Need a prayer for the start or end of a wedding? Looking for a prayer to begin a wedding reception?
These six strong prayers will help you to begin a wedding ceremony, or close one out, as well as begin or end a wedding reception, or rehearsal dinner.
Usually in a wedding ceremony, the officiant, typically a pastor or priest, handles all of the details, including the prayers. But sometimes the bride or groom may ask a friend or family member to say a prayer at some point in their wedding. You may be that friend or family member!
What do you do? You realize that you can’t simply stand up and wing it, or pray something off the cuff. This is a public event and likely being filmed or live streamed over the internet. You have to put forth your best effort and honor the bride and groom on their special day.
You may want to talk with them to find out if they have anything specific they want mentioned in the prayer, but usually it will be up to you. The prayers below are for you to use for this purpose. You can easily transform each prayer for whatever part of the wedding celebration for which you are praying. You are welcome to use these prayers as they are, or as a starting point to give you the proper context to pray.
The wise writer of Proverbs reminds us, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice” (Proverbs 27.9, NIV). Your prayer will have the same effect at the rehearsal, the wedding, or the reception, especially when you prepare and pray from your heart.
If you’ve never prayed in public before, then do yourself a favor and print out the prayer you need from what’s offered here. Alter it as you need and then practice speaking it out loud. You’re doing more than just reading the words, you are inviting God to be a part of the moment.
Practice saying it out loud until it sounds natural coming out of your mouth. This will also help you become familiar with what you are praying. Take your time and speak clearly. You have been asked to pray so the bride and groom clearly trust you. Receive that with confidence. As it is a celebration of love and relationships, let your wedding prayer be one of rejoicing and positivity.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19.7, NIV).
It may help to recall that you are but one part among many throughout the whole wedding weekend. Do your part well, empowered by the Spirit of God.
Prayer for the Start of Rehearsal Dinner
Dear God, I thank you for (bride and groom names) and for this gathering of their family and friends. Thank you for a smooth rehearsal as we look forward to the big event tomorrow. And now, as we prepare to eat this delicious meal, I echo the words of an anonymous writer:
Bless the food before us, the family and friends beside us, and the love between us all, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Prayer for the End of Rehearsal Dinner
Dear Lord, we give you thanks now for a wonderful meal, delightful fellowship and conversation, and a good amount of laughter tonight. As we depart for the night, I ask that you give us all restful and renewing sleep, so that we may awaken to your love in the morning.
I pray for (bride and groom), that you calm their nerves and rid their minds of any worries about the ceremony tomorrow. All the planning is done and they can simply enjoy the wedding as they speak their vows of love to one another. I ask for all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer for Beginning a Wedding
God our Father, we are gathered here today to watch and witness the marriage ceremony of (bride and groom names). Some have traveled great distances to be here, or made other sacrifices in order to be present at this wedding and give their encouragement.
We give you thanks for the support of the families of (bride and groom). They wouldn’t be here if not for them. As we start this wedding in your name and with your presence among us, Lord, we are reminded of the love of Jesus Christ. Unite their lives and their love through Jesus, for it is in his name we pray, Amen.
Prayer for the Closing of a Wedding
Lord Jesus, we celebrate the joining together of (bride and groom) in marriage today. May you be glorified in all that was said and prayed and sung today. All of us gathered here ask your blessing upon their marriage and their new life together. May they be bound by you and guided by you in all they do and say. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Prayer for Opening a Wedding Reception
Jesus, we pause now before you to ask your blessing on this wedding reception. The ceremony is complete and (bride and groom) are now officially married! Let us now celebrate with joy the wedding itself, and the beginning of married life for them both. Thank you Lord for this newly married couple!
We give you thanks for every person here and their generosity and support. May you bless the food we are about to eat, and the people who prepared it and serve it to us. With your presence here, we ask for all to be safe tonight as we celebrate new love and new life! In the name of Jesus, who is Love, Amen.
Prayer for the End of a Wedding Reception
Lord God, what a wonderful day we have had together. We saw the love of (bride and groom) officially recognized and they are legally married! We saw friends and family uniting to provide a foundation of encouragement and confidence for the newlyweds. We saw tears of joy and enjoyed hugs of healing in the midst of a ceremony of love.
And now, as we close the evening and prepare to depart to return home, I ask for your blessing. May you grant us safe travel, whether near or far. Upon us all, I pray the ancient blessing: May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn his face toward you, and give you peace. Amen.
Praying in front of other people is slightly less nerve-wracking than speaking in public only because most everyone will have their heads bowed and their eyes closed. You’ll likely be speaking into a microphone so you’ll want to become familiar with praying and not moving your hands around as you hold the mic.
Rehearsing and going over the prayer several times the week prior will be key for you. For the sake of the bride and groom, don’t wait until the last minute to begin to prepare for this moment. Accept the responsibility and work accordingly.
These prayers are here for you. We understand how hard it is to pray generally, not knowing what to say to God. When you add in extra concerns like a wedding, and your friends, and you’ll be praying in public, we know you can become overwhelmed.
Let these prayers be your safety net. Allow the gift of this website to work in your favor. You may never have to pray at a wedding weekend ever again. But you may know someone who will and you can now direct them here, so they can be helped like you were.
Remember that when you pray, you are asking God to bless what is happening, which can bring joy to all who hear your prayer.
“The cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15.5, NIV).
Also remember that while you are nervous about praying for some aspect of the wedding or celebration, most people are focused on the bride and groom. You want to make sure attention is not on you, and you can best do that by doing a good job for the task you were asked to do–praying.
If you’re prepared and speak clearly, the moment you were so anxious about will soon pass and the most that someone will mention will probably be something like, “You did a good job with the prayer, short and to the point.” You’re not a part of the ceremony or celebration to win accolades but to honor the married couple and focus people on God as you pray.
Pray one of these prayers and let God take care of the rest. You’ll have a more enjoyable experience and so will everyone else. Soon enough, you’ll be wishing them a happy wedding anniversary via prayer too.
We invite you to share your own personal prayer requests down below in the comments section, as you feel led to do so.