Wedding Ceremony Basics

When we meet, I will show you a copy of a wedding ceremony that we can use as a starting point to design your wedding ceremony. Many couples use my ceremony as it is. Some choose to make changes or additions to it.

Based on my many years as a wedding officiant, I believe that my ceremony speaks to many couples who come to me. The ceremony is my prayer for the couple. It is what I want for you. Typically, the only difference between a civil, religious, or spiritual wedding ceremony is the inclusion or exclusion of the parts listed below and the wording of each part used. Whether you choose to include all parts, or just a few, I pace the ceremony to last about 30 minutes.

Basic Parts of a Wedding Ceremony

  • The Presenting of the Couple (Often by their Families)
  • Opening Words
  • Words of Welcome
  • Prayer
  • Words on Love or Marriage
  • The Hand Ceremony, which beautifully speaks about aspects of your commitment and your newly formed family
  • The Giving of Your Word
  • Vows
  • Support from Family and Friends
  • The Exchange of Rings
  • Wedding Blessing
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • Benediction
  • And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you for the first time…

Optional Inclusions

  • Roses to Mothers
  • Unity Candle
  • Readings, either Religious or Secular
  • Music/Songs
  • Breaking of the Glass
  • Jumping the Broom
  • Children Ceremony – I believe that when people with children marry, they are making a commitment not only to
    each other but also to the children. If either of you has children, this part of the ceremony acknowledges those children as part of your union – your family.

Whatever you choose for your wedding ceremony, I believe that what is most important is that it is the expression of your love for – and commitment to – one another.

What Others Have Said:

Dear Reverend Goyda: Andy and I wanted to say thank you so much for everything you did to make our wedding day so very special. We appreciate the time you devoted to us, and most of all, for joining us together as man and wife so that we may begin our lives together as one unit. Your words during our ceremony encompass all we believe in as individuals and as a couple. We truly appreciate your support and dedication.