wedding ceremony components

ceremony components

This list is helpful for planning your wedding ceremony. Many of these elements are included in a traditional wedding. The order of events can change, and all portions are optional except the two highlighted in bold. These are the only parts of the ceremony required to make the marriage legal and binding.

Be mindful of the length of your wedding ceremony: 20–25 minutes is ideal for your guests. More than 30 minutes and your guests may begin squirming.

  • Music / Prelude
  • Candle Lighting / Bell Tone / Incense Lighting
  • Processional
  • Greeting / Blessing
  • Readings
  • Exchange of Vows
    Vows the you make to each other expressing your love. These are NOT legally binding, but are promises (witnessed by family/friends) that help to enrich your relationship
  • Declaration of Intent
    The “I do” portion
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Sand Ceremony, Candle Ceremony, Knot Ceremony, Flower Ceremony, etc
  • Officiant’s Remarks
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • Kiss
  • Closing Words / Final Blessing
  • Presentation
  • Recessional

Additional requirements: signed* and dated documents mailed to the county where the license was issued.
*signed by the married couple, their witnesses, and the officiant.