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Wedding Planning > Q & A

Wedding Planning: Declaration of Intent

Answers to your most important wedding planning questions

What is the declaration of intent and where does it go on a program. also do we have to have a biblical reading?

The declaration of intent is sometimes called the charge to the couple.  Not all ministers use it.  Basically, it is a time when the minister says something like, "Matthew, is it your intention to take Monika as your wife...."  The bride is asked the same question.  The couple then say "I do" and then the minister goes on with either the sermonette or the vows, depending on the denomination involved.  The declaration usually occurs early in the service so that, if one person said "I don't," the service would conclude at that point.  It is a rather old fashioned term that was used to be sure that the couple were marrying of their own free will.

Here is a few examples of a declaration of intent:

This declaration can be one of the key parts of the wedding and could be considered to be part of the vows or promises. Notice the language focuses on what you "will", not on what you "do". This is very deliberate. It is meant to remind you that your "Will" is key to your relationship.

Normally it is after the declaration that the "blessing of the families" (or the "giving away") is done. The vows then follow.

STYLE ONE (traditional)
- Name -, will you have this woman to be your wife?
- Rx - I will.

- Name -, will you have this man to be your husband?
- Rx - I will.

STYLE TWO (personalized)
- Name - will you take - Name - to be your wife?
- Rx - I will.

- Name - will you take - Name - to be husband?
- Rx - I will.

STYLE THREE (reformed)
- Name -, will you have - Name - to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor her and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others remain loyal to her as long as you both shall live?

- Rx - I Will

- Name - , will you have - Name - to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others remain loyal to him as long as you both shall live?

- Rx - I will.

You don't have to have a Biblical reading unless your minister insists on it.  Denominations vary in their requirements.  If you are marrying in a Catholic church, you will be expected to have at least one reading, perhaps two.



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