Across all religions and cultures, wedding blessings and prayers are a time-honored tradition. Weddings celebrate two people becoming one in front of their friends and family, and this new beginning is often consecrated with a blessing bestowed upon the couple to wish them health, happiness, and success in their marriage. These blessings can be religious and appeal to a higher power to protect and lead the newlyweds in faith throughout their marriage, but not always. Sometimes the blessing is simply a few words of well-wishes.
What Is a Wedding Blessing?
A wedding blessing acts as a declaration of approval of the union, especially in cultures where family and community are important. Religious wedding blessings typically appeal to a higher power to watch over the couple and lead them to a long and prosperous marriage.
From inspiring Bible verses to moving, heartfelt prayers, there are many different wedding blessings and prayers to consider on your wedding day. Finding the right words to say to help celebrate and bless this momentous occasion in a couple’s spiritual and personal journeys can be challenging, but whatever words you choose, they should fit the religious and cultural context of the wedding ceremony.
Blessings are typically given during the wedding ceremony, at the reception before dinner, or both. Blessings given during ceremony ask for God’s protection and favor, while blessings given after the ceremony at the reception act as more of a celebration of the new union and prayer of thanks before the meal. A religious leader, like a rabbi or priest, will typically perform the blessing during a religious wedding ceremony. In a non-religious ceremony, a family member or trusted friend will read the blessing.
If your ceremony is religious, there’s likely already a wedding blessing or prayer built into the church service, so be sure to ask the officiant if you’re unsure.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up popular wedding blessings and prayers from a variety of cultures and religions.
Christian Wedding Blessings and Prayers
“May your marriage always bring glory to God, joy to one another and blessings to your family for many generations to come. May love and laughter fill your hearts and your home for all at the days of your lives. May you face every challenge hand-in-hand and side-by-side knowing that with God’s grace, you’ll conquer all obstacles together. May the world be forever a better place because the two of you fell in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
"Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
Jewish Wedding Blessings and Prayers
The Hebrew Wedding Prayer:
Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the Bridegroom joy in his bride.
Song of Solomon:
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely. Set me as a seal upon your heart and seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy cruel as the grave.
It flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
Catholic Wedding Blessings and Prayers
Prayer of St. Francis:
Eternal One, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
“We have gathered here to celebrate the love of [name] and [name]. God has brought them together, and we pray that God will hold them in his love always. As the food we share will strengthen our bodies, may our time together strengthen the love that binds us. Let us pray. Lord God, you sustain all creatures and never cease to give your children the food they need. We bless you for bringing us together in the love that unites us around this table where the food we take strengthens our bodies. We pray that, nourished by your Word, we may grow ever stronger in faith as we strive for the coming of your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.”
-Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers
Hindu Wedding Blessings and Prayers
Lord Ganesha Hindu Wedding Blessing:
To the Holy Son of Shiva and Parvati,
To the remover of all obstacles, Lord Ganesha,
We Petition for Blessings,
To sanctify this ceremony of marriage,
And to bless this marriage in all ways.
You are the speaker.
You are the listener.
You are the giver.
You are the sustainer.
Please protect us from all directions.
Let us listen with our ears to that which is auspicious, adorable one.
Let us perceive with our eyes what is holy.
With strong, stable body and limbs, may we seek divine grace and accept the noble order of all our lives.
O Lord Ganesha, please provide for the welfare of this family.
Guide prosperity and abundance to their door.
Please help them feel your goodness and Divinity within their home.
We place any challenges of married life at your feet
And trust you will always help.
We thank you with all of our hearts.
Muslim Wedding Blessings and Prayers
Wedding Prayer From Al-Fatiha, the Holy Qur’an:
In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Sovereign of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path, the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Wedding Dua for the Bride and Groom:
Oh Allah, bless our marriage and let it be a means for us to become closer to You in love and devotion. Let it be a source of untold blessings, happiness and joy.
Oh Allah, let our marriage be a way for us and our families to enter Jannah.
Ya Allah, protect our marriage from the whisperings of Shaytan. Give us the strength to live together in justice, equity, love and, mercy.
My Lord, let this marriage bring untold blessings to us individually, to our families, and our children Insha Allah.
My Creator, bless us with children who will be a source of great joy and happiness.
Oh Allah, give us the love which you had blessed Muhammad, Allah's Peace and blessings be upon him, and Khadija with, May Allah be pleased with her.
Buddhist Wedding Blessings and Prayers
“Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere. Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind and mild.
Cherish goodwill right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, whatever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving-kind.”
-The Buddhist Scriptures, The Buddha’s Sermon at Rajagaha, Verses 19-22
Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body, speech, and mind.
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other perfectly.
The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings.
-Lama Thubten Yeshe
Nonreligious Wedding Blessings and Prayers
“These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
-Blessings of the Hand, by Unknown
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd."
-Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Scottish Wedding Blessings and Prayers
Scottish Wedding Blessing:
May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.
A thousand welcomes to you with your marriage kerchief,
May you be healthy all your days.
May you be blessed with long life and peace,
May you grow old with goodness, and with riches.
-Rev. Donald MacLeod, minister at Duirinish, Skye, Scotland c. 1760