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Colorado wedding officiant
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"I am Gary Ritner and I would love to officiate at your wedding! With the good communication tools that I provide online and with my calming confidence, YOUR wedding can happen the way YOU want it to without anxiety or mishaps. I have officiated over 850 weddings without a hitch."

wedding officiant at weddings in  Colorado "Your wedding officiant should help you to be relaxed enough to smile, laugh and enjoy your wedding; to feel the profound emotions of the most tender moments and to have an experience that will be well worth remembering for years to come. That is what I want to do for you."

you can choose what happens  in your wedding ceremony "I will help you to plan so that your wedding is 'Done Your Way' with the content that you choose for your service from my Sample Service and/or my Service Planning Tool. Choose what YOU like, write your own, make all the decisions - you are in charge. Tell me what you want. I will work for you. How flexible am I? If this were your wedding march, I would applaud! CLICK HERE to watch a fun wedding entrance dance.

In these economic conditions, you want the best value. Recognizing this, I have not raised my fees in ten years. I can help you to say 'I don't' to an expensive wedding with suggestions for where to cut costs and save money. Read this article for starters: CLICK HERE."

inexpensive wedding officiant at  weddings - civil, spiritual, religious, non-denominational "While I am a retired minister of the United Methodist Church, my denominational connection should not influence YOUR choices of the elements for YOUR wedding. Make choices that fit YOUR faith and feelings. If you are Catholic and have reasons for not having your wedding in a Catholic church, I want to help you find the spiritual blessing that you seek - CLICK HERE. I want to assure those who feel that a church does not accept them, that they are loved and accepted and worthy of God's blessing for their family, their love and their relationship. I also provide secular and interdenominational wedding ceremonies."

CLICK HERE to view a video sample of my officiating.

CLICK HERE for a brief sample of my voice

Click a topic below to go there on this web page
  • My Wedding Officiant Fees
  • Reserve-a-Date Deposit
  • My Wedding Officiant Schedule
  • Inquire About Date of Your Wedding
  • Meeting Face to Face
  • Wedding Reception
  • Wedding Rehearsal
  • Wedding Service Planning Tool
  • Sample Wedding Service
  • Recommended Wedding Services
  • Wedding Resources and Locations
  • Testimonials on Gary's Services
  • SUMMARY OF LINKS AND STEPS
    TO SET UP YOUR WEDDING OFFICIATING SERVICES WITH GARY RITNER


    (Click on Links Below to See forms, etc.)

    1. Fill out a form to ask me if I am available to officiate at your Wedding

    2. Send a $150 check (or use PayPal - see below) made out to 'Gary Ritner' to reserve your date and time and send it to:

      Gary Ritner
      1212 Raintree Drive, Apt I 184
      Fort Collins, CO 80526

    3. Fill Out your Wedding Officiating Services Agreement Form

    4. Plan Your Service with my Service Planning Tool. (Login with 'help' as the user and 'me' as the password.)

    Colorado wedding officiant


    or, CLICK HERE to email me at gary@garyritner.org

    Or, call my cell at 651 329-7829

    Let's talk. I can help you to make this a wonderful wedding!

    CLICK HERE to view a video sample of my officiating.

  • MEETING FACE TO FACE - While you may want to meet with a few officiants before deciding, I prefer to meet after you have decided on using my services and have sent a deposit. We can accomplish more by meeting then.

    On the other hand, if you feel strongly about meeting face to face first; I am willing to do that.

  • REFERENCES? - To see what others have thought about my services, CLICK HERE.

    Here is a sample: "At the reception, several people asked us about you and your background. They were very impressed with you! I directed a few to your awesome resume' - CLICK HERE - so they could see just how impressive your background is. With all that you have achieved, it is most impressive that you find such joy in celebrating with couples in officiating at their wedding! Thanks for all that you did to make ours a great moment to cherish!" B and K

  • FEES

    Fee for Officiating at Your Wedding Service - $400

    Includes:
    1. My services for a rehearsal on a separate day or a rehearsal the same day of the wedding 90 minutes before
    2. Face-to-face sessions as needed
    3. Unlimited follow-up arrangements by phone or email until the ceremony is just the way you want it.
    4. Unlimited submissions from the SaintSavers Wedding Planning Tool
    5. A Word file of your service that you can print out and save with your wedding scrapbook/photos
    6. Signing and sending of your wedding license
    7. Cell-phone access to me at any time

    $0.50 per mile for mileage if the wedding is more than 20 miles from where I live. Use the address 1212 Raintree Drive, Fort Collins, CO, to figure the mileage from my home office to your wedding location on Mapquest. I allow 20 miles each way, so deduct 20 miles each way. If the rehearsal is on a separate day so that I have to drive the distance twice, then the mileage will be calculated for two round trips.

    Article - Background Information about fees: The current standard fee seems to be around $400 for clergy who officiate at weddings for persons who are not contributing members of their local churches. Some receive less and many receive more to officiate. There are many expenses for officiants that must be paid out of such fees: costs for a web site, advertising, dry cleaning, travel and office supplies and equipment. Weddings used to be performed (and still are) for nearly no fee by clergy serving churches because the church (including the couple) financially supported the clergy and the clergy used weddings as a way to recruit members who would support the church. The movement toward independent clergy who perform services without such strings attached has meant that some of the expenses that used to be carried by the local church are now part of the fee for officiating at the wedding by independent officiants like me. Couples who contribute to local churches regularly usually have their weddings performed there, but the average amount they contribute for clergy services (and specifically for their wedding) is much higher than $400.

    DEPOSIT

    A $150 non-refundable "earnest fee" (also known as a deposit) should be paid when the wedding date is confirmed by the couple with me. I will turn down other weddings for that date if we confirm the date with this fee. Otherwise, I may accept another wedding for that date. I have learned that the fee helps to clarify the situation in ways that a verbal agreement does not. This fee will be applied to the total costs and is not in addition to them. I will send a receipt for your deposit by email. Request a receipt by postal mail also, if you wish.

    Send a $150 check (or use PayPal - see below) made out to 'Gary Ritner' to reserve your date and send it to:

    Gary Ritner
    1212 Raintree Drive, Apt I 184
    Fort Collins, CO 80526

    The remaining balance of the fees should be paid at the beginning of the rehearsal (if there is a rehearsal on a day other than the wedding) or when I arrive before the service. This helps all parties to avoid an awkward moment later. Many couples prefer to send me a check a couple weeks in advance to get it out of the way so they can have less to be concerned about on the day of the wedding or rehearsal.

    When I receive your deposit, you will receive an email like this - CLICK HERE for a sample.

    CLICK HERE TO READ AND/OR FILL OUT
    YOUR WEDDING OFFICIATING SERVICES AGREEMENT FORM

    PayPal Option

    Instead of sending a check, you can send your deposit or wedding officiating service payment to me by PayPal. If you have used PayPal, you know that it is a great system for moving funds from one person to another with good documentation and security. If you have not used PayPal, but would like to do so; CLICK HERE to go to the PayPal web site and sign up. You use your bank account or credit card to transfer money into and out of your PayPal account.

    Send your deposit to this email address for my Pay Pal account - gary@garyritner.org. Make the payment for $155 to cover the processing fees.


    The next few paragraphs may sound legalistic, but don't let that throw you - I am an easygoing and fun guy!

    A few couples misunderstood and expected that an hour late would be no problem, so this part became important to clarify somewhere. Your wedding should start at approximately the time for which it has been scheduled. My services are provided for up to one hour and I may have to leave after that to officiate at another wedding. All of the wedding services in which I have been involved have been less than 30 minutes and most are under twenty minutes, so that still gives some flexibility on time. However, as a courtesy to guests who are waiting, the service should start at approximately the scheduled time.

    When the deposit is received, the date and time of the wedding are set in stone unless some later agreement is reached between us to change the date and time. Dates and times as posted on this web site are the dates and times that couples have agreed upon with me for the wedding and rehearsal. Any changes in these dates and times without mutual agreement between me and the couple may nullify our agreement. If my services cannot be provided due to a change in the date or time by the couple, then the deposit will be forfeited and I will not be obligated to officiate at the wedding. While I will attempt to be flexible on the rehearsal date and time for our mutual benefit, the wedding date and time must be fixed at the time of the deposit so that I am free to schedule other weddings around it.

    The rehearsal date and time may be decided after the wedding date is set, but if the rehearsal date and time is left undetermined at the time of the agreement on a wedding date and time, then you will have to be flexible about the rehearsal date or I may not be able to be at the rehearsal because of previous commitments.

    I encourage you to secure your date with a deposit as soon as possible, even though it seems like a long way off. The wedding scheduling season is upon us and dates go fast. I have some pending requests that are not on the calendar, so I encourage you make your plans soon.

    Catholic weddings

    Click on the button above to fill out a simple form
    to ask if I am available to officiate at your wedding
    on the date that you have chosen.


    or, CLICK HERE to email me at gary@garyritner.org regarding these wedding dates

    Be sure that we have agreed upon the rehearsal time as early as possible since I often do two weddings on the same day and the rehearsal times need to be coordinated - especially if both are the night before. If you want me to be at the rehearsal, schedule that with me as soon as possible. If I am not available at the time you had hoped for, you might consider having a rehearsal two days before the wedding if possible and necessary for my schedule.

    If you decide not to use my services after we have discussed a date, please inform me as soon as possible so that I can make other plans as well. On a few occasions, I have contacted couples some time after our conversation and they had made other plans for their wedding without informing me. They assumed that if they did not send a deposit, then I would know that they were not planning to use my services on that date. Some people have just delayed sending their deposit, so this assumption is not always true. Therefore, I ask that you inform me if you have made a decision not to use my services so that I can make other plans as well.

    Couples worry about worst-case scenarious that never happen. There is always a solution that works, even if it is not ideal. Here is one example scenario and a solution that works. So, don't even worry about this one. On the way to the wedding an accident claims the life of your wedding officiant or sends him to the hospital. What would you do then? Don't cancel the wedding. You have a copy of the service. Have someone stand in for the wedding officiant and read the service. Then, appear before the wedding officiant or another officiant at your earliest convenience for a private ceremony to make it legal.


  • My Involvement in Your Reception - If you want me to say a prayer before the meal at your reception, that may be possible if your reception is soon after the wedding and not far away from the wedding site and I do not have another wedding service within a couple hours after your wedding. My busy schedule makes it very difficult to take a few hours of travel time and waiting to attend your reception and I hope you will understand if I cannot make it. If your reception begins within an hour of the wedding and is not more than ten miles from the wedding site and you want me to come to the reception, feel free to invite me or not. Feel free to ask me to say a prayer if you wish. Assume that I will not be at your reception unless you send me an invitation or you invite me and we have agreed that I can be there.

  • My Involvement in Your Rehearsal - I am happy to conduct your rehearsal if you wish to have one. If you are having a private, small or home wedding, you may prefer NOT to have a rehearsal. If you plan to have a rehearsal, be sure to agree with me on the time of the rehearsal as soon as possible to be sure that I can be at the rehearsal. It is not always necessary for me to be at the rehearsal. Most of what happens at the rehearsal involves the bridal party walking in and out and some related details for ushers. The couple often has clear ideas of what they want to do and can direct the bridal party in these details. I will help wherever needed and defer to anyone who wants to direct anything. If you want to have a brief rehearsal on the day of the wedding, I recommend 90 minutes before the wedding and I will be there if you wish. Just be sure to arrange with me for this time. Rehearsals are sometimes held on a day other than the night before for various reasons when the bridal party or family is not flying in the day before. If I have two weddings on the day of your wedding, then a rehearsal the night before at an earlier time, like 4 pm or a later time, like 7 or 8 pm - or another day - may make it possible for me to be at your rehearsal as well as the other rehearsal. Otherwise, rehearsals often happen around 6 pm and finish by 7 pm to allow for travel and your rehearsal dinner afterward. It is NOT customary for me to be at the rehearsal dinner and I do not expect to be invited.

  • Music - I have no restrictions on the use of secular music.

  • Photography - I have no restrictions on the behavior of the photographer. That is up to you. (Many clergy restrict the photographer from taking pictures during the service, but I do not.)

  • Wedding License - The license should be requested at least a month before the wedding date. Usually, there s a five-day wait for the license after applying. (Once requested the license is valid for six months). A license is required from the state where the wedding is performed. Two witnesses over age 19 are required. I am responsible for its proper signing and returning it to the county where it originated.

    The wedding license is issued by a County Office and I am just the licensed officiant who signs to signify that the wedding took place. Be sure to get your wedding license from a County Office at least five days before I officiate your wedding. Be sure to bring it to the rehearsal. If you forget, bring it to the wedding. If you do not bring it by then, we will have to meet again with the license in hand for you to have a legal marriage. If this becomes necessary, there will be an additional $50 fee for my officiating this second brief ceremony.

    IF THE WEDDING LICENSE IS NOT IN MY HANDS BEFORE THE START OF THE WEDDING, THIS WILL NOT BE A LEGAL WEDDING (This has happened only a couple times in my 850 weddings). IT WILL BE A NICE CEREMONY, BUT WE WILL HAVE TO DO YOUR LEGAL WEDDING AT ANOTHER TIME WHEN I HAVE THE LICENSE IN HAND BEFORE YOUR LEGAL MARRIAGE CAN TAKE PLACE.

    If you need a certified copy, you can take the license to the court house and have them make a certified copy for you. This is not needed, usually, but some legal circumstances may require it. Some counties will send this certified copy to you automatically, in about three weeks. The Best Man and Maid of Honor are the usual witnesses, but others can be the witnesses. You can apply for your license from any county in Colorado.

  • Article

    "A Simple Approach To Wedding Planning"
    by Dr. Gary Ritner

    Some people love to plan. They jump into the process like a research project and will not feel comfortable until they have found many books to read and web sites to study. They want to know all of the things that they should do, all of the things to avoid in planning their wedding and leave nothing to chance. That is one personality style and it is valid and can be fun if that is what you enjoy.

    easy service planning -  short and sweet However, if you are one who likes to keep things simple, you might benefit from my suggestions about how to take the simple approach. First, don't read too much. Second, don't think too much. Third, don't worry too much.

    Start from the perspective that this is your wedding and you have a right to do things your way. Others will appreciate whatever you do. Besides, you are the center of attention and all the details are just the small stuff that does not matter half as much as your smile, your looking at each other lovingly and your moment to exchange vows and rings, and kiss.

    Let your officiant handle the performing of the order and details of the service that you have designed and chosen and don't worry about what happens next - just feel the moment to the fullest. Fight off anxiety and replace it with joy and a deep sense of the wonderful meaning of this moment. Keep tissues handy!

    Ask for help from friends and family and trust them to be there when needed. Make a short list of things to do and check them off when they are done. Ask someone to do those things for you - for example, bring the license, give it to the officiant, give checks to the officiant, musicians, caterer; pick up and return dresses and tuxes, pin on flowers, bring a unity candle or sand, round up people for pictures and clean up afterward. In other words, avoid anxiety at the wedding by having other people in charge of the details so that you can have a good time and relax and soak in the beauty of the moment.

    Location of your service and reception are the first things to decide, because venues schedule up to a year ahead. Find an officiant who will cooperate with your wishes. If you know each other well, avoid jumping into a counseling situation that could disturb the waters by challenging your decision to marry. You are together and have decided to get married for good reasons, hopefully. If you have come this far, avoid second-guessing now under pressure. However, you might consider a learning approach with a counselor that helps to improve your communication and relationship in areas that you have identified as in need of some positive help.

    Wedding planning can be the most stressful when there are many minds involved. Do your parents have a lot of ideas about your wedding? Are they paying the bills? Receptions are often a party thrown by the parents and they might be given a big 'say' in this planning if this is the case. If not, stress can be reduced by making clear decisions early and asking for support from others to make them work.

    Many couples have a clear pattern for decision-making about their wedding. Often, the groom is willing to support the suggestions or decisions of the bride about the service. Grooms tend to nod their heads in approval and agree with her thoughts on service details. On the other hand, bigger financial decisions tend to be a group decision based on what each feels about the wedding budget. Compromise is common. Both have to live with the consequences of financial decisions. When both are involved in and agree on the final decision, it sets a good pattern for making big decisions and makes for a happier honeymoon and life after.

    To keep it simple and avoid stress, approach the wedding as a party at which you plan to have fun with friends and family. Avoid thinking about impressing people. Avoid worrying about things going wrong. You cannot control everybody and everything no matter how hard you try. If something does go wrong, enjoy it and laugh your way through it. It may turn out to be the most fun and memorable moment after all.

    Take advantage of my flexibility and make the service exactly what YOU want it to be. Together, we can take the worry out of your ceremony and put fun and meaning in its place.

    Helpful Tips List - I make these points at most rehearsals

    1. Do you have the wedding license? Please present it to me now so that I can be sure that you are ready for a legal marriage to take place.

    2. Do you have the final balance? Please present it to me now so that we can get that out of the way and enjoy the rehearsal and wedding without having to think about it again.

    3. This is your wedding. If I suggest anything and you have a different idea, your idea wins. Interrupt me and tell me how you want it to be done and we will do it that way.

    4. A good wedding kiss lasts approximately five seconds (shorter and people think you don't really like each other, longer and someone shouts 'Get a Room!')

    5. Tilt your head to the right and your partner tilts to the right and you avoid a collision of noses or an awkward kiss.

    6. Practice the kiss a few times before the wedding to be sure you both agree on how it will be done.

    7. The rings almost never fit so loosely that your partner can push it on successfully. Therefore, help to slide your own ring on. It usually gets stuck at the knuckle. Helping with your own ring usually avoids an awkward moment at which the guests usually laugh.

    8. Carry tissues in the flowers, a pocket (for the groom) or have the maid of honor hold them just in case - many couples who really needed them did not have them - be prepared just in case.

    9. Look at each other. Many couples feel that they should look at the officiant when he/she is speaking. This is not necessary. Avoid looking too much at the officiant. Look lovingly into each other's eyes or down at your hands or smile at your family and friends. An occasional look or smile at the officiant is fine, of course. Look at each other as you hear the words and let them sink in, nod in agreement, smile or laugh as appropriate. I say this because some couples have looked at me during the whole ceremony and it struck the guests as somewhat odd.

    10. When you arrive at the front at the beginning of the wedding, the bride holds her flowers and not the hands of the groom ... until she gives the flowers to the maid of honor when the time for exchanging vows has arrived. This is not a hard and fast rule. Bride, if you want to hold one hand of the groom and the flowers, do it. Otherwise, hand your flowers over to the maid of honor just before the vows and then hold both hands of the groom.

    11. The kiss is usually the last thing in the ceremony (unless you want to be presented as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs., groom and bride and last name, or 'I present to you a new family joined by love and blessed by God', etc.). Everyone claps after the kiss and the recessional music starts. Putting anything after this in the ceremony is usually anticlimactic and it interrupts the flow of the conclusion.

    12. The mother of the bride is usually the last to be escorted in and the first to be escorted out. Traditionally, this is done because she is the guest of highest honor.

    13. When a father walks the bride down the aisle, he usually stops a few feet short of the groom, hugs and/or kisses the bride on the cheek and hands her right hand to the groom with his left hand and shakes the right hand of the groom with his right hand. Then he sits down. The father of the bride walks on the bride's right side, the same side as the groom is standing up front.

    14. Receiving lines are often optional if the wedding is at the same location as the reception. The simplest receiving line is the bride and groom with parents. The bride's mother and father are often first, then the groom, the bride, the groom's mother and father. This makes it easier for introductions of people on the other side of the new family. If there are stepparents or other complex family situations, develop an order that works for you and which is sensitive to those involved. Think ahead about who should sit where if there are stepparents, in order to avoid an awkward moment at the rehearsal or wedding. Make sure everyone knows where they will be sitting.

    15. Be sure to notice the moment where you repeat the vows, so that you are not surprised by that. Sometimes the groom (since he is first) forgets to repeat the vows after the officiant or the vows for the ring and the guests laugh. Of course, laughter is fine, but some couples feel embarrassed by such moments and wish that they had been trained better. So, here is that training.

    16. Be sure to wait for being prompted with the words, "If so, say 'I do'", before replying, "I do." Some tend to jump the gun and say "I do" after the first question and the guests laugh at the overly eager response.

    17. Flex your knees occasionally to avoid feinting. Locking the knees (like standing rigidly 'at attention') for a long time shuts off the blood supply to the brain and causes feinting.

    18. Bridesmaids and groomsmen should face the guests at a forty-five degree angle so that the guests can see them well. They should look over their shoulder a little to see the bride and groom. The bride and groom should stand at a thirty-degree angle to the guests so that guests and the photographer have a good view of them. This is my preference. Some officiants do it differently. If you have another idea, go for it.

    Keep it simple. Relax, enjoy and feel the moment! Make it fun! Don't worry! Be Happy!


    Some of My Goals of Officiating (Reassuring Details for the Couple)

    1. Respond to email requests, agreement forms and phone calls as quickly as possible (asap).

    2. Send a receipt for the deposit asap.

    3. Return the formatted or corrected Ceremony Word file asap.

    4. Arrive at the wedding an hour before the ceremony begins, or slightly before the agreed upon time - always be early and never late.

    5. Thoroughly research the location, including road issues between here and there.

    6. Print out maps and carry them with me in my car. Onstar directs my travel, so we can all count on my being there and not gettng lost.

    7. Have my cell phone charged up and ready to receive calls at any time (especially on the day of the rehearsal or wedding so that I can call the couple, the location, or they can call me in case anything has changed or goes wrong - never does, just good to be prepared for traffic delays).

    8. Personally connect with key family members or friends of the bride and groom.

    9. Ask for the license at the rehearsal. If it was not brought to the rehearsal, that is ok. But it does run the risk of forgetting on the wedding day and it makes it just one more thing to think about instead of having fun (same goes for the final balance due to the officiant). Get this out of the way as soon as possible.

    10. Fill out the license at the rehearsal or before the wedding, There is so much commotion afterward and so many other fun things to do. If a photo of the signing is desired, use the souvenir copies the day of the wedding to restage the photo of the signing.

    11. When leaving for the wedding, bring the agreement form, notes for the wedding prepared during the meeting with the couple or rehearsal, the copy of the service, robe (if appropriate), other equipment requested.

    12. Help the couple to enjoy the wedding and be relaxed with encouraging words, smiles and comforting tones. Smile a lot but don't be overly dramatic.

    13. Memorize as much of the service as possible to make the presentation smooth. Keep a finger on the place in reading to maximize eye contact with the guests and couple.

    14. Speak slowly and loud enough to be heard clearly.

    15. Check appearance in a mirror just before the wedding starts.

    16. If I am not expected/invited to be at the reception, congratulate the couple and the parents after the service, and discreetly depart.

    17. Enjoy the day and help others to do so as well. Pay attention to details and think ahead. But relax as though this service will go as perfectly as almost every other one has.

    Provide More Extensive Pre-marital Counseling
    (as well as marriage counseling at any time) - $50 an hour

    While extensive pre-marital counseling is NOT required for my conducting of your wedding, I can provide more extensive counseling with a focus on how to make your relationship work, how to understand and care for each other and what kind of help to seek if your relationship needs some help. During ten years of theological graduate school and 25 years since, I have been trained in relationship counseling. I will avoid becoming technical, however, and focus on the practical aspects of your relationship in your counseling. I can also refer you to a therapist if you request even more extensive counseling.

    (For Weddings Where I am Also the Officiant)

    Reduced Rates for Some Service Times

  • Reduced Rate Before Noon -- $350 for Officiating at a wedding service any day when the service will begin by 11 am and end before noon. (Add $50 if your wedding was referred to me and I pay a $50 referral fee)

  • Reduced Rate Sunday through Thursday -- $350 for Officiating at a wedding service between Sunday and Thursday. (Add $50 if your wedding was referred to me and I pay a $50 referral fee)

  • Reduced Rate for a Private Wedding at your location -- $350 (fewer than 10 people attending) (Add $50 if your wedding was referred to me and I pay a $50 referral fee)

  • Wedding Service Planning Tool

    I highly recommend your using my SaintSavers Wedding Service Planning Tool - CLICK HERE. Login in with 'help' as the user and 'me' as the password.

    wedding planning tool There is so much information available in the SaintSavers Wedding Service Planning Tool that might save you a lot of time searching elsewhere. I have searched for years to find these service resources. Click on items and they are automatically assembled into a web page for you and an email is sent to me. Try it as often as you like. Fill in as little or as much as you like. You can set up your service using this tool. I will put it into a Word file and send it to you for further changes and so that you will have a final copy when the changes have all been made.

    Here is another alternative approach to putting together a service. It is a cut and paste approach. View 14 services and cut and paste the parts that you like to assemble your service. These are Word documents from a variety of services that people have assembled in the past few years. After you have cut and pasted together all that you want to use, send me the Word document. Login in with 'couple5' as the user and 'look' as the password.

    Service 1|Service 2|Service 3|Service 4|Service 5|Service 6|Service 7|Service 8|Service 9|Service 10|Service 11|Service 12|Service 13 |Service 14

    Sample Religious Wedding Service

    Click Here to see My Sample Non-Religious Wedding Service

    (Here is another easy option if you wish. Select and copy this sample service of the most common elements and words used in services into an email and make a few changes wherever you like. Email me the changes and I will make them on a Word file and send them to you in an email reply.)

    Processional (the groom and groomsmen may choose to meet the women at the front, coming in from a side door. Or the groomsmen may walk down the aisle with the women of the bridal party).

    (At this point, the Bride may choose to kiss her father or mother or both or give flowers to parents; or both parents may hug and kiss the bride and groom. Some choose to do this. Some do not.)

    GREETING
    Dear friends and family,
    We are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the presence these witnesses, to join together Groom and Bride in marriage.

    Each of you has played an important role in their lives and each holds a special place in their thoughts and affections. It is appropriate and meaningful that they call upon you on this occasion to take part in celebrating this important event.

    We are here to bless Groom and Bride in this decision and to celebrate with them in their union.


    (At this point, the parents of the bride may be asked "Who gives this woman in marriage." And their reply would be... "we do" or "her mother and I do" or whatever you choose. Some choose to do this. Some do not.)

    Music/Solo May Be Inserted Here

    SCRIPTURE (or your choice)
    (Adapted from I Corinthians 13)
    Love is patient and kind.
    Love does not envy.
    Love does not boast.
    Love is not too proud.
    Love is not rude.
    Love trusts in all situations,
    Love hopes on all occasions,
    Love endures through all circumstances.


    WEDDING MESSAGE (Brief message on 7 "Magical Phrases" to keep marriage vital - humorous and touching - exactly as it appears below.)

      Relationships can be very complicated, however, love, caring, friendship can be very simple if you do the right things repeatedly. I want to suggest seven simple phrases to say to each other every day to remind you of the right things. Guys - if you have a significant other here today, listen carefully, because women have been known to quiz their guys on these phrases during the reception. Say the following phrases to each other repeatedly, every day, and they will have a magical impact on your love and your life together.

      St. Paul weddings

    1. You are beautiful…. Find creative ways to say 'you are beautiful,' to build each up with words of affirmation.

    2. I love you. … you will mean many things when you say this, but the most important of all is to express your unconditional love for each other, your willingness, your commitment to be there in all circumstances.

    3. Thank you. .. express gratitude frequently not only for what the other does for you, but for the gift and miracle that their love is in your life.

    4. Please… My 8-year old knows that 'please' is a magic word. It gets you all kinds of good things. But a more profound meaning of the word please is … to ask for what you need in the relationship with an attitude of please.

    5. You might need to say the words: 'I am sorry.' I don't know. We'll see. But when you do need to say those words, try to say them as quickly as possible to heal wounds or brokenness between you.

    6. A grandmother was celebrating her 50th anniversary. Her granddaughter said to her, 'Grandma, what's the secret to your being married to Grandpa for fifty years?' Grandma replied, "You know there is a secret. When your grandfather and I got married. I decided that I would create a list of the ten things that I was willing to overlook in your grandfather. I never actually got around to writing them down on a list, but whenever he would do one of those things of which I was not especially fond I would say, 'That was on the list.' And I would overlook it and forgive him for that." Remember the list ... keep your eyes on the big picture, which is the miracle of your life and your love together and everything else is just small stuff.

    7. After my wife heard me tell a bride and groom about these phrases, she suggested that I should add one.
      I said, 'What's that?'
      She said, 'You know, the one you are always saying to me.'
      I said, 'Uh, I need a little more help.'
      She said 'You were right, dear.'
      I have said it more times than I would like to admit.

    8. Say all these phrases to each other repeatedly and your relationship will be blessed. Guys, I hope you have made notes for the quiz at the reception.

    Music/Solo May Be Inserted Here

    Minneapolis wedding minister INVITATION TO EXCHANGE VOWS
    (Addressing Groom and Bride)
    I invite you both to exchange vows before God and these friends and family. Be assured that if you keep these promises and attempt to respond to God's calling you to love each other, then God will bless your marriage, grant forgiveness for your failures, provide fulfillment in your days together, and will establish your relationship as a source of compassion and courage.

    EXCHANGE OF VOWS
    Groom, will you have Bride to be your wife, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love Bride, comfort her, and care for her and all that she holds dear?
    (Groom answers): I DO.
    Bride, will you have Groom to be your husband, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love Groom, comfort him, and care for him and all that he holds dear?
    (Bride answers): I DO.

    (Groom and Bride join hands, turning toward each other and repeat after me)
    I, GROOM, TAKE YOU, BRIDE,
    TO BE MY WIFE.
    TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
    FROM THIS DAY FORWARD,
    FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE
    Minnesota wedding officiant FOR RICHER, FOR POORER
    IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH,
    TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH FOREVER.

    I, BRIDE, TAKE YOU, GROOM,
    TO BE MY HUSBAND,
    TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
    FROM THIS DAY FORWARD,
    FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE
    FOR RICHER, FOR POORER
    IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH,
    TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH FOREVER.

    EXCHANGE OF RINGS
    (I receives the rings from the best man)
    The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace signifying to all the uniting of Bride and Groom in marriage. Bless the giving of these rings, that Bride and Groom may create a haven of love and a place of peace for each other.

    (I deliver the ring to Groom who holds the ring and repeats after me):
    IN TOKEN AND PLEDGE
    OF MY CONSTANT FAITH
    AND ABIDING LOVE
    WITH THIS RING I THEE WED.

    (I deliver the ring to Bride who holds the ring and repeats after me):
    IN TOKEN AND PLEDGE
    OF MY CONSTANT FAITH
    AND ABIDING LOVE
    WITH THIS RING I THEE WED.

    PRONUNCIATION OF MARRIAGE
    (I put my hand on the joined hands of Groom and Bride and say): Forasmuch as Groom and Bride have consented together in marriage, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, have pledged their faith to each other, and have declared the same by joining hands and by giving and receiving rings; I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    LIGHTING OF THE UNITY CANDLE (Outdoor Weddings often use sand instead, two containers poured into one container)
    (Music during lighting)

    (Groom and Bride kiss each other after I say, "You may kiss.")

    BLESSING OF THE FAMILY
    (I say) "I present to you a new family joined in love and blessed by God."

    RECESSIONAL

    POSTLUDE

    Bulletin Sample Order of Service

    (If you wish to have a bulletin or program... some do not)


    Minneapolis wedding PRELUDE
    PROCESSIONAL
    GREETING
    Music/ Solo May Be Inserted Here
    SCRIPTURE
    WEDDING MESSAGE
    Music/ Solo May Be Inserted Here
    INVITATION TO EXCHANGE VOWS
    EXCHANGE OF VOWS
    EXCHANGE OF RINGS
    PRONUNCIATION OF MARRIAGE
    LIGHTING OF THE UNITY CANDLE
    Music/Solo May Be Inserted Here
    PRESENTATION OF THE FAMILY
    RECESSIONAL
    POSTLUDE

    You might also include the following items on the bulletin:
    Names of people in the wedding party
    Parents of the Bride and Groom
    The date and time and location of the wedding
    Directions to the reception may be included as an insert

    Your Bulletin - I highly recommend that you run the details of your wedding bulletin by me before you have it printed. I have run into a few complications when bridal parties used an order of service from some other wedding thinking that it was always that way only to find out that this was not the order of service that they had chosen for the service. Other possible complications suggest that the bulletin should not be printed before I have seen it. You can just email the text. That usually works best.

    Article - Recommended Wedding Services

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