Buddhist-Inspired Wedding Ideas

Earlier today, I was speaking with a bride who said that she and her fiancé were drawn to Buddhism, but she didn’t know how that might be reflected in the ceremony.  My mind started racing!   I offered her a host of ideas including the Buddhist-Inspired Vows and Homily shown below.  Such a beautiful way to express one’s philosophical and spiritual orientation in a modern wedding ceremony.

Buddhist Inspired Vows

(Bride/Groom) and (Bride/Groom), do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity?

“We Do.”

Recognizing that the external conditions in life will not always be smooth and that internally your own minds and emotions will sometimes get stuck in negativity, do you pledge to serve all these circumstances as a challenge to help you grow, to open your hearts, to accept yourselves, and each other, and to generate compassion for others who are suffering?  Do you pledge to avoid becoming narrow, closed, or opinionated and to help each other to see various sides of situations?

“We Do.”

Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us.  Do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other, and all living beings, to examine your own minds continually and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?

“We Do.”

Do you pledge to preserve and enrich your affection for each other, and to share it with all beings?  To take the loving feelings you have for one another and your vision of each other’s potential and inner beauty as an example and rather than spiraling inwards and becoming self- absorbed, to radiate this love outwards to all beings?

“We Do.”

When it comes time to part, do you pledge to look back at your time together with joy—joy that you met and shared what you have—and acceptance that we cannot hold on to anything forever?

“We Do.”

Do you pledge to remember the disadvantages of ignorance, anger and clinging attachment, to apply antidotes when these arise in your minds, and to remember the kindness of all other beings and your connection to them?  Do you pledge to work for the welfare of others, with all your compassion, wisdom, and skill?

“We Do.”

Do you pledge to work to develop the wisdom understanding the relative functioning nature of things and the wisdom knowing their deeper way of existence—that they are empty of inherent existence? And to remember the laws of cause and effect?

“We Do.”

Do you pledge day to day, to be patient with yourselves and others, knowing that change comes slowly and gradually, and to seek the inspiration from your teachers and not to become discouraged?

“We Do.”

Do you pledge to continuously strife to remember your own Buddha nature, as well as the Buddha nature, of all living beings?  To maintain the awareness that all things are temporary, and to remain optimistic that you can achieve your greatest potential and lasting happiness?

“We Do.”

Buddhist Homily

Nothing happens to of this man and woman has not come about accidentally but is the foreordained result of many past lives.  This tie can therefore not be broken or dissolved.

In the future, happy occasions will come as surely as the morning.  Difficult times will come as surely as joyously, meditate according to the Buddhist tradition.  When things go badly, meditate.  Meditation in the manner of the Compassionate Buddha will guide your life.

To say the words “love and compassion” is easy.  But to accept that love and compassion are build perseverance is not easy.  Your marriage will be firm and lasting if you remember this.

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