A compilation from the Bahá’í Writings
And when He desired to manifest grace and beneficence to men, and to set the world in order, He revealed observances and created laws; among them He established the law of marriage, made it as a fortress for well-being and salvation, and enjoined it upon us in that which was sent down out of the heaven of sanctity in His Most Holy Book. He saith, great is His glory: “Marry, O people, that from you may appear he who will remember Me amongst My servants; this is one of My commandments unto you; obey it as an assistance to yourselves.”
Bahá’í marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their mutual attachment of mind and heart. Each must, however, exercise the utmost care to become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other, that the binding covenant between them may be a tie that will endure forever. Their purpose must be this: to become loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity….
The true marriage of Bahá’ís is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God. This is Bahá’í marriage.
As We desired to bring about love and friendship and the unity of the people, therefore We made it conditional upon the consent of the parents also, that enmity and ill-feeling might be avoided.
Bahá’u’lláh has clearly stated the consent of all living parents is required for a Bahá’í marriage. This applies whether the parents are Bahá’ís or non-Bahá’ís, divorced for years or not. This great law He has laid down to strengthen the social fabric, to knit closer the ties of the home, to place a certain gratitude and respect in the hearts of the children for those who have given them life and sent their souls out on the eternal journey towards their Creator.
Our beloved Guardian made it clear that it was the responsibility of the Bahá’í body performing the marriage ceremony to confirm without question the fact that the living natural parents of the two individuals who are being married have given their consent to the marriage. It is preferable that this consent be given in writing, but if this is not possible, or inadvisable for some reason, verbal consent in the presence of witnesses is sufficient.
The only requirement, however, is that the bride and groom, before two witnesses, must state “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.” These two witnesses may be chosen by the couple or by the Spiritual Assembly, but must in any case be acceptable to the Assembly… The witnesses can be any two trustworthy people whose testimony is acceptable to the Spiritual Assembly under whose jurisdiction the marriage is performed.
The only compulsory part of a Bahá’í wedding is the pledge of marriage, the phrase to be spoken separately by the Bride and Bridegroom in turn, in the presence of Assembly witnesses.
… there is no ritual, according to the Aqdas, and the Guardian is very anxious that none should be introduced at present and no general forms accepted. He believes this ceremony should be as simple as possible, the parties using the words ordained by Bahá’u’lláh, and excerpts from the writings and prayers being read if desired. There should be no commingling of the old forms with the new and simple one of Bahá’u’lláh…
When two Bahá’ís are marrying, the wedding ceremony should not be held in the place of worship of another religion, nor should the forms of the marriage of other religions be added to the simple Bahá’í ceremony.
When a Bahá’í is marrying a non-Bahá’í, and the religious wedding ceremony of the non-Bahá’í partner is to be held in addition to the Bahá’í ceremony, both ceremonies may, if requested, be held in the place of worship of the other religion provided that:
When a Bahá’í marriage ceremony takes place, there is no individual, strictly speaking, who “performs” it — no Bahá’í equivalent to a minister of the Church. The couple themselves perform the ceremony by each saying, in the presence of at least two witnesses, the prescribed verse “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.” This ceremony is performed under the authority of a Spiritual Assembly which has the responsibility for ensuring that the various requirements of Bahá’í Law, such as obtaining the consent of the parents, are met, to whom the witnesses must be acceptable, and which issues the marriage certificate.