Elopement Ceremony

(A very simple wedding, with two witnesses. Length: 14 minutes.)

Joan and Keith stand with Mary. Mia and Kevin face them

Mary welcomes everyone and introduces herself as a licensed Marriage Officiant of the Province of Ontario, and the Ontario Humanist Society.
Mary explains the ethical philosophy of humanism as a natural philosophy of life, stating all people are equal in all ways, and we each have a duty of care and compassion to other people, and to the planet we all share.

I am honoured to be here to officiate at Joan and Keith’s wedding.

We are gathered here this afternoon to witness and to celebrate the wedding of Joan Marie Clark and Keith Alan Harris. We rejoice with Joan and Keith that out of the whole world, they have found each other; and that they will find the greater richness and meaning of human life in sharing the future with each other. Let us support them with our joy, hope, and love.

Statement of Marriage / Witness Affirmation

Marriage is the joyous uniting of those whose friendship and understanding have flowered into love. It is the promise of these two people to love, respect, and honour each other as individuals, and to unite their lives and share the future together.

Today Joan and Keith are here to make a public declaration of the private commitment they have already made to one another. We who have gathered here rejoice with them, and for them, and wish them all happiness in all the days and years of their lives to come.

We thank Mia and Kevin for their presence, as they are witnesses to the happiness which Joan and Keith have found together, and to the pledges they will make to each other for the mutual service of their common lives. In the quiet of this moment together, we also recall friends and family who are not with us, and bring them into our hearts and thoughts.

Intention to Marry / Betrothal

Joan/Keith, Please repeat after me:

I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful impediment why I (name) may not be joined in marriage to (name).

Vows

Will you please join your hands?

Please repeat after me:

I call upon these persons present to witness that I Keith/Joan, do take you Joan/ Keith to be my lawful wedded husband/wife,
accepting you for all the risings and settings of the sun
For all the days of our lives to come.
I offer you my love, my tenderness, my support and my respect,
as long as time is ours.

Ring Ceremony

(Note: rings are not legally required for wedding ceremonies and this section may be omitted or saved for a later ceremony. This is a Single Ring exchange.)

Keith, what gift do you offer Joan in pledge of the vows you have made?
Response: Joan, I offer you this ring, with my love.
Joan, do you accept this gift, and the pledge for which it stands?
Response: I do

(Keith places ring on Joan’s finger)
Keith: I place this ring on your finger as a symbol of my love for you, and take you into my heart as my wife.
Joan: I will wear this ring as a symbol of my love for you, and take you into my heart as my husband.
(couple hold hands)

May you who give it and you who wear it, honour in life the pledge for which it stands.

L’envoie

We know not what the future may bring into the lives of this couple.
But together, may they be equal to the needs of their tomorrows.
May they have patience in time of strain,
Strength in time of weakness
Courage in time of doubt
And above all, a growing love to sustain them

Declaration

Joan and Keith:

In front of us, you have spoken your promises.

You have exchanged the signs of your commitment, each to each.

It is thus with great pleasure, that I, Mary Beaty, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Marriage Act, do hereby pronounce you, Joan and Keith, to be married.

You may kiss!

Signing of Marriage License

Presentation of legally married couple

Celebration!