HOW TO PERFORM A WEDDING CEREMONY
Entitlement or authorization means that an individual is either entitled or authorized to perform the solemnization of marriage by the ordaining entity and the respective state.
What you will need to perform a wedding:
- You must Get Ordained
- Have a Letter of Good Standing
- Have a copy of your Ordination Credential
- Know the State Laws of where the marriage will be performed
- The couple may need to obtain a marriage license from the State or County
- Have a Wedding Certificate for the couple to sign
Each state has specific rules about who can solemnize weddings. If you are unsure, call the local county clerk where the wedding will take place and tell them you are a new Minister and would like to know if you need to register or follow any other procedures before performing a wedding within that state.
Review the Marriage Laws for the state to confirm.
Opening words of the officiant
Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of these witnesses, to join _______ and _______ in matrimony commended to be honorable among all; and therefore is not to be entered into lightly but reverently, passionately, lovingly and solemnly. Into this - these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together - let them speak now or forever hold their peace.
Friends, we have joined here today to share with _____ and ______ an important moment in their lives. Their time together, they have seen their love and understanding of each other grow and blossom and now they have decided to live out the rest of their lives as one.
The giving in marriage (optional)
The traditional wording is "Who gives this woman/man to be wed?" now in the 21st century, many couples opt for something less traditional such as "Who supports this couple in their marriage?" or "Who supports this woman/man in her/his marriage?" or couples can opt to leave it out entirely.
Opening reading or prayer
This generally sets the tone or theme of your wedding. It can be humorous, sentimental, elegant, or serious. Typically, it says something about love, relationships, or marriages.
Definition of wedding
This is where the officiant says some words about marriage in general. He or she will most likely talk in the tone of the wedding set by the opening reading or prayer.
Couple reads their vows
SampleI, (Bride/Groom), take you (Bride/Groom), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
I, (name), take you, (name), to be my (husband/wife), my friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
I (name), take you (name) to be my (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.
Exchange of rings or gifts
The couple would say "I (name) give you (name) this ( ring / gift / handfasting ) as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you."
Lighting of unity candle or other unity ceremony
Many couples are choosing to add a unity ceremony. They may choose to do this in silence, with music playing or they may create vows to say about the joining of their families.
This could be a poem, a prayer, or a sanctioning of the marriage. It is generally the "final thoughts" of the officiant.
Declaration of marriage
This is where the officiant says something similar to "By the power vested in me by the State of _______, I now pronounce you husband/wife and husband/wife. You may now kiss the bride/groom".
Followed by the first kiss of the newly married couple.
Introduction of newlyweds
The officiant says "I present to you Mr./ Mrs. and Mrs. / Mr. ________" if the couple has opted to change their names or "I present to you the newly married couple, Jane/John and John/Jane".
The guests stand and applaud, as the couple and recessional lead out.