Wedding Minster and Vows - Ceremonies of St John Photo Credit: Crown Images

Wedding Minister & Vows

Choosing an Officiate to perform your wedding vows is an important component of the ceremony.

Pastor Robert Nelson is an ordained Minister allowed to perform wedding ceremonies outside of his church. Future advice from Pastor Nelson, “In my experience, warmth, friendliness, and understanding are the key.”

Our wedding Officiates are licensed by the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands, and have been performing wedding ceremonies on St. John for many years.

If you wish, your Officiate will meet with you a day or two prior to your wedding ceremony. The meeting is held so that the Officiate can get a feel for you as a couple, the connection you share with each other, and what you are looking for from the ceremony and vows. Meeting with you also reduces some of the nervousness that might happen before your wedding day.

Sample Wedding Vows

We offer a variety of wedding ceremonies and vows for you to choose from:

  • Traditional

    Sample Traditional Wedding Ceremony/Service

    Prayer

    Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony.  The Bible teaches that marriage is to be a permanent relationship of one man and one woman freely and totally committed to each other.  Our Lord declared that man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife in the building of a home, and the two shall become one flesh.

    Who gives this woman in marriage?

    I require and charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that love and loyalty alone will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home.  No other human ties are more tender, no other vows are to be kept as sacred, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly father your life will be full of joy, and the home which you are establishing will abide in peace.

    1 Corinthians 13:3-8

    Love is patient, love is kind, love envies no one, is never boastful, not conceited, nor is rude…never selfish, nor quick to take offense.  Love does not insist on its own way. Love keeps no score of wrongs, does not gloat over another’s failings, but delights in the good, the true, the beautiful. There is nothing love cannot face. There is no limit to its faith, its home and its endurance. Love never fails.

    PLEDGE

    Please join right hands.

    _________________ in taking the woman/man whom you hold by the right hand to be your lawful and wedded wife, do you promise to love and cherish her, to honor and sustain her, in sickness and in health, in poverty as in wealth, in the good that may lighten your ways, in the bad that may darken your days, and to be true to her in all things until death alone shall part you?

    I DO.

    Repeat after me

    I _________________ take you, _________________ 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, according to God’s holy word. This is my solemn vow.

    Ring Ceremony
    (Ask for rings)

    The ring is a symbol of the love that you have for each other.  Its unending circle represents the eternal quality of your love. It serves as a ceaseless reminder of this hour and as a seal of the vows you take.

    Repeat after me

    As a pledge and in token of the vows between us made, with this ring I thee wed.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

    Closing

    For as much as _________________and _________________ have consented together in holy wedlock and have witnesses the same before god and this company, and thereto have pledged their faith, each to the other, confirming and sealing their vows by giving and receiving of rings. I, therefore, by the authority of the laws of the Territory of the United States Virgin Islands _________________ do pronounce you husband and wife. What God hast joined together let no man put asunder.

    Benediction

    May the blessing of the Lord rest upon you and the home that you are establishing for all you days and years of your lives. Amen

    You may now kiss the Bride…

    I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. _________________

  • Non-Denominational

    Wedding Vow for Non Denominational or Civil Service

    We are joyfully gathered today to witness and celebrate the joining of two lives in marriage. _________________ and _________________ have invited you to be with them, and to rejoice with them in the making of this important commitment. The essence of this commitment is the honoring of another person in their entirety as life partner, everlasting lover, heart companion and soul friend. It is therefore a decision which is undertaken with great consideration and respect.

    Officiate focuses attention on the present moment.

    _________________ and _________________ have come together in the hope that the love which brought them to this union may go out beyond itself into the lives of others. Thus, we ask that the promise and hopes of this union be realized. May you both be granted the patience to listen, the capacity to understand, the compassion to give comfort, and the joy to laugh and to be yourselves. Let your marriage make a home, where neither person is ever lonely. Let it offer illumination and the excitement of shared discoveries. Let it be large enough to endure the difficult times. May life's challenges bring you closer together and may you always be able to turn to each other.

    _________________ do you take _________________ to be your wife and equal? Will you share your life openly with her and promise to love, honor and stand beside her always, in times of joy and times of conflict?

    _________________ do you take _________________ to be your husband and equal? Will you share your life openly with him and promise to love, honor and stand beside him always, in times of joy and times of conflict?

    A circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth, the universe, of wholeness, perfection, peace and of unity. Like circles, your rings have no beginning and no ending. They are symbols of the growing relationship you have come to celebrate and confirm.

    As a sign of your faithfulness, place the ring on her finger and repeat after me. I take you _________________ as my wife through all of the experience life holds for us, in faith and love.

    As a sign of your faithfulness, place the ring on his finger and repeat after me. I take you _________________ as my husband through all of the experience life holds for us, in faith and love.

    Having heard the vows you have made to each other, witnessed by these loved ones, by the power vested in me by the territorial court of the Virgin Islands, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

    You may now kiss the Bride…

    Family and friends, Mr. And Mrs. _________________.

  • Island

    Island Wedding Ceremony/Service

    Greeting and Convocation

    We are joyfully gathered today to witness and to celebrate the joining of two lives in marriage. _________________ and _________________ have invited you to be with then and to rejoice with them as they make this most important commitment. The essence of this sacred covenant is the accepting and honoring of each other as life partner, everlasting lover, heart companion, and soul friend. It is, therefore, a decision that is entered into with great consideration and respect.
    So let us all take a few moments and bring our full attention into this present moment.

    The Invocation

    It is with reverence and joy that we create this ceremony together. We have come together with the hope that the love which has brought you together will deepen and that it will go out beyond itself into the lives of others. Thus, we ask that the hopes and promises of this union be realized. May you both be granted the patience to listen, the capacity to understand, the compassion to give comfort and the joy to laugh and just to be your Selves. Let your marriage make a home where neither of you is ever lonely. Let your marriage offer illumination and the nourishment of shared experiences. May your union be strong enough to endure the difficult times. May life's challenges not separate you; may you always be able to turn to each other.

    Declaration of Intention

    _________________, do you take _________________ to be your husband? Bride answers "I do". Do you promise to love him, honor him, comfort and keep him in sickness and in health, and be faithful to him as long as you both shall live? "I do". Officiate addresses the groom as above.

    The Exchange of Vows

    I, _________________ take you _________________ to be my wife. I promise to be your loving and faithful husband. I will love, honor, and respect you on a daily basis. I will keep my heart open to you through all of our life's challenges. From this moment on, I am blessed by you being my life's partner and I promise to cherish you and be kind. Officiate addresses the groom as above.

    The Exchange of Rings

    The wedding ring is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual union. The ring is a symbol of the commitment you are making to each other. “May I have the wedding rings, please?” Your rings are sacred circles. A circle is the symbol of wholeness, peace, and unity. As circles, your rings have no beginning and no ending. They are the symbols of this growing relationship you have come here to celebrate and confirm. You wear them with the blessing that you have a partner in life and that you are each other's life partner. As a sign of your love for and faithfulness to each other, place the ring his/her finger and repeat after me, “With this ring, I thee wed, and with all that I am, I honor you.”

    Having heard the vows you have just made with each other, made by the sun, sand and sea of St John, witnessed by these loved ones, by the power invested in me the by the United States Virgin Islands, I now pronounce you husband and wife,

    Our Wedding Blessing

    May your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. May the radiance of the promise you bring to each other never diminish even as the ocean around us. Go now in joy and live in present moment with gratitude as you create you future together.

    You may now kiss the Bride…

    Mr. and Mrs. _________________

  • Vow Renewals

    Vow Renewal Ceremony/Service

    Greeting and Convocation

    Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the presence of these friends to share with _________________ and _________________ in their renewing of their sacred marriage vows.  The bible teaches that marriage is to be a permanent relationship of one man and one woman totally committed to each other.

    I require and charge you both as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that love and loyalty alone will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home.  No other human ties are more tender, shall be kept more sacred, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, your lives will be full of joy, and the home which you have established shall abide in peace.

    Today _________________ and _________________ will be renewing the eternal pledge and commitment of their marriage vows, but it is the years to come that will give special meaning to this commitment.  Your pledges, given with love today are like seeds that need love's care to survive tomorrow.  Is it your intention to give your pledges the care that they shall require to survive?  In this spirit of love and trust I ask you to now turn and face each other, take each other by the right hand, and say in turn after me the following pledge.

    I HUSBAND, promise you WIFE, to express my love to you in all ways possible, to share in your pleasure and in your pain, and to let you share in my own.  I promise to help you and to comfort you, to trust you and to desire your best.  I promise that with my heart, and with my mind and with my body, I will honor and cherish you, all the days of my life, as if each day was the first day of our love.

    I - WIFE, promise you HUSBAND, to express my love for you in all ways possible, to share in your pleasure and in your pain, and to let you share in my own.  I promise that with my heart, and with my mind, and with my body, I will honor and cherish you, all the days of my life, as if each day was the first of our love.

    Ceremony of Giving

    As you look upon these rings from day to day, may they be to you the symbols of warmth and understanding and of strong devoted love.

    I _________________ give you _________________ this ring as a symbol of our eternal friendship and my abiding love for you.  I promise to be faithful to you and to honor you always.

    I _________________ give you _________________ this ring as a symbol of our eternal friendship and my abiding love for you.  I promise to be faithful to you and to honor you always.

    The Art of Marriage

    Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.  A good marriage must be created.  In the art of marriage the little things are, indeed, the big things.  It is never being too old to hold hands.  It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once each day.  It is never going to sleep angry.  It is at no time taking each other for granted.  The courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.  It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.  It is standing together to face the trials of the world.  It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.  It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.  It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.  It is not expecting the husband to wear halo, or the wife to have the wings of an angel.  It is not looking for perfection in each other.  It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humor.  It is having the capacity to forgive and to forget.  It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.  It is finding room for the things of the spirit.  It is a common search for the good and the beautiful in life.
    It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, the dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.  It is not marrying the right partner, is being that right partner.

    Closing Statement

    In as much as _________________ and _________________ have renewed their marriage vows, before God and these friends, I do now as a Minister of God, ask His kind blessings for them and their families.  May your eternal bond grow stronger, and your years together abide in peace and harmony upon the earth.  May God bless you.

    You may now kiss your Wife…

Or create your own vows that best complement your personality.