A Wedding Ceremony Script For First-Time Officiants

by on May 27 2013 | 30 comments |

Beach Wedding

After officiating my first wedding and taking the time to pull together the wedding ceremony script I thought it would be good to post what I came up with for others to use. There are lots of things that can be added/removed from this example but it’s a good foundation that can help save some time for any other future first-time officiant out there.

In this particular wedding ceremony script there’s some humor, reading of vows, exchanging of rings and pouring of the unity sand but feel free to do what you need to this script to make it your own. Have a great wedding!

Processional Ends

Minister: Please be seated.

MInister: We’re all here today to celebrate the relationship of [Bride] and [Groom] and to be witnesses and supporters of the commitment they share with one another. Together we’re a group of the most important people in their lives and they’ve brought us here to publically recognize that we’ve all played some special part in the love they share today.

[Bride] and [Groom] wanted me to thank you all for being here and to recognize how important each and every one of you are to their relationship. They would also like to recognize all of those who couldn’t make it here today as they are certainly missed but not forgotten on this day of celebration — especially [something funny like their dog or other pet].

Speaking of important people, there were none more important in influencing the lives of [Bride] and [Groom] than their parents. With that being said, who gives [Bride] away in marriage to this man?

Father answers: “Her mother and I”

*At this point the Father let’s go of Bride’s arm, hugs and kisses her and gives her hand to Groom and sits down. Bride then hands her flowers to her maid of honor and Groom and Bride then stand there holding hands facing one another. They can be holding hands at this point or standing side-by-side facing the minister.

Minister: Marriage gives permanence and structure to a couple’s love. It’s a way to tell one another that no matter how much you snore or how much you spent while out at the shopping mall, we’re still in this together. It’s more permanent than the weird tattoo that [Groom] got on his arm in his early twenties and has more staying power than [Bride]’s cute southern accent that she’s had since they first met (you can add anything funny into this section that makes sense for the bride and groom). Marriage is telling the person you love that you’re not going anywhere and that’s a powerful commitment for two people to make to one another.

A good marriage must be built on the foundation of this commitment. In marriage the “little” things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is standing together and facing the world. It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not only marrying the right partner — it is being the right partner .

The road that has brought [Bride] and [Groom] here today hasn’t been easy. It’s been filled with challenges that they weren’t necessarily prepared for. But together they’ve taken each one on and have used those experiences to strengthen, not weaken their love.


*This can be any type of reading you prefer. Also, someone else can read it if you preferred

Minister: In the Bible, first Corinthians chapter 13, verses four through eight tells us:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Reading of the Vows

*Groom, be sure to have these in your pocket and Bride, be sure to give these to your maid of honor.

Minister: [Bride] and [Groom], the vows that you are about to make are a way to share your love and commitment to each other in your own words. Sometimes poems, verses and quotes just don’t get the point across the way you need them to and the best option is just to do it yourself. These vows are your way of openly declaring your promise to one another as well as to all of those who are here in attendance today.

[Bride], ladies first.

Bride: Reads her vows.

Groom: Reads his vows.

Exchanging of Rings

*Get rings from Maid of Honor and Best Man. Feel free to customize what you say to each other if you like.

Minister: [Bride] and [Groom] will now exchange rings to symbolize their commitment. Rings are derived from humble beginnings of imperfect metal to create something striking where there was once nothing at all. It is customarily worn on the ring finger as it is the only finger with a vein running directly to the heart. The wearing of the rings is a visible, outward sign that they have committed themselves to one another.

Minister: [Groom], please take [Bride]’s hand and repeat these words.

Minister: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,
Groom: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,

Minister: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.
Groom: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.

Minister: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this day
Groom: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this day

Minister: and know that my love is present,
Groom: and know that my love is present,

Minister: even when I am not.
Groom: even when I am not.

*Groom puts ring on Bride’s finger

Minister: [Bride], please take [Groom]’s hand and repeat these words.

Minister: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,
Bride: I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love,

Minister: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.
Bride: for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come.

Minister: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this day
Bride: Wear it as a sign of what we have promised on this day

Minister: and know that my love is present,
Bride: and know that my love is present,

Minister: even when I am not.
Bride: even when I am not.

*Bride puts ring on Groom’s finger.

Pouring of the Unity Sand

Minister: By sharing your vows and exchanging rings here today you both have decided to share the rest of your lives together. You are no longer two separate people but one couple together. This unity is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, [Bride] and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, [Groom], and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be, united as one for all of your days.

*Walk over and pour the sand — usually while music is playing.

The I Do’s

*This is it, time to make some magic happen.

Minister: [Bride] and [Groom] you have professed your love by exchanging your vows. You have symbolized your commitment by exchanging rings. And you have expressed the end of your individual lives by the pouring of the unity sand. With all of this there is just one more question I need each of you to answer and then we’re off to the reception to celebrate.

Minister: [Bride] – do you take Groom to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

Bride: I do.

Minister: Groom – do you take this [Bride] to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

Groom: I do.

Minister: By the power vested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife. [Groom] you may kiss your bride.

*It’s kissing time! (keep it classy, kids)

Minister: It’s my great honor and privilege to be the first to present to you Mr. and Mrs. [Groom’s Full Name]!

*Time to get our party on, but first we need to get everyone out of the wedding.

Recessional Begins

30 Comments to “A Wedding Ceremony Script For First-Time Officiants”

  1. jay 23 August 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Hup — Just a quick note of thanks for posting the script. I used it as a framework for a wedding I am officiating tomorrow (also my first). You laid the groundwork for what, I hope, will be a memorable day, and I wanted to let you know that your effort was appreciated… jay

    • Hup 24 August 2013 at 3:19 am #

      Hey Jay, more than happy to help. How did the wedding go?

  2. Joe 3 September 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi Hup. I’m going to be officiating at a ceremony in a few weeks. Do you have any suggestions as to good quotes to use? The bride doesn’t want a “traditional” Christian ceremony, but does want some religion in it. I’ve looked up a few, but not being Christian myself I don’t know what’s typically used at a ceremony. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,


  3. jenni 12 September 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Love this!! My dad will be the one oficiating my wedding and I wanted to find something that would fit. Thank you for posting this :)

  4. Marymjoy 24 September 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this as it brought lightness and humor to my mind as I am preparing a ceremony for next week. It is the first big wedding I will officiate. I like the sand as candles would go out in the breeze on the beach.
    Aloha Margaret

  5. Pastor Ivy 27 September 2013 at 2:44 am #

    Thank you for your help. This is my first wedding ceremony. I will use the script. God Bless You.

  6. Jen 14 October 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Thanks for the words! My first wedding is in an hour and I was afraid it’d be off the cuff!

  7. Kim 23 October 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    I am officiating my very first wedding next weekend… my son’s! This was so perfect! Thank you so much!

  8. Valerie Gurley 24 October 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Hup. My daughter & her fiance are getting married in a few weeks & I am officiating. They’re planning a flashmob wedding, so I was looking for a script that is contemporary yet intimate. With a few minor customizations, your script is perfect! Blessings to you & those you cherish.

  9. leoneconnell 11 November 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Good Day,

    Thank you for posting this. I would like some advice. I’m 21 years old an I recently became an Ordained Minister. How do I go about starting officiating weddings? How do I make this a career? I am also a photographer.

    God Bless,

  10. limbic13 18 November 2013 at 9:55 am #

    thanks hup! i’m officiating another wedding and needed some ideas and came across your script. i really like it. thanks so much!

  11. Erin 28 November 2013 at 3:50 am #

    Thank you so much! I’m doing my 3rd wedding on Friday, but the first two were very small and very casual. They didn’t want anything structured or traditional. This one is a bit more traditional and I needed an outline. I came across this and it’s perfect. Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Chaz Hunt 4 December 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Nicely done sir, thanks. Where did you get the idea for the sand – I love it!

  13. dorothy cox rothwell 7 January 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    I am a Reverend, and I understand legally, you have to ask “If any person can show just cause why they should not be joined in marriage, let them speak or forever hold there peace”
    Rev.Dorothy C.Rothwell

    • David 5 June 2014 at 5:15 am #

      In Georgia, it is not required – it is not in the Georgia Code (law).

  14. mbabazi jean 18 January 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    what a lovely day it was be blessed .you have very nice words keep showing some of us who can not.Hope to use them.GOD be with you.

  15. Kathi 30 January 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    I am getting married in 2 months & our officiant is a first timer. We are in our mid 60’s & my 12 year old grandskn will be giving me away. Any advice for verbiage that could be used? My fiance & I are both widowed. Thanks

  16. Dan 8 March 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Thanks, Hup. This is exactly what I was looking for. I’m officiating for the first time in a month, and the couple I am marrying has no idea what they want out to do for their ceremony. I’m going to use your framework as a starting point.

  17. Roland 21 March 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Nice job on this site. I just stumbled because I was hitting a writers block on some vows. This is year three for me part time averaging 45 weddings a year. Loving every minute of it. Laying the groundwork for something to do when I retire from co-operate

  18. gigi 25 March 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Thanks for sharing! We asked the friend that introduced us to officiate our wedding and this is a really helpful guide (and i like your humor).

  19. ps 31 March 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Thank you for posting the script. Great foundation!

  20. Brianna 7 April 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! I am getting married in June and I am writing my own ceremony and was stressing out because after 5 days of looking for a foundation that I liked, I finally found this one and now I am more excited than ever! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

    A very thankful bride! :)

  21. jessicaselbach 25 April 2014 at 3:30 am #

    Hey! im Jessica. I am 22 years old and in may i will be officiating my first wedding! I have done a lot of research on outlines, and i believe that this is the best one yet! thank you so much!

  22. reed 4 May 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Used your script as the basis for officiating my first wedding yesterday, and it went very well. Thanks for doing most of the work for me!

  23. pj 6 May 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Thanks Hup. Its funny how you can know someone for years and there’s a side of them you might never see. Until you go googling for wedding ceremony scripts 48 hours before you officiate your first ceremony.

    And here we are. You and I. I’m giving you a big hug from Austin. And you are totally bailing me out of a jam!

  24. revcampbell 23 May 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    Thank you for the scaffold. I am experienced, but my ritual is in storage and I find myself needing to replace it for an upcoming wedding and this was very helpful. Keep up the good work.

  25. mcgregml 27 May 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! I officiated a friend’s wedding over the weekend and this made up approximately 80 – 90% of the service and was a life saver! I received a lot of compliments afterwards on the ceremony. Again, can’t thank you enough!

  26. msfrolic 4 June 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    Thank you for the post, I am officiating my first wedding in a few weeks for a same sex couple and like many of the traditional pieces along with the opportunity to weave in some non-traditional elements.

  27. Molly Waters 11 June 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Good Morning, Hup;

    You’re a life saver! I have the honor of having been asked to officiate a wedding aboard my Coast Guard cutter. This will be my first, and your script has provided the critical foundation I need for a wonderful event. Thank you!

    Very Respectfully,

    LCDR Molly Waters, USCG
    Commanding Officer

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