The Self-Realization Fellowship Wedding CeremonyThe Self-Realization Fellowship Wedding Ceremony is based on India’s centuries old Vedic marriage rites, and was especially adapted for the West by our founder, Paramahansa Yogananda. The sacred ceremony invokes the blessing of God, and emphasizes that God is the central force guiding the lives of husband and wife for their mutual spiritual unfoldment. The taking of these holy vows with sincerity before God and one another lends strength to the couple’s resolve to base their relationship on the highest principles of marriage.
The CeremonySelf-Realization Fellowship weddings are informal and the order of the service is simple. The entire ceremony takes about thirty minutes. It is very beautiful and inspiring to those being married, as well as their friends and relatives.
The minister leads the opening prayer, then says a few words about marriage. After that, the mutual offering of flowers takes place. The groom offers a red rose to the bride; the bride offers a white rose to the groom. As the partners respectively offer the flowers to each other, each repeats after the minister a pledge of love and devotion to the beloved.
The minister lights incense in a fire urn, explaining the symbology of fire as representing Eternal Spirit, and that it is in this sacred fire of God that the two souls are being united in marriage. Then, the couple together repeat after the minister, phrase by phrase, the Holy Vows of Marriage. These were composed by Paramahansa Yogananda, Guru and Founder of Self-Realization Fellowship.
Then follows the ring ceremony. The bride and groom again affirm their loyalty to each other and formally take each other as husband and wife. The minister pronounces the couple husband and wife and showers them with rose petals as symbols of the blessings of God and the great Gurus of Self-Realization Fellowship.
Following the CeremonyFollowing the ceremony, and before the final pictures are taken, the wedding party (bride, groom, and witnesses) sign the California state marriage license form and the SRF Holy Vows of Marriage certificate.
The minister fills out a standard certificate form (which comes with the marriage license). He gives the commemorative parchment copy of the SRF Holy Vows to the newly married couple, along with the certificate, and retains a record copy. The marriage license is signed by at least one witness (customarily by two); later, after completing the marriage license form, the license is mailed to the appropriate county office.
Planning the CeremonyA) Interview
Before a wedding date can be confirmed, the couple wishing to be married should arrange an appointment for an interview with the minister. This interview is to allow the minister and the couple to get acquainted and to discuss various aspects of the vows together.
At the conclusion of the interview, the temple wedding secretary will contact the couple to discuss the logistics of the ceremony.
To schedule an interview with the minister, please click our Contact Us link or call (818) 543-0800 option 5.
B) Dates and Times
Weddings generally take place on Sundays following the service.
The Sanctuary offers an elegant and sacred atmosphere for weddings. Its high ceilings, stained glass windows and prominent altar create an inspiring background for the occasion. Weddings in the Sanctuary are limited to 500 guests.
The Chapel is ideal for very small wedding ceremonies. It has a seating capacity of 40 people, and offers a more intimate and modest setting.
Weddings are conducted on a donation basis. The suggested donation for a wedding ceremony is $500. Your generosity is very much appreciated.
Only Self-Realization Fellowship ministers may conduct wedding ceremonies at the Glendale Temple. In order to maintain the integrity of purpose established by Paramahansa Yogananda, no changes may be made in the wording of the marriage vows. Self-Realization Fellowship ministers are unable to perform ceremonies off the temple grounds.
What to Bring
The couple brings to the wedding:
(1) Their marriage license: from the state court house (the minister cannot conduct the wedding service unless he has received, prior to the ceremony, a valid license).
(2) Ring (s): one for the bride, and, if it is to be a double-ring ceremony, one for the groom.
(3) Roses: long-stemmed, thorns removed, one red, one white.
(4) One or two witnesses: (usually the best man and the maid-of-honor or bridesmaid). Bride and groom should be dressed in their wedding attire upon arrival at the temple.
(5) Music: if the couple is providing their music on CD.
We wish you the best of luck! Jai Guru!