Secular Wedding Ceremony Script

Couple holding hands exchanging vows at the altar.
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  • ~12 Minute Ceremony

For some, the word ‘wedding’ conjures images of church bells and swearing a union before God. But those who do not have specific religious affiliations (if any at all) may not be comfortable with that image or the language that is often prevalent in such services. Having a non-religious wedding script on hand can help ministers better serve couples who want to have a meaningful ceremony without all the traditional church jargon. Even those who engage in spiritual practices on a regular basis may opt for a non-religious service. They may want a wedding ceremony script that includes all their guests, without excluding those of different spiritual practices. Secular weddings are also popular with interfaith couples, who may not want to put one partner’s faith over the other. They let the couple fully customize the wedding, setting the perfect tone to reflect their relationship.

Working With a Secular Script

The real beauty of a non-religious secular wedding script is that it frees the minister and the couple to focus on the present. The confines of religious expectation and duty fall away, and the wedding party and guests are free to celebrate the here and now with a joyful outlook toward the future. The service can include stories or rituals that are unique to the couple without having to put them against the backdrop of a particular faith.

Although ULC ministers are considered clergy, there is no reason they cannot perform a “secular” wedding - or one without overt references to any one specific faith - and many of our ministers do so. When discussing the ceremony, ministers can use this non-religious wedding script as a way to express the love of any couple who does not want “church-y” language to be a part of their special day.

Greetings and Welcome

Officiant (to guests):

Friends and family - treasured guests - we are here today to bear witness to the union of _________ and _________ as they intertwine their lives in marriage. They are excited to share these moments with all of you, who consistently show them what love looks like and what it all means.

Officiant (to couple):

_________ and _________, as you stand here in front of those who love you best, I encourage you to remember what they have taught you and take it with you as you start your lives together.

Reading and Oration

Officiant (to guests):

"Home is not where

you are from

it is where

you belong.

Some of us

travel the whole

world to find it.

Others,

find it in a person."

- From Buried Light by Beau Taplin

To love other people is one of the great gifts of being human. Love shows up in many different ways. It’s in the hand that holds yours as you cross the street or in the last piece of cake saved for you because they know it’s your favorite.

But a love that feels like home requires something special. It’s a continual decision to listen and understand. It’s knowing the dark places and dusty corners of another’s mind and not being afraid to stick around anyway. It’s choosing kindness and honesty and always having the other’s best interest at heart.

Officiant (to couple):

_________ and _________, you are each other’s home. Please share with those gathered here what that means to you.

Officiant (to Partner 1):

_________, what do you promise?

Partner 1:

_________, I promise to love and respect you, on both good and bad days. Whatever comes our way, I will look to you and choose you first. I vow to be your safe place and your solid ground.

Officiant (to Partner 2):

_________, what do you promise?

Officiant (to Partner 1):

_________, what do you promise?

Partner 2:

_________, I promise to love and respect you, on both good and bad days. Whatever comes our way, I will look to you and choose you first. I vow to be your safe place and your solid ground.

Declaration of Intent With Ring Exchange

Officiant (to couple):

The rings you have chosen symbolize your union with each other. As you place the ring on your beloved’s finger, please declare your commitment by repeating these words:

"I, _________, take you, _________, as my partner in marriage."

Partner 1 (to Partner 2):

I, _________, take you, _________, as my partner in marriage.

Partner 2 (to Partner 1):

I, _________, take you, _________, as my partner in marriage.

Pronouncement

Officiant (to couple):

_________ and _________, you have chosen each other here today. It is my great privilege, by the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church, to pronounce you wed.

You may now share your first kiss as a married couple!