So you’re getting married and have the date and venue secured! Best wishes and congratulations – finding the right person is the most important part. And once the date and venue are set you can start focusing on how to CELEBRATE – pre-wedding parties, festivities, wedding ceremony, reception and of course, the honeymoon.
The Wedding Ceremony
When it comes to the ceremony, the good news is you can start working on it at any point as it is not contingent on any other vendors, timelines, etc. Even if you’ve attended wedding ceremonies or stood up for one in the past, you may not have a clue where to start.
Here are a few things to think about:
Your wedding ceremony is about the bond between you and your partner. Think about how you view your relationship as it relates to your values, your beliefs and your plans for the future. Then add in your family and friends, because at the end of the day, the ceremony is a dance between the two of you and the people who cared enough to be here to witness your vows and celebrate with you.
What does this mean? Think about weddings you’ve attended. What do you remember? Was it the emotion between the couple or on the faces of the wedding party? What it “the dress” or what everyone was wearing? Did you have fun? Was it entertaining or was there an element of surprise? Did something funny happen?
How will you make your ceremony unforgettable – for both you and your partner and for your family and friends?
Here is some basic information and typical ceremony parts (and optional ones) that you can put your personal stamp upon in more ways than one:
- The wedding ceremony, if outdoors, usually lasts 15-25 minutes – beach weddings on the shorter side. If you are having a religious service in or outside of a church or temple, it will last longer (sometimes much) depending on the religious elements/rituals.
- The wedding officiant is the person who performs the ceremony and also is the legal witness for the state in which the ceremony is held (US only). In Florida, ministers and notary publics have the authority to marry couples. He/she is also may also do the following: provide you with sample ceremony scripts/readings/traditions/ideas, coordinate the ceremony flow and/or rehearsal, help you write your vows and personalize your ceremony, offer premarital counseling. The wedding officiant, if not a family friend, most often charges a fee for their service(s).
- Ceremonies are usually timed by when it is optimal for photos and/or around the party/reception. Think about whether you want to see your partner before the ceremony, if sunset photos are important, or if you are planning around a meal, etc.
Parts of The Ceremony
- This is the part where the wedding party walks down the aisle and takes their places for the ceremony
- Wedding Officiant’s Opening Remarks
- Wedding Officiant’s Address to the Couple
- Declaration of Consent/Exchange of Vows
- Ring Exchange
- Pronouncement of Marriage
- The Kiss
- Closing Remarks
- Optional Elements
- Props, Décor, Signs
If you click on or research any of the above bullets, you will find ways to make your ceremony your own and certainly unforgettable! See our other blog posts for fun ideas, specific traditions and more…