Secular wedding ceremonies and vows

Secular wedding ceremonies and vows

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

You're getting married? That's great news!

Welcome to my original & inspirational 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 a mind boggling selection of inspirational vows, poems, readings 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 beautiful, 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:

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.

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

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.'

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

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.

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

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.

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

It is one of life's richest surprises when the accidental meeting of two individuals leads them to proceed along a common path. It is indeed one of life's finest experiences when a chance relationship grows into a permanent bond of love. This meeting and this growing are what bring us together today. Your love for one another, your acceptance of each others abilities, weaknesses and differences with understanding and respect, and the fact that you are able to be who you are, will provide a foundation for continued growth and intimacy. In their love for each other, which they publicly express in this ceremony, this couple demonstrate not only their joy in the present but commitment to share the future together. This is a time of celebration for all of us who know and love them. This place is full of symbolic meaning and spiritual resonance. It is where the couple first met...

One of more than 80 vows in the book:

I promise to love you for all eternity, to honour your light and the beauty of your soul, your kindness and grace. To always treasure honesty above all else and to give you my heart until life becomes a dream. You are my only love always

And another vow example:

I shall wear this ring as a symbol of our love, being always mindful of the promises I have spoken to you on this day

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

If you only knew how much I love you, how essential you are to my life you would not dare stay away for an instant, you would always remain pressed close to my heart, your soul to my soul (Written by Juliet Drouet to Victor Hugo 1833)

Another lovely reading example from the book:

'An Equal Music' written by John Donne: 'And into that gate they shall enter and in that house they shall dwell, where there shall be no cloud nor sun, no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light, no noise nor silence, but one equal music,no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession, no foes nor friends, but one equal communion and identity, no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity.'


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.