We ended up asking a family friend to be our officiant kind of last minute and I was a wee bit worried that it wasn’t going to feel weighted, or official, enough without a seasoned officiant going through their well-rehearsed shpeal. So, I took matters into my own hands, as a true type A bride would do… and I just wrote out exactly, word for word, what I wanted him to say. I tried to keep it nondenominational in totality, but with mention of both our heritages (Christian & Jewish). I’m going to share it here because in my research to come up with the perfect nondenominational ceremony script I struggled to find what I was looking for. Enjoy and congratulations!! 🙂
Matrimony is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relations. No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through forgiveness, learning to appreciate your differences, taking care to make the important things matter, and letting go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as partners in life.
Before we begin, Chelsea and Matthew wish to take a moment to remember all of the friends and family members who are no longer with us. Let us bow our heads as we remember the lives of Amy Breliant, William Breliant, Kristen and Richie Gilson, John, Marsha and Marc Merianos, Uncle Teddy and Uncle Howard, and both sets of Chelsea and Matthew’s grandparents. Though these loved ones are no longer with us in the present, their spirits live on in the lives of this young couple, always guiding them.
THANK YOU FOR COMING
To the people present with us here today, Thank You. Many of you have travelled quite the distance to participate in this ceremony. Or maybe for the free drinks, what do I know. Chelsea and Matthew feel blessed to share their matrimony with you. It is because of your love and support that they find such strength and happiness in their own relationship.
OUR LOVE STORY
Here’s where you put the how you met, how you fell in love, how you got here today, and any cute sweet funny stuff in between.
The first reading is titled “A Wedding Toast” from the poet James Bertolino
The reader is JANIS, Chelsea’s aunt.
“May your love be firm,
and may your dream of life together be a river between two shores–
by day bathed in sunlight, and by night
illuminated from within. May the heron
carry news of you to the heavens, and the salmon bring
the sea’s blue grace. May your twin thoughts spiral upward
like leafy vines, like fiddle strings in the wind,
and be as noble as the Douglas fir.
May you never find yourselves back to back
without love pulling you around
into each other’s arms.”
Chelsea and Matthew have written their own vows, which they will now share with you. (read 10 tips for writing vows and a copy of the ones I wrote for Matt HERE!)
Before we say I dos, I’d like to ask everyone here to please close their eyes, along with Chelsea and Matt. Savor this moment of wedding bliss surrounded by love. This will undoubtedly be one of the best days of your lives. Remember this moment if things get tough, or you lose your way. From this moment on, you two will have each other always and forever.
A marriage is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life. Before you declare your vows to one another, I want to hear you confirm that it is indeed your intention to be married today.
Chelsea, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Matthew in marriage? If so, answer “I do.”
Matthew, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Chelsea in marriage? If so, answer “I do.”
Chelsea, please give your bouquet to Kelly. Matthew and Chelsea, having heard that it is your intention to be married to each other, I now ask you to declare your marriage vows. Please face each other and hold hands.
Chelsea, please repeat after me… I, Chelsea take you, Matthew to be my husband. I will share my life with yours, Build our dreams together, Support you through times of trouble, and rejoice with you in times of happiness. I promise to give you respect, love and loyalty through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together. This commitment is made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope, and made new every day of our lives.
Matthew, please repeat after me… I, Matthew, take you, Chelsea, to be my wife. I will share my life with yours, Build our dreams together, Support you through times of trouble, and rejoice with you in times of happiness. I promise to give you respect, love and loyalty through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together. This commitment is made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope, and made new every day of our lives.
Exchange of Wedding Rings
Your wedding ring are the outward and visible sign of the inward and invisible bond which already unites you two hearts in love. I ask Brett to give Chelsea’s ring to Matthew. Matthew, place the ring on Chelsea’s finger and repeat after me…. “This ring I give in token and pledge / as a sign of my love and devotion. / With this ring, I thee wed. (Traditional)
Chelsea, as you place the ring on GROOM’s finger, please repeat after me:
“This ring I give in token and pledge / as a sign of my love and devotion. / With this ring, I thee wed”. May the wedding rings you exchanged today remind you always that you are surrounded by enduring love.
BREAKING THE GLASS
To pay homage to Matt’s Jewish heritage, the ceremony will close with the traditional breaking of the glass. A marriage is like the glass: it takes constant care and attention, and it can be broken in a second. So you perform this old ritual to remind yourselves to pay close attention, not only to one another but also to the marriage you’re making today. So, here goes – and [to the guests], if this is something new to you, let me tell you that the traditional response to the glass-breaking is loud shouts of “Mazel tov,” which means “Good luck and congratulations!
I officially present to you Mr. and Mrs. Breliant! Please shower the newly weds in lavender for good luck as they walk down the aisle.
I have also been an officiant, check out the denominational ceremony script I wrote for their nuptials in Ibiza. I also include some helpful writing tips in that post too 🙂