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 Larry, Thank you so much for the really great job you did at our ceremony – everyone kept telling us how nice it was! I can’t thank you enough for making me laugh and feel at ease during the ceremony. I really needed it! Thanks again for everything, Larry, it was perfect.