Handfasting ceremony script with ring exchange and vows

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Photos by Aniko Levai Photography

Denise and Lee had a rustic goth enchanted garden wedding at The Poe Museum, and their wedding featured handfasting ceremony with beautiful handfasting cords. If you're curious about handfasting, Offbeat Bride has a massive archive dedicated to handfasting ceremonies and weddings, but today we're going to share Denise and Lee's handfasting ceremony script. If you're thinking of doing a handfasting ceremony, this script will give you ideas for your vows and ceremony wording. This ceremony script uses the words bride and groom to reflect Denise and Lee's wedding, but of course the language could easily be tweaked for a wedding with folks who identify as LGBTQ or nonbinary.

Wedding ceremony introduction

Today, this couple comes before us to enter into the sacred covenant of marriage, vowing to be partners through the trials and triumphs of their shared life.

They are declaring to each other and to all of us present that they will be by each other's side, no matter what life brings their way.

The marriage ceremony has been an important feature of nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society.

We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout
our lives, but this one is regarded as one so meaningful that we
acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others.

Why this moment?

Because, despite all our unique differences, love is what we all share.
Love is the great unifier — our one universal truth.
No matter who we are, where we have come from, what we believe,
we know this one thing . . . love is what we're doing right.

Love is why you both are standing here. That's why you all have been invited to watch them stand up here at this moment and be reminded that the ability to love or to be loved unconditionally is the most precious gift a person can give or they can receive by someone.

Handfasting ceremony

As I ask the two of you these questions, please respond together, making your promises before this circle of witnesses.

[Bride] and [Groom], will you honor and respect one another?
(We will)

Will you support and assist each other in times of pain and sorrow?
(We will)

Will you be present in the difficult and challenging times so that you may grow strong in this union?
(We will)

Will you share each other's laughter and joy and look for the brightness and fun in life and the positive in each other?
(We will)

Is it your intention to bring peace and harmony into your everyday ways of communicating?
(It is)

And when you falter, will you have the courage and commitment to remember these promises and take a step back towards one another with an open heart?
(We will)

Are you willing now and always to make this commitment to each other?
(We do)

This cord represents the marital bond.
It is strong enough to hold you together during times of struggle yet flexible enough to allow for individuality and personal growth.

Please join hands.

And now, as your hands are bound together, I ask you to declare your vows to each other, repeating after me.

Handfasting Vows

[Groom], please repeat after me as you look at [Bride].

I, [Groom]
Promise you, [Bride]
That I will be your husband from this day forward,
To love and respect you,
To support and to hold you,
To make you laugh
And to be there when you cry,
To softly kiss you when you are hurting,
And to be your companion and your best friend,
On this journey that we will now make together as one.

[Bride], please repeat after me as you look at [Groom].
I, [Bride]
Promise you, [Groom]
That I will be your wife from this day forward,
To love and respect you,
To support and to hold you,
To make you laugh
And to be there when you cry,
To softly kiss you when you are hurting,
And to be your companion and your best friend,
On this journey that we will now make together as one.

As your hands are now bound together, so shall your lives be bound as one.

Keep this cord as a visible reminder of your promise to one another, and let no one unbind it as long as you both shall live.

Ring exchange

Who has the rings?

We all understand the gesture that you are now making. To reach out to someone and be acknowledged, held, and loved is what we all want. Taking the hand of the one who loves you is the symbol of that unspoken bond.

You fell in love by chance, but you're here today because you're making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You've chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter.

Every day, as you look down, you will see a brief flash of light, a sparkle as the ring place on your finger today will shine. It will remind you, again and again, over and over, of your promise to your loved one. Every time you take hands, you will feel that wedding ring on your partner's hand, and you will both be reminded again in turn.

It will always be with you, visible, worn openly, and with pride. It will say to the world that someone loves me enough to make me a promise to share a life.

[Groom], please take [Bride]'s hand, place the ring on her finger, and repeat after me as you look at her: I give you this ring in token and pledge of my abiding love.

[Bride], please take [Groom]'s hand, place the ring on his finger, and repeat after me as you look at him: I give you this ring in token and pledge of my abiding love.

May you enjoy a lifetime of love and peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Go in peace. Live in joy

By the authority vested in me by the [State or Region], I now pronounce you husband and wife.

[Groom], you may now kiss your bride!

I now present Mr. and Mrs. [Last Name]!

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