25 Wedding Blessings, Prayers, and Readings for Your Big Day
Marriage Prayer for Bride and Groom
By Dr. Louis H. Evans
O God of love, Thou has established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Thine was the plan, and only with Thee can we work it out with joy.
Bless this husband. Bless him as provider of nourishment and raiment, and sustain him in all the exactions and pressures of his battle for bread. May his strength be her protection, his character be her boast and her pride, and may he so live that she will find in him the haven for which the heart of woman truly longs.
Bless this loving wife. Giver her tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a great faith in Thee. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.
Teach them that marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve Thee. Give them great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the other things shall be added unto them.
May they never take each other's love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, "Out of all this world, you have chosen me."
When life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May they serve Thee happily, faithfully, together, until at last one shall lay the other into the arms of God.
This we ask through Jesus Christ, great Lover of our souls.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its passion as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.
A Marriage Blessing
By Dave Willis
May your marriage always bring glory to God, joy to one another and blessings to your family for many generations to come. May love and laughter fill your hearts and your home for all at the days of your lives. May you face every challenge hand-in-hand and side-by-side knowing that with God’s grace, you’ll conquer all obstacles together. May the world be forever a better place because the two of you fell in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
May these vows and this marriage
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of
a seal of happiness here and herafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a
an omen as welcome
as the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.
The Blessing of the Marriage
From The Book of Common Prayer
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love
in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a
human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the
way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of
man and woman in his Name. By the power of your Holy
Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this
man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead
them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal
upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a
crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in
their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in
their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death.
Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your
saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and
reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
On Marriage, from "The Prophet"
By Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill up each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Entering the Vow
By Maureen Tolman Flannery
What is a vow,
but an intention
spoken out before the world
so that the world, in hearing,
might take part
of the willing heart?
In our coming here today
to join and bless
the joy of your becoming wed,
may we enter in
the truth of the words you’ve said,
To Love is Not to Possess
By James Kavanaugh
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The Blessing of the Marriage
From The Church of England
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
for you have created joy and gladness,
pleasure and delight, love, peace and fellowship.
Pour out the abundance of your blessing
upon N and N in their new life together.
Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts
and a crown upon their heads.
Bless them in their work and in their companionship;
awake and asleep,
in joy and in sorrow,
in life and in death.
Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that banquet
where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home.
We ask this through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
By Lang Leav
You were you,
and I was I;
we were two,
before our time.
I was yours,
before I knew;
and you have always
been mine too.
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall love thee better after death.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
By E.E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingher by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
A Wedding Prayer
By Max Lucado
Would you take these two,
of dust and bone,
Born of flesh, then you,
Would you make them one?
Would you speak again
The words you spoke
When Adam slept
And Eve awoke?
Would you let your wine
Replace our water.
And look with grace
On this son, this daughter?
Oh Lord of Eden
In your majesty
Where there were two.
This is the prayer
We lift to you.
1 John 3:18-24
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
An Uncommon Love
By Terah Cox
May you have the love
only two can know
May you go where only
two as one may go
May the sun rise and set
in your bonded hearts
and the moon never find you
too long apart
May you cherish each other’s
dreams as your own
and turn stumbling blocks
into stepping stones
May you brave life’s mountains
and miles together
May there be no storm
your love cannot weather
May you always be lovers
and allies and friends
May your souls’ conversations
May you capture on Earth
what’s in Heaven above
May your hearts know the rapture
of an uncommon love.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
St. John Chrysostom Suggests That Young Husbands Should Say To Their Wives
From Catechism of the Catholic Church
I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.