Outline of Wedding Ceremonies

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This is a good piece put together by Dr. John Patrick Keefe II to give a general idea of the process of wedding ceremony. Of course, it will be customized to the needs and wants of the couples and or family members. I prepare one that is completely customized for the coupe with their own religiosity (as much as they want) or just go secular. This is fairly universal.

Mike Ghouse
Interfaith Wedding Officiant.

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Special Note by Dr. John Patrick Keefe II:

The purpose of a wedding ceremony is to help celebrate the fantastic commitment of two loving adult individuals in matrimony to one another. In doing so, it is vital that nowedding officiant in Oklahoma or otherwise get bogged down nor impeded by such trifles as a couple’s race, age difference, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, or the lack thereof. It is crucial that no wedding officiant in Oklahoma City lose sight of the bigger picture here, and that is love. After all, nothing else in life matters.

Also, I am a close scholar of the English language and know that in such long instances of speaking by a person that it is more proper to forego the quotation marks and to indent both sides of the page instead. However, I did not care for the flow of it, so I mostly decided against doing that. Enjoy!

Wedding Ceremony Step 1 – The Escort & Procession:

If one of the two members of the couple is going to walk down the aisle, he or she may be escorted by someone of his or her choice. This person is usually a male family member like a father or uncle, but this is certainly not set in stone. Indeed, the escort can be anyone the person desires or can be no one at all.

The second member of the couple will already be at the front next to the wedding minister in Oklahoma City. The bridesmaids, flower girl, best man, ring bearer, and other members of the wedding party will all proceed to enter and escort one another to the front. Other special family members and friends (i.e., parents, grandparents, guests of honor, etc.), may also receive an escort to the front by the designated attendees.

The wedding officiant in Oklahoma City should carefully instruct the audience to stand, as the escorted bride/groom starts down the aisle. As denoted later in this guide, the wedding minister in Oklahoma City will also need to be able to guide the audience as to when they should sit down.

Wedding Ceremony Step 2 – Arrival & Formal Inquiry:

If one member of the couple is escorted, then the wedding officiant in OKC should say this upon his or her arrival with his or her escort at the front:

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Who gives this gorgeous, lovely bride/groom away?”

Escort: “I do” or “His/her mother/aunt/uncle and I do.”

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “And what is/are your name(s)?”

Escort: [He/She/They respond with his/her/their names.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “And what is your relationship to the bride/groom you have escorted before me today?”

Escort: [He/she/they respond accordingly.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Very well. Moreover, is it your desire that he/she be joined today in holy matrimony today with ________?”

Escort: “Yes, it is.”

Wedding Officiant in OKC: Very well. Thank you very much. [Waves politely to signal that the escort(s) may sit down.”

Wedding Officiant in OKC: [Addressing both the couple and audience] “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the [blessed] union between this man/woman, __________ and this man/woman, __________, in [holy] matrimony. This is the highest level of commitment that two human beings can make to one another, and it is not something to be entered into lightly. Indeed, it is not just the lives of these two individuals which are joining today, but the lives of their families as well. Thus, I am compelled to ask that if there is any person gathered here who has any reason whatsoever to believe why these two people should not be joined in matrimony today, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

[Assuming no one speaks out, the wedding officiant in Oklahoma politely tells the audience that they may be seated and thus proceeds.]

Wedding Ceremony Step 3 – The Commitment:

[The wedding officiant asks the couple to please turn and face one another, move closer to one another if they are too far apart, and embrace in hands.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Do you, _______, take _______, to be your lawfully wedded bride/husband? To have and to hold? For better or worse? For richer, for poorer? In sickness and health? Until death do you part?”

Groom/Bride #1: “I do.”

Wedding Officiant in OKC: [turns to the other bride/groom] “Do you, _______, take _______, to be your lawfully wedded bride/husband? To have and to hold? For better or worse? For richer, for poorer? In sickness and health? Until death do you part?”

Groom/Bride #2: “I do.”

Step 4: The Ring Exchange:

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Very well. Do we have the rings?”

[The best man, ring bearer, and/or bridesmaid should gently hand the rings to the couple.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: [Speaking to the audience and couple]“The shape of the rings form a circle. Aside from making them easier to wear on fingers, the circular shape also symbolizes the unbroken circle of love that two human beings, especially in a marriage, shall have for one another.”

Wedding Officiant in OKC: [Turns to bride/groom #1] “_________, please place the ring on _________’s (bride/groom #2’s) finger and repeat after me.”

“With this ring, I thee wed. I, _________, take thee, _________, to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband. I always promise to love you, honor you, respect you, listen to you, be patient with you, and to always be your best friend and lawfully wedded husband/wife.”

Another Special Note by Dr. John Patrick Keefe II:

The words “listen to you” often draw smiles and even laughter from one or more members of the couple and even from the audience. This can always be an excellent opportunity to help lighten a mood and ease anxiety or tensions, and the wedding officiant in Oklahoma can always remind both parties that this, “. . . goes both ways.”

[Wedding officiant in OKC makes sure that the couple continues to embrace hands.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: [Turns to bride/groom #2] “_________, please place the ring on _________’s (bride/groom #1’s) finger and repeat after me.”

“With this ring, I thee wed. I, _________, take thee, _________, to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband. I always promise to love you, honor you, respect you, listen to you, be patient with you, and to always be your best friend and lawfully wedded husband/wife.”

Step 5 – Optional Religious Reading for a Spiritual Component:

Note: This is just one of many options available for a spiritual component for a wedding ceremony in Oklahoma. This passage can be replaced with another from any version of the Bible, and the Torah or Qur’an or other religious text(s) can also be used in its place.

1st Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIV Version):

Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Love never fails. However, where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues; they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put aside my childish ways. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Moreover, now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

[The wedding officiant in Oklahoma City should note the extra importance of the aforementioned italicized parts as they pertain the most to marriage. The wedding officiant in Oklahoma may also choose to cut out parts of the text above and/or to add other verses from one or more religious books.]

Step 6 – Optional Prayer & Blessing of the Couple:

The following is an optional general outline of what can be said as a combined prayer and spiritual blessing, but the wedding officiant in Oklahoma can modify it to suit the needs of the couple:

[Everyone who is willing bows their heads and closes their eyes.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Dear Heavenly Father, we ask your blessings today upon ___________ and ___________, as they join with you and one another in holy matrimony. We humbly ask that you bless and guide them wherever they may be and that you strengthen and nurture them as a couple as they continue to grow and love one another and You.”

[The wedding officiant makes the sign of the cross as he or she says the next part.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “And together with and through you, we bless this marriage in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Step 7 – Marital Advice & Final Questioning of the Couple:

[The wedding officiant asks the couple to turn and face him/her once more.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: [Smiles warmly at the couple]

“Now _________ and _________, I can tell you that in a marriage you can be one of two things: You can be right, or you can be married, but you cannot and will not be both. Moreover, if you do not believe me, ask my wife/husband! Nine times out of ten – I did not say ninety-nine times out of one-hundred –  she’s (Dr. John Patrick Keefe II’s wife) right and we both know it! However, she chooses to stay married instead of always insisting that she be right!

Special Note from Dr. John Patrick Keefe II:

It apparently goes without saying that the wedding officiant in Oklahoma City will have to modify the following part, depending on whether the couple is a heterosexual couple or a same-sex couple:

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Husbands, put your wives first; wives, put your husbands first. Please put your egos aside and let the small things go. Moreover, guess what? 99.9% of the things many couples choose to fight over are all the little things!

This is the easy part right here – getting married – and many people say it is the most fun part of marriage. If you are going to stay married, though, you have to be willing to stick it out day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. You will go through life changes together, both good things and bad things.

There can be exciting things like getting a new home or car together, and kids could come along. Someone could also get sick and die, or you may move to another state or country. One of you or someone you love could also land in jail, or perhaps you may lose your job.

You will also go through different stages of your marriage, and if you have not already done so before now, I urge you to read quickly up on what you can likely expect. Please keep in mind though that there is no such thing as a “perfect marriage” or a “textbook marriage,” and that it is so easy to think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

If you are going to stick together, you absolutely must be willing to stick it out and communicate with each other. If you do this, you can both co-create a tremendously beautiful life together as husband/wife, husband/husband, wife/wife.

It is so easy to get married in the State of Oklahoma, and divorce is almost as easy as marriage. Too many people do not take marriage seriously, but while marriage is not always easy it can be beautiful!”

[Wedding officiant looks seriously at the couple and slowly and carefully asks the following:]

“Can you both commit to doing this?”

[Assuming both people say they will, the wedding officiant in Oklahoma continues . . .]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Are you sure? I had someone back out right here one time.”

[The couple will probably give a nervous laugh, but that last part tends to add to the ceremony and helps the couple make extra certain that this is what they wish to do. If one or both people bows out at this time – and it can potentially happen but is not likely – then the wedding officiant in Oklahoma can only give them some time to talk alone and decide whether or not proceeding is the best thing to do.]

Step 8 – Pronouncing the Couple as Spouses:

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Well, I checked my cell phone just before we began this ceremony today, and I must tell you that I have received no phone call, no text message, and no pardon from the governor/president. Are you both entirely sure that this is what you want to do?”

[There will likely be one more nervous look or perhaps a bit of quiet laughter, but this is okay and also helps to lighten things up a bit while giving them one final chance to make sure they want to be married.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “Well then, by the power invested in me and by [our Lord Jesus Christ/another deity] and the State of Oklahoma, it is my honor, my duty, and my privilege to officially pronounce you as husband and wife, husband and husband, or wife and wife.”

Step 9 – The Kiss & Presentation of the Couple to the Community:

Special Note by Dr. John Patrick Keefe II:

If the couple is heterosexual, then usually the male is the one the wedding officiant will instruct to kiss the bride. However, in same-sex weddings often one of the grooms or brides is selected for that role beforehand. This is something important to discuss before beginning the ceremony. However, there is not “hard and fast rule” about any of it, so even if the wedding officiant in Oklahoma City forgets to ask beforehand it is not that big of a deal. It is certainly not something to let get in the way of the flow and beauty of the ceremony itself.

Wedding Officiant in OKC:

“And Sir/Mrs., you may kiss this gorgeous/handsome bride/groom!”

[The couple will then proceed to kiss, and the wedding officiant can help to lead the audience in applause. After that, the wedding officiant will usually have the couple turn and face the audience after the kiss.]

Wedding Officiant in OKC: “And I proudly present to you the happily married couple!”

Step 10 – Recessional:

[The wedding officiant can then help lead the audience in clapping, smiling happily as he or she does so. The music usually starts back up, and the couple then proceeds to march out of the wedding aisle, followed by members of the entourage that will also go two-by-two. The wedding minister in Oklahoma City is usually the last person to leave, though some couples ask he or she to stay and make a special announcement to the audience before leaving. Also, the audience often remains seated during the recessional, but the wedding officiant in Oklahoma City can also instruct them to stand if desired.]

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