Ideas and Inspiration for Your Wedding Ceremony Script (Traditional & Modern)

    With so many elements to arrange for your special day, one that doesn’t always immediately spring to mind is the format for your wedding ceremony script. You may know what type of ceremony appeals to you and whether religion plays a role in your vows, but it’s completely normal to be unsure about how you want to phrase the words of your ceremony.

    Your wedding ceremony script helps to set the tone not only for your wedding day, but also for your marriage. It’s an opportunity to vocalize your love and commitment in a way that feels natural to both of you.

    Many couples like to personalize some or all of their ceremony wording, as you want to feel deeply connected to the words you say and the promises you make.

    To help you out, we’ve brought together some insider tips on what to include in your wedding ceremony script and how to personalize it. If you’re looking for a script to use as inspiration, you’ll also find our traditional and modern wedding ceremony samples below.

    What’s the Typical Format for a Wedding Ceremony?

    The format of a wedding ceremony is largely up to you, and you can personalize your ceremony to your heart’s content. Most couples keep to a familiar format based on tradition and a flow that works. You could choose to add extra readings, poems, sermons, or even songs, but many wedding ceremonies stick to a basic schedule.

    Processional

    Traditionally, this is where the bridal party enters the room as live or recorded music plays.  This isn’t always the case though. In same-sex weddings, one half of the happy couple might walk the aisle to greet the other at the front of the room — or both may walk in together. The same goes for mixed-sex couples, especially those who want a less traditional wedding.

    The processional music could be a traditional tune played on an organ or piano, or something more modern like the couple’s favorite song. If you’re stuck for ideas, try this list of unforgettable wedding processional songs.

    Welcome

    The wedding officiant will then welcome the couple and guests to the ceremony. The welcome message can be brief, especially for a minimalist wedding or laidback civil ceremony. Conversely, the welcome message can be more detailed and describe the couple’s journey to where they are now.

    Readings, Addresses, or Sermons

    The opening welcome is typically followed by an address, or one or more readings or sermons. In a religious ceremony these may be sections of text from a religious book and reference God. Some couples choose to have popular readings from friends or family members, while others prefer to ask loved ones to write their own words around a particular topic or theme.

    Exchange of Vows

    It’s at this point in the ceremony where the couple usually exchanges vows. These may be based on traditional or religious promises, or the vows could be completely customized and handwritten by the couple. Whether traditional or modern, here’s where you’ll find the couple saying “I do.”

    Exchange of Rings

    Next, the wedding rings are exchanged. The officiant will usually ask the couple to place the ring on each other’s ring fingers and repeat a promise or declaration of their commitment.

    Pronouncement

    Following the ring exchange, it’s time for the officiant to formally pronounce the couple as married for the first time. After this you’re likely to witness the first kiss as a married couple, followed by cheering from guests.

    Recessional

    The ceremony ends with the recessional, where the wedding party exits the room. Again, this is usually to music of the couple’s choice.

    What Do You Need to Include In Your Wedding Ceremony Script?

    There are very few rules when it comes to writing or personalizing your wedding ceremony script. Apart from two major features, you’re free to use the words, vows, and readings that feel closest to your heart and personality.

    Declaration of Intent and Pronouncement

    For your wedding ceremony to be official, you’ll need to include both a declaration of intent and pronouncement. The declaration of intent is where you officially say that you are entering into this marriage of your own free will, and acknowledge the commitment that you are making to your partner. The pronouncement comes later in the ceremony, where your officiant formally declares you married.

    You can choose how to word these parts of your ceremony. You can go for a traditional declaration or something more modern. As long as the intentions of both you and your partner are declared, you can do this in a way that reflects your personality and thoughts on marriage.

    The same goes for the pronouncement, although it usually features the familiar phrase ‘I pronounce you husband/wife and wife/husband’ or simply ‘I pronounce you married.’

    Traditional Wedding Ceremony Script

    Wedding ceremony script: Black and white photo of couple at the church altar

    For many happy couples, a traditional wedding ceremony is what they’ve always dreamed of. There’s a familiarity to the order of service, vows, and declarations that makes your ceremony feel warm and special.

    Here’s a sample traditional wedding ceremony script for you to borrow or personalize for your special day. The example below features a bride and groom exchanging vows, but it’s easily customizable to suit a same-sex couple planning a traditional ceremony.

    Welcome

    Officiant: We are gathered here today to witness the sacred union of ________ and ________. We stand here to honor and celebrate the love shared between these two people, as they come together to start their new life with a solemn vow, surrounded by their closest family and friends. ________ and ________ are overjoyed that you are able to join us here today.

    Address

    Officiant: This ceremony celebrates the beginning of your marriage. It’s a journey of love, understanding, perseverance, and dedication to one another that lasts through time. As we stand here today to mark this occasion, we remember that what matters most is not the ceremony itself, but the love and companionship you will continue to share throughout your married life together.

    Readings

    Officiant: To honor the strength of love and the role it plays in our lives, ________ and ________ have called upon two of their nearest and dearest to share readings that have moved them.

    Readings follow

    Wedding Vows

    Officiant: There are no vows more meaningful and powerful than those which will be shared here today. Your wedding vows are a sacred declaration of your love for each other, the foundation of your relationship as a married couple, and the life you want to build together.

    Officiant: Please face each other as you declare these vows to one another. ________, you may start.

    Bride: I, ________, take you, ________ to be my wedded husband. I promise to stay by your side through good and bad times, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. I vow to stay true to you and love you unconditionally for the rest of my days.

    Officiant: ________, please now make your vows.

    Groom: I, ________, take you, ________ to be my wedded wife. I promise to stand by your side through good and bad times, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. I vow to stay true to you and love you unconditionally for the rest of my days.

    Declaration of Intent

    Officiant: Do you, ________, take this woman to be your wedded wife?

    Groom: I do

    Officiant: Do you, ________, take this man to be your wedded husband?

    Bride: I do

    Officiant: Let us now proceed.

    Exchanging of Rings

    Officiant: It is now time for you to exchange rings. Your rings symbolize the eternal commitment that you make to each other, and the never ending circle of your love. May these rings always remind you of the commitment you are making here today.

    Officiant: ________ and ________, please repeat after me. I, ________, give you, ________, this ring as a symbol of my love and commitment to you.

    Pronouncement

    Officiant: By the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss.

    Officiant: It is with great honor and delight that I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ________.

    Modern Wedding Ceremony Script

    Lovely floral arrangement on a wooden beam with draped fabric

    If you’ve opted for a less traditional wedding, you’ll want your ceremony script to be just as modern and unique. For some, a modern wedding ceremony script is short while for others it features more of the happy couple’s love story and personality.

    Here is a modern wedding ceremony script to inspire your own celebration of love.

    Welcome

    Officiant: It’s a great pleasure to welcome you here today to celebrate this special moment between ________ and ________. Your presence symbolizes the love and joy that we all feel for our friends, family, loved ones, and our community. It’s an honor to join you in marking the start of ________ and ________ ‘s marriage.

    Address

    Officiant: Today ________ and ________ take the first steps on a new journey. A journey that brings adventures, challenges, and moments of courage. Marriage brings two people together like nothing else, uniting two people who love each other unconditionally and with endless strength.

    Officiant:  ________ and ________ ‘s relationship has blossomed into a love that brings out the best in each other, a care that knows no boundaries, and a dedication to taking on the world together. Marriage brings a new commitment, and it is one built on a strong foundation. It’s a promise that has existed in the way that you support, appreciate, and encourage each other, long before today.

    Officiant: Today marks the beginning of a new stage in your lives together, a moment that we are all honored to share with you.

    Reading

    Officiant: Today’s reading, performed by ________ ‘s closest friend ________, celebrates the support and love that we can each find within our circles of friendship.

    Reading follows

    Wedding Vows

    Officiant: Let us now hear the declarations and promises that ________ and ________ make to each other here today.

    Officiant: ________, please take ________ ‘s hand and repeat after me.

    Officiant, followed by Partner 1 and then Partner 2: ________, I promise that from this day until my last I will love you, care for you, and celebrate you. You are my closest friend, my other half, and the one that I will treasure forever. I dedicate my energy to bringing you days filled with laughter, joy, tenderness, and unwavering love.

    Declaration of Intent

    Officiant: ________,  will you take ________ to be your partner through life? Will you love her, protect her, and spend your days in laughter together forever?

    Partner 1: I do.

    Officiant: ________,  will you take ________ to be your partner through life? Will you love her, protect her, and spend your days in laughter together forever?

    Partner 2: I do.

    Exchanging of Rings

    Officiant: ________ and ________, these rings are a physical representation of the love and commitment that you share. May you be forever be reminded of this moment and the joy that fills the air for the rest of your lives. Please place the ring upon your beloved’s ring finger and repeat after me.

    Officiant, then Partner 1 and Partner 2: I give you this ring to symbolize the continuous flow of my love for you. Together we are united, unstoppable, and unbreakable, today and for all of our days.

    Officiant: By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you married. Smile, kiss, and spend the rest of the day celebrating your new commitment.

    Will You Write or Personalize Your Own Wedding Ceremony Script?

    Some couples like to write every part of their ceremony, while others are led by their officiant for most of the ceremony. It’s popular for couples to write their own wedding vows whether it’s done together or apart. Either way, these vows are special because they come straight from the heart.

    Whether you borrow one of our ceremony scripts or write your own, the words shared between you and your partner are the center of what’s important. Your wedding ceremony is the start of a lifelong commitment to each other, so plan your wedding the way that feels most “you.”

    For more inspiration on how to create the perfect wedding ceremony, don’t miss post on how to choose the right wedding venue.

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