Every love story has something unique to celebrate, which means every wedding day is bound to be different. Each celebration will be infused with details that differ all the way down to the ceremony readings. No matter what style of ceremony appeals to you or who you trust to officiate, these gender-neutral, same-sex script and reading ideas are the inspiration you need for creating your dream ceremony.
The Formatting Of A Wedding Ceremony
The words said during your wedding ceremony will be some of the most important on your big day. But, before you can focus on the words, you have to understand what you want your ceremony structure to look like. The formatting of every ceremony will differ based on a variety of things, but here is a general format that’ll give you a better idea of what you want to incorporate.
1. The Processional
The processional is the beginning of a ceremony where the flower girl, ring bearer, your wedding parties, and immediate family members walk down the aisle together. Everyone will then take their seats in preparation for the couple’s entrance (that’s you!)—cue the music.
2. Welcome Message
When everyone is officially in place, the wedding officiant will then express a warm welcome to you and your guests—if you’ve chosen to have guests. A welcome message is typically short, sweet, and a personalized segway into the ceremony readings.
3. Ceremony Readings
This point of the ceremony is infused with personality and special meaning that you’ll want to remember long beyond your wedding day. Typically the officiant, a close family member, or friend will conduct the ceremony readings.
Don’t forget that same-sex ceremony readings you can use for your big day are below. Keep scrolling.
4. Exchange Vows
Your wedding vows are the most personal and meaningful part of the ceremony, especially if you’ve chosen to hand-write your own vows. This is your chance to express your love for your partner before the big “I do’s”.
5. Exchange Rings
After reciting your vows, you’ll then exchange rings—the physical representation of your promises to one another. If you’re including a special unity ceremony, this will take place during this section as well.
The officiant will pronounce you legally wed, followed by your first kiss as a married couple.
7. The Recessional
Cue your grand exit! You’ll lead the recessional down the aisle, followed by your wedding party and all other guests. Then it’s time to hit the reception.
Recommended reading: The Best Recessional Songs
Same-Sex Ceremony Reading Ideas
Now that you understand the formatting of a traditional wedding ceremony, you can focus on the meaningful words you’ll pack into each section. When it comes to ceremony readings, some couples choose to have their readings done by close friends or family members. Others prefer their officiant to take the reins. No matter who you trust with these powerful words, you’ll want to use these five gender-neutral, same-sex reading ideas as inspiration.
1. The Art of Marriage by Wilfred A Peterson
A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage, the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day,
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each person can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person
It is being the right partner.
2. Relativity by Albert Einstein
Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special [person] for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
3. A poem by James Kavanaugh, To Love is Not to Possess
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.
4. True Friendship by Judy Bielicki
It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round.
However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel.
True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life — it is the
foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us
together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when
the world outside seems cold and chaotic.
True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense
of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our
disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential.
Bride and Groom came together as friends. Today, they pledge to
each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.
5. Blessing for a Marriage by James Billet Freeman
May your marriage bring you
all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience,
tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another –
not so much to fill your emptiness
as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountain less,
but more; and the valley is more a valley
because it has a mountain towering over it.
So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise,
often say, “I love you!”
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have good sense enough
to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery
which is the awareness of one another’s presence –
no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are side by side,
and warm and near when you are in separate rooms
or even distant cities.
May you have happiness,
and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love,
and may you find it loving one another.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in planning your dream wedding. That’s why it’s important to have a trusted team of vendors by your side every step of the way.
When it comes to your ceremony, an officiant is key to a smooth and seamless process. We understand finding someone you can trust with these powerful moments can be difficult. But lucky for you, you’re just one click away from some of the most incredible officiants around the world.