Secular wedding ceremonies and vows

Secular wedding ceremonies and vows

Use this book to construct over 850 completely new & original ceremonies

About to be married? Let's talk about your wedding vows...

Welcome to my complete D.I.Y, wedding vows and ceremonies guide that will help you create a truly inspirational ceremony with vows that reflect you both; your true thoughts and feelings; vows that will remain in your hearts and minds for a long, long time. Long after other ceremonies and vows have been forgotten, yours will be remembered.

What sort of vows are you thinking of having? Haven't any ideas really?

Why spend your precious time looking for books, going through myriad publications for ideas. Don't give in to the same old cliched, hackneyed ideas. I have done all the hard work for you and come up with a surefire method for creating new, original & compelling ceremonies tailored just for you and your loved one.

In my new e-book, you can instantly choose from over 270 pages of ceremonies, vows, readings, poetry, cultural traditions and rituals, music and songs. PLUS, I've included a stress free guide for your wedding day AND a stress free guide for nervous and novice readers!

Complete with dozens of completed ceremonies, hundreds of vows, readings, as well as poems and suggested music...

Use this book to construct over 850 completely new & original ceremonies, which all comply with laws. If you live out of Australia, your local laws would apply to the legal component. Many of the ceremonies mention music/songs actually included on the day.

Also contained in this e-book are additional readings, cultural rituals and traditions to consider adding to your ceremony, additional vows suggestions, music/songs suggestions, hints and tips for nervous and novice readers and a checklist of ideas to reduce stress on your wedding day! Over 270 pages packed with inspiring, beautiful, inspirational material.

How important is your ceremony?

The ceremony is the linchpin of your wedding day. Without a ceremony there is no marriage, no matter how short, how long, how personalized, informal or how formal. It is that special time devoted to the sharing of your thoughts and feelings on marriage, of and to one another, it is the time when you articulate your hopes or wishes and promises for your future together as a married couple. Thoughtful and insightful personalisation of your ceremony ensures longevity of your ceremony in your minds and those of family and friends, long after other ceremonies have been forgotten.

What do you have to choose from and how much of the ceremony can you personalize for it still to remain legal?

To really personalize your ceremony your choices could include:

Simple and brief. When it's the express wish of the couple to have a simple, brief ceremony for a variety of personal reasons. This does not diminish the importance or 'specialness' of the ceremony but complies with personal wishes and choice. This ceremony does not necessarily exclude personalized touches.

Second Marriage. Readings can reflect this, adding information about your relationship to the introduction. Children are often involved in these ceremonies.

Your personal journey... information about your relationship you wish to share with family and friends.

Weaving a theme throughout your ceremony for example, Buddhist values/ideals, a journey, friendship, love, water, mountain, children, family and friends, promises.

Meaningful and sincere. May be a ceremony of any length. Hallmarks of this type of ceremony are usually personally written vows and passages of love and sincere remarks and commitment to and from the groom and the bride.

Very Traditional. Neither of the couple has been previously married, the bride is given away by her parents or just her father, the vows are the traditional. For example: 'for richer or poorer in sickness and in health...', the ring ceremony includes 'with this ring, I thee wed.'

Cultural ritual/s or tradition/s. In a civil ceremony nowadays you don't have to possess a particular cultural ancestry to include or a tradition or a ritual from eg Celtic, Polish, Buddhist, Jewish or even Swedish cultures.

The ceremony itself...

In this book, I walk you through all of the legally required bits, suggest dozens of ideas, texts, readings and variations on the themes and generally make it easy for you to construct a ceremony that is totally yours.

The ceremony's introduction - where the celebrant introduces / identify themselves to all present. All are welcomed whether it is the just the couple and two witnesses or a large bridal party and a hundred and fifty guests. The thoughts and feelings that the couple has on marriage are expressed (optional), and a little about the relationship/journey of the couple is also expressed (optional).

The reading - a very personal and beautiful part of any ceremony. They add light and dark, they separate, punctuate, they give balance and effect to parts of the ceremony. They provide opportunities for family/friends to participate. This particular reading divides the introduction and the Authorisation. They can continue a theme to assist with the flow of the ceremony.

The Authorisation - Legally required to be in your ceremony, this is an authorization for the celebrant to conduct marriage ceremonies and also to describe the nature of the marriage relationship. The full names of the couple are said at least once during the ceremony to identify them - usually during the introduction or the authorization.

Giving the Bride Away - This part's optional. Traditionally the bride's father gives her away, but more often now, both the bride and groom are being given away by either parent's or siblings or sometimes even a child or multiple children! A custom becoming very popular now is for all the family and guests to give both the bride and groom away, collectively! This can be very affirming for the couple.

The asking - the groom and bride ask each other if they take one another as husband and wife and answer, "I will" or "I do". (This part is actually optional).

The vows - the bride and groom make special promises or pledges to one another. No matter what promises the couple make to one another the vows have a legally required prefix which states the following: "In the presence of these witnesses, I (name), take you (name), to be my wife/husband".

The ring ceremony - it's usual for the celebrant to make a short statement on the symbolic nature of the ring/s prior to the ring/s being placed on the finger/s. Rings are optional and indeed it is a Celtic custom to sometimes give a torc (bracelet) to one another. It is a Buddhist custom often to give gifts, any type of gift to one another at this time.

A Reading - this may be done by the celebrant, a guest or the bride and or the groom. This is optional but again acts as a divider and can continue a theme.

The Declaration of Marriage - the celebrant declares the couple husband and wife, a legal requirement.

Signing of the Marriage Documents - legally required, followed by the presentation of the Marriage Certificate to the couple. Then, a final Reading or Blessing is often done, but that's completely optional. Finally, the new married couple are presented to the guests. Congratulations!

OK, that all sounds great, but HOW DOES IT ALL COME TOGETHER?

Well, as well as copious vows, readings, and examples, my ebook makes it easy for you to put together your ceremony in 3 EASY steps:

  1. Read, and decide what you like.
  2. Copy what you want to use.
  3. Paste it under your headings.

25 complete ceremonies for you to steal from!!

Additionally, in this e-book you will find 25 complete ceremonies and vows to peruse, to give you inspiration to look further or to simply cut and paste, to do-it-yourself. Add your own words as well and the end result will be a truly personalized ceremony and vows that reflects you both, your true thoughts and feelings and one that will remain in your hearts and minds for a long, long time. Long after other ceremonies and vows have been forgotten, yours will be remembered.

Complete ceremony #1 - Second marriage, moving vows, shared readings
Complete ceremony #2 - Meaningful and sincere with Celtic hand-fasting ritual
Complete ceremony #3 - Inclusion of children, deceased relatives, bride/groom readings
Complete ceremony #4 - Humorous quotes & readings
Complete ceremony #5 - Friendship, children, family, friends, Buddhist scarf ritual
Complete ceremony #6 - 2nd marriage, blended families, shared vows and reading
Complete ceremony #7 - Traditional themes, parents giving away, family readings
Complete ceremony #8 - Traditional themes with a butterfly release ritual
Complete ceremony #9 - Love theme, rose ritual, humorous and a shared reading
Complete ceremony #10 - Rituals, rose petals, hand-fasting, mead, sash pinning
Complete ceremony #11 - 2nd marriage, very thoughtful personal vows, cup wine ritual
Complete ceremony #12 - Buddhist, Quaker, Celtic themes, 2nd marriage, daughter reads
Complete ceremony #13 - Simple and brief, a child, shared readings
Complete ceremony #14 - 2nd marriage older couple, sincere personal vows
Complete ceremony #15 - Deceased mother candle ritual, inspiring personal vows
Complete ceremony #16 - Short, meaningful and sincere, 2nd marriage for both
Complete ceremony #17 - Spiritual journey, river, friends, love, Buddhist vows
Complete ceremony #18 - 2nd marriage, exquisite readings, family and friends
Complete ceremony #19 - Promises, very different vows & readings to one another
Complete ceremony #20 - 2nd marriage, 4 readings, children, friends, sharing wine ritual
Complete ceremony #21 - Mountain theme, shared vows and reading
Complete ceremony #22 - Sincere, lengthy personal vows
Complete ceremony #23 - A spiritual journey, inspirational readings, family & friends
Complete ceremony #24 - Moving personal readings to & from bride and groom
Complete ceremony #25 - Celtic ring warming & quaich of wine rituals, family readings
18 additional readings
22 additional cultural rituals and traditions
Additional vows
Suggested music and songs
Hints & tips for nervous & novice readers
My personal checklist to help reduce stress on your wedding day

Now, here are some of the beautiful and inspirational words that will be found in The Vows Book

One of the 25 beautiful ceremony introductions I've included in the book:

Well it was all incredibly simple! I saw you, not from afar....but I saw you from maybe six feet away. You looked up and smiled at me and I thought to myself, I wanted to get to know you. And Ive been spending time to get to know you. Getting to know your grumpiness when you're hungry; getting to know the amazing capacity you have for compassion; the amazing capacity you have to rise to challenge. Ive challenged you strongly at times and you've been incredible........... You know that for years I was wandering around being anarchistic and thinking I was free. But one day when we were listening to the song by the Eagles, 'Desperado', I realised that with you, I was free. So thats why...

One of more than 80 vows in the book:

I want you just as you are to share my life. I promise to walk hand in hand with you into our future together, whatever it brings.I promise to look after you and to allow you to look after me

And another vow example:

I promise to give you space and to give you my time when you have need of it, to listen when you have something to say and strive to communicate to you my feelings and needs. I promise to play with you as often as I can, to remind you of the wonderful person that you are and to help you realize your dreams. I promise to laugh with you in the good times and stand by you when times are tough, to wipe your tears with my hands. I will always strive to bring out the best.

Just one of more than 80 readings I have in the book:

From 'Ithaka' by Constantine P. Cavafy: '.....Hope your road is a long one. May there be many summer mornings when, with what pleasure, what joy, you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time, may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind - as many sensual perfumes as you can: and may you visit Egyptian cities to learn and go on learning from their scholars.....'

Another lovely reading example from the book:

So lets talk about love, after all that is what brings us together today.

Love is a great thing, a great good in every way: it alone lightens what is heavy and leads smoothly over all roughness. For it carries a burden without being burdened and makes every bitter thing sweet and tasty.

Love wants to be lifted up not held back by anything low. Love wants to be free and far from worldly desires, so that its inner vision may not be dimmed and misfortunes cast it down.

Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider; nothing happier, nothing fuller nothing better in heaven and earth; for love is born of a higher power.....

Love keeps watch and is never unaware, even when it sleeps; tired it is never exhausted; hindered it is never defeated; alarmed it is never afraid; but like a living flame and a burning torch it bursts upward and blazes forth.

Love is quick, sincere, dutiful, joyous and pleasant; brave, patient, faithful, prudent, serene and vigorous; and it never seeks itself. For whenever we seek ourselves we fall away from love.

Love is watchful, humble and upright; not weak or frivolous or directed toward vain things; temperate, pure, steady, calm and alert in all the senses.

... (reading continues...) - (written by Thomas a' Kempis with original translation by Stephen Mitchell)

About me

I'm Elizabeth Gray, a popular celebrant who gained a Diploma of Marriage Celebrancy at the International College of Celebrancy in Melbourne, Victoria in 2003.