Please remember, ANY ceremony can be tailored to suit your desires, beliefs, etc. We can add, we can subtract, we can rearrange, we can start over. It can be non-religious in nature, even a baby blessing. These are a foundation to build on.
Featured below: a simple but elegant secular wedding ceremony, and a baby/child baptism
Secular Wedding Ceremony Example
Welcome to family and friends:
We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to cherish the words which shall unite ____________ and ____________ in marriage.
Opening: ____________ and ____________, in the days ahead of you, there will be great times of joy, but there will also be times of difficulty and conflict. When you find yourselves in these situations, consider these thoughts: Let your love be stronger than any other emotion you may feel. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break. Look for the best in your partner rather than the worst. Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Say "I love you" every day.
(You may wish to add a reading or song here.)
Vows: ____________ and ____________, I remind you that marriage is a precious gift; a lifelong dedication to love and a daily challenge to love one another more fully and more freely. Do you both understand the commitment you are about to enter into today? Both reply: We do.
To Groom: With this understanding, do you ____________, take ____________ to be your beloved wife? Do you promise to be a tender, faithful husband? Do you promise to love and cherish her, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and look to her as an equal partner through the rest of your life?
Response: I do.
To Bride: With this understanding, do you ____________, take ____________ to be your beloved husband? Do you promise to be a tender, faithful wife? Do you promise to love and cherish him, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and look to him as an equal partner through the rest of your life?
Response: I do.
(You may wish to add a reading or song here.)
____________ and ____________ have chosen rings as outward symbols of the commitment they make today. From earliest times, the ring has been a symbol of wedded love. An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolizes a commitment to love that is also never ending.
May I have the rings please? (Take rings.)
To Groom: ____________, take the ring which you have selected, place it on ____________'s finger, and say to her these words. This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my wife from this day forward.
To Bride: ____________, take the ring which you have selected, place it on ____________'s finger, and say to him these words. This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my husband from this day forward.
Let these rings serve not as locks binding you together, but as keys, unlocking your hearts for each other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever.
Closing:_______________ and ___________________,
May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
And may you live the days of your lives in peace, love, and happiness.
____________ and ____________, having witnessed your vows for marriage with all who are assembled here, and by the authority vested in me, I announce with great joy that you are husband and wife.
You may now kiss the bride.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you, for the first time as husband and wife: ____________ and ____________
Welcome to each one of you. My name is Rev. Anne Styx and on behalf of _________ I want to say how pleased they are that you are here to share in this special celebration with them.
Just before we begin it is important to note that ______ is not being baptized into any specific Church Denomination, however Churches generally recognize the Baptism Certificate. The nice thing about this is that when _________ is older and decides to move closer to a faith community, she will be able to present herself as a Baptized person. Now to our ceremony.
Promise From Parents
___________ through your love and efforts, ______ is with us today. From the moment you saw her, she stole your hearts and filled your lives with love. The journey of parenthood is one of amazing beauty. We gather here because it is our wish that ______ grows to be an adult who truly loves her life. You, most of all, guide her on this journey. It is important to provide not only food and clothing to a child but also time, love, and respect. So it is only right that this ceremony should include your promise to nurture your daughter in all ways as she grows.
Therefore as a promise to ______ and a reminder to yourselves as the years pass, I now ask you...
Do you promise to raise her in a home of love, laughter, patience and kindness? To love her unconditionally just as you love each other?
To teach her how to love, to trust, to respect, and to dream so that she may truly participate in the remarkable journey that is life?
To be honest about your triumphs and as well as your missteps so that she will have the valuable opportunity to learn from your example?
That you will value her hopes and dreams and let her know that she will always be welcomed, accepted and loved for who she is and for who she is not?”
To expose her to a variety of experiences, showing her the beginnings of many wondrous journeys, instilling in her a sense of wonder and passion, and the knowledge that she alone has the power to complete herself?
To hold her close in your hearts always and yet still encourage her to stand on her own when the time comes so that she may discover her own true self?
If so, answer by saying “WE WILL” (Response)
________, you are baptized with water in the name of the God and in the spirit of Jesus. We welcome you as a member of Christ's church and of the community of life on earth.
May all be well with you in your journey through life.
We cherish ________ in name and in person. Our hope for her from today and for all the days in her life is to enjoy health, strength and wisdom, to be rich in love, peace and pleasure and to find the guidance and care of family, friend and community.
(Hand on baby’s crown)
Blessed may you be in all of your days and all of your life.
Blessed may you be wherever you are, in all of your comings and in all of your goings. May you always be filled with spirit as you live your life, and may your goodness shine and radiate through you to all the others in your life.
Go forth with our blessing. Amen.