Is this the best gay wedding ceremony script ever?

Updated Jul 10 2021
Photos by Moon Honey Photography

When Ken and Joe got married in Allentown PA, one of their dearest friends officiated the ceremony and married us. Ken told us, "Kurt did such an awesome job and EVERYONE was blown away by his speech. He may have had more people congratulate him on a job well done than we got for getting married."

With Ken's permission, we're sharing a selection of their wedding ceremony script with you. While it's filled with details about Ken and Joe, you could very easily have your own friend-officiant swap in details about you and your beloved.

The script also has a section about marriage equality that's extra relevant for a gay wedding, and as Ken noted, "On each chair was a rainbow flag for the guest. Once the ceremony ended, the guests picked up their flags and waved them, 200 rainbow flags flying high as we departed the ceremony." Wait until you see the pictures!

Gay Wwedding ceremony script

Ladies and Gentlemen, at Ken and Joe’s request, please put your phones in airplane mode or turn them off, and please take no pictures or video of the ceremony. They want you to be as present in THEIR moment as they are. Thank you.

Please be seated.

Hello everyone, and on behalf of Ken and Joe, welcome! My name is Kurt, and a little over a year ago, Ken and Joe asked me to officiate their wedding for them. I don’t think I can exactly tell you how amazing it is to be trusted by two good friends to do so. It is truly an honor and one of the greatest privileges of my life, not being ordained nor a captain of a ship (although I do have a congregation! *gestures to the gays*) THANK YOU for having that faith in me.

Now shortly after they asked me to marry them I said to myself: “What in the world do I say?” Here I am one of the most single people on the planet, offering marital advice. I’m not exactly the role model for longevity of a relationship. Trust me, that irony is not lost on me!

That being said, if you know me, I DO have an opinion on just about everything, and I think my advice is “pretty” good, so let’s see what you think! I’ve also warned them that I wanted to try to inject humor into the event, because the one thing we do as friends is laugh.

IN MEMORY

Before we get too far into things, I just would like for us to all take a moment and remember some very important people, Ken’s mother and Joe’s father, as well as grandparents, that are not with us today. Guys… because of the good hearts and kindness towards others you both have, I KNOW that they are here in every way because of the influence they had on you. They’re ALWAYS with you and always will be.

BACKGROUND ON THE COUPLE

I’ve known Ken for a little over 6 years, and we met through mutual friends. Joe came into the picture almost 4 years ago. When we were out for dinner one night recently, I asked them to describe what their first date was like. They went to a bar called Doc Watson’s, Now, bars and alcohol will be a theme today as you may know!! Had a nice time, thought they’d go their separate ways that night, and Joe texted Ken to come back to his place. Well from then on they just kind of assumed they were dating because things just felt right from the get go, and how awesome is that?

11 months later, Joe moved in and changed his address without any serious discussions about where they were going as a couple… it just felt right. Joe was up at Ken’s so much, and Ken was away, came home, and learned that Joe changed his address and was like “Ok”! And so when they told me the story about Joe changing his address, a

Ben Platt song came to mind. I won’t sing it, but here are some of the words that I think are just absolutely appropriate to Ken and Joe:

Darling you might think it’s too soon
But I can’t get you out of my head now
Picturing myself in your room
And I wanna be with you ‘til I’m dead now
I want your friends to be my friends
I’ll make you breakfast in your bed
I want it all with you
And if I’m coming on too strong
It’s ‘cause I’ve waited far too long
For someone just like you
I want a key to your house
I wanna pick up your clothes
I wanna clean up your mess
I wanna know where you hide things
Wanna be in your photos
Wanna share your address
I know, I know it feels like love
So lets shack up
I wanna share your address
I wanna be your emergency contact
You can put me down
‘Cause you know I know you best
It doesn’t matter where I go
Without you, I’ll never be home

THINGS IN COMMON

And so what do Ken and Joe have in common? They both felt that their relationship has 3 strengths:

  1. Balance- what Ken takes care of, Ken does well, and what Joe takes care of, Joe does well. They work well as a team, and pick up for each other as necessary.
  2. The second strength is patience. They each seem to have the ability to be calm when the other gets agitated, and thereby help calm the other down.
  3. The third strength is that their differences complement each other… no difference is enough for the other to say “I can’t deal with that”. All of these are great things for the start of a long-lasting relationship.

So, from a very basic standpoint, what is the person anyone wants to marry? I think we’d all say our best friend, with benefits?? But it’s really more than that. Best friends can even be intimate, but not want to spend the rest of their lives together. The person you marry, is the one that you want to see before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up. Even if you’re perpendicular to each other with your feet up on the wall. There’s photographic evidence of Joe doing exactly that from Key West, anyone who wants to see it, find me later! And so Ken, Joe, you TRULY ARE each other's best friend, the one you want to fall asleep next to, and see when you wake up.

But with friendships, it’s not just about Ken and Joe. If you haven’t had a good glance at the room, take a look around now. Seriously.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

You know it wasn’t that long ago that it became LEGAL for you two, and our other friends here, to be allowed to marry each other. Of course you could have the ceremony and the intent and spirit is there, but think about that… LEGALLY, if you happened to love someone of the same sex, your love wasn’t recognized in the eyes of the law. It was June 26th, 2015, and I know there is a bunch of us here, both gay and straight, that literally wept. We’ve had the saying for a few years “Love is Love”. Nothing can be more true. I’d like to share a portion of the ruling on gay marriage from Obergefell v. Hodges, and listen to exactly what was said:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a martial union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure, even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their PLEA is that they DO respect it, so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is NOT to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right… it is so ordered.”

In my lifetime, I don’t know that there will be a more affirming statement that, indeed, LOVE IS LOVE. The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves. If there is anything better than being loved, it is LOVING. Here is a small reading I came across, since we’ve had the theme of friendship. It is called 'To My Friend'. Ken, Joe, please look at each other as I read this:

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 because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.

And because up to 4 years ago, getting married was never a legal option, neither of them thought they WOULD get married. Then apparently Ken blurted out to Shannon on 57th Street in NYC that he wanted to marry Joe, and apparently stopped traffic, and then they got engaged in Key Largo, one of their very favorite places.
Now family and friends, if you are married, please turn and look at each other. Hold each other’s hands, and I want you to remember the day you stood up and took your vows to each other.

Ken, Joe… look at their faces. May you be able to do the same with each other over, and over, and over again.

I asked various people who have been married for a long time, what advice would they give to people getting married? Here is some of their advice:

  • Communication! “It’s not always a walk in the park”, but effective communication and listening to how someone FEELS is important.
  • Don’t take the little things for granted. Each of you has those little things that you do that the other doesn’t have to think about. LEARN what those little things are for each other, and don’t forget the value they have, even if unspoken.
  • Some people say a relationship is 50/50, but that’s not true. Any relationship, even friendships, should be 100/100. You’re 100% on any given day isn’t the same, but if you give all you can for a given day, what more can be asked?
  • Learn to navigate each other’s strengths and weaknesses and when it’s time to step up because the other might not be able to do everything they usually do.
  • Learn each other’s love language, that is, the way you show love to each other. And the way your partner feels your love.

Now… Here we go… are you ready? Good, because my services are non-refundable, and the bill is in the mail.

YOUR EXPRESSION OF INTENT
Ken you have chosen Joe to be your husband. Will you love and respect him? Will you be honest with him always? Will you stand by him through whatever may come?

(Answer: "I will" if you do)

Joe, you have chosen Ken to be your husband. Will you love and respect him? Will you be honest with him? Will you stand by him through whatever may come?

(Answer: "I will" if you do)

And do you both promise to do the best you can to make the necessary adjustments in your personal lives in order that you may live in a harmonious relationship together?

(Answer: "We do" if you both do)

THE EXPRESSION OF INTENT FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Now in the spirit of joy and affirmation and the significance that all of you (family and friends are to Ken and Joe), I want to ask YOU a question. Do you, the families and friends of Ken and Joe give them your blessing and support this day, promising to support THEM through what life may bring to them as a married couple? If so, Answer: "We do"

THE EXCHANGE OF VOWS

Ken and Joe now we come to your vows. May I remind you that saying your vows are one thing but nothing is more challenging than living them day-by-day. What you promise today must be renewed tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you. (Will you now please turn and face each other and hold hands, looking at each other.)

Ken, please repeat after me:

In the presence of our family and friends,
I Ken choose you Joe,
to be my husband,
to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
in joy and in sorrow,
to love and to cherish,
and to be faithful to you alone.
This is my solemn vow.

Now Joe, please repeat after me:

In the presence of our family and friends,
I Joe choose you Ken
to be my husband,
to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
in joy and in sorrow,
to love and to cherish,
and to be faithful to you alone.
This is my solemn vow.

THE GIVING & RECEIVING OF RINGS

May I have the rings please?

KEN, repeat after me:
I give you this ring,
that you may wear it,
as a symbol of the vows we have made this day.
I pledge you my love,
My respect,
my laughter and my tears.
With all that I am, I honor you.

JOE repeat after me:
I give you this ring,
that you may wear it,
as a symbol of the vows we have made this day.
I pledge you my love,
and respect,
my laughter and my tears.
With all that I am, I honor you.


AFFIRMATION OF THE MARRIAGE

Now may those who wear these rings live in love all their days. Now may the love, which has brought you together, continue to grow and enrich your lives. May you continue to meet with courage any problems, which may arise to challenge you. May your relationship always be one of love and trust. May the happiness you share today be with you always. And may everything you have said and done here today become a living truth in your lives.

DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE

Ken and Joe, we have heard your promise to share your lives in marriage. We recognize and respect the covenant you have made here this day before each one of us as witnesses. Therefore in the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today and by the power vested in me by YOU, it is my honor and delight to declare you married together in life…for life, HUSBAND AND HUSBAND.

Now SEAL THOSE VOWS WITH A KISS!!

Ladies and gentlemen, Please grab your flags and wave them with PRIDE for Ken and Joe, and prove that indeed, LOVE IS LOVE!

Vendors: Photographer: Moon Honey Photography • DJ: Wesley Works • Venue: Renaissance Allentown Hotel

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