A Justice of the Peace in Connecticut performs a civil ceremony, but spiritual or ethnic elements can easily be added to suit the couple. A double-ring ceremony, single-ring ceremony or a no-ring ceremony are all possible. Please have a look at some sample ceremonies below; I have many more to choose from. You should feel free to customize them in any way that makes you comfortable. These are only suggestions. Some couples create their own vows entirely. I am happy to work with you to make the ceremony your very own.
Today we are here to join you in marriage and to share in the joy of this occasion, which should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your life.
On this day of your marriage, you stand somewhat apart from all other human beings. You stand within the charmed circle of your love; and this is as it should be. But love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. Rather, it would serve as a source of common energy, as a form in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward you must come closer together than ever before, you must love one another in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, but at the same time your love should give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destinies, to make your special contribution to the world which is always part of us and more than us.
Being assured that you are aware of the meaning of this ceremony, I will now ask you to repeat the marriage vows.
Do you Groom, take this woman Bride, to be your lawful wedded wife, to love, honor and cherish her through sickness and in health, through times of happiness and travail, until death do you part?
Please place the ring upon her finger and repeat after me.
With this ring, I thee wed, and forever pledge my devotion.
Do you, Bride, take this man Groom, to be your lawful wedded husband, to love, honor and cherish him through sickness and in health, through periods of tranquility and travail, until death do you part?
Please place the ring upon his finger and repeat after me.
With this ring, I thee wed, and forever pledge my devotion.
Please join hands.
"By the act of joining hands, you take to yourself the relation of husband and wife and solemnly promise to love, honor, comfort and cherish each other so long as you both shall live. Therefore, in accordance with the law of Connecticut and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the law of Connecticut, I do pronounce you husband and wife."
"You came to me as two single people and you will now leave as a married couple, united to each other by the binding contract you have just entered. Your cares, your worries, your pleasures and your joys you must share with each other. The best of good fortune to both of you."
Congratulations! You may kiss your bride.
We are gathered here together in the presence of friends and family to celebrate one of life's greatest relationships - the mystical union between man and woman which we call marriage.
Marriage is the celebration of one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and we all wish to add our best wishes to the words which shall unite Groom and Bride in marriage.
As we join together Groom and Bride in this marriage, let us search our hearts for the wisdom of this covenant, which has from ancient times been expressed with those ideas that come from the heart. Ideas like love, loyalty, trust, fidelity, and forgiveness. Let us also decide to share our knowledge of these things with them as they start this journey together.
Groom and Bride, I would ask that you both remember to treat yourself and each other with respect, and remind yourself often of what brought you together today. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your marriage deserves. When frustration and difficulty assail your marriage - as they do to every relationship at one time or another - focus on what still seems right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. This way, when clouds of trouble hide the sun in your lives and you lose sight of it for a moment, you can remember that the sun is still there. And if each of you will take responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
Groom, do you take Bride to be your Wife? "I do"
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her forevermore? "I do"
Bride, do you take Groom to be your Husband? "I do"
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him forevermore? "I do"
Will you please face each other and join hands,
Groom, will you repeat after me? The ring (Bride's for Groom) "I, Groom, take thee, Bride to be my Wife- To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow and I promise my love to you."
"Bride, wear this ring as a symbol of my never ending commitment and devotion. As it encircles your finger this day, let it be a reminder that my love encircles our lives together forever."
Bride, will you repeat after me? The ring (Groom's for Bride) "I, Bride, take thee Groom, to be my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow, and I promise my love to you."
"Groom, wear this ring as a symbol of my never ending commitment and devotion. As it encircles your finger this day, let it be a reminder that my love encircles our lives together forever"
Groom and Bride as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another.
Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect for each other. Just as two threads woven in opposite directions will form a most beautiful tapestry, so too can your two lives merged together make a beautiful marriage. To make your relationship work will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust, to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open to one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both pledge today to share together.
Groom and Bride, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, the joining of your hands and the giving of these rings, in accordance with the law of Connecticut and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the law of Connecticut,
I do pronounce you Husband and Wife.
Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.
You came to me as two single people and you will now leave as a married couple, united to each other by the binding contract you have just entered. Your cares, your worries, your pleasures and your joys you must share with each other. I wish the best of good fortune to both of you.
(This it a brief ceremony - shortest non religious ceremony - only about 5 minutes)
The Groom & the Bride, today you celebrate one of life's greatest moments and give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, as you join together in vows of marriage.
(Vows used unless other vows are wished. You may change the vows as you wish)
Groom, do you take Bride to be your Wife? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her? ("I do")
Bride, do you take Groom to be your Husband? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him? ("I do")
(If rings are exchanged each does so before repeating the following vows - unless you wish other vows or do not wish to repeat vows. It is not required to repeat vows.) Rings are NOT required)
(Groom), I Groom, take thee, Bride to be my Wife- To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you. (With this ring, I thee wed.)
(Bride), I Bride, take thee Groom, to be my husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise My love to you. (With this ring, I thee wed.)
Groom and Bride, just as two very different threads woven in opposite directions can form a beautiful tapestry, so can your two lives merge together to form a very beautiful marriage. To make your marriage work will take love. Love should be the core of your marriage, love is the reason you are here. But it also will take trust - to know in your hearts you want the best for each other. It will take dedication - to stay open to one another; to learn and to grow together even when this is not always so easy to do. It will take faith - to always be willing to go forward to tomorrow, never really knowing what tomorrow will bring. And it will take commitment - to hold true to the journey you both now pledge to share together.
Groom and Bride, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, I now declare you to be Husband and Wife.
Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.
We are assembled here in the presence (of God and) (of) these witnesses to celebrate the joining of this man and this woman in the unity of marriage. There are no obligations on earth sweeter or tender than those you are about to assume. There are no vows more solemn than those you are about to make. There is no human institution more sacred than that of the home you are about to form. True marriage is the holiest of all earthly relationships. The state of matrimony is based this deep, invisible union of two souls who seek to find completion in one another. Do you understand this? (Respond by yes, nodding, etc.)
***** OPTIONAL Who gives this woman in marriage?
Will you please face each other and join hands?
Groom, will you take this woman, whose hands you hold, choosing her alone to be your wedded wife? Will you live with her in the state of true matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, honor her at all times, and be faithful to her?
Bride, will you take this man, whose hands you hold, choosing him alone to be your wedded husband? Will you live with him in the state of true matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, honor him at all times, and be faithful to him?
As you take these preliminary vows, Groom and Bride, I would have you remember:
To love is to come together from the pathways of our past and then move forward...Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of our future, ready to risk, to dream, and to dare.... And always believe that all things are possible with faith and love (in God) and in each other.
*****OPTIONAL (Continuation, if you wish to recite to each other, otherwise leave out)
Will you repeat after me?
I Groom, take you Bride to be my wife, to love and cherish, from this day forward, and thereto pledge you my faith,
I, Bride, take you Groom, to be my husband, to love and to cherish, from this day forward, and thereto pledge you my faith.
I understand you have brought rings as a token of your sincerity?
Groom, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Let it ever be to us a symbol of our love.
Bride, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Let it ever be to us a symbol of our love.
In as much as you, Groom, and you Bride, have consented together in the union of matrimony and you have pledged your faith each to the other in the presence of God and this company, now by the authority vested in me , I now pronounce you HUSBAND AND WIFE!
YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE!
The vows exchanged by the couple, in front of witnesses, signify they take one another as husband and wife.
The exchange of vows represents the moment of covenant. The words which express the act of commitment are often considered to be the most significant in the ceremony. They are those which express: "I choose you, I accept your having chosen me. I commit myself to you." The vows may also include mutual hopes for and commitment to happiness together and an understanding that the commitment will be secure as it is tested through periods of sadness, times of difficult and seasons of disappointment. It is always a covenant "for better or for worse."
After carefully studying the wordings of the vows in the ceremonies offered here, and selecting one from among them, it may be that you will wish to translate the spirit of these expressions into a language that more nearly reflects your own understanding. You may also have additional thoughts to share with each other. We welcome your input.
No other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more sacred that those you are about to assume. You are entering into the holy estate of matrimony, which is the deepest mystery of experience, and which is the sacrament of divine love. Groom please repeat after me:
I Groom take you, Bride to be my wedded wife/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, till death do us part, and to you I pledge my faithfulness.
I Groom/Bride will love you Bride/Groom
in good times and in bad.
enjoy you, console you, delight you,
astound you when I can,
give thanks for you always, and cherish you dearly,
until the end of our days.
Groom repeat after me:
I Groom take you Bride, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
Bride repeat after me:
I Bride take you Groom to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
You have declared your consent before this company. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide. AMEN
Groom/Bride you, are my companion in life and my one true love. I will love you today, tomorrow and forever,
I will trust and honor you,
I will laugh and cry with you. With unfailing love,
I will stand by you through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy.
As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.
Before our family and friends, on this wonderful day of gladness and good fortune, I Groom/Bride take you Bride/Groom as my wife/husband, in friendship and in love, in strength and in weakness, to share the good times and the misfortune, in achievement and in failure, to celebrate life with you forevermore.
I Groom/Bride take you Bride/Groom, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know - with respect for your integrity, and faith in your love for me, in all that life may bring us, I pledge my love and take you as my husband/wife.
Where there has been cold, you have brought me warmth. Where my life was dark, you have brought light. Groom/Bride, I pledge from this day forward, before our friends and family, to be your husband/wife. Let us make our two lives into one life, and let us always cherish, honor and love one another.
I am honored to perform marriages for couples of the same gender. Same-sex marriage has been ruled legal in the State of Connecticut since November of 2008 and I have had the privilege of joining dozens of couples in marriage.
The FAQ’s answered below apply to same-sex marriage and I welcome any further questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Both parties to a same-sex marriage must be of the same sex. Both parties must be at least 18 years of age, of sound mind, and not already in a marriage or another same-sex marriage. Connecticut also does not allow a same-sex marriage between close relatives.
Yes. Before your ceremony you will need to purchase a Connecticut marriage license. It must be presented to the officiator before your marriage is performed. A marriage license is valid and a ceremony may be performed within a period of not more than sixty-five days after the date of application.
The marriage license must be issued by the registrar of vital statistics in the Connecticut town in which the marriage will take place.
You must know your legal town of residence and your place of birth; you will also need to know your parents' names, including your mother's maiden name, and the states where your parents were born (a certified copy of your birth certificate can supply most of this information). Connecticut law requires that both of you must sign in the presence of the town clerk, certifying that all facts are correct. They may legally ask to see documented proof of your statements, (such as birth certificates, divorce decrees, etc). License fee is $30.
If you are a widow or widower, you are free to form a same-sex marriage. You will be asked the date that your spouse died. If you are divorced you may remarry after the date on which your previous marriage or civil union is dissolved.
A Connecticut license may be valid only for a marriage performed in Connecticut (check the laws in your state). If you are a Connecticut resident or forming a same-sex marriage with a Connecticut resident you may form a same-sex marriage anywhere in Connecticut. Whether a Connecticut resident or not, you must form a marriage in the town where your license is issued.
A judge, Supreme Court justice, assistant judge, justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed member of the clergy residing in Connecticut may perform your ceremony.
By law you must deliver the license to the person who will conduct your marriage ceremony before the marriage can be performed.
Connecticut law does not require witnesses. If you are planning a religious ceremony check with your church or synagogue to see if religious tenets require witnesses for your same-sex marriage.
The person who performs the ceremony (officiate) will complete the sections concerning the date, place and officiate information and sign your license. It must then be returned to the town clerk's office where the marriage took place so that your marriage may be officially registered. It is not a complete legal document useful for passports, social security, etc. until it has been recorded in the town clerk's office where it was purchased.
A certified copy can be obtained from the Registrar of Vital Statistics (Town Clerk) of the town where the marriage was performed for a small fee.
Fees are evaluated on an individual basis depending on time required and location. A pre-marriage conference, assistance with the ceremony, and rehearsal fee will be quoted in advance.