Symbolic Wedding Ceremony – Marriage Blessing Service

Symbolic wedding ceremony mixed race couple holding hands

Looking for a symbolic wedding ceremony script sample? A symbolic wedding ceremony is a lovely marriage blessing service for couples who want an extra special day abroad by doing something different! You can plan a traditional, modern, relaxed or unstructured marriage celebration. The service is performed by a pastor, an ordained minister, wedding official, family member or friend. Yet, planning one of the most important stages of your life can be a struggle like a puzzle. So, putting all the pieces together is a challenge.

Let me explain, symbolic wedding blessing ceremonies are non-legal ceremonies. A destination wedding is without the legalities of marriage. It’s a symbolic show of your love story and reflects the need for couples to move away from standard church weddings. And if you can’t meet the marriage legal requirements or the residency rules of the country where you wish to celebrate your wedding. Where do you to find an authorised or non-authorised wedding venue? There’s a lot of stuff to deal with, set up and plan. You might feel overwhelmed.

But don’t despair, planning a symbolic wedding blessing service can be a doddle. Did you know that many couples have no religious faith? In fact, a symbolic wedding blessing ceremonies are fun, exciting and enjoyable. From trying wedding outfits, tasting the food samples, choosing the flowers and picking the right celebrant or friend to officiate. There’s much in store for you, like including personal vows, your favorite songs, poetry, religious elements, or pagan rituals. So, here to help with the groundwork is a symbolic wedding blessing ceremony planning guide and checklist to help you through the process. Read on.

A Guide to a Marriage Blessing &  Symbolic Wedding Ceremony Script

symbolic wedding blessing ceremony ordained minister

“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” Anja & Sam got married! Ketelhuis Strijp-S, Eindhoven  |

Legalities of symbolic wedding ceremony

You can plan a separate legal wedding ceremony before a symbolic one. Whether you want a lively, rustic, industrial, classy chic, festival or nautical themed event. A symbolic wedding blessing ceremony is not a legally reconisged marriage ceremony. So, you can have a destination wedding and invite family and friends. Many couples overcome legalities and choose to get married in their country of residence prior to going abroad.

Sort out the the legal paperwork

However, if you want to legally marry and thereafter hold a secular wedding ceremony you must give one calendar month notice to the municipality, where you reside – non-applicable for residents of Holland. On top of that, you may have to give the Dutch official your preferred secular wedding ceremony date too. Inform the council or town hall who you would like to officiate or designate a temporary celebrant for one day.

Get your official documents checked

Getting married is a pivotal moment in ones life. So, if you are a Dutch resident/citizen, you will need evidence of date and place of birth from official sources (eg. Birth Certificate, Passport). And if this is your second or third marriage, you must provide proof of dissolution from an official source, [divorce papers]. Plus you give free and informed consent to be wed.

Book the wedding venue

With an explosive demand and rush on beautiful wedding venues due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many venues are fully booked until 2023/2024. So, don’t feel  stuck with no ideas, take advantage of the free time. Double check your entourage: wedding planner, hair and make-up specialist and florist is available. Research possible wedding venues now!

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony mixed race couple holding hands

Non-religious wedding blessings are without the trappings of typical weddings. The type of wedding speech context should be about speaking in public ~to family and friends. Marcelo Chagas

How long does a wedding ceremony last?

As a general rule of thumb a secular wedding ceremony (ceremonieel huwelijk) usually lasts between 30 – 60 minutes. It’s an integral part of the planning process. The non-religious ritual symbolises unity and never ending cycle. It has no legal value, so your ceremony script can be relaxed and an informal personal narrative of your histories. It allows you to share your celebration of love with family and friends.

Do you have to arrange official marriage attendee?

Look I don’t wish to burst your bubble or rush you. But, if you want a family or friend to carry out your legal marriage service in Holland, know this. An official civil marriage celebrant/officiant/registrar from the municipality is present to record the wedding ceremony. Additionally, this ensures your symbolic marriage is legally binding, in accordance with marriage  law.

What about an official civil marriage celebrant?

Notably, legalised civil marriage ceremonies can take place before or after symbolic wedding ceremonies. Perhaps you want to complete paperwork during the non-denominational wedding or celebration of marriage. Then, you will need an authorised Dutch council official to attend [charges will be incurred].

Secular wedding ceremony

Symbolic wedding ceremonies are morally but not legally binding marriage (blessing) services. It’s a celebration of love!  pexels olya kobruseva

What are the fees for a symbolic wedding ceremony?

The Dutch official’s attendance fee is to ensure the marriage is legal and performed in a dignified fashion. Alongside wedding vows, the signature and witnesses signing of the certificate this legalises your marriage. The costs guarantee that you are legally married. Thus, your non-denominational officiant, celebrant or friend can deliver the fun part of the nuptials without legal liabilities.

Who do you appoint to officiate the symbolic wedding ceremony?

An integral part of a symbolic wedding ceremony is a celebrant who is representative of your beliefs and shares your approach to life. With their never ending support, this professional creates a script, reads the room and performs the speech. They tell your love history in great detail. So, use these key steps and get planning with your personal officiant now…

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony planning gay couple holding hands

Hans & Eric on their wedding day. Rewriting the rules of matrimony is a great experience!

Symbolic wedding ceremony rituals

Additionally, a symbolic wedding ceremony is a non-religious blessing service bursting with meaning. You are free to marry where they want, when they want and how they like it! It takes place before or after your civil marriage ceremony. In fact, it’s a series of events that reflect who you are. So, your officiant can incorporate symbolic wedding rituals.

The symbolic wedding ceremony officiant / celebrant

Your chosen officiant/celebrant (Dutch, English or another nationality) has a special gift, and an edge on the job. Why? Because you’ve chosen someone who echoes your strong personal beliefs, traditions, and future hopes. Let them show others how much you are committed to one another.

ordained minister

Symbolic wedding ceremonies are the modern equivalent to traditional white church weddings. Do you know how much you want to spend on the big event? 

The symbolic wedding ceremony speech

Give your officiant/celebrant this prepared script / speech to carry out your ceremonial marriage blessing with ease. Imagine guests saying this about your wedding. “The Symbolic Wedding Speech: had us laughing out with tears of joy out of our chairs. The officiant killed it with their calm, confidence and considerate manner.”

Witnesses to sign marriage certificate

A symbolic wedding blessing ceremony is complete with witnesses. Your witnesses (mum, dad, sibling or best friend) celebrate your happiness and joy. Above all, your witnesses minimum 2 and maximum 4 (or more) can sign a symbolic marriage certificate during or afterward the ceremony.


Besides your mum and dad, the following people can marry you and guide your through the process. Unfortunately, not all of us are gifted with performing symbolic wedding ceremonies and composing marriage blessing services. So, to help out I’ve also included a symbolic wedding ceremony script, to get you on your way. 

Interfaith Minister for symbolic wedding ceremonies

Interfaith Officiants are trained in world religions and inter-spirituality, and can assist people in identifying their own spiritual beliefs through a process of spiritual self-discovery. Source:

Symbolic wedding ceremony celebrant 

Celebrant officiates your symbolic wedding ceremony, as well. NOTE: NO religious wording may be used (but who is to know?) A bespoke-written speech assist them. It’s unique, beautiful, and personalised. The marriage service can be performed where, when and how you want anywhere in the world.

Humanist – symbolic wedding ceremony

Humanists’ celebrants focus on humanism and the loving relationship of two human beings. Another thing, the symbolic wedding blessing ceremony incorporates non-religious readings, your favorite music, and  tokens of love.

Marriage Officiant – symbolic wedding ceremony 

And there’s more….a symbolic marriage officiant  mirrors your true feelings for one another. In fact, you compose your own non-religious and non-binding marriage script. The appointed officiant writes a speech for your big moment. But, if you have no time, energy or money to do that.

Master of symbolic wedding ceremonies

A master of ceremonies can be your friend, family member or a toastmaster. In a special way they can officiate your informal wedding without formality. You design it for someone special to carry out your ceremonial marriage blessing. Use my symbolic wedding ceremony script, below.

Officiating the symbolic wedding ceremony

To summarise: a destination wedding is complete with a symbolic wedding ceremony. Officiated by a celebrant, your mum, dad or best friend. In Holland, you can have them sworn in and authorised to marry you (officially). And no previous training or experience is required. You can create and officiate the marriage blessing service from scratch. Finally, the secular marriage celebration can be held any time, at any place and anywhere you choose. You reveal what is important about the two of you.

 gay wedding

Symbolic wedding ceremony script:gives couples with an own individual style the opportunity to marry. LGBTQ+ wedding terms inspired by Destify. com

Welcome song

From classic, gospel, pop, soul to your favorite indie band. You can play a special song to get the happy couple and guests in the mood to party!

Opening words and introduction

We warmly welcome you all to ‘location name’. The music we heard was…. (remember to thank the musicians). This splendid venue steeped in history is the ideal backdrop for a beautiful couple or nearlywed. Hence, it’s the perfect setting to get married.

My name is ……. I am the master-of-ceremonies, who has the pleasure of conducting this marriage ceremony, which has great significance for us all.


But, first, we want you to be fully present with us during the ceremony. So, I’d kindly like to ask you to put your mobile phones on silent mode (no pictures are allowed). And don’t worry, we’ve got photography covered. Our photographer is…………….

We promise we’ll share all the professional photos with you later.

Secondly, I’d like to check that I have the right wedding couple before me. And that our witnesses are here.  

Partner 1:

Partner 2:

1st Witness:

2nd Witness:

non-traditional wedding speech brown wedding couple

Symbolic wedding ceremony script  Alyssa Swedick – Pexels

Welcome to the family and friends’ speech

Acknowledge all of the wedding couple’s family and friends. Let them know how important their presence is. Honour deceased family members and remember absent loved ones (optional).

We have gathered today to unite the couple in marriage. And to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments. We are here to acknowledge a powerful bond and love that already exists between them.

The wedding couple wish to confirm their union of love publicly. They desire to share this treasured moment with the ones they cherish and love the most.

This happy and memorable occasion is possible because of the presence of all of you.

 (To the family and friends)

 So, let’s start with another warm welcome to the witnesses…….

Partner 1 choose….because

Partner 2 choose…because.

Next, we have …..through every milestone they have been there and now on the biggest day of their lives.

The couple are delighted that …. are their witnesses and can celebrate with them their love and joy. Today, on behalf of the happy couple, you are ready to sign their lives away and say, “yes, they do!”

A million thanks for being part of today, because of your presence we can all witness and participate in this memorable and joyous occasion!

We also wish to commemorate the memory of those who are not able to be with us today. However, they are in our hearts and our thoughts are with them. And we know they are here with us in spirit.

Dear couple,

(a message about the meaning of marriage)

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 welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

By Rumi

ordained minister

Symbolic wedding ceremony script:Burgundy Productions

Guest readings

(This is the perfect time to slot in a beautiful, fun, non-religious passage, reading or quote about love.)

The Love Story of the Couples Life So Far

A personalised speech adds an extra spark to the spirit of the occasion and highlights the gender-inclusive wedding. Mention the date on which the couple met, the proposal, engagement and what makes their relationship tick.

(To the family and friends)

On ……date …….and… at…..from that day on they couldn’t leave without each other. They’d formed a real connection. Soulmates since………….,

Now they want to set things in motion to build a solid home foundation and join the two everyone together. They want to create a safe place for their children (optional) by extending the family and friend’s tree.

The truth is they are on the same playing field, playing the same game. Like chalk and cheese. They respect each other’s weaknesses and strengths.  In fact, they are supportive of one another needs, adore and trust each other. Kindred spirits and the perfect match made in heaven.

mixed race couple holding hands

As a remembrance of the secular wedding day, create intentional moments of meaning, use jokes and words of love. pexels ethan macadicious

 Personal gender-neutral marriage vows & official wedding vows

(To the couple)

Before the official vows the couple can speak their personal vows and promises of love to one another.

Partner 1: please share your personal vows with your partner

Partner 2: please share you personal vows with your partner


There are two options for the pronouncement of the married couple. Hereunder is option 1 and option 2 you will find at the end of the non-religious wedding script.

(To the couple)

Now hold hands and answer the following, to each other.

Today, before your adoring family and friends you declare to cherish, love, and care for one another for the rest of your lives.

Partner 1 ….

Do you take xxxx to be your spouse / wedded partner for life / wife? To have and to hold from this day forward. For better for worse, for richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. To love, cherish and to shelter them for as long as you both shall live?

What is your answer? Yes, I do 

Partner 2 do you take xxxx to be your spouse / wedded partner for life / husband. To have and to hold from this day forward. For better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. To love, cherish and to shelter them for as long as you both shall live?

What is your answer? Yes, I do

I (celebrant/officiant) now pronounce you ‘partners in love’,  ‘married’ or ‘man/wife’.


I now pronounce you partner & partner.


Partner 1, you may know kiss partner 2.


You may now celebrate your love. 

same-sex wedding ceremony

Brianna Amick – Pexels

 Exchanging of rings

 (To the couple)

With the love you feel in your hearts, you want to seal your vows by exchanging wedding rings. These precious rings are an ancient symbol of eternal devotion, a sign of oneness, and the unbroken circle of love.


[please come forward]

Partner 1 please take the ring from ring bearer and, place the ring on partner 2 left hand and repeat after me (master-of-ceremonies). 

Partner 1 choose you partner 2, above all others, to be my partner for life. I give you this ring as a token of my love and join my life to yours forever.

Partner 2 please take the ring from ring bearer and, place the ring partner 1 left hand and repeat after me (master-of-ceremonies).

Partner 2 choose you partner 1, above all others, to be my partner for life. I give you this ring as a token of my love and join my life to yours forever.

With these rings you have pledged yourselves to a lifetime of helping, sharing and caring for one another. May these rings be a treasured reminder these glad promises you have made today.


(To the couple and witnesses)

Happy couple please step forward and sign the symbolic marriage certificate.

I would like to invite the witnesses’, ……. to come forward.

[the couple witnesses, and celebrant all sign the symbolic marriage certificate.]

Signing Song

[The signature moment is quite, so make it memorable with a song]


 (To the couple, family and friends)

Today on ……DATE…., we wish the happy couple…NAME…, a good start to their new journey. The road is full of bumps, twist and bends. Give them the strength, courage and love to face the challenges.

(To the couple)

I (celebrant/officiant) now pronounce you ‘partners in love’ or  ‘married.


I now pronounce you partner & partner.


Partner 1, you may know kiss partner 2.


You may now celebrate your love. 

 Closing remarks/last song

With this final act, the couples’ marriage becomes morally binding in the eyes of us all.


 (To the family and friends)

With great joy and happiness, I declare that the newlyweds on one voyage. And are committed to their marriage, long-term companionship and a beautiful shared life together.

Let me present to you the happy newlyweds ………

END OF CEREMONY (non-religious wedding script sample)

wedding blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples

Secular wedding ceremony celebrant describes couples key values, moral beliefs and recites their love back to them. Olya Kobruseva – Pexels

For a complete version of this symbolic wedding ceremony script (without pictures). Please fill in the comment box below.

Symbolic wedding ceremony script


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Over to you…….

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About Clover Jean: I'm a London, UK celebrant based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Officiating weddings, renewal of marriage vows and naming ceremonies is my passion. My guilty pleasures are singing with my Gospel & Soul choir, fine dining, travel hot spots and on-line retail therapy. What's yours? Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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