The opening is usually a greeting to guests, combined with some sentiment of the occasion - either generic or more personal. In some weddings, the opening is directed to the couple rather than the guests, and the focus of the opening is more along the lines of inspiration to the couple, for the commitment they make.
"Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of ________________ and _____________________ in marriage. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband/wife/married partners."
"Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of ____________________________ and _________________________ in marriage. Through their time together, they have come to realize that their personal dreams, hopes, and goals are more attainable and more meaningful through the combined effort and mutual support provided in love, commitment, and family; and so they have decided to live together as ____ and ____.”
"To all present I say: We are gathered here, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is! We do not create this marriage, because we cannot. We can and do, however, celebrate with __________ and ___________ the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives, and the commitment they make today."
"Family and friends, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the joining of ____________________________ and _______________________________ in marriage. With love and commitment, they have decided to live their lives together as ____ and ____."
"Welcome everyone. ____________ and ___________ have chosen you, those special and important to them, to witness and celebrate the beginning of their life together. Today, as we create this marriage, we also create a new bond and new sense of family - one that will undoubtedly include all who are present here today."
"We are here today to join _________ and __________ in a life of mutual commitment. It is fitting and appropriate that you, the family and friends of __________ and _________, be here to witness and to participate in their union. For the ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which they bring to their life together had their roots in the love and friendship and guidance you have given them. The union of two people makes us aware of the changes wrought by time. But the new relationship will continue to draw much of its beauty and meaning from the intimate associations of their past."
"________ and _________, today you are surrounded by your friends and family, all of whom have gathered here to witness your marriage and to share in the joy of this special occasion. Today, as you join yourselves in marriage, there is a vast and unknown future stretching out before you. The possibilities and potentials of your married life are great; and now falls upon your shoulders the task of choosing your values and making real your dreams. Through your commitment to each other, may you grow and nurture a love that makes both of you better people, a love that continues to give you great joy, and also a passion for living that provides you with energy and patience to face the responsibilities of life."
"___________ and _____________ - Today you enter as individuals, but you will leave here as husband/wife/married partners blending your lives, expanding your family ties, and embarking upon the grandest adventure of human interaction. The story of your life together is still yours to write. All those present have come to witness and celebrate your love and commitment this day - eager to be a part of the story not yet told."