Wedding Ceremony Samples

Allow Tradition to Dictate Your Wedding Ceremony Format

Many different ingredients are necessary to make a successful wedding ceremony. Dare to vary from this traditional sample format only if you feel confident that it is okay.

First is the bride’s entrance. This is the most anticipated moment of the wedding, as it is the groom’s and the guests’ first time to see the bride in all her splendor. Of course, you don’t have to walk down the aisle to the typical “Here Comes the Bride,” but try to make the entrance as dramatic as possible. As she reaches the altar, the presentation of the bride immediately follows, where the bride is given in marriage by her parents or a close loved one.

Creme and gold ribbon wedding cake.

Next is the introduction and prayer. Here the person leading the ceremony, called the officiant, welcomes the guests and explains the sanctity of the ceremony to follow. In traditional religious ceremonies, everyone then bows their heads in prayer to ask God for His blessing. As an extension of the introduction, the minister or magistrate will often speak about the couple. It is helpful to choose an officiant who knows you personally; that way he or she can offer personal reflection on your relationship.

Next is the declaration of intent by the bride and the groom, best known as the “I do” portion. While saying “I do” is not crucial, it is necessary for the couple to verbally express their willingness to be married. This is followed by the vows, and at this time the two will express in their own words their commitment to each other.

bride and groom at wedding.
Blue aqua wedding cake.

Finally, the rings are exchanged, if this was not done as the vows were spoken, and then the officiant will give a pronouncement to the entire body of witnesses that the two are now officially married. At some point during or after the ceremony, the couple will sign the wedding certificate, meeting the legal requirements of the state in which the ceremony took place.

The lighting of the unity candle, reading of scripture, and singing of songs are common elements, but not required. Use these elements in your own way to personalize the ceremony and to lengthen it if desired.

Bride laying on bed.
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