Opening Words and Introduction 1

Friends and Family of the BRIDE and GROOM, welcome and thank you for being here on this important day.

We are gathered together to celebrate the very special love between BRIDE and GROOM, by joining them in marriage.

All of us need and desire to love and to be loved.

And the highest form of love between two people is within a monogamous, committed relationship.

BRIDE and GROOM, your marriage today is the public and legal joining of your souls that have already been united as one in your hearts.

Marriage will allow you a new environment to share your lives together, standing together to face life and the world, hand-in-hand.

Marriage is going to expand you as individuals, define you as a couple, and deepen your love for one another.

To be successful, you will need strength, courage, patience and a really good sense of humor.

So, let your marriage be a time of waking each morning and falling in love with each other all over again.

Opening Words and Introduction 2

Good evening, welcome to this most important moment in the lives of this couple.

We invite you to leave behind the worries and concerns of every day life and join us in the celebration of their marriage.

This is an opportunity for us to share not only in the joy of BRIDE and GROOM’s love but also to reaffirm and appreciate the love and the friendship we experience in our own lives.

May we all celebrate by being fully present during our short time together.

BRIDE and GROOM have chosen this setting in which to be married because it provides an appropriate backdrop for the public affirmation of their love.

BRIDE and GROOM view marriage as a coming together at all levels of being – mind, body, and spirit.

A marital commitment includes the willingness to be open and vulnerable, and the courage to take risks.

Marriage is a conscious act of will.

To remain in marriage we must continually renew our will to be married.

Marital partners accept the challenges that living together in love offer.

They decide that they will face the fears that are a necessary part of establishing and nurturing an intimate relationship.

And you, BRIDE and GROOM have made the commitment to create and recreate this conscious partnership.

Those of us who are married or in relationships may take this moment to consciously reaffirm our commitment to our partners and ourselves.

Marriage consists of entrusting our deepest selves into the loving care of another.

It is a public and legal act to be sure.

It is also an emotional and spiritual act.

The spiritual aspect of marriage must be embraced openly, seriously, and completely for the marriage to endure.

BRIDE and GROOM commit themselves today to each other in sacred trust.

They promise to embrace conflict as well as peace; to work as well as play; to struggle as well as coast; to give as well as receive; and to be with, stay with, and move toward one another.

Opening Words and Introduction 3

Today there will be no dearly beloved, no betrothed, and no ancient rhyme of the married.

Today there are no dead languages to solemnize vows that are very much alive and will remain so for a lifetime.

Today promises become permanent and friends become family.

However, this day is not about the words spoken or the rings exchanged, nor is it about grand pronouncements and recessional marches.

This day – the day of BRIDE and GROOM’s wedding – is about love.

One of my favorite authors once wrote“If love is not all, then it is nothing: this principle, and its opposite, collide down all the years of my breathless tale.”

BRIDE and GROOM, your breathless tale is about to begin.

If love is not all, then it is nothing.

Its opposite – If love is all, then it is everything – is going to be the basis for every aspect of your relationship.

All you have to do is simply love one another and that love shows through in everything you do for one another, how you treat each other, in good times and bad.

Love isn’t just a word; it’s an action.

Love isn’t something you say, it’s something you do.

Love is genuine, honest, and open, compassionate and kind, passionate and blind, love doesn’t know space or time, nor look through jealous eyes, and in the modified words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never dies.”

There are many different kinds of love, almost if not all of which are represented here today.

There is romantic love, the love of parents and children, of brothers and sisters and family, and love among friends.

Not only do BRIDE and GROOM love one another romantically – and they do, you can see it in every look, every touch, every moment they’re together – they also love one another as friends.

In fact, they’re best friends, constantly giggling and taunting and teasing and very plainly and obviously having fun together.

That love and enjoyment of each other as best friends will sustain them through this marriage.

In addition, the love collectively in this room, from friends and family, will help sustain and support the promises they make today.

All of us here will help solidify this bond, as these two individuals are joined as husband and wife.

This new journey will be at times richly rewarding and extremely difficult, but, most importantly, it will be a journey you take together.

Marriage is much more than your signatures on a legal contract.

You are promising, in front of all these people you love, that you want to be with each other and only each other for the rest of your lives, and that you will do everything in your power to honor the promises you are making here today.

For their part, the people who love you will also do everything in their power to try to help you hold up your end of the bargain.

Opening Words and Introduction 4

Today is a celebration.

A celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it for forever.

You don’t have to have a ceremony to have a marriage.

And when you think about it, the whole thing is kind of weird, right?

You’re standing on in front of a lot of people, looking fancy, holding flowers, and being stared at by pretty much everyone who has meant anything to you.

So why do we do it?

The marriage ceremony has been an important feature across nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society.

We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so critical, we acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others.

Why this moment?

Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share.

It’s the great unifier — our one universal truth.

That no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right.

That’s why you are both standing here.

And that’s why you all are here to watch them stand up here.

We have all loved in our lifetimes, and in this moment, we’re reminded that the ability to love is the very best part of our humanity.

All of us here today have our own love stories.

Some are short, others long.

Some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part.

There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing — and others that are exciting and full of adventure.

[Insert love story here]

And that brings them here, a time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought them here.

And a time to look ahead to all the moments that are still to come.

I’m here — we’re all here — because we want those moments for you.

We’re here to hope with you, to support you, to be proud of you, and to remind you that love isn’t happily ever after, love is the experience of writing your story.

It’s not one moment — not even this moment. It’s every moment.

Big ones like saying “I love you,” moving in together, getting engaged — but mostly a million little ones that come in between the big moments.

Falling asleep next to one another, making dinner together, spending holidays with your families, getting a big hug when you get home from work…

These everyday moments fuse together into one big experience.

And even though this experience is so incredible, words fail us when we try and explain it.

That’s just the way it is with love — it’s meant to be felt, not described.

But trying to describe love is one of our favorite pastimes.

We use the words we have to write stories, and poems, and songs about love.

And even though we describe love in different ways — and even though love can look different from one person to the next — we all know it when we see it.

And we see it here.

Opening Words and Introduction 5

We have been invited here today to witness and celebrate the uniting in marriage of BRIDE and GROOM.

They are taking the first step of their new beginning; their new life together.

The ability and desire for one human being to love another is perhaps the most precious and fulfilling gift that has been entrusted to us.

It is an all-consuming task, a lifelong endeavor — the journey we’ve been preparing for all of our lives.

Loving someone is a reason to stretch beyond our limits, to become more for the sake of the other.

It is to look into the soul of your beloved and accept what you see.

Loving is the ultimate commitment which challenges humans to become all that we are meant to be.

As they join in marriage today, BRIDE and GROOM are announcing to the world that they are welcoming that challenge.

Opening Words and Introduction 6

Hello and welcome!  May your hearts be glad and your spirits be light.

For every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven.  Now is the time for a wedding.

BRIDE and GROOM have asked you all here today to bear witness to the forming of their covenant.

In honor of this event, they will say heartfelt words, perform age-old rituals and validate this event in your presence, their family and friends.

They will laugh and cry, dance and sing, and above all, celebrate their love with the blessings of the people who matter most to them.

To this day BRIDE and GROOM bring the joy in their hearts as a gift to one another.

They bring their shared dreams, which tie them together.

And they bring the seeds for their future, out of which will grow their life together.

You have been invited to share in their joy because of your bonds to the bride and groom and their families.

Again, they welcome you and thank you for coming.