There is a formula to writing a wedding ceremony, which if you follow it, can lead you to a perfectly wonderful ceremony that looks exactly like you and your relationship AND will help you create promises that you can live into your entire life together. Slowly assemble your ceremony, working your way through the pieces, creating exactly what you need and want.
Step 9: Creating a Proclamation and Blessing of Marriage that is perfect for you can start you off on your marrial journey on exactly the right foot! I actually try to avoid the traditional man and wife or husband and wife as they refer to the ancient chattel laws. Of the two the husband and wife is a much better choice since the equality is implied. (It's important to remember that words have power and associations and not all of them are ones you want to redeem.)
Historically, a minister or wedding celebrant would say, "Now by the power invested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife." This is a curious use of language, since almost all religious traditions agree that the officiant does not marry the couple, the couple marries one another. So, I think a much better statement is by your lives and by your promises, you are really married. I recognize that you're married, but you're doing the work. And marriage is an ongoing event which evolves and emerges gradually, not something that happens because clergy happens to notice it!
This is a good time in the wedding to invoke a few more suggestions for how to be in relationship to one another. Chose the ones which make the most sense in your life or which you most need to hear. It makes a difference if you say (or hear) what you want for your marriage. Consider:
- Be kind.
- Be gentle
- Be open
- Be steadfast
- Be present
- Be loving
There are several ways to handle the blessing, all of which work.
- Simple : May you live happily and healthily in love from this day forward.
- Religious : May God bless you as you embark on this journey.
- Poetry : Many people have a friend do a reading as a blessing here, which can incorporate many of the above. As many times as I have heard it read, The Apache Wedding Blessing is still a wonderful gift of words. There are (a very few) scripture pieces which work here.
- Musical : A song or a musical piece can be an inspiration to the life you will lead together.