Creating the Perfect Ceremony

Words spoken at times like these settle in your soul. Make them the right ones.

The happy couple with Don

Everyone has a different dream about what his or her wedding will be like. Whether you are looking for a traditional or non-traditional wedding ceremony, it is my role to help you find exactly what you have always dreamed of.

The following Wedding Outline can be used exactly as is. It is simple, conservative and short, running at twenty minutes or so, not including the processional and recessional. You may also use this outline as a starting point for a ceremony you choose to write yourself (or with my help). You do not have to use this outline at all, but I offer it in the hopes it gets you started down the path you desire.

Following the outline is a series of Sample Vows and Ring Vows, including the most traditional choices. Should you wish to compose your own vows from your own heart and feelings, I am available to assist you in any way I can.

For additional information about the traditional and non-traditional wedding ceremonies I perform near Fort Walton Beach, Florida, please contact me today. I look forward to helping make your wedding a personalized and special day.

Sample Wedding Outline


Who brings the bride and the blessings of her family into this marriage?

A. Marriage is a celebration of life and love
B. Corinthians 13, the "love chapter".

(SAMPLE) I, _________________, accept your heart as I offer you mine, given in Love, wrapped up in joy, secure in the promise that I will live in your arms forever, growing older, growing wiser, respecting you more every day as I learn to respect myself. Loving you is a promise and a privilege, a shining light against the darkness to help me hope, to help me see. Do you bind yourself to these vows as you bind yourself to this marriage?

Ring is a circle/gold/symbol to the world

(SAMPLE) With this ring, I bind my life to yours, not in chains, but in cheer, precious as gold, never-ending as time. I love you.



And now, inasmuch as __________and____________ have demonstrated their commitment to one another and their desire to live their lives together through the taking of vows and the giving of rings, it is with great pleasure that I, through the power vested in me by God Almighty, now pronounce you Husband and Wife.

Sample Vows and Ring Vows

Vows are the outward promise of a couple's inward commitment to one another. While no mere words can express everything that couple holds within their hearts, it is a wonderful opportunity to try to express the inexpressible. Feel free to use any of these vows outright or as a springboard for your own.

Sample Contemporary Vows:

  1. (Repeat after minister) I, _____________, accept your heart as I offer you mine, given in love, wrapped up in joy, secure in the promise that I will live in your arms forever. Growing older, growing wiser and respecting you more everyday as I learn to respect myself. Loving you is a promise and a privilege, a shining light against the darkness to help me hope, to help me see. Do you bind yourself to these vows as you bind yourself to this marriage? (I do).
  2. (This vow is read by both, independently of minister) ________, Today, before our family and friends I join my life to yours. From this day on, I will be your partner and companion, for you are my dearest love and my best friend. I look forward to the joy we will find in each other's separate successes, as well as our shared ones; I welcome the challenge of what obstacles we encounter, for I know whatever we face, we face it together. Because your happiness is important to me, I will honor and support your growth as an individual. And because you deserve no less than the best of me, I will also strive to be more fully myself. I pledge that I will listen to you when you speak, encourage you in times of doubt. Comfort you in times of sorrow, and be your foundation in times of uncertainty. I will be faithful to you all the days of my life and I will be honest with you always. I have faith in our journey together. You are the one with whom I choose to share this great adventure. Knowing that God is in the midst of them all, these are my vows to you.
  3. (This vow is asked by minister and answered with "I do" by both) Do you ____________, knowing __________ love for you and returning it, take him/her to be your husband/wife? (I do)
  4. (This vow is to be recited to one another) I take your hand in mine, symbolizing union and my promise to keep that union uppermost in my life. I have loved you since the first time we talked and I will always love you. You are everything I have ever hoped for in a wife/husband. I promise to be faithful to you in every thought, word and deed. I will never knowingly deceive you or hurt you. Only once comes true love and through you, it has come to me. Today, I take your hand in mine, for this day, for this lifetime. I love you.
  5. Traditional Vows: Do you, ___________, take _________________ to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health to love and to cherish till death do you part? (I do)
  6. (This vow is meant to be recited to one another) The love you have brought to me I cannot fully express in words. Each day with you seems brighter and more joyful than the one before. My promise to you is to bring you the same happiness and love that you have given me from this day on as our lives are intertwined and forever linked together. I promise to be with you through all of the ups and downs that area certain to come our way. And most of all, I promise to faithfully love and honor you with all my heart. True love only comes once and you have brought it to me. For this, I thank you.

Sample Ring Vows:

  1. (Repeat after minister) With this ring, I bind my life to yours, not in chains but in cheer, precious as gold, never-ending as time. I love you.
  2. (Repeat after minister) ___________, I choose you to be my husband/wife, knowing in my heart that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner and my only love. Wherever you go, I will go. I promise to be true to you and to love you with all that I am. Wear this ring as a symbol of this love and of my devotion to you.
  3. (Repeat after minister) With this ring, I give you the promise that from this day forward you shall never walk alone. My heart will be your shelter; my arms will be your home. We will walk together through life as partners and best friends. I promise I will do my best to love and accept you exactly as you are. With this ring, I give you your freedom and my trust in you. I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  4. (Repeat after minister) This ring I give you in token of my devotion and love and with all my heart I promise to you all that I am.
  5. (Repeat after minister) I give you this ring as a symbol and pledge of my constant faith and undying devotion.
  6. Traditional ring vow: With this ring, I thee wed.

Sample Children's Vows:

Many times couples are coming into married life for the second time and bring with them children from a first marriage. It is not required that you include these children in your ceremony, but it can, should you wish it, provide a nice symbol of how your old family is encompassed by your new one. These vows can either be said by one or both parents and repeated by the children or by the parent(s) only.

  1. Introduction: Often marriage is viewed as the union of two persons. In reality, marriage is much broader. It is always a joining of families.
    The Unity of God's Family We are, in fact, all members of one family. Recognition of Children As part of the family nature of this marriage we recognize ___________ and (his/her/their) importance.
    Presentation of gifts to children (this/these, pendants/rings/lapel pins) we pledge to you, _______________, our continuing love even as we surround you with our arms of support.
    Reading from THE PROPHET "...You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    " Prayer for the Family: We give thanks, O Lord, for the relationship here celebrated. In your presence we are humbled by the recognition that today we face a new future, one which love has unfolded and is unfolding before our very eyes.... Introduction of the Family It is my pleasure to present to you _____________ and _____________ in their new relationship as husband and wife and their child(ren)
  2. "________, I promise to be a good and faithful husband/wife to you, and also a patient, loving father/mother to (children's names), caring for them and providing for them as my own. I promise to be their strength and their emotional support, loving them with all my heart forever.".
    Then the children can repeat "we do" after these words:
    "And now, (children's names) do you promise to love and respect your parent's new husband/wife? Do you promise to support their marriage and their new family? Do you promise to accept the responsibility of being their children, and to encourage them and support them in your new life together?"
  3. (repeat after minister) I __________________, promise you ____________________, that I will always be your friend. That I will accept you into my family as you accept me into yours and that I will support you and treasure you and treat you as my own through all the days of my life.
  4. Do you, __________________ promise to take these children into your life, to provide for them a home and a foundation, to be their friend, confidant and co-conspirator, to treat them as your own and to protect them against the dangers of the outside world for as long as you live? (I do)
  5. (repeat after minister)____________________, along with his/her love your presence in my life is just another of you father/mother’s wonderful gifts to me. I promise to treasure that gift and to be your friend and to support you in this relationship as I pray you will support me.