Love, Honor, Cherish. In sickness and in health. These are the phrases from the vows of a Protestant wedding, familiar to most Americans due to its frequent depiction in movies and TV. 


Whether the service is Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, or Lutheran, the processional, the welcome from the minister (“we are gathered here today…”), the vows, the exchange of rings, and the final “you may now kiss the bride” don’t vary much. Leeway in vows, musical choices, and readings depend upon the religion and the minister, but most allow some flexibility. 


The service can be as short as 15 minutes, and can include Holy Communion. Unity candles are a popular tradition but not mandatory. Because marriage is considered holy but not a sacrament, you can usually hold the ceremony outside of a church, and many ministers will co-officiate.         

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