A wedding blessing acknowledges the lifelong commitment made by newlyweds. For religious couples, it can symbolize a declaration of approval of the marriage and a means of asking a higher power for many happy and prosperous years together.
Wedding blessings and prayers are a long-standing tradition in many cultures, and they’re a great way to add a special touch to your big day. For traditional couples, wedding ceremony blessings can be a way of honoring a higher power and praying for a successful marriage. During nontraditional weddings, it might simply be a wish for many years of happiness and prosperity as a couple.
Choose your favorite blessing together as a couple or, for something even more intimate, customize your own reading to honor your new marriage.
To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of wedding readings from cultures around the world to inspire you and in no particular order, including:
Let’s bow our heads and get into it. ≈
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank you for this place in which we dwell, for the love that unites us, for the peace accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow, for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth. Amen.
Zola Expert Tip: Don't forget to ask audience members to bow their heads before praying.
Most gracious God, we give You thanks for Your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank You, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of Your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in Your mercy, bring them to that table where Your saints feast forever in Your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
May your marriage always bring glory to God, joy to one another, and blessings to your family for many generations to come. May love and laughter fill your hearts and your home for all of the days of your lives. May you face every challenge hand in hand and side by side knowing that with God's grace, you'll conquer all obstacles together. May the world be forever a better place because the two of you fell in love. In Jesus' name, Amen.
O God of love, Thou has established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Thine was the plan, and only with Thee can we work it out with joy.
Bless this husband. Bless him as provider of nourishment and raiment, and sustain him in all the exactions and pressures of his battle for bread. May his strength be her protection, his character be her boast and her pride, and may he so live that she will find in him the haven for which the heart of woman truly longs.
Bless this loving wife. Giver her tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a great faith in Thee. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.
Teach them that marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve Thee. Give them great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the other things shall be added unto them.
May they never take each other's love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, "Out of all this world, you have chosen me."
When life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May they serve Thee happily, faithfully, together, until at last one shall lay the other into the arms of God.
This we ask through Jesus Christ, great Lover of our souls.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere.
Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind, and mild.
Cherish goodwill right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, whatever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving and kind.
Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body, speech, and mind.
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other perfectly.
The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings.
Oh Allah, bless our marriage and let it be a means for us to become closer to You in love and devotion. Let it be a source of untold blessings, happiness and joy. Oh Allah, let our marriage be a way for us and our families to enter Jannah. Ya Allah, protect our marriage from the whisperings of Shaytan. Give us the strength to live together in justice, equity, love, and mercy. My Lord, let this marriage bring untold blessings to us individually, to our families, and our children Insha Allah. My Creator, bless us with children who will be a source of great joy and happiness. Oh Allah, give us the love which you had blessed Muhammad, Allah's Peace and blessings be upon him, and Khadija with, May Allah be pleased with her.
Zola Expert Tip: Rather than having an officiant perform the blessing, a Muslim wedding dua is an opportunity for you as the couple to take the lead!
In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful. Praise be to God, Sovereign of all the worlds. The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning. You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help. Guide us on the straight path, the path of those who have received your grace; not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray. Amen.
Saptapadi, or “The Seven Steps” involves the couple taking seven steps around a holy fire, each step symbolizing a promise to each other. As the steps are taken, the following blessings are spoken aloud:
Let us provide for our household, stay in good health, and carry out our duties and responsibilities to each other, our families, and our tradition.
Let us continue to develop our mental and spiritual powers.
Let us build our wealth and comfort with the right means.
Let us acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love, respect, and trust.
Let us be blessed with a family of strong and virtuous children.
Let us be blessed with long lives.
Let us remain true companions, committed only to each other.
Let the earth of my body be mixed with the earth My beloved walks on. Let the fire of my body be the brightness in the mirror that reflects his face. Let the water of my body join the waters of the lotus pool he bathes in. Let the breath of my body be air lapping his tired limbs. Let me be sky, and moving through me the cloud-dark Shyama, my beloved.
To the Holy Son of Shiva and Parvati, To the remover of all obstacles, Lord Ganesha, We petition for Blessings, To sanctify this ceremony of marriage, And to bless this marriage in all ways. Lord Ganesha. You are the speaker. You are the listener. You are the giver. You are the sustainer. Please protect us from all directions. Let us listen with our ears to that which is auspicious, adorable one. Let us perceive with our eyes what is holy. With strong, stable body and limbs, may we seek divine grace and accept the noble order of all our lives. O Lord Ganesha, please provide for the welfare of this family. Guide prosperity and abundance to their door. Please help them feel your goodness and Divinity within their home. We place any challenges of married life at your feet And trust you will always help. We thank you with all of our hearts.
We swear by peace and love to stand, Heart to heart and hand to hand. Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now, Confirming this our Sacred Vow.
May God be with you and bless you. May you see your children. May you be poor in misfortunes, And rich in blessings. May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
While this isn’t a spoken blessing, it’s a commonly practiced Irish tradition that’s just as meaningful. Each wedding guest makes a wish for the couple on a stone, and then tosses the stone into water to bless them.
Zola Expert Tip: The Blessing Stones tradition can be combined with a spoken prayer for an even more meaningful blessing.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who created everything for His glory.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who created humanity.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who created humanity in His image, in the image of the likeness of his form, and made for them an everlasting establishment. Blessed are you, Lord, who created humanity.
May the barren one (Jerusalem) rejoice greatly and delight in the ingathering of her children within her in joy. Blessed are you Lord who causes Zion to rejoice with her children.
The loving partners shall rejoice as You caused your creatures to delight in the Garden of Eden of old. Blessed are you Lord who causes the groom and bride to rejoice.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates happiness and joy, groom and bride. Exultation, delight, amusement, and pleasure, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. Soon, Lord our God, may the sound of happiness and the sound of joy and the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride be heard in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem—the rejoicing of groom from their huppahs and youths from their singing banquets. Blessed are you Lord who makes the groom rejoice with the bride.
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its passion as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the bridegroom joy in his bride.
Eternal One, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; when there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
O God, who by your mighty power created all things out of nothing, and, when you had set in place the beginnings of the universe, formed man and woman in your own image, making the woman an inseparable helpmate to the man, that they might be no longer two, but one flesh, and taught that what you were pleased to make one must never be divided;
O God, who consecrated the bond of Marriage by so great a mystery that in the wedding covenant you foreshadowed the Sacrament of Christ and his Church;
O God, by whom woman is joined to man and the companionship they had in the beginning is endowed with the one blessing not forfeited by original sin nor washed away by the flood.
Look now with favor on these your servants, joined together in Marriage, who ask to be strengthened by your blessing. Send down on them the grace of the Holy Spirit and pour your love into their hearts, that they may remain faithful in the Marriage covenant.
May the grace of love and peace abide in your daughter [name], and let her always follow the example of those holy women whose praises are sung in the Scriptures.
May her husband entrust his heart to her, so that acknowledging her as his equal and his joint heir to the life of grace, he may show her due honor and cherish her always with the love that Christ has for his Church.
And now, Lord, we implore you: may these your servants hold fast to the faith and keep your commandments; made one in the flesh, may they be blameless in all they do; and with the strength that comes from the Gospel, may they bear true witness to Christ before all; (may they be blessed with children, and prove themselves virtuous parents, who live to see their children’s children.)
And grant that, reaching at last together the fullness of years for which they hope, they may come to the life of the blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Zola Expert Tip: There are three versions of the Nuptial Blessing prayer you can choose from in the Order of Celebrating Matrimony.
We have gathered here to celebrate the love of [name] and [name]. God has brought them together, and we pray that God will hold them in his love always. As the food we share will strengthen our bodies, may our time together strengthen the love that binds us. Let us pray. Lord God, you sustain all creatures and never cease to give your children the food they need. We bless you for bringing us together in the love that unites us around this table where the food we take strengthens our bodies. We pray that, nourished by your Word, we may grow ever stronger in faith as we strive for the coming of your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.
A thousand welcomes to you with your marriage kerchief, may you be healthy all your days. May you be blessed with long life and peace, may you grow old with goodness, and with riches.
If you’re having a multicultural wedding or simply prefer something less traditional, your options are endless! Below we’ve compiled a list of nontraditional wedding readings to inspire you.
May these vows and this marriage be blessed. May it be sweet milk, this marriage, like wine and halvah. May this marriage offer fruit and shade like the date palm. May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day a day in paradise. May this marriage be a sign of compassion, a seal of happiness here and hereafter. May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, an omen as welcome as the moon in a clear blue sky. I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles in this marriage.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill up each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
You were you, and I was I; we were two, before our time.
I was yours, before I knew; and you have always been mine too.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me prov'd, I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
What is a vow, but an intention spoken out before the world so that the world, in hearing, might take part in aspirations of the willing heart? In our coming here today to join and bless the joy of your becoming wed, may we enter in the truth of the words you've said, "I do."
May you have the love only two can know May you go where only two as one may go
May the sun rise and set in your bonded hearts and the moon never find you too long apart
May you cherish each other's dreams as your own and turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones
May you brave life's mountains and miles together May there be no storm your love cannot weather
May you always be lovers and allies and friends May your souls' conversations never end
May you capture on Earth what's in Heaven above May your hearts know the rapture of an uncommon love.
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.
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.
These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks, all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will," those late night talks that included "someday" and "somehow" and "maybe," and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word."
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another — acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall love thee better after death.
Finding the right words to celebrate the moment you become unified in marriage can be challenging. No matter your culture or religion, the wedding blessing or ceremony script you choose should align with your personalities and preferences as a couple.
Have more questions surrounding choosing a wedding blessing? We have answers.
For religious ceremonies, a religious leader like a priest, rabbi, or minister will typically carry out the wedding blessing. For nonreligious couples, it’s common to have the wedding officiant or a friend or family member read it. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding, so you get to choose who carries out the blessing.
Wedding ceremony blessings typically last between 20 and 30 minutes. If multiple blessings are being given, they’ll be shorter in order to give everyone a chance to speak.
Marriage blessings are typically given after the couple says, “I do.” To give a blessing, first make sure to get everyone’s attention. If the blessing is a religious prayer, it’s polite to ask guests to bow their heads.
The Seven Blessings are a Jewish wedding ceremony ritual that each symbolize a central theme: love, a loving home, humor, wisdom, health, art, and community. The blessings themselves are about the creation of the world, humankind, and the unity and joy of marriage.