The wedding reception is the first opportunity for the newlyweds to appear in front of their friends and families as a married couple. They celebrate the coming together of their community in a day filled with laughter, dancing, and enjoyment.
Prayers for grace in the wedding reception is an opportunity to ask for blessings to come the newlyweds’ way. Prayers of grace can be found in religious texts, traditional blessings, secular prayers, and even excerpts from poems.
The list below contains a variety of prayers for grace that you can use for a wedding reception. You may also use it as inspiration to come up with your own prayer.
Best Prayers for Grace at Wedding Reception
1. Wedding Meal Prayer (by Holly Parmer)
God our Father and Lord of all Creation:
We gather here now to celebrate the love and commitment of (name) and (name), as they share their first meal together as husband and wife.
We thank You for giving Your Holy blessing today upon their marriage, and ask that You continue to bless them with Your love and mercy throughout their lives together.
Let this be the first of many loving meals shared together with their family and friends, and blessed by Your amazing grace.
And with (name) and (name), as we are their family, friends, and loved ones gathered here in Your presence, we ask for Your Holy blessing upon this meal as together we say:
Bless us, oh Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty; through Christ our Lord, Amen.
2. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, 13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
3. An excerpt from “On Love” (a poem by Kahlil Gibran)
When you love you should not say,
“God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own under-standing of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
4. Grace for a Wedding Reception (by April Yamasaki)
O God, the great Creator of this beautiful setting and all that is, the Lord of life and love, we give you thanks for all of your goodness:
- for the abundance of food this evening,
- the abundance of family and friends, and
- the abundance of laughter and love.
We pray that this meal might be a time to nourish our bodies and nourish strong relationships.
We pray for (name) and (name) that the love they share today would flourish and grow.
May they continue in your joy and strength.
May they bless their families as they have been blessed by them.
And may all of us who participate in this celebration, carry your joy and love with us as we move forward.
For you are the Source and Ground of all beings. Amen.
5. Dinner Prayer
Thank you for family and friends
Thank you for times like these
Where we can gather together,
Share in food, drink and relax.
Please bless this meal, and all that it means.
May the food nourish us,
And the fellowship enrich our lives.
Most of all, may we always invite you into our homes,
And into our hearts.
6. May the Road Rise Up to Meet You (traditional Irish blessing)
May the road rise up to meet you.
And the wind be on your back.
May the sun shine warm upon you;
And the rain fall gently down,
May God hold you, ever hold you,
May god hold you in the palm of His hand.
7. Secular Prayer
Ground and source of all life, we stop and recall with gratitude the gift of life. We are grateful for the love of (name) and (name) parents, who raised them from childhood with care and concern, bringing them to this day. We are grateful for the example of (name) and (name) love in their new commitment to one another. We express our gratitude to those who grew and harvested the food we will share today, those who prepared it and those who will serve it. We are grateful also to the wind and the rain, the sun and the earth, who provide not only this meal but all of our life on this planet. Let us take a moment of silence now in gratitude for life. (pause)
8. Wedding Prayer (a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson)
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.
9. Blessing for the Food (Traditional Hebrew Blessing)
For the Bread (Hamotzi)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
For Grains (Mezonot)
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates varieties of nourishment.
For Wine and Grape Juice (Hagafen)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
For Fruits (Ha’eitz)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.
For Vegetables (Ha’adamah)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the ground.
For All Other Foods Such as Fish, Meat, and Poultry (Shehakol)
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, at whose word all came to be.
10. Thank You, Creator
Thank you, Creator, for bringing (name) and (name) together in such a happy way. We ask the Universe to bless this couple and their future together. May happiness and joy be a hallmark of their relationship. As they explore their love for each other, establish a home, and build a life together, may they be strengthened by the love and encouragement of those gathered here today. If times get hard, may they remember the commitment they made today and the joy that brought them together. Help them to learn from one another and grow strong as both individuals and a couple. May the food we eat now bring strength to us, and may we all enjoy this time of celebration and friendship. Amen.
11. Bless Our Wonderful Meal
Lord God, Creator of the universe, we have gathered here around this dinner table to celebrate the love and commitment that have united (name) and (name), in a wonderful bond of marriage. Bless our wonderful meal, and bless the happy couple for a wonderful life together.
12. How Wonderful it is to Celebrate Love
How wonderful it is to celebrate the love, friendship and union of this lovely couple.
We pray that they would know your love, your protection and your blessing in their lives.
Bless this food to our bodies as we eat now.
Come fill our hearts with thanks for your goodness, provision and kindness.
How to Write Your Own Wedding Reception Prayer
The person to pray for grace during a wedding reception is decided by the couple. While it is common for the officiant to be the one to pray, the couple can also choose a close relative such as a parent or a close friend.
Being chosen to pray during the wedding reception is an honor; it means the couple trusts you. As such, the one praying must be sincere and wholehearted in their wishes for the newlyweds.
Essentially, prayers for grace in wedding receptions are a way to wish the newlyweds a happy and blessed marriage. Writing your own prayer can be challenging, but it is perfectly fine to take inspiration from or use existing ones from religious texts, traditional blessings, secular prayers, and pieces of literature.
Additionally, there are a few elements that should be included when writing your own wedding reception prayer:
- Asking God (or the deity in the couple’s religion) for blessings for the newlyweds
- Thanking and blessing the guests for attending
- Thanking God for the food
- Praising God
Tips to Make Writing Prayers Easier
Start Writing as Early as Possible
To give yourself ample time to practice and revise, start drafting the prayer as early as two weeks before the wedding reception. Starting early can also allow you to write everything you want to say and say it in the best way possible.
Include a Quick Introduction
Many opt for a short anecdote that illustrates their relationship with the newlyweds. You may include some jokes or humor, though sparingly and nothing too inappropriate.
Make it Short
Prayers are generally on the shorter side, give or take a few minutes. It is best to focus on the couple and ask God to grant them a blessed life as newlyweds.
Although it sounds clichéd, a prayer for grace must come from the heart. Be honest and wholehearted. What are the blessings you would want to come the newlyweds’ way? How about the guests’ way?
Write it Down
On a piece of paper or your Notes app, write the prayer you have constructed. You may also use index cards and jot down key points. This will make it easier for you to recite it in front of the reception.
You have the option to memorize the prayer, but it is likely that you might forget something or skip a line. You might also end up using a lot of filler words such as “like” or “um.”
If you want, you can write the prayer on a nice piece of paper and give it to the newlyweds as memorabilia for their wedding.
Practice in Front of Someone
Gather some of your friends or family and practice the prayer in front of them. Especially for people with anxiety, this can be a great way to simulate an audience setting but with people you know.
Allowing people to hear your prayer as a work-in-progress can help you improve your draft. They can offer constructive criticism about certain aspects of the prayer, such as the word choice and the length, and also about the delivery itself.