The Charge to the Couple is a reminder to the Bride and Groom that they are declaring before God (in religious ceremonies), one another, and those assembled, that they recognize the importance of their pledge, and are committed to honor it for the rest of their lives. 

For each selection in this section, we provide alternatives to match the kind of ceremony you're looking for. For example, within the major categories of Secular, Spiritual, and Religious, we provide Traditional, Modern, and Romantic selections from which you can choose. Secular selections have no references to God or any specific deities, while Spiritual and Religious selections may mention God, spirituality, specific deities, or some combination of those topics. 

The Charge to the Couple is an Element that you can add to the Classic Ceremonies. Please remember that you can use these selections "as is" or change the wording in whatever way you wish to better suit your ceremony. Also, at the bottom of the page we provide links to other selections from around the web. Feel free to visit and choose wording from those links as well.

1. _______________ and _______________, 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.
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.

2. Seeing that no moment is without meaning, no undertaking is without significance, no individual is of such quality as to be diminished by even so important an enterprise as marriage, we ask that you both, together and as your irreplaceable and special selves, be honored and expanded by the promises you are about to make, the marriage you are about to create. And may love, that destiny above all destinies, be always in your midst, the handmaid and the master of your marriage.

3. ________________ and ________________, your marriage is intended to join you for life in a relationship so intimate and personal that it will change your whole being. It offers you the hope, and indeed the promise, of a love that is true and mature. To attain such love you will have to commit yourselves to each other freely and gladly for the sake of a richer and deeper life together. Let God be your guide and helper. ________________ and ________________ you have made it known that you want to be joined in marriage, and no one has shown any valid reason why you may not. If either of you know any lawful impediment why you should not be married you are now to declare it.

4. ________________ and ________________, I call to your attention the seriousness of the decision which you have made and the covenant you are about to declare before God and these guests. Be very clear that your marriage is dependent upon your willingness to be faithful to each other and faithful to your understanding of God's will for you. Unfaithfulness in either is a betrayal of your covenant. Constant and continuous obedience to your vow will result in a marriage which will be blessed, a home which will be a place of peace, and a relationship in which you both grow in love.

5. Enfolded in joy, inhabited by hope, bathed in the infinite spectrum of light that is love, may you be always infused with it and beautifully illuminated by it.
May every desire you have for your love be fulfilled, and may you be given the vision with which to clearly behold one another, the listening with which to perceive one another most genuinely, and the endless generosity of spirit with which to nourish one another's soul and sweetly keep the promises you make here today.

6. I require and charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, before whom the secrets of all hearts are disclosed, that, having duly considered the holy covenant you are about to make, you do now declare before this company, your pledge of faith, each to the other. Be well assured that if these solemn vows be kept inviolate, as God's word demands, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, God will bless your marriage, will grant you fulfillment in it, and will establish your home in peace.

7. I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God's word, you do now confess it.

8. Dear God, look mercifully upon your children, _______________ and _______________, and be generous with them, so that in the unfolding veils of time, they may truly stand for one another as emblems of the incarnation of your love. Give them a sense of joy, excitement, possibility, and challenge about what they are undertaking here, the ever-unfolding and beautiful work of refining their spirits in the presence of each other's witness, of becoming the bearers of your love.
And knowing that this is a high and often difficult work - that its rewards are uncommon, invisible often, in ordinary day-to-day life, we pray for them the benediction of company, the encouragement of witnesses, the boundless joy of living always in the midst of love.
Give them peace of heart and strength of spirit so they may honor the vows they make here today. And may the promises they make inspire and instruct each one of us who celebrates with them. Amen.

4 Ways of Conducting the Wedding Ceremony Charge to the Couple
Charge to Bride and Groom