This page contains Sample Ceremonies.
These ceremonies represent actual ceremonies which I have
performed for couples (names changed to protect the innocent).

The readings for all of these Sample Ceremonies
appear in my Wedding Ceremony Selections guide,
available to couples at our consultation meeting.

This is my wedding ceremony!

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

We are assembled here to celebrate the joining of Paul and Michele in the unity of marriage.
Paul and Michele, there are no obligations on Earth sweeter or more tender than those you are about to assume,
and there are no vows more solemn than those you are about to make.

Paul and Michele, you have invited us to witness the happiness that you have found in each other.

Are you ready to make the pledges to which you commit yourselves to each other in love?
Paul and Michele answer, "Yes."

Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.

Falling in love is like owning a dog.
First of all, it's a big responsibility, so think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night, and you have a leash on love,
ain't no one gonna mess with you, because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.

Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you, and lives and breathes and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
Love doesn't like being left alone for long, but come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love!

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
It needs to be fed, so it will grow and stay healthy.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain, but just to let love know, Don't you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk, because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once, or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.
Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

To love is not to possess, to own or imprison, nor to lose one's self in another.
To love is to join and separate, to walk alone and together,
to find a laughing freedom that lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally being able to be who we really are no longer clinging in childish dependency,
nor docilely living separate lives in silence.
It is to be perfectly one's self, and perfectly joined in permanent commitment to another,
and to one's inner self.

Love only endures when it moves like waves, receding and returning, gently or passionately,
or moving lovingly like the tide in the moon's own predictable harmony.
Because finally, despite a child's scars or an adult's deepest wounds,
they are openly free to be who they really are, and always secretly were,
in the very core of their being, where true and lasting love can alone abide.

Two birds begin a journey long,
From different points in far-off lands;
With a luring urge - in heart a song,
Two novices heed life's commands.
As they make their great migration,
Their feeble feet turn to taloned hands;
And the two reach their destination
As seasoned travelers in the northern lands.
Still unaware that the other lives,
Each alights upon the very same tree;
And there the two, as if guided by G-d,
Fall madly in love and marry.
Thus so it is with Michele and Paul;
Two birds which Heaven's winds did blow
To this blessed rendezvous of life,
Like the two birds at Capistrano.

Marriage has certain qualities of contract,
in which two people take on the housekeeping tasks of living together to enhance life's joy. But it's more than that...
Marriage is a covenant, a covenant that says:

I love you. I trust you. I will be here for you when you are hurting,
and when I am hurting I will not leave.

It is a covenant intended not to provide haven from pain or anger or sorrow,
as life offers no such haven.
Instead, marriage is intended to provide a sanctuary safe enough to risk loving,
to risk living and sharing from the center of oneself.
This is worth everything.

The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.

And as the great Katharine Hepburn said, "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give- - which is everything.

Paul's vow:

I want to laugh with you in joy, grieve with you in sorrow,
encourage you to fulfill your dreams, and comfort you when you need it.
You are my best friend.
In your eyes, I have found my home.
In your heart, I have found my love.
In your soul, I have found my mate.
With you, I am whole, full, and alive.
You make me laugh. You let me cry.
You are my breath, my every heartbeat.
I am yours. You are mine.
Together, we will wipe out the old canvases of our lives, and fill them with new color, harmony and beauty.
I choose you today in witness of all of the people who love us.
I choose you tomorrow in the privacy of our hearts.
I choose you in strength and in weakness.
I choose you in health and in sickness.
I choose you in joy and in sorrow.
I will choose you, over all others, every day for all the days of my life.

Michele's vow is private

The path we travel before Love is found often seems to be a tangent without destination,
but then Love steps in front of us and our destination is made perfectly clear.
The path brought us right here.
Arriving at a beautiful surprise, arriving at Love.
The first time two hearts connect, that is the day to mark and celebrate,
for it's the birthday of life.
The first day of life as it should be!
A rebirth and a new vision.
It's now obvious how each day is meant to be spent: Together.

Do you have the rings?

Paul, please place the ring on Michele's finger, and repeat after me:
With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.

Michele, please place the ring on Paul's finger, and repeat after me:
With this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours for one lone soul, another lonely soul -
Each chasing each through all the weary hours, and meeting strangely at one sudden goal;
Then blend they - like green leaves with golden flowers, into one beautiful and perfect whole -
And life's long night is ended, and the way lies open onward to eternal day.

Scattered from hands of love like bread for wild birds,
flung like rainbows of confetti from hands of joy,
released like drops of warm and living rain,
we shower you with blessings.

May compassion sustain you, love be your walking guide, joy the bricks that build your house,
laughter the cement that makes you both strong, compassion the roof that shelters you in its strong and caring arms.
May the path you walk together be the quiet path of harmony, respecting each other's differences.
May life be long, and may the gaze that falls each upon the other be always filled with love, and twinkling with laughter.
Our hearts burst with joy as today we celebrate your wedding day.

There's one small piece of advice I'd like to share with you both:
Your spouse is a haven in a heartless world.

Forasmuch as Paul and Michele have grown in knowledge and love of one another,
and because they have agreed in their desire to go forward in life together seeking an even richer, deepening relationship,
we rejoice to recognize them as husband and wife.
Paul, you may now kiss your bride.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: Mr. and Mrs. Costello!


This is a romantic ceremony I wrote and performed

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is my distinct honor to welcome you here today to rejoice with John and Jane on this, their wedding day.
We are gathered here today to bear witness to their shared desire to henceforth walk the road of life together.

Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man? Jane's father replies, 'I do.'

Thank you, sir. Please be seated.

Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies.
We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.
Love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams.
Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent,
a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places.
And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy,
is the greatest treasure of all -- one known only by those who love.

John and Jane, in presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage,
you perform an act of faith.
This faith can grow and develop and last -- if you both decide to make it so.
A lasting and growing love is not guaranteed by any ritual.

If you would have the foundation of your marriage be the devotion you have for one another,
not just at this moment, but for all the days to come,
then treasure the hopes and dreams that you bring here today.
Establish that your love will never be blotted out by the common nor obscured by the ordinary in life.
Faults will surface where now you find comfort, and admiration can be shattered by the routine of daily life.


Dedication, love, and joy can grow only when you nourish them together.
Stand fast in that hope and confidence, having faith in your shared destiny
just as strongly as you have faith in yourselves and in one another today.
Only with this spirit can you forge a union that will strengthen and endure all the days of your lives.

John, please repeat after me:
I, John, take you, Jane, to be my wife
to love you and to cherish you
to help you and to honor you
to give you understanding and comfort
in whatever the future may bring
in confidence that together
we are responsible for our destiny.

Jane, please repeat after me:
I, Jane, take you, John, to be my husband
to love you and to cherish you
to help you and to honor you
to give you understanding and comfort
in whatever the future may bring
in confidence that together
we are responsible for our destiny.

I would like to share one of my favorite passages, written by William Blake.
Love to faults is always blind, and always is to joy inclined.
Lawless, winged, and unconfined, and breaks all chains from every mind.
To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower,
to hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
Love seeketh not itself to please, nor itself hath any care;
but for another gives its ease, and builds a heaven in Hell’s despair.

John places the ring on Jane's finger and says:
'May this ring forever be to you the symbol of my growing love.'

Jane places the ring on John's finger and says:
'May this ring forever be to you the symbol of my growing love.'

From this day forward: laugh together, and plan together,
find your favorite places, and go together...
Enjoy the sunshine, and the rain,
being alone together, and in crowds together...
From this day forward, together, love!

I think Mary Weston Fordham said this beautifully:
The die is cast, come weal, come woe,
Two lives are joined together,
For better or for worse, the link
Which naught but death can sever.
The die is cast, come grief, come joy
Come richer, or come poorer,
If love but binds the mystic tie,
Blest is the bridal hour.

By the power vested in me by the state of Pennsylvania, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss your bride.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

This ceremony is an excellent example
of a mixed ceremony, possessing both romantic and spiritual tones.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here, in the presence of friends and family, to unite Jane and John in marriage.

Jane and John, you have invited us to witness the happiness that you have found in each other.
Are you ready to make the pledges to which you commit yourselves to each other in love?
Jane and John together answer: 'Yes.'

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal.
It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships:
A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.

Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger -- even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes that life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.

When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other, and it takes a lifetime to fulfill.

True love is a sacred flame that burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow, or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones, and hears with gentle ear.
True love gives with open heart, and true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands -
It neither rules nor binds.
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

John, please repeat after me:
In the presence of our family and friends and in the sight of God, I promise to love you, honor you,
cherish you, and be the fount from which you can draw strength and hope for the rest of your life;
to be joy to your heart and food to your soul, because you are my world.
Where yesterday there was cold, you have brought warmth; where there was darkness, you brought light.
I promise that from this day forward, you shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter, and my arms will be your home.
John places the ring on Jane's finger and says:

With this ring, I thee wed; all my love, I thee give.

Jane, please repeat after me:
In the presence of our family and friends and in the sight of God, I promise to love you, honor you,
cherish you, and be the fount from which you can draw strength and hope for the rest of your life;
to be joy to your heart and food to your soul, because you are my world.
Where yesterday there was cold, you have brought warmth; where there was darkness, you brought light.
I promise that from this day forward, you shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter, and my arms will be your home.
Jane places the ring on John's finger and says:

With this ring, I thee wed; all my love, I thee give.

Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings,
which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman - the title of Husband and Wife.
For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.

In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love, and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words 'I love you.'
So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as husband and wife - that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.
Megan hands Jane a rose, and Ashley hands John a rose; Jane and John exchange roses.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all.
Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose - and now you are holding one small rose.
In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this.
In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday.
But in fact today - just now - you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life, and one I hope you always remember:

The gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

Jane and John, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future - whether it be a large and elegant home, or a small and graceful one -
you both pick one very special location for roses, so that on each anniversary
of this truly wonderful occasion, you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage -
and a recommitment that this will be a marriage based upon love.

In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.
It is easiest to hurt whom we most love.
It is easiest to be most hurt by whom we most love.
It might be difficult sometimes to say, 'I am sorry' or, 'I forgive you'; 'I need you' or, 'I am hurting'.
If this should happen, if you simply cannot find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected,
for that rose says what matters most of all, and should overpower all other things and all other words.

That rose says the words: 'I still love you.'
The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.

Jane and John, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, remember that it was love that brought you here today;
it is only love which can make this a glorious union; and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.

John turns to face Jane's daughters, and says:
'Mary and Caitlin, I promise to accept and love you as my own children, and to protect and love you all of my life.
I promise to do my best to guide and support you - and to respect you enough to allow you to see the world through your own eyes.'

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

Jane and John, in so much as you have agreed to live together in Matrimony,
have promised your love for each other by these vows, the giving of these rings and the joining of your hands,
I now declare you to be husband and wife.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance unto you, and give you peace.

Congratulations! You may kiss your bride.

I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

This ceremony contains both a guest reading and a Wine Ceremony,
while mixing romantic and spiritual references.

We are assembled here to celebrate the joining of James and Lauren in the unity of marriage.
James and Lauren, there are no obligations on Earth sweeter or more tender than those you are about to assume,
and there are no vows more solemn than those you are about to make.

Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man? Lauren's father answers, "I do."

Thank you very much, sir. You may be seated.

Right now we will take a moment to recognize James's and Lauren's family members,
and to thank them for their love, support and devotion, as they grew from childhood into the two beautiful individuals who are here before us today.
We thank you for teaching them values and showing them the beauty and joy of loving another.
This is also a time to celebrate all of those who have touched their lives and are not able to be with us in person today, but are here in spirit;
in particular, we wish to honor and remember Mr. James Wexler, Senior.
Let us please do so with a moment of silent reflection.

Please face each other. First join your right palms, and then your left palms.
This forms an infinity symbol with your hands, which symbolizes a love that will go on forever.

These are the hands of your best friend.
They are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,
and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
May these hands always reach out with love, tenderness and respect.
May these hands continue to build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.

Two lives, shared with love, can hold more fulfillment and happiness than either life alone.

James, are you ready to enter into this marriage with Lauren,
believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things? James answers, 'I am.'
Lauren, are you ready to enter into this marriage with James,
believing the love you share and your faith in each other will endure all things? Lauren answers, 'I am.'

Today is a day you will always remember, the greatest in anyone's life.
You started off the day just two people in love, and will end it as Husband and Wife.
It's a brand new beginning - the start of a journey with moments to cherish and treasure,
And although there will be times you both disagree, these will surely be outweighed by pleasure.
You'll have heard many words of advice in the past when the secrets of marriage were spoken,
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside where the bond of true love lies unbroken.
So live happy forever as lovers and friends - it's the dawn of a new life for you.
As you stand there together with love in your eyes from the moment you whisper 'I do'.
And with luck, all your hopes and dreams can be real. May success find its way to your hearts.
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys, but today is the day it all starts.

I would like to ask Donna Jones to please come forward at this time.

Donna's reading:

To love is to enter a whole new world -- a world of togetherness,
a world of sharing all that is dearest and deepest within your hearts.
To love is to remember, and keep alive forever, all of those unique qualities that drew you to one another in the beginning:
Those first halting phrases, that wonderful feeling of oneness when your eyes first met.
To love is to constantly search for new ways to bring each other happiness,
to make the most of every moment you share together, and marvel at how your feelings for one another keep rising to new dimensions.
To love is to create an oasis of tranquility for one another and a quiet place, apart from others,
where you need not pretend, where you can be yourselves, and know within your hearts that you will be accepted by one another.
To love is to greet each day with anticipation, always eager for another opportunity to share new adventures, and gather up new memories together.
To love is to follow the rainbow through the rain, to be able to laugh at yourselves and be willing to say...
'I was wrong, I'm sorry'.
To love is to forgive, and more importantly, to forget, and to always believe and trust in one another.
To love is to watch with wonder all the miracles of creation, to find beauty in all the simple things of life, and to find, within yourselves,
a deeper appreciation and a new awareness of how wonderful it is to be alive.
To love is to be happy, to be together.
To love is coming together from the pathways of your past and then moving forward,
hand-in-hand, along the uncharted roads of your future…
ready to risk, to dream, and to dare, believing that all things are possible with faith and love.

Thank you, Donna.

Marriage is not only a commitment between lovers; it is also an agreement between friends. Allow each other time to be an individual, and respect each other's wishes and dreams.

Marriage is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
the dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.
Marriage is not only marrying the right partner --
Marriage is being the right partner.

James, please repeat after me: I, James, choose you, Lauren, as my everything.
I vow to love you through sickness and health, through the good and the bad, through richer and poorer.
You are everything I need, and at this moment I know that all my prayers have been answered, and that all of my dreams have come true.
This is the moment I have waited my whole life for.
I promise to give you my all and I know that I could not ask for more from you.
I love you and always will.
This is my solemn vow.

Lauren, please repeat after me: I, Lauren, choose you, James, as my everything.
I vow to love you through sickness and health, through the good and the bad, through richer and poorer.
You are everything I need, and at this moment I know that all my prayers have been answered and that all of my dreams have come true.
This is the moment I have waited my whole life for.
I promise to give you my all and I know that I could not ask for more from you.
I love you and always will.
This is my solemn vow.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship -
as they threaten all relationships at one time or another -
remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives -
remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Wine Ceremony

We now shall perform the wine ceremony.

The couple goes to the table and each takes their individual carafe, and pours some wine into the empty Marriage Carafe.
James then takes the Marriage Carafe and pours some of the now-mixed wine into a glass for Lauren.
Lauren then takes the Marriage Carafe and pours some of the now-mixed wine into a glass for James.

James raises his glass and toasts Lauren with, "Now our lives are one," and drinks from the glass.
She responds the same. They place the wineglass back and stand by the table, until I am done speaking this:

This Ceremony represents that just as two wines were combined into a single wine,
today these two individual lives are now combined into one single life.
Drinking the combined wine signifies the commitment you now make to live your lives as one family, as one team.
May you remember this day of commitment you have sealed with drinking of the new wine joining your lives as one.

The couple returns to their places in front of me for the exchange of rings.

Do you have the rings?

These rings are circles, and that is significant. The circle is a perfect figure: without beginning, without end, and with no area of weakness.
It is a symbol of the Cycle of Life: birth, death, and rebirth. These rings shall serve as a physical reminder of the vows you made today,
and also as a reminder that all things begin, end, and begin anew.
When you are engulfed in anger or in sadness, look to your hand and let your ring serve to remind you that life goes on, that moments pass --
and that your love is constant.
When life brings you its greatest joys, look then to your hand as well,
and remember that the Wheel of Life turns forever onward, and that it is love that turns the Wheel.

James, please place the ring on Lauren's finger, and repeat after me:
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you.
Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side and that I will love you all the days of my life.

Lauren, please place the ring on James' finger, and repeat after me:
I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you.
Let it be a reminder that I am always by your side and that I will love you all the days of my life.

How often we fear the road up ahead, how often we dread the unknown.
How often, too, do we tend to forget that we never walk alone.
Each understands now every misgiving, for fear is a part of us all.
But in faith make each step firm and steady - and the other will not let you fall.
They are here, now, walking beside you, with a love that will never fail,
Their arm about your shoulders, their eye upon the trail.

James and Lauren, as the two of you enter this marriage uniting you as husband and wife,
and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals;
respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another.
Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together -
as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge,
your marriage strengthened by your love and respect for each other.

May you have many joys, and be the light of each other's days.
May all that you are, always be in love;
And may all that is love, always be in you.
May you always see and encourage the best in each other.
May the challenges that life brings your way make your marriage grow stronger.
May you always be each other's best friend and greatest love.

May the L-rd bless you and keep you. May the L-rd make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.
May the L-rd lift up His countenance unto you, and give you peace.

In as much as you have each pledged to the other your lifelong commitment, love and devotion,
I now pronounce you husband and wife. James, you may now kiss your Bride.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and privilege to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Wexler.