How Weddings Work: The Charge

Many couples are confused when I mention The Charge. It stems from a traditional American ceremony. Historically, the wording goes, “Let me charge you both to remember that a happy marriage is found in mutual support…” and then goes on to mention several actions, emotions, and beliefs that aid in a long and happy relationship. Some couples choose not to have a formal Charge, instead opting for a short homily or Words of Wisdom, especially if you’ve just had a reading or prayer.

The focus of The Charge is to bring you both into NOW, giving you one last moment to decide if this major life step is right. More often, however, it brings your minds back to the present, to this significant moment in your lives – something you will not want to forget due to anxiety or emotion.

The Charge helps to define what Marriage is to you, and express that to your guests. It also makes a nice buffer between a prayer or reading, and what comes next – the start of the heart of the ceremony, the “I Do’s,” or Intent.