Here is a Sample Civil Ceremony that may be helpful for you
Music Suggestion : All I Want Is You
Opening Words Of The Officiant
The wedding should begin by welcoming your guests.Friends, we have been invited here today to share with ______ and ______ a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.
The Giving In Marriage
(optional)The traditional wording is”Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man” but as it is the 21st century !!!, many couples opt for something such as “Who supports this couple in their marriage?” or “Who supports this woman in her marriage to this man?” or you can chose to leave it out altogether.
Music Suggestion : Fields of Gold
An Opening Prayer Or Reading
This will generally set the tone of your wedding. It could be serious, humorous, sentimental, or elegant. Typically, it says something about love, relationships, or marriages. Here is an example….
I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out; I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find. I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a temple; out of the works of my every day not a reproach but a song. I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself.
Suggestion: You could have your musicians playing some music gently in the background while this is being read.
Definition Of Marriage
Here the officiant says some words about marriage in general. He or she will most likely talk about the seriousness of the solemn vow you are about to make, and the new life together you are creating.
Here are some examples of personalized vows.It’s nice to write your own but feel free to use these.
1: Today, (name), I join my life to yours, not merely as your (husband/wife), but as your friend, your lover, and your confidant. Let me be the shoulder you lean on, the rock on which you rest, the companion of your life. With you I will walk my path from this day forward.
2. From this day on, I choose you, my beloved (Name), to be my (husband/wife). To live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side, and sleep in your arms; to be joy to your heart, and food for your soul; to bring out the best in you always, and, for you, to be the most that I can. I promise to laugh with you in good times, to struggle with you in bad; to solace you when you are downhearted; to wipe your tears with my hands; to comfort you with my body; to mirror you with my soul; to share with you all my riches and honors; to play with you as much as I can until we grow old; and, still loving each other sweetly and gladly, our lives shall come to an end.
3. I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.
Music Suggestion : Come What May
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.(excerpt from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran)
Exchange Of Rings Or Gifts
The bride and groom say something like
1. I (name) give you (name) this ring as an eternal symbol of my love and commitment to you. or . . .
2. I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness. As I place it on your finger, I commit my heart and soul to you. I ask you to wear this ring as a reminder of the vows we have spoken today, our wedding day. or . . .
3. This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am. Response: I will forever wear this ring as a sign of my commitment and the desire of my heart or . . .
4. I give you this ring to wear with love and joy.
Music Or Reading Here
Music Suggestion : The Voyage
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.
Music During Candle Ceremony
Music Suggestion : Songbird
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
The officiant typically says something akin to”By the power vested in me by the State, I now pronounce you husband and wife” or “I now pronounce you married.” This is followed by the first kiss of the newly married couple. Once upon a time, the officiant would say “You may now kiss the bride” but again, it’s the 21st century. It seems a little strange for someone else to be giving permission to kiss a grown woman. So now, either the couple kiss immediately after the declaration of marriage or the officiant says something like “you may now kiss each other.”
Music Suggestion : From This Moment
Introduction Of Newly Weds
The officiant says “I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ________” if they are changing their names or “I present to you the newly married couple, Jane and John” if they are not. The guests stand and applaud, as the couple then lead the recessional out.
Music While Pictures Are Been Taken
Music Suggestions : All I Want Is You / Bright Blue Rose
Hope you find this useful 🙂 Margaret