All You Need to Know About the Wedding Ceremony
Your big day has finally arrived! But what should you be expecting for your wedding ceremony exactly besides saying “I do?” and finishing it with a kiss? There are a variety of different ways to put on a wedding ceremony, but let’s go over the standard procedure and then talk about ways to make the wedding ceremony unique for any couple.
The wedding ceremony is conducted by a marriage officiant, an individual who is legally allowed to marry a couple in the U.S. state or country where the ceremony is taking place. The officiant also serves as a witness that the marriage is valid and that all the legal formalities are taken care of. It is fairly easy to become a recognized officiant and perform the duties required at a wedding ceremony, so if you aren’t interested in an officiant belonging to your religion and desire a friend or family member to do it, you can make that happen. Regardless of your choice, make sure he/she is recognized to perform the wedding ceremony duties in that particular U.S. or country before finalizing that decision.
Next is determining the length and style of the ceremony. The average wedding ceremony lasts around 20 minutes. It can be longer, shorter, traditional, non-traditional. There are legally binding statements that must be said in a wedding ceremony, but they vary by U.S. state or country. Besides that, you can incorporate the mood and/or atmosphere you wanted to display with your wedding décor, attire, and save the date invitations into your readings and vows. You only get one shot at this, so make it memorable!
We are now at the Wedding Processional or otherwise known as the beginning of the wedding ceremony. The processional begins when the mothers of the couple being wed take their seats and the processional music begins. Once the mothers are seated, the officiant, groom(s), and best man enter through the side and wait at the altar. Then comes the groomsmen/bridesmaids, ring bearer(s), and the maid of honor. The bride(s) are saved for last, escorted by her father or close male family member, or male friend. This is the traditional order of the wedding processional, but there is no requirement to perform the wedding ceremony in any order, just that certain legally binding statements are made and observed by the officiant. Check your U.S. state or country requirements to make sure the processional will be recognized in the eyes of the law.
After the processional, the readings of literature begin from the couple. This can be a poem, a reading, a story, but ultimately is a symbolic representation of their love and/or the lessons they want their guests to remember from it. To get an idea of classic wedding literature, check the link out here for several examples.
The most critical part of the wedding ceremony is typically held after the readings: the expression of intent. This is the legally mandated mumbo jumbo that ends with you and your bride or groom saying “I do!” or “Yes, forever and forever!”
Fifth is the wedding vows. This is an optional step which can be skipped if you or your bride/groom to be is uncomfortable for any reason. It can be personalized, a standard statement, read by an officiant and repeated, or spoken on your own. This is an opportunity to truly express what makes your love special and why they are your better half.
Coming down the closing stretch, the ceremony of the rings occurs near the end of the ceremony. This is where the ring bearer(s) come into play. The officiant will speak a general statement about the power of love and commitment to an individual, and then you get to slip that beautiful wedding ring you designed on your ring finger and say something along the lines of “With this ring I am wedded to you”.
The last step is the acknowledgement of the officiant and the kiss that follows immediately after.
You are now officially married!!!