A wedding is a joyous occasion where friends and family gather to celebrate love. Often, there is a wide range of religious diversity amongst family and friends. Choosing a non-denominational prayer to offer before the meal is served is a way to be inclusive of all the wedding guests' religious beliefs, while taking time to give thanks for the meal in an individual way.
A Prayer of Thanks
To begin your prayer, start with thanksgiving for the meal that is about to be eaten. "We are thankful for this food we are about to eat." or "We are thankful for this meal" both work well. There is no need to open the prayer addressing "God" or any other deity. A non-denominational prayer of thanksgiving allows guests to give thanks in their own way. End the prayer with thanks for the new couple (insert their names into the prayer).
A General Blessing
Pray a general blessing over the food, guests and end with blessing the new couple. There is no need to address "God" or any specific deity; use the word "bless" or "blessing" as a generic term. Start the prayer with, "Bless this food we are about to eat. Bless the hands that prepared this food. Bless this new couple (or insert their names) as they begin their lives together." End the prayer with: "Thank you for these blessings, amen."
Thanksgiving and Blessing Prayer
Use a combination of thanksgiving and blessing in your prayer. Start the prayer with thanks. "Thank you for this meal and the hands that prepared it. Thank you for this joyous occasion to celebrate the love of **_(bride's name) and** _(groom's name)." Conclude the prayer with a blessing: "Bless this food to our bodies, and we pray a special blessing over the new couple as they begin their lives together."
A Moment of Silence
A moment of silence before the wedding meal allows guests to offer a prayer of thanks in their own way. Have the Master of Ceremonies announce a moment of silence before the meal is served. Have him stand near the head table and bow his head to lead the moment of silence. After about 30 seconds, have the Master of Ceremonies raise his head and announce how the food will be served (buffet style or plate serving).
Amy Kuncaitis has been writing since 2005. She is the author of "Joy in the Morning" and writes for various online publications on topics ranging from self-sustaining living to practical everyday solutions. Kuncaitis attended Grace Bible College, where she studied social work and music.
Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty Images