Drafting a Unique Wedding Ceremony

Processional / Entrance

  1. The procession can be led by the Marriage Commissioner, followed by the groom and his groomsmen. (There are ceremonies where the groom follows the groomsmen)

  2. The grandparents and parents who are not giving the bride away are led to their seats.

  3. The bridesmaids

  4. The flower children and ring bearer

 

The final person to enter is the bride, who may be escorted by one or both parents, a relative, a friend or may simply arrive by herself and have the groom take steps forward to meet and escort her to the alter.

 

Welcome Address

We begin the ceremony by welcoming everyone, to the wedding.  We can establish the story of why everyone is here and what will take place.  We can say why you as the Bride and Groom chose the place of the ceremony, on this day or season....

Or you can add something about your love for each other, and what made you decide to marry.

Select each heading for samples of readings, blessings and rituals

Opening Blessing / Moment of Silence

After the welcome, the officiant often makes an invocation, calling forth a spiritual presence to the wedding, or setting this time apart from other times.  If the wedding is religious, you might use a prayer.  If not, a moment of silence can help people bring all their attention to the ceremony.

Rituals and Readings

From this point on in the wedding ceremony, several opportunities present themselves for rituals or readings.  A ritual is how you as a couple symbolically demostrates the start of your new life together. 

For a reading, a wedding guest or a member of the wedding party can stand and read a short piece that is wise or romantic, thought provoking, spiritual or funny.  A reading will flavor the tone of your ceremony.  If your wedding combines two faiths or cultures, you may wish to have faith or culture represented by a reading.

 

A twenty-five minute ceremony might involve two shorter readings and a ritual.

  Please keep the environment in mind what considering a ritual; a candle ritual can be effected in an outdoor ceremony if the wind picks up,  or in a small space with lots of bridal dress!

Honoring of Family Members

This is the time when you as a couple might like to express appreciation on your behalf to everyone who traveled so far to be there, and to acknowledge anyone absent who is important to you.... a relative who is ill, or could not travel, a beloved deceased relative or friend. 

 

You can honor our parents by including them in the procession, or by presenting flowers.  You can also honor someone you love by including them in a ritual or blessing.

 

The Celebrant's Address (Personal Address to the Bride and Groom

This is the time that I, as your celebrant, speak to you.  The address is our opportunity to speak about marriage and love.  It is brief and will be created with inpiration and love.

 

The adddress can be written by the wedding couple if prefered and there is also the option of having someone close to you, write the address on your behalf...someone who would feel honored.

The Celebrant's Address (Personal Address to the Bride and Groom)

This is the time that I, as your celebrant, speak to you.  The address is our opportunity to speak about marriage and love.  It is brief and will be created with inpiration and love.

 

The adddress can be written by the wedding couple if prefered and there is also the option of having someone close to you, write the address on your behalf...someone who would feel honored.

Prayer (optional)

Prayer can be conveyed with music or ritual

A request for something particular, or for a blessing, it can express gratitude or good wishes, or simply be a way of saying "Hello God, I am here".

Prayer may be formal, casual, traditional.

You can have your celebrant read a prayer or a honored member.

Declaration of Intent

Before all your guests you are officially declaring your intention to wed and the ceremony

 

One way to dedicate this moment is to have you, the bride and groom,  read a piece to each other before the declaration, perhaps a love letter or a note of appreciation that you would write beforehand.   Seven to ten lines is great!

Ritual (optional)

Here is room for a ritual

As an example:  Hand fasting/Hand wrapping

A sand ceremony, a wine ceremony, The Lord's Prayer, Circling the sacred fire ( hindu ritual), Circling (jewish element), Jumping the broom ( african, european and celtic traditions), hand washing (native element), Honey tasting (persian element),

Silent Prayer (optional)

Here , I as the celebrant, hold your hands in silent prayer.

We can also ask parents and children from former marriages to come forward and join in the blessing.

 

The vows, the exhange of rings & the pronouncement

Vows:  You have the option of writing your own vows

Here are options for Vows

 

Blessing and exchange of the rings:  It is customary but not absolutely necessary to exchange rings.  As celebrant, you have the option of having the rings blessed and a few words spoken about the symbolism of the rings.  You can also provide the words you would like to hear.

 

Here are options for the Exchange of the Rings

Here are options for Blessing of the Rings

 

Signing of the Registration of Marriage and the Marriage Licence

The Bride and Groom, and their legal witnesses will precede to the place of signing and sign in the order indicated. As each signs there is normally opportunity made for a couple of informal pictures to be taken.

During the ceremony the Registration of Marriage must be completed with the Bride and Groom and two witnesses (over the age of 18) . 

Pronouncement

You turn towards your celebrant where you are officially declared to all present that you are now officially husband and wife.

The Kiss

It helps to practice the kiss in the days and weeks before the wedding.  If you don't do it right the first time, try, try again

Closing Blessing

A message of support for you, the couple.

The Recessional

After the kiss, the bride turns to her maid (matron) of honor to retrieve her bouquet, and then she will take her husband's hand or arm as together you step into your new life together.

 

It is a good idea to coordinate beforehand with the musicians / music the precise moment the music should begin.  You don't want it to start immediately after the kiss if you are choosing a Ritual or Closing Blessing.

 

As husband and wife you start the recessional, I will then motion to the wedding party to come together and recess up the aisle after you.  Then I will motion to the first -row families that they can rise and follow.  (Traditionally the Bride's family rises first).

 

Some couples prefer to be alone for a few minutes, or you may have agreed to gather with family and the wedding party for photograps.  If you would like I can advise the guests what will happen next and where they can find refreshments.