Elements of a Wedding Ceremony

The Exchange of Vows and the Giving of Rings are examples. Here is a list of sixteen, and their brief descriptions, given in (loosely) sequential ceremony order.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

Do you want an “unplugged ceremony” or maybe just a reminder about cell phone etiquette? As the guests are settling in to their seats, have your officiant make an announcement. It’s also a good opportunity to test amplification.

PROCESSIONAL

The entrance of the wedding party signals the beginning of the ceremony. Bridesmaids and groomsmen, parents, grandparents, godparents, sponsors, ring bearers, flower bearers, babies in wagons, pets – you decide the entrance order, it’s your (weddng) party!

GREETING

The officiant opens the celebration with introductions and welcomes. Nothing too wordy, just a warm and friendly embrace of family and friends and a thanks for joining the couple.

ESCORT’S SALUTATION

This is the age-old “giving away of the bride”. Many couples choose to include it, but if you prefer a modern take without the traditional connotations, the escort simply gets the honor of accompanying the honoree. Or don’t use it at all.

GRATITUDE RITUAL

You may want to acknowledge parents or other close member of the family with a gesture such as giving of a rose. This represents gratitude for modeling love, for the continued devotion and support of family.

THE COUPLE’S STORY

Sharing the story of how you became a couple is always a fun way to inject the ceremony with a bit of humor. A 2-3 minute story of the chance meeting, the embarrasing moment, the awkward silence, and how the romance blossomed enfolds the guests into your journey as a couple.

REFLECTIONS ON LOVE

What is love? What does commitment mean? Poignant words are given about love and devotion, marriage and commitment. Your officiant gets to be the esteemed counsel, passing on the wisdom of what makes a marriage endure and flourish.

POEMS & READINGS

Add a contemporary flair from famous works to reflect your love in poetic form, or those brilliant philosophical musings about how love is like a pebble or mushroom! If it resonates with you, include a reading or poem to give a literary edge to the ceremony. Maybe even ask a friend to read Shakespeare’s Sonnet #116.

SHOUT OUT

This is a fun, interactive moment when the officiant asks the gathered guests to respond with a loud “I WILL,” when asked if they will continue to support you throughout your marriage, to remain as a community of friends and family.

DECLARATION OF INTENT

Considered to be the most important and legally binding element in a ceremony, this is when the officiant asks the honorees to voluntarily and lucidly declare the intent to marry. Kinda important to know each of you freely choose to be married, and not coerced into it at knife point or royal decree, ala Game of Thrones.

EXCHANGE OF VOWS

Read your personal vows or repeate after the officiant, the exchange of vows are the promises you make to one another, to have and to hold, to honor and to cherish. Want to write your personal vows? Here’s how in Sassy to Sincere, Be You with Your Personal Vows.

GIVING OF RINGS

This ritual traditionally follows the exchange of vows to signify that the promises you made are now sealed. Its infinite circle symbolizes the endless promise of abiding love!

UNITY RITUALS

Cultural or faith based, you may choose to incorporate a unity ritual. Wedwordy has over 10 passages of unity rituals to select and add to your ceremony. Is it right for you? Read about it in Choosing a Meaningful Unity Ritual.

BLESSINGS & PRAYERS

Prayers from the Bible and a Buddhist sensei, blessings from Irish and native American cultures – these nod to your faith and beliefs, and honor family traditions. These passages may appear anywhere in your ceremony, and may even be given to a family member to read.

OFFICIANT’S CHARGE

The officiant gives a short message to the couple about going forth to married life, reminders and affirmations for the couple to ponder.

PRONOUNCEMENT

And finally, the wedding ceremony is concluded with the officiant pronouncing you as newlyweds, partners in life. You get to kiss – yay – count 1-kississippi, 2-kississippi, 3-kississippi in your head to give your photographer ample time to snap a photo and your guests to cheer!

 

Wedwordy makes ALL of these elements available to you in one place, one app. Wedwordy has several passages in each of these elements for you to select as written or edit as you wish. You may even write a completely new passage or paste your own treasured find. And you can omit, add, rearrange elements to fully customize your wedding ceremony script, completely.

 

Photo Credit | Bustle & Twine Photography

 

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