The decision to join another person in the contract of marriage is life altering, life enhancing, life affirming, and in most cases, lifelong!! Creating a ceremony to reflect your intentions as a couple is where the modern-day Wedding Officiant can play a unique role. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the privilege of being present when two people begin this sacred journey.
Traditional, Contemporary, or Simple Wedding Ceremony
A majority of the ceremonies I perform fall somewhere between a traditional ceremony and simple ceremony. There is also the Contemporary ceremony which reflects a more modern approach to the traditional style of weddings. The two "legal" elements required of all ceremonies are the "I Do's" and the Pronouncement of Marriage between two people. This forms the basis of your simple ceremony.
Traditional Ceremonies include anywhere from 8 - 10 elements, listed here as follows:
* Welcome/Opening Statement
* Opening Blessing
* Declaration of Intent
* Ring Blessing/Exchange
* Pronouncement of Marriage
* The Kiss
* Presentation of the Couple
For each of these elements there are a myriad of choices in content and wording, which I will provide in sample scripts. Most couples are most actively involved in deciding on the wording for their vows, many choosing to write their own vows to share with each other. I will also provide samples of vows most commonly used by couples who elect to not write their own vows. It is the most personal aspect of your ceremony.
Most ceremonies will take anywhere from 5 minutes (Simplest) to 25 minutes (traditional with all the elements). The time of year and day, as well as location, may be a factor in determining the length of ceremony you desire. For example, in the heat of the summer months at the 5:00 hour in an outdoor setting, you may want to keep the ceremony on the shorter side to prevent overheating! You get the idea!
Spiritual vs. Non-Spiritual Ceremony
If you are choosing a Wedding Officiant for your big day, it is most likely because you are not wanting a religious event in a church or house of worship. But you may identify with a certain Spiritual practice or have a Religious affiliation, and want to have the symbols of those woven into your ceremony, such as acknowledging God's presence.
For those that are not wanting a Spiritual or Religious component in their ceremony, your choice is honored and welcomed, and the ceremony is designed with that in mind. All paths are honored!
In addition to the 2 key decisions previously mentioned, there are additional decisions to be made for the ceremony which I am listing here for your consideration:
- Including Music at certain parts of the ceremony, perhaps having a friend or family member perform a special song
- Special Readings from Poetry, Literature, or Religious/Spiritual Texts
- Special traditions
* Candle lighting
* Hand fasting
* Sand Ceremony
* Rose Ceremony
* Butterfly Release
* Breaking of the Glass
* Wine Ceremony
* Invoking the Four Directions
* Foot Washing Ceremony
If you have a special tradition you want to incorporate on your special day, please mention this on the contact form and I will include this in the sample ceremony script.
Please take a moment to fill out the contact info form and send to me, and I will happily reply so we can set up a phone call to discuss ideas.
Deciding on what elements to include in your ceremony takes some time and patience. There are different tools available, and I've included a link here to play with designing your unique script. This online script generator will give you the basics for your ceremony. Working with me, we can modify and enhance certain elements of the wedding script, in particular the wedding vows and I Do's ! This online script generator is a fun way to get started ! Enjoy!