This sample ceremonies page lists and describes the typical wedding ceremony parts that Lance uses, when asked to use one (otherwise Lance speaks without notes and experience). Generally , the only difference between a civil, religious, or spiritual wedding ceremony is the wording of each ceremony part used. But most use the same order of parts.
Whether all parts are included, or just a few, I pace the ceremony to last about 25 minutes. Do not plan your ceremony thinking it is how many words that determines how long it takes. The length of time is driven by the pace at which the officiant presents the material. Again, 95% of the ceremonies take Lance about 25 minutes from procession to recessional.
Different Ceremony Types
Listed in order from religious to non-religious.
- Traditional American Ceremony (aka Traditional Christian Ceremony)
- Contemporary Christian Ceremony
- Religion Non-Specific Ceremony
- Catholic Wedding Ceremony (Lite: 35- 40 minutes long)
- Filipino Catholic Wedding Ceremony (including Filipino Traditions)
- Hand Fasting Ceremony
- Short Marriage Ceremony
- Middle Ages Wedding Ceremony
There are modifications that can be made to each ceremony such at:
- Table ceremonies for the Turkish tradition
- Bi or tri lingual ceremonies where everything is translated into many languages as the ceremony progresses
- Inclusion of Orthodox triple phrases and other traditional parts
- Addition of dates and honey or salt and bread for Muslim or Lithuanian traditions
Sample Wedding Marriage Vows
- Contemporary Wedding Vow
- Traditional Wedding Vow
- Short Marriage Vow
- Spiritual Wedding Vow
- Simple Vow
- Including Children
- The sharing of a cup of wine
- Bride & Groom First Communion/Eucharist (Symbolic)
- Jumping the Broom
- Breaking of the Glass
Basic Parts of a Wedding Ceremony
Not all parts will apply in every ceremony
This how you get the minister, wedding party and parents to the front. My preferred style is for the minister to come in first followed by those groomsmen not escorting, then groomsmen that have someone to escort like parents or grandparents who are seated during procession, then groom with his parent(s), then ring bearer, bride’s maid individually, flower girl, bell ringer, then bride.
- Giving of the Bride
- Moment of Remembrance for those deceased or not able to attend.
- Pledge of Support by parents
- Parents/Sponsors Involvement
This may be accomplished with the mothers lighting unity candle tapers, receiving flowers from the bride and groom during a mini-parent greeting, or sand preparation for a sand ceremony. This is when the minister talks about the important of parents getting us to this day.
- Cording & Veil
This is a Pacific rim and South American tradition where the sponsors, Godparents, or mothers pin a veil to the couple then place a cord over their heads. A Blessing is invoked then the cord and veil are removed in opposite order.
- Reading #1
- Recognition of Parents
Before we go on to say more about love, it is important to recognize from where love comes in our lives. Of course, someone first loved Bride and Groom. Someone cared for them as children, showed them what love, compassion, kindness, and care is. Of course we are speaking of the parents. The work of our parents is critical in preparing us to be the loving adults we are, so today, Bride and Groom want to make special recognition of their parents today, for making today possible. I speak for everyone here when we say “Thank You mom’s and dad’s for beginning in Groom and Bride something so special. (Now Bride and Groom present flowers to their parents)
- Words on Love or Marriage
- Blessing of Rings
- Exchange of Rings & Vows
- Reading #2
- Charge to the Couple/Affirmation of Love
A prayer can be done religiously or a spoken blessing from a guest, parent, or sponsor.
- Couple Unity Activity
The couple can light a unity candle, complete the sand ceremony, or drink from a chalice. The drinking of wine or pseudo-wine can be done in a religious, spiritual, or earthy way. No matter what activity is used, its the couples first formal act as husband and wife.
- Joining of the Children
This is where brides and grooms have an opportunity to include their children in the ceremony. This may include a blessing, exchange of vows of commitment of care, and exchange of gifts, medallions, or rings.
- Sharing of Cup of Wine
Bridal-couple-only Communion/Eucharist (see above)
- Nuptial Blessing
- Pronouncement of Marriage
Formal legal declaration of unity.
- Announcement of Marriage
- Breaking of the glass (combined Christian/Jewish)
- Jumping the Broom
May be a straight forward exiting of the bride, groom, and wedding party or it can include the groom picking up the bride and carrying her away before the wedding party recesses.
- Receiving Line