Plain English Wedding Ceremony

PLAIN ENGLISH WEDDING CEREMONY

Note:  This ceremony was created by Retired Judge Carolyn Hayek to meet the needs of couples for whom English is not their native language or who have grown up in a different culture.  It also meets the needs of those wanting a traditional ceremony with more modern language than is often used.  The ceremony borrows from and updates the language of the Simple Ceremony posted at www.commonsensereflections.info/blog.

Welcome friends and family. Marriage is the closest relationship two people can have with one another and one of the most important commitments a person will make during a lifetime. A successful marriage is founded upon mutual respect and affection. The lives of a husband and wife are both parallel and intertwined. Each of you retains your own special interests and personality, yet you have agreed to take on shared responsibilities. This combination of independence and inter-dependence allows you to share both joys and sorrows, and also to help each other achieve personal goals that may not have been possible without the support of a loving partner.

_______________, do you take this woman as your wife and agree to love, honor, support and comfort her, as her faithful partner, and forsaking all others, for so long as you both shall live?

_______________, do you take this man as your husband and agree to love, honor, support and comfort him, as his faithful partner, and forsaking all others, for so long as you both shall live?

Take hands and repeat after me:

I, _______________, take you, _______________, to be my wedded wife, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, in joy as well as in sorrow, to love and to cherish, from this day forward.

I, _______________, take you, _______________, to be my wedded husband, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, in joy as well as in sorrow, to love and to cherish, from this day forward.

Do you have a ring for the bride? Please place the ring on the bride's finger and say: With this ring, I marry you. Let it remind you, that I am always by your side, and that I will always be faithful to you.

Is there a ring for the groom? Please place the ring on the groom's finger and say: With this ring, I marry you. Let it remind you, that I am always by your side, and that I will always be faithful to you.

May these rings always remind you of your love for one another and your commitment to this marriage.

Now that you have made your marriage vows to each other, in the presence of your (witnesses/friends and family), by the authority granted to me by the State of Washington, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

(You may kiss the bride. You may kiss the groom.)