Optional Ceremonies

Optional Ceremonies:

Memorial Mention: (generally said in the beginning of the ceremony)

At this time we would like to remember those who have passed (names or nicknames of loved ones)

Although they are not physically with us we know they are here in spirit and in our hearts and they too are sharing this time of good fortune with us.
For the grace with which we embrace life is always, a measure of what has gone before.
Officiant will ring the bell for 15 seconds for a moment of silence or a song can be played at this time/or The couple can light a candle or place a single rose near the loved one’s picture


Unity Sand Ceremony: (This is an alternate ceremony for the Unity Candle)

Marriage brings together two people in a unique relationship. In their togetherness, they share many experiences as if they were one person. But each retains his or her own identity. The miracle of love is that it allows us to overcome our sense of isolation, yet continues to permit us our uniqueness as individuals.
Bride and Groom today you join your separate lives together. The separate bottles of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate set of friends. They represent all that you are and all that you’ll ever be as an individual. They also represent your lives before today. As these separate containers of sand are poured together, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. These grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers.
Today you have pledged yourselves to a lifetime of caring for one another. May your togetherness bring you joy and comfort, and may your uniqueness continue to challenge you to love life with courage and creativity.

(Bride and groom started pouring together.
They stop half way and allow children to pour their vials in.

After they are finished, Grandchildren pour their vials in.
Bride and Groom finish pouring the remaining sand in container.)

Bride and Groom will you now finish pouring your sand?

And will you now seal the vessel as a reminder that nothing is more important, or more sacred than the bond that you share as husband, wife and family.

(Addressing the child or children by name )________do you see where you all are?
You are in the center of your mom and dad's hearts, now and forever.

Family Sand Ceremony
Bride and Groom , will you now step up to the table and hold close to your heart the container of sand representing the essence of all that you are, and all that you bring to this union. As you do so, embody the grains with all your hopes and dreams for the future. Bring to mind the strength of your promises, the honesty and integrity with which you make them, and all the particles of personality that make you unique and wonderful in one another's eyes.

Within a marriage each person is both their own and each others; two individuals, choosing to create a new life with endless possibilities, and new dreams that are theirs together. Will you now pour the sand that is to represent the foundation of your love, which is to support and nurture, your marriage and your family?

Children will you join us please? Calling up all the other participants.

This container is here to represent you, _____ and your importance. Like colors of the rainbow we're all different and special, valuable, and precious. Therefore it is only fitting that you be shown as an important part of this marriage, after all marriage is really about family. So will you please pick up your sand and add it to your mom and dad's?

Family Sand #2
Sand Ceremony including Children:
Bride and Groom, today you are making a life-long commitment to share the rest of your lives with each other and honor your children as well. Family relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these containers of sand; each representing all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

There are children who will share in this marriage. They will now come forward to help us with the Blending of the Sands. The gathering of this new family will have a deep influence upon them. We realize that in order for the home to be a happy one, it is essential that there be love and understanding between the children and the adults being married.

The separate containers of which you hold represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one family.
You may now blend the sand together symbolizing the uniting of the children and bride and groom into one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be.

Jumping the Broom #1
Starting a new life with another person requires a "leap of faith. This broom represents a threshold. Bride and Groom, although still individuals, will begin a new life together. Jumping over the broom represents crossing this threshold into new territory; a life vitally connected to another's. They leave behind the past and jump into the future together secure in their love. The leap they take over the broom is also symbolic. By taking the leap, they make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead, as well as the easy times. Please count with me now and shout with joy as they perform their first act of working together as husband and wife: 1, 2, 3, jump! ~ Hurray!!

Jumping the Broom #2

Bride and Groom, have realized that they are stronger together than they are alone and have chosen to take the leap into married life with joy, dedication and a firm commitment that theirs will be a marriage rooted in love. Let this broom symbolize their joyous transition into married life with the love that binds them together and holds them close. Please count with me now and shout with joy as they perform their first act of husband and wife, 1,2,3, Jump
Good Cheer—Hurray!


Unity Candles: (from poem selections also see #29 True Love—referring to the flame of Love)

#1
Bride and Groom, the two separate candles
symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take
one of the lit candles and that together you light the center candle.

The individual candles represent your lives before you this day. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.
As you light the candles:
Bride: With this flame, I bring you the warmth of my heart.
Groom: With this flame, I bring you the light of my love.

#2 Lighting of the Unity Candle:

Fire is believed by many to represent passion and purity. It is also associated with the security of home and the “home fires.”

Bride and Groom, will light candles representing the light of their individual selves and then come together to light the single candle representing their union. May it be known to all that they are individuals each unique and different and have chosen the common commitment to share their lives, their hearts, and their home together.

#3 Unity Candles:
Marriage brings together two people in a unique relationship. In their togetherness, they share many experiences as if they were one person. But each retains his or her own identity. The miracle of love is that it allows us to overcome our sense of isolation, yet continues to permit us our uniqueness as individuals.
Bride and Groom, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take
one of the lit candles and together you light the center candle.
The individual candles represent your lives before you this day. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two
families and two sets of friends to one.
Today you have pledged yourselves to a lifetime of caring for one another. May your togetherness bring you joy and comfort, and may your uniqueness continue to challenge you to love life with courage and creativity.

Family Wine Ceremony:

Wine is a universal symbol—of the richness of life and sweetness of love. So it is appropriate, that on this joyous occasion, you toast life with this ancient symbol.
Parents—please fill Bride and Groom’s glasses and take a sip. This represents the continuous connection between parents and children. It is also symbolic of the love and encouragement you have provided them and will always provide them in their lives together.
Hand the cup to your children, and they will toast each other by drinking from their own cups as a sign of maintaining themselves and their individuality. (sip the wine).
Bride and Groom will now drink from each other’s cups as a sign of sharing yourselves and your life together. (Sip the wine)
Let this wine ceremony represent the spirit of your lives together. By sharing this wine now, you have shown your desire to blend your families together even stronger. May you always find life’s joy heightened and its bitterness sweetened.


Tying of the Knot Ceremony:

#1 Bride and Groom have decided to add another celebration to their ceremony, called a "Blessing of the Hands and a "Tying of the Knot." In Ireland as well as other European countries, until the mid 1700's, few unions were sanctified in a church or even by a minister or priest. Rather, they were celebrated in a simple ceremony in which the two partners joined hands in a symbolic gesture, recognized by the elders of the village. Today, we are building upon this tradition.

Or
#2
"The humble gesture of holding hands has long been viewed as a means of conveying, not only love, but comfort, intimacy, support, and empathy.
Many ancient traditions, from the Mayans, to the Celtics, from the Hindus to the Buddhists, to make this bond between lovers official, would tie their wrists together with grasses or vines, or braided cords. This is where the phrase, “Tying the Knot” hails from.
Some cultures would even have this knot in place for 7 days as sort of a trial run for the marriage. But Bride and Groom have asked that I do this just for the symbolism of it."
Then we would have your hands loosely tie together.
(To the couple) "please link your hands" palms up, so you may see the gift that each other's hands are to you."


"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love,
That are holding yours on your wedding day,
as you promises to love each other for all the days of your life.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,
And with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind,
These are the hands that will wipe away the tears from your eyes,
tears of sorrow and joy.
These are the hands that will give your strength when you need it,
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children,
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
And lastly, these are the hands, that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching
For yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch."

"Back in earlier times, the hands would be bound with vines, colorful cords or a scarf. Today we will use this cord to symbolize the binding of promises. Today we will actually be "tying the knot!!"

"Today Bride and Groom, will be making the "true lovers knot" which is the strongest there is, it will not break, and will only become stronger when under pressure. The rope itself will break before the knot comes undone (bride and groom tie the knot). These two cords represent your past, your own individual and separate lives before today. As you intertwine your pieces, you are joining your two lives into one, representing the present. The finished knot symbolizes your future, and how your love and marriage will continue to be strong despite any trials life may throw your way."
(Many times the cords are pre-tied in the fisherman’s knot and gently places over the hands.)

#3
Bride and Groom have just sealed their relationship with the giving and receiving of rings. Today their relationship is further symbolized by the tying of a fisherman’s knot; a true lovers knot, for it is the strongest there is; its bond will not break, becoming ever stronger under pressure.

(Bride and Groom), will you please tie this knot? ~ (couple begin tying the knot)

These two cords represent your past; each of you as individuals and the unique and special gifts you bring to your marriage. As you fasten your pieces together, these actions represent the present; this moment when you join your two lives into one common purpose. The completed knot represents your future, secure in the knowledge your relationship will continue to be strong despite the inevitable changes life brings. Although the fisherman's knot is one of the simplest to tie, it is also one of the sturdiest. As stress is applied, the knot becomes ever stronger.

It is the goal of marriage to achieve a blending of hearts and lives, but like the spaces between these cords formed by the knot, let there also be spaces in your new life together, so each may encourage and nurture the individual growth of the other.

I ask that you know pull on this rope to see it strengthen under pressure while still allowing us to see the individual cords ~ just as your support of one another as beautiful and blessed individuals strengthens your union. ~ (pull on the rope together)

As you hold one another in mutual concern and shared respect, may you continue holding each other tightly in your hearts and form a strong bond, now and forever. Let this knot indicate the strength of your love and be a symbol of your unity from this day forward.


Hand Ceremony:
(using a droplet of essential oils on each palm.)

Please face each other and hold hands.
As Shakespeare said: “Now join your hands, and with your hands your heart”

These are the hands, strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other all the days of your life.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

The hands that will on countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into your eyes that are filled completely with your overwhelming love and desire for you.

The hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings, after you are both had a long hard day.

The hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving.

Dear God, bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love.

Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May Bride and Groom, see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide. Amen.


Rose Ceremony: (There are 3 different versions to choose from.)

RC1 Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings, which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows, of you
r love and respect, and a public showing of your commitment to each other.

You now have what remains the most honorable title, which may exist between a man and a woman. The title of “Husband and Wife” For your first gift as husband and wife, it will be a single rose.

In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing—it meant the words “I love you”…

RC2 This is a day steeped in tradition, a time when we are surrounded by symbols of; something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Today, Bride and Groom will begin a new tradition, a custom which now becomes uniquely their own.


Groom:
Bride, I give you this rose. Because it grew from a tiny seed, becoming stronger and larger until it burst into a flower, it symbolizes the way my love for you has grown. Groom gives the bride the rose. Each year on our wedding anniversary, I will give you another rose. In doing so, I’ll remember this day and renew the vows we have made.

Bride:
Groom, I give to you this vase of water. Bride gives to groom and holds it. Because water is the one element that without it we would perish, it symbolizes the importance of your love in my life.

RC3 In the elegant language of flowers, red roses are a symbol of love, and the giving of a single red rose is a clear and unmistakable way of saying the words “ I love you” For this reason it is fitting that the first gift you exchange as husband and wife be the gift of a single red rose…


Breaking of the Glass:
Jewish Wedding Tradition as well as many others enjoy bringing this custom into their ceremony.
The breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is placed at the end of the wedding ceremony when the groom stomps on a glass to crush it and the guests shout, “Mazel Tov” or applaud
There are various interpretations: (these are just a few of the most popular explanations)
Temple: Breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.
Fragile: The glass symbolizes the love and relationship of the couple is fragile, so it must be cared for and not broken
Irrevocable: The breaking of the glass symbolizes the irrevocability of broken glass. The glass shatters into many pieces the action cannot be taken back. Just as the vows you have spoken to each other today cannot be taken back. It’s irrevocable and permanent.


Wine Box Unity Ceremony: (a custom from the Netherlands)

This script can also be modified to be used as a Wish box, asking all your guest to put their good wishes to you on your wedding day in the box. This can also replace the sign in book.

Bride and Groom, have chosen as a couple to perform a Love Letter & Wine Box ceremony.

This box contains a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a love letter from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written. You have created your very own "romantic" time capsule to be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary. This box will be kept in a place of honor, prominently displayed in your home as a constant reminder of your commitment to each other.
Bride and Groom, should you ever find your marriage enduring insurmountable hardships, you are to as a couple, open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then separate and read the letters you wrote to one another when you were united as a couple in marriage. By reading these love letters you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other here today.

The hope is, however, that you will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, you are to open this box to share and enjoy on your 5th year wedding anniversary!

Bride and Groom, please seal the box.(the box is locked and the wine ceremony is over )

#2 Wine Ceremony:

On the table sits 2 carafes filled with wine and a goblet.
The Officiant announces "To symbolize and celebrate the blending of your two lives into one, I invite you to perform the Wine Ceremony". The couple proceeds to the table and each takes an individual carafe and pours some wine into the larger carafe.
The Groom then takes the goblet with the combined wines. He may now toast his Bride with, "To our lives together” and drinks from the glass. This is a great place to add some special words to each other. The Bride then takes the goblet from the Groom and toasts the Groom with the same.
They place the wine glasses back and turn back to the officiant, who states: "This ceremony represents your two individual lives, combined like the two wines into one single life. The drinking of the combined wine signifies the commitment you now make to live your lives as one family. May you remember this day of commitment you have sealed with drinking of the new wine joining your lives as one."

Tree Planting Ceremony:
Officiant: (explains the ceremony)
Bride and Groom will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other's family today.
Bride and Groom, today you stand before us ready to share the rest of your lives together as a married couple. But long before today your parents provided you with a foundation of love and caring which has brought you to this point. We will start by adding dirt from Brides childhood home and dirt from Groom’s childhood home. This dirt symbolizes their individual families, it has been through their years of love and support, that have helped shaped who Bride and Groom, are today,... a man and a woman who are ready to be committed, in a loving marriage of their own… (Bride and groom add soil—symbolic of their individual lives before today)
Officiant: Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love richens our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change.
Bride and Groom, would you please plant the sapling?
Officiant: Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.
Bride and Groom, would you please add fertilizer?
Officiant: Remember to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential - just like this tree.
Bride and Groom, would you please water the sapling?
(Bride and Groom water the sapling)
On behalf of the bride and groom, I would like to thank each one of you for sharing this happiest of days with them. As French writer Marcel Proust said, "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
You are the people who make the souls of the Bride and Groom blossom. We want to acknowledge and thank all of you for your support and participation today.
Bride and Groom will plant this tree in their backyard to always be a symbol the putting down of roots, longevity, love and strength in their marriage.

Couples Address: (spoken directly to the bride and groom, before the expression of Intent)

#1
Bride and Groom, you are here because separately and for along time you have each chosen the path of self-knowledge. You have paid attention to who you are, what your life means and where you are going. But today, this day of your wedding,
is the occasion of the shedding of your single lives in favor of bonding yourself with one another, and your marriage.

For it is love after all and before all, that has brought you to this place. Love is the inspiration, the magic and the healing balm of any marriage, no matter how clearly envisioned or powerfully determined its destiny may be. Love is what brought you together, love is what will keep you whole. For love is life’s highest destiny, its
greatest purpose, and its finest work.

#2
Bride and Groom, you are here to publicly declare your devotion to each
other. The essence of this commitment is the acceptance of each other in entirety, as lover, companion, and friend. A good and balanced relationship is one in which neither person is overpowered nor absorbed by the other; one in which neither person
is possessive of the other; one in which both give their love freely and without jealousy.

Marriage, ideally, is a sharing of responsibilities, hopes, and dreams. It takes a special effort to grow together, survive hard times,
and be loving and unselfish.

#3
Bride and Groom, you must remember that marriage is a process of transformation. Just like a grinding stone will hone
a gem to it’s brightest brilliance. In marriage you will be re-reformed, for in choosing this particular person to love, you are choosing to be affected. You will be polished
through the actions of your beloved upon you, through the praise, criticism, frustration, excitement, actions, and inactions of the person you marry today.

Love is what brought you together, love is what will keep you whole. For love is life’s highest destiny, its greatest purpose, and its finest work.

#4
Bride and Groom, remember as you go out into the world as a married couple; that your love will have seasons, that your relationship is a progression, and that love will prevail.

Hold these thoughts in your heart and minds, this will give you a marriage of deep joy,
unexpected opportunities and selfless nurturing and a truly loving relationship.

The Blessing of the Rings: spiritual
The blessing spoken by the officiant and the words you choose to say at the time you exchange your rings express most purely the meaning you want when you wear them each day.

1. The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows that Bride and Groom, have made to one another.
Bless O God these rings, that Bride and Groom, who give them, and who wear them, may ever abide in thy peace. Living together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their lives.

2. The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace. Dear God bless these ring and make them a symbol of unity, in which these two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.

3. You have chosen these rings as the symbol of your marriage covenant. Dear God, Bless these rings to symbolize the endless circle of your love, representing the marriage union, which shall continue, broken only by death.

4. Dear God, Bless these rings that Bride and Groom, give and receive this day. Make them the symbols of your endless love. Such a love has no beginning and no ending, no giver and no receiver. Dear God, Bless these wedding rings; make them the lasting symbols of the vows and commitments and the love they share today.

5. Lord, bless and consecrate Bride and Groom, in their love for each other. May these rings be a symbol of true faith in each other and always remind them
of their love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord, bless these rings which we bless in your name. Grant that those who wear them may always have a deep faith in each other. May they do your will and always live together in peace, good will, and love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

6. Wholeness is the state in which nothing is missing and everything is possible, in which what has been is completed by what is, and in which there is no lack. These rings represent wholeness, a coming around of the cycle: from sickness to health, from want to plenty, from despair to joy, from failure to possibility, from loneliness to love. Dear God, bless these Rings, to be a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight.
7. Dear God Bless these rings, by your power may these rings, from this day forward, be the most treasured adornment; and may the love they symbolize be, to the end of their days, their most precious possession.
8. As God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, so let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love.

10. The wedding rings are an ancient symbol of unending love. May God bless these rings so that they may serve as both a sign of your love and faithfulness, and as a reminder of the covenants you have made today.

11. O Lord, hear our prayer for Bride and Groom, who today are united in marriage before you. We ask your blessing on these rings which they give to each other as their symbol of love and devotion. We ask this in you name. Amen.

Honoring Parents at the Wedding Ceremony:
#1
Parental Honoring is optional but a well honored tradition. This can also be customized to include grandparents and step parents.
Officiant—Ask the parents to stand.
Bride and Groom want to acknowledge their parents on this occasion, Bride and Groom offer their profound gratitude to their parents for all the love and care they showed in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts, for guiding them to this celebration of love here today. Without you, this day would not be possible.
To honor this uniting of the families, Bride and Groom, wish to ask for their parent’s blessing. Do you welcome this couple as a member of your family and give them your blessing, love and affection? Parents answer- Yes we do.
Or
#2
BRIDE and GROOM wish to let BRIDE’S MOTHER and FATHER and GROOM’S MOTHER and FATHER know how much you mean to them and how important you have been to them from the very beginning. As you have watched and guided them and encouraged them to be the people they are today. And it is fitting that today they are here before you, as they have always been, to ask you to witness their joining. They ask that you will still be there to guide them, to be there in difficult times and joyous ones, to be there for their children and to give them your guidance too. You see, this marriage is a marriage of family and BRIDE and GROOM acknowledge that their families are now uniting. To honor this uniting of the families, Bride and Groom, wish to ask for their parent’s blessing. Do you welcome this couple as a member of your family and give them your blessing, love and affection? Parents answer- Yes we do.
Wedding Blessing before the reception meal:
O’ Heavenly Father, we thank you for the food we share tonight, in celebration of ____ and _______’s marriage.
We thank you for the love, guidance and support of our parents, family and friends.
We thank you for making this day so enjoyable, and bless those that have worked so hard to make this day a success for _______and ______.
Thank you for the freedom we have in our lives and the beautiful country we enjoy.
In a world where so many are hungry,
May we eat this food with humble hearts;
In a world where so many are lonely,
May we share this friendship with joyful hearts. Amen.
We gather here in celebration of the marriage of ______and ______.
Lord, We thank you for this food and we ask that you bless this food so it may nourish our bodies.
And we are thankful for the staff in the kitchen who prepared the food;
The people that are serving us and also for those who will be cleaning up after we leave.
Let us give thanks for this food in a world where many walk in hunger;
For faith in a world where many walk in fear;
For family and friends in a world where many walk alone;
We thank you Lord for the time we have together and bless the fellowship we share tonight.
Amen.
~~~~~~~
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for the food we share tonight, in celebration of the marriage of _______ and _________.
We thank you for the love, guidance and support of our parents, family and friends.
We thank you for making this day so enjoyable, and bless those that have worked hard to make this day a success.
Thank you Lord for the freedom we have in our lives and the beautiful country we enjoy it in.
Heavenly Father, we ask this blessing for _______ and ______the newly married couple,
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow...
~~~~~
Thank you, Lord. These are simple words but they come from simple hearts that overflow with the realization of your goodness. We ask you to bless us as we eat, bless this food and bless the hands that prepared it. May the words of our lips spring forth from hearts of gratitude and may we bless others as we fellowship today.
~~~~~~
Without Thy sunshine and Thy rain
We could not have the golden grain;
Without Thy love we'd not be fed;
We thank Thee for our daily bread. Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this special day, a day to remember Your goodness to us.
Thank You for a roof over our heads, and more than enough food to eat.
Thank You for the family You have given to us, for family and friends who have gathered together to eat this Thanksgiving Day meal. Amen.
~~~~~~
The following is a sample of a prayer that could be offered from a Christian faith tradition at a reception with multi-faith guests.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love, which we have seen today reflected in ____and_____ eyes. We have come from many places, many backgrounds, many beliefs, but _____ and _____ have drawn us together to share this meal together, their first meal as a married couple. We are grateful for love which seeks us and finds us. We are grateful for this meal. We pray your blessing upon those who prepared it and those who will serve it. We ask that you bless _____and _____ and us as we celebrate tonight. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
~~~~~~~
A Sample Secular Prayer:
Ground and source of all life, we stop and recall with gratitude the gift of life. We are grateful for the love of ______and _____ parents, who raised them from childhood with care and concern, bringing them to this day. We are grateful for the example of [Jane] and [John's] love in their new commitment to one another. We express our gratitude to those who grew and harvested the food we will share today, those who prepared it and those who will serve it. We are grateful also to the wind and the rain, the sun and the earth, who provide not only this meal but all of our life on this planet. Let us take a moment of silence now in gratitude for life. Amen.

Blessings and prayer (optional and may be added to any ceremony)
#1 Heavenly Father,
Thank you for all you have done for Bride and Groom today and thank you for every day that has led them to this joyous occasion. You have blessed this couple with the gift of marriage and with a special love, Shine on them today, as they take their vows and enter into the blessed covenant of marriage. In Jesus ‘ name . Amen.
#2 Heavenly Father, love has been Your richest and greatest gift to the world. Love between a man and woman which matures into marriage is one of Your most beautiful types of loves. Today we celebrate that love. May your blessing be on this wedding ceremony. Protect, guide and bless Bride and Groom in their marriage. Surround them and us with Your love now and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In the body of the ceremony you can have the reading or poem.
or End with a Prayer,
#3 Dear God,
Begin to touch this couple’s hearts so that they may know the exact path to follow. May they always be on one accord. We pray that this husband always honor and adore his wife, preferring her above all others; and that this new wife would respect and love her husband always. Give them both your grace to deal with the disappointments life may throw their way, and keep them close to you. Help them to turn to you first, so they may increase in knowledge of You throughout their life and then to each other. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.