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Commencement The commencement consists of the words spoken to commence the wedding. The intent of this part of the ceremony is to demonstrate not only that you are affirming your love to each other, but also that you believe in it so strongly that you want to express your hopes, your expectations, and your commitment in the presence of these witnesses.

__________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Groom and Bride share a love so strong and vital that they wish to proclaim it publicly through the ceremony of marriage. We join them in celebrating their union and contemplate with joy their future.

2. We are gathered here, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is! We do not create this marriage, because we cannot. We can and do, however, celebrate with Bride, Groom, and their families and friends, the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives. So let the celebration begin!

3. This wedding, in the Humanist spirit, celebrates the joy and beauty of life. Humanism sees a person as an active and inseparable unity of body and personality. Reason is the guide, but reason can never separate from the emotions and strivings of the whole person; so that emotion and intellect functioning together provide the firmest foundation for married love.

4. Marriage is a supreme sharing of experience and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyous uniting of a man and a woman whose comradeship and mutual understanding have flowered into romance. Today Groom and Bride proclaim their love to the world and we who are gathered here rejoice with them for the new life they now undertake together.

5. We are gathered here to join this man and this woman in marriage. This is an act as ancient as the history of the human race and as new as each new morning; for it speaks of the past and of the future, of the life of the individual and the existence of the community. Because marriage is concerned with the most fundamental of human relationships, it must not be regarded lightly. Those who enter into this relationship shall cherish for each other a mutual esteem and love, bear each other’s infirmities and weaknesses, comfort each other in sickness, trouble and sorrow, encourage each other in trials of the spirit, and live together as the heirs of life. Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly, but with devotion and discretion. Love and loyalty will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home; and if the solemn vows you are about to make be kept with honor and integrity, your life will be full of peace and joy, and the home you are establishing will be one of warmth and understanding.

6. We are gathered together in this company to join this man and this woman in the holiness of marriage. They shall give to each other a vow, loving and loved, testifying before us the blending of their ways and the wedding of their hearts. Before us they come together in that estate of marriage which has been treasured and made honorable by faithful keeping, and which, before whom the secrets of all hearts are disclosed, people have entered into reverently, sincerely, and soberly, and in the joy that comes to those who truly love.

7. We are gathered together, family and friends of Groom and Bride, to celebrate their union of marriage. What a happy time for us! What a happy time for them! Also, what a serious time! What a commitment these two young lovely people are about to make! You cannot imagine with what pleasure I participate in this ceremony.

8. We have come together here in this place to acknowledge and celebrate the uniting of: Groom and Bride in marriage, which is an institution founded in nature, celebrated by humanity, and made honorable and worthy by all who give of themselves to enrich and deepen such a union. It is, therefore, to be entered into advisedly, and with thoughtful commitment. This celebration is the outward token of an inward union of hearts and minds. Marriage is a relationship between two people that is created by loving purpose and kept by abiding will. It is with this intention and this purpose that Bride and Groom enter into this union.

9. Love is a miraculous gift, and a wedding is a celebration of that magic, and that’s what we’re here to do today. We are gathered together to be overjoyed for and with Bride and Groom, who are so wonderfully suited to one another that it’s a pure delight for the rest of us to see how ebulliently happy two people can be. When we think of love we sometimes talk about people who “deserve” one another. Not only do Bride and Groom deserve one another, but they are a perfect match, a pair, a fit, two hybrid peas in a pod; and their marriage, far from being something they have had to work hard to achieve, was pure inevitability. They were given to one another and fell so deeply in love that they had no choice. They are the embodiment of true romance which, matured, becomes true love. They are the example of love that in its lightheartedness dissolves the notion of love as hard work. They are the promise of possibility, the expectation of joyful surprise. So hooray! We’re here to celebrate, to honor, to laugh, to dance, and to be glad because the inevitable has happened. Love is alive and well in the land. Bride and Groom are here to prove it, and we are here to celebrate with them.

10. We are assembled here today because love gathers us, and, especially, because love has found Bride and Groom and woven them together into the great web of life. We are gathered to remember and rejoice, to recount with one another that it is love, always love, that leads us to our true destination and to celebrate that Bride and Groom have finally arrived. We have come together also to honor the paradox that the choosing of one is the leaving of all others, the destination is the beginning, that the joy shall bring tears to our eyes. We are here to celebrate the marriage of Bride and Groom, to honor the beginning of their new life.

11. Welcome. Pull up your chairs, open your hearts, turn off your minds. We’ve come here together to celebrate and have fun, to see what magic and moonlight have done, to see how love can make a king and queen out of a man and woman. This is a wedding, Bride’s and Groom’s wedding, and we’re here to listen, to love, and sing and dance and rejoice, and to send them into their future, with one outrageous, gigantic blessing.

12. Bride and Groom, you give us hope, and we are overjoyed to be your witnesses. You are the living embodiment that practice does indeed make perfect, that persistence does, in fact, pay off. We are touched by your happiness; we are moved by the courage of your love. It gives us incomparable joy to celebrate with you, to be reminded that true love, abiding love, is the consequence of the practice of love, and that nothing we do in this life is ever wasted or lost

13. My friends, we are gathered here to celebrate your happiness as you exchange your wedding vows. The ceremony itself is just a symbol of the true marriage. The true marriage is invisible, a sacred union of hearts and lives bound together by the strongest and yet the most tender of all ties. It is a union created out of friendship, out of respect, and out of love. Two lives, two hearts joined in friendship and love. We are all rejoicing with you, that you two have found each other, that you can share the deeper meaning of the human experience with each other. But, even now, your future with all its hopes and disappointments, its successes and sorrows, is still hidden from your eyes. But love can make it easy and perfect love will make it a joy!

14. Dear friends, how wondrous it is, to be assembled here to bless and to ask your blessing upon Bride and Groom as they pledge each to the other their commitment to marriage. We have been invited to witness this joyous event because each of us is special to Bride and Groom; whether we are family, acquaintances, or friends. You have been included in this special occasion because you have each influenced who Groom and Bride have become today. You are part of a long and wonderful web of memories for this couple. Although individual and independent, your characters overlap those of Bride and Groom, and as they marry each other today, they also marry all the parts and traces of you that are in them.

15. Our celebration today brings together many different communities, the blending of different families and cultures. A wedding of the heart is the binding of spirits of all who have gathered, celebrate, acknowledge, and encourage these two people creating a new life together. All of us here today have been a witness to Bride and Groom’s growth as individuals and as a couple, and we are brought together by this celebration.

16. You have been invited today, because you are the people who mean the most to Groom and Bride, those who have shared their live,s who’ve provided for and protected them, who have nourished their spirits and sorted out their emotions, who’ve been there to help them through the hard times. You’re the ones who have loved them through thick and thin, who’ve watched them grow up, celebrated their every transformation, believed in them, encouraged them, and shared the significant aspects of their lives.

17. Bride and Groom were not only thinking of themselves as they dreamed this ceremony. They were well aware of, sensitive to and grateful for the care and nurture that each of their parents brought in giving them life, health, education, models and moral values. All of them have contributed to making possible this moment. And this is no ordinary marriage ceremony. It is the joining of two minds, two souls, two special people, two exceptional families.

18. Welcome to the marriage of Bride and Groom! We have been asked to gather here to witness and share in the joy of this union. Love is a miraculous gift, and a wedding is a celebration of that gift. We are gathered together to share in the joining of two very special people and witness the union of Groom and Bride.

19. It is appropriate that you, the family and friends are here to participate in this wedding. The ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect, which these two bring to their marriage have roots in the love, friendship, and guidance, with which you have provided them. 20. Bride and Groom, today you are surrounded by your family and friends, all of whom are gathered to witness your marriage and to share your joy in this wonderful day. As we have all gathered here this evening to celebrate your marriage, we would like to take a moment to remember those who could not be here with us tonight- especially your father - _____, who is with us in spirit at this happy occasion.

21. Family and Friends: Bride and Groom have asked me to welcome you on their behalf. This ceremony attests to a commitment and fulfills their wish to stand before family and friends and proclaim their love. Can you think of a better way than this? I can not. Dear Bride and Groom, we have all gathered here this afternoon to celebrate your marriage. This ceremony is a public expression of the love you share and the commitment you wish to make to each other through the coming years. Today you are surrounded by your family and friends, all of whom are gathered to witness your marriage and to share your joy in this wonderful day. This ceremony attests to the happiness you have already attained through your years of friendship with one another and the deepening love that will evolve from this intimate union.

22. You have been invited today because you are the people—the friends and family-- that are most important to Bride and Groom. They want you to share their happiness, and to witness their new beginnings as a family. We are all here today to celebrate this love and commitment.

23. Welcome family and friends! We have been invited here today to share with Groom and Bride 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.

24. Friends and family, with great affection for Bride and Groom, we have gathered together to witness and bless their union in marriage. To this wedding they bring the fullness of their hearts as a treasure and a gift to share with one another. They bring a shared dream for their future, which inspires an eternal commitment. They bring their gifts and talents, their unique personalities and spirits, and their love for life and each other which will become united as one as they build their life together. We rejoice with them in thankfulness for this union of hearts, built on friendship, respect and love.