Contemporary Non-Religious Ceremony

(You may change it anyway you wish or construct your own ceremony)

We are gathered here today, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is! We do not create this marriage because we cannot. We can and do, however, celebrate with ________________and ___________ and their friends and families the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives.

The Celebration Of Marriage

Marriage is a supreme sharing of experience and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyous union of two people whose comradeship and mutual understanding have flowered in romance. Today ___________ and _____________ proclaim their love and commitment to the world, and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them, in the new life they now undertake together.

The joy we feel now is a solemn joy, because the act of marriage has many consequences, both social and personal. Marriage requires "love," a word we often use with vagueness and sentimentality. We may assume that love is some rare and mystical event, when in fact it is our natural state of being.

So what do we mean by love? When we love, we see things other people do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities that make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving eyes is to know inner beauty. To be loved is to be seen, and known, as we are known to no other.

We, who love, can look at each other's life and say, "I touched his life," or, "I touched her life," just as an artist might say, "I touched this canvas. Those brushstrokes in this magnificent mural are mine. I was a part of this life, and it is a part of me." Marriage is to belong to each other through a unique and diverse collaboration, like two threads crossing in different directions, yet weaving one tapestry together.

To make this relationship work, therefore, takes more than love. It takes trust to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes faith to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both. While love is our natural state of being, these other qualities are not as easy to come by. They are not a destination, but a journey.

The true art of married life is in this an inner spiritual journey. It is a mutual enrichment, a give and take between two personalities, a mingling of two endowments that diminishes neither, but enhances both.

And so as _______________’s and _________________’s friends and family, we are here to share with them this joy and hope, and to see them off on the path they will walk together. May it be a path of ever -deepening, ever-broadening love that they will travel, arm in arm throughout eternity.

The Commitment

_______________ and _______________ this celebration is the outward token of your sacred and inward union of hearts, which the church and temple may bless, and the state make legal, but which neither state nor church can create nor annul. It is a union created by your loving purpose and kept by your abiding will. It is in this spirit and for this purpose that you have come here to be joined together.

VOWS

(You may pick other vows or write your own)

______________ (Groom), will you have this woman to be your wedded wife to live together in marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, and honor her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live? (I will.”) _______________ (Bride), you take this man to be your wedded husband, to live together in marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, and honor him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live? (I will.”)

Ceremony of the Rings Traditionally, the passage to status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken.

Please present the rings and each repeat after me.

"With this ring, I thee wed."

_________________ and _________________, remember to treat both yourself 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, difficulty, or fear overwhelms your marriage, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the times 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 lives together, your life together will be marked by abundance and delight.

PRONOUNCEMENT

In as much as you have consented together in this ceremony to live in wedlock and have sealed your vows in the presence of this company and by the giving of these rings, by the powers vested in me by the state of Florida, it gives me great pleasure to pronounce that you are Husband and Wife.

Congratulations, you may kiss your bride!