John Manuel


Sample Wedding Ceremony - Private



This is an example of a small, private wedding, suitable for use when a larger, more

formal ceremony is to be held elsewhere (often in a foreign country).





A very basic private wedding, with two witnesses and no other guests.

Sarah & Sean stand with John. Judy and George face them, on each side.


Thank you for inviting me to conduct this important ceremony in your lives.  Sarah Elizabeth Clark and Sean Matthew Stanton, you are here to join together in legal marriage in the presence of these two witnesses, Judy Smith and George Allen. You have requested a simple, basic ceremony, so by the authority vested in me by the Province of Ontario, I am pleased to do that for you.

My name is John Manuel.  I am a Humanist Officiant, appointed by the Humanist Association of Canada and licensed by the Province of Ontario to solemnize marriages.  Humanism is a secular philosophy that seeks a better world through the efforts of people.


Sarah/Sean, do you now declare your willingness to enter into this marriage with Sean/Sarah? 

Response (each):  I do.


And do you affirm that you have no knowledge of any reason why you should not be lawfully joined in marriage?


Response (each):  I do.


Will you please join your hands?

Sean/Sarah, do you now take Sarah/Sean as your wife/husband accepting her/him for as your partner for life?  And do you pledge your faithful love and support?

Response:  (each) I do



Sean, will you please place the ring on Sarah?s finger.


Repeat with me:

Sean: Sarah, this ring is a token of my love for you / and a symbol of our marriage today. / Its shape signifies the circle of life / that I now offer you in this marriage. / I promise you everlasting love, consideration and loyalty.


Sarah:  I will wear this ring / as a symbol of my love for you, / and take you into my heart / as my husband.


(Similar promise and acceptance if Sarah gives Sean a ring)

(couple hold hands)



We do not know what the future may bring into your lives as a couple.  But together, I know that you will strive to meet each others needs through all trials.  I wish for you both, patience in times of strain, strength in time of weakness, and courage in time of doubt -- and I wish for you a growing, deepening love to sustain you.

And lastly, perhaps most important of all, I wish for you the hope that you can always keep open the mutual lines of communication ? even difficult communication, to boldly face all difficulties and listen lovingly to each other?s concerns and needs at all times.

I wish for you a long and happy future.



Sarah and Sean, you have spoken your promises to each other and exchanged rings as a sign of your commitment.  And so now, it is with great pleasure by the authority vested in me by the Province of Ontario, that I declare that you have married one another in the presence of these witnesses, and that you are now husband and wife.

You may now share your first kiss as a married couple!

Congratulations, and thank you all for coming today.  I?ll ask the four of you to sign the marriage licence and the register now to have this all officially recorded by the Province of Ontario.

Signing of Marriage License and Register

Final thanks and congratulations

Presentation of Record of Solemnization and other information 


This is a basic, simple marriage format, containing only the basic elements of a wedding.   Other formats are also available.  Each can be expanded upon according to your personal wishes and preferences, using your own resources, and examples I will provide.


Your Wedding ... Your Way



Prepared by

John Manuel, Humanist Officiant

905 432-2468