them. But with the deepening commitment of marriage, there is a promise to not let pride keep us apart. We go to our beloved one and we say, “Darling, I’m suffering, please help.”*

This simple statement is hard to do, but we must practice, not only asking for help, but being willing to help in all circumstances.  

“Darling, I am here for you.” 
“I know that you are here and it makes me very happy.” 
“I know you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.” 
“Darling, I suffer, please help.” 

Vow Exchange


Now is the moment when (Partner A) and (Partner B) exchange their vows. There are four  elements of true love. The first, in the Pali language is called Maitri, which can be translated as "loving-kindness" or "active interest in the other."

Do you, (Partner A) and (Partner B), promise to care  for each other, with a spirit of love and understanding, taking time to look deeply, knowing that understanding is the essence of love?

(Partner A) and (Partner B)

(together) I do.  (or "We do.")


The second element of true love is compassion, Karuna. Not only is there a desire to ease the pain of our beloved one, but the ability to do so. Do you, (Partner A) and (Partner B), promise to accept and share not only joys but hardships? Will you do what is in your power to lengthen your partner’s joy and tend their sufferings with an open heart?

(Partner A) and (Partner B)

(together) I do. 


The third element of true love is joy, Mudita. If there is no joy in love, it is not true love. If we make our loved one cry all the time, that is not love! Do you both promise to actively learn about and discover new ways to bring happiness to your beloved one and hold in highest regard their well-being? 

(Partner A) and (Partner B)

(together) I do. 


The Fourth element is Upeksha, "equanimity" or "freedom." When we love without conditions, we attain freedom. We also bring freedom to our beloved one because they know that even when they are not at their best, they are still loved. They know that they have a devoted partner. Do you, (Partner A) and (Partner B), promise to love in such a way that your loved one feels free?  

(Partner A) and (Partner B)

(together) I do.


Now is the time to read personal vows to one another.  

  • Personal vows are read

Blessing & Pronouncement


Taking your first steps together as a married couple, in gratitude for this beautiful earth that holds us; May your love and happiness grow every day and may the peace that lives inside and around us, bless your life together! 

It gives me great honor, along with all your loved ones, to pronounce you (husband and wife/ partners for life/ married)!

Please seal your marriage with a kiss! 


*4 Love Mantras by Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart




Reverend Karla Johnston is an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing Community of Engaged Buddhism and American Marriage Ministries. She is a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter (ASL), serving the Deaf community since 1995.


One of her greatest joys is performing wedding ceremonies along her home shores of Lake Tahoe for Lake Tahoe Wedding Ministries and incorporating her practice of mindfulness (as founder of Lake Tahoe Mindfulness Community) into her offerings. Her passions are writing and ceremonial singing.



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