The order of a wedding ceremony is typically driven by some religious or cultural tradition. If there is a particular cultural tradition or religious reflection that you wish in your ceremony, we can follow that order. However, today, most couples do whatever they like. The problem is that many couples do not know what to do. My job is to impart knowledge and give feedback based on many years of experience and training. Since we create a custom ceremony, the different elements can be ordered differently based on the flow of the ceremony. For example, a reading may be more appropriate in a place other than where it might traditionally be found.
Below you will see ONE example of the order of a ceremony with a short description of each element. Please note that nothing is written in stone. We can be as creative and non-traditional as you like and I will make sure that as a whole, the ceremony flows well. It is your wedding ceremony…it is your decision. Please also note that all elements listed below are optional. There are no requirements other than vows and pronouncement. It is an example:
The seating can begin (accompanied by music) with honored guests, sponsors, grandparents, and parents, recognizing the importance they have in your lives. The wedding party follows, (Groom, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, Ring Bearer, and flower girl etc. Guests are asked to stand, Bride enters (accompanied by Father, Step-Father, Uncle, Mother etc) or alone. There are numerous variations.
Minister will welcome and thank everyone for sharing this day with you and state why we are here.
We can also acknowledge those who could not be here today---those who have passed and those who could not make the trip due to illness or distance. A candle can be lit, roses placed in memory.
SHORT POETRY OR VERSE READING
A reader is asked to share a short poem or verse setting the stage.
(Selected Readings & Verses -- Click "CONFIRMED WEDDINGS" Password required.)
INVOCATION / PRAYER
A short paragraph asking God/Spirit/Ancestors to be with us and bless this place and this time we share. It is a time to create a sacred space even though we are not in a synagogue, church or temple. We acknowledge the presence of Spirit everywhere.
Some couples choose to involve their parents in their ceremony by thanking them for all their love and support and asking for their blessing. We can also combine this element with other elements that will take place later in the ceremony. For example, we can thank the mothers with a rose, or (as a show of support for their decision) to light the side candles of your unity candle.
Usually poetry, verses or readings about love that a family member or friend reads.
(Selected Readings & Verses -- Click on the "CONFIRMED WEDDINGS" link on the left. Password required.)
A brief dialogue on the topic or your choice…marriage, love, family, friendship.
VOWS AND RING EXCHANGE
We can be very creative with this section. It can take on many different tones and expressions depending on how we use various options. One part of this element can be the intent, (Do you take).
Another is the personal paragraph that you can write to each other stating how you feel about each other—typically read from a card. This may sound harder than it is and I am here to assist you. Or you can state your promises to each other by repeating phrases after me. To help with custom vows, I can provide you with many types of examples including the traditional as well as custom written. You are not on your own with this unless you want to be. The ring exchange is another element that can be custom written or traditional. This can include ring symbolism and meanings.
(Click on the "CONFIRMED WEDDINGS" link on the left for selections of Intent, Wedding Vows, Ring Symbolism and the Ring Exchange. Password required.)
RITUAL REPRESENTING YOUR UNION OR FAMILY BLENDING
This is an act or tie that is performed by the couple, such as the unity candle lighting, sand ceremony, stone casting, hand fasting, signing marriage license, children recognition or vows. Family Blending Ceremony for couples that are bringing in children to the marriage.
Now that you are married we speak about togetherness or ask God and / or everyone present to bestow their blessing upon you as someone reads a traditional prayer or civil-type paragraph that says what we all wish for you both.
(Click on the "CONFIRMED WEDDINGS" link on the left for Departing Blessings. Password required.)
I announce that all those present including the State in which you are married acknowledge that you are now husband and wife. THE KISS
You turn around and face the guests and I announce, introduce and ask the guests to greet you both (please advice the minister to use the version of name you wish) for the first time as husband and wife. Everyone claps, upbeat music is played. You exit.
Bridal party follows you out in reverse order, followed by parents, minister, and the rest of guests.
THE ABOVE IS A BASIC GUIDELINE--YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE AS YOU WISH.
For those who have confirmed their wedding date with us, please click on the "CONFIRMED WEDDINGS" link on the left for detailed possibilities. (Password required.)