3 Sample Elopement Ceremonies, updated 8-23-2022

These are three short mini-ceremonies that are just long enough to be personal and meaningful, yet brief – perfect for an elopement. Choose a ceremony as-is, or mix and match readings and words to fit your own relationship. Take a look at the full-size ceremonies and other readings on this site, too, which can be shortened in length to fit your needs. (You might also choose this shorter length text: when it’s going to be 100 degrees and your wedding is in full sun, or when most of your guests are standing, or when you’ll be walking into a mosquito-filled forest.)

Elopement 1: Nice and Short

Welcome Message

We are here today to share with NAME and NAME this very significant moment in their lives as they become a married couple.

Reading

In a marriage, love is more than a feeling, it is an action. Love is the commitment you make to be present in your marriage, demonstrating your love through what you do and what you say. It’s being there for each other every day, “for better or worse, in sickness and health”. It’s also having someone to laugh with, to hug and to snuggle with on cold nights. It’s having someone who will get the inside jokes only the two of you will ever understand. It can be a vulnerability and sharing that is found nowhere else.

Marriage is believing in each other, and cheering each other on in life. It’s someone you know feels the same way about you as you feel about them. Marriage is having a confidant, a partner in crime, and a best friend.

Vows & Rings

As you look at one another, I ask you each to affirm your purpose for being here today:
Do you, NAME take NAME to be your lawfully married husband/wife/partner, to love and respect, and to be loyal to from this day forth?
“I do.”

NAME, as you place the ring on NAME’s finger, please repeat after me:

“I, NAME, want you, NAME, to be my wife/husband/partner.
I promise to care for you,
to trust and respect you,
to share myself with you,
and grow with you,
for as long as we both live.”

Closing

Having shared your vows in the presence of these witnesses, it is my honor to now pronounce you to be officially married. You may kiss. Congratulations!


Elopement 2: Mini Cosmic Love

Welcome Message

An author named Robert Fulghum once said:
We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.

Today we celebrate the marriage of NAME and NAME, who came together as wonderfully weird individuals, and have found a mutual weirdness they call love.

Reading

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once said:
“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.”

You two have created this love and made your lives mean something together.

Sci-Fi Poem (Or other reading)

As inspiration for your future together, I’d like to share a part of a poem titled Scientific Romance by science fiction writer Tim Pratt:

If we were the sole survivors
of a zombie apocalypse
and you were bitten and transformed
into a walking corpse
I wouldn’t even pick up my
assault shotgun,
I’d just let you take a bite
out of me, because I’d rather be
undead forever
with you
than alive alone
without you.

Declaration of Intent

NAME and NAME, as you look at one another, remember that love is not just a word you say, but an action. Love is the commitment you make to be present in your marriage. That means being there for each other each and every day, “for better or worse, in sickness and health”.

With that in mind, I ask:
Do you, NAME and NAME, desire to be partners in marriage? Do you promise to love, comfort, respect and be faithful to each other, for as long as you both live?
“We do.” Or “I do.”

Vows & Rings

NAME, do you have the ring? Place the ring on NAME’s finger, and repeat after me:
“I promise today to be your partner/wife/husband;
to honor, love, and cherish you
with every atom of my being,
through all of life’s adventures.
I want to grow old with you
and help keep the kid in you alive.”

Closing

It is now my honor to pronounce you, NAME and NAME, to be officially married. Congratulations!


Elopement 3: Human-rights theme

Welcome Message

We are here to unite these two people, NAME and NAME, in marriage.

Reading

I would like to share an excerpt from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2015, regarding the essential human right to marry:

“From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage. The lifelong union … always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life. … Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.

“Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

You have, in fact, become a little more than you were before. In the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of your family and friends, your bond is one that is to be treated with respect and seriousness. You have made the choice to be together, and stay together through all that life brings, the large and small issues, happiness, sadness, and every mundane thing that happens in between.

As you look at one another, remember what brought you here. Your love, yes, but also all of the decisions you have made to keep your love growing. You each have come to recognize the value in yourselves and your relationship – that you are both deserving of love and worth the effort that goes into loving each other.

Vows & Rings

So I ask:

Do you, NAME, want NAME to be your lawfully married partner, to love and respect, and to be loyal to from this day forth?
“I do.”

NAME, as you place the ring on NAME’s finger, please repeat after me:
“I, NAME, want you, NAME, to be my husband/wife,
in equal love,
as a partner on my path,
to honor and to cherish
in sorrow and in joy,
from this day forward.”

Closing

Having witnessed your vows with those who are present here, it is my honor to now pronounce you to be officially married. Congratulations!

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