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Create A Ceremony

For a wedding to be legal, all that's really needed is the consent of each partner and a pronouncement by the officiant. However, being the momentous occasion that it is, most people want something with a bit more romance than that. Thus, the full-on "Dearly beloved" ceremony as we have come to know it. However, your ceremony can be as simple or as detailed as you want.

Below is a hyperlinked list of the basic ceremonial elements in their usual order. Each link will take you to a variety of wording options for that element. Taking them in order, just find the option you like, then copy and paste into a document to compose your personal wedding ceremony. If you like parts of two different options, see if you can combine  what you like most of each into one.

Opening Words

Opening/Gathering Words

The opening words, or gathering words, is a call to service that begins the ceremony and sets the tone for why everyone is there, acknowledging the importance of what's happening.


Charge/Address to the Couple

The charge is a reminder of the seriousness of the commitment they are making.


Declaration of Intent/Consent

As with anything legal, mutual consent is a required element. This is where each partner declares their intent to be married to the other. It usually comes after the Charge, which has made known the seriousness of the undertaking. In other words, “This is what you’re getting into. Are you up to the challenge?”

The Vows

As noted, the declaration of intent in itself can serve as the vows, but most want something a bit more meaningful. Consider the ones provided here, something you write personally, or some piece of poetry that sums up your love, your connection with the other.


Ring Exchange

The ring exchange can be done in silence or the couple can make statements to mark the exchange.


Pronouncement

The statement by the minister that makes it all official.


Additional Elements

If you want a ceremony with more layers than the basic, there are other elements that can be added, such as:  

Prayer

Prayer(s) can be added pretty much anywhere, though most usually after the opening statement or before the vows.

Special Music

Like prayer, special music can be added at most any point that doesn't break the flow.


Giving of Bride/Couple

Back in the day, it was customary to ask, "Who gives this woman to be married?" Though now somewhat dated, it can be a nice touch if you're big on tradition. It can also be used to present both the bride and groom, to show the support of the families as a pledge to stand behind the union. It can even call on the whole assembly to pledge this support.


Ring Presentation/Blessing

As a segue into the ring exchange, the presentation/blessing of the rings tells of the symbolism behind the rings and adds a layer of sacredness to their exchange.


Blessing/Benediction

The blessing/benediction is a call to carry the spirit of this moment's specialness with us as we go back to the everyday.

 

Presentation of Couple

After all is said and done, the couple turns to face the assembly and the officiant can present the new couple as joined in marriage. This is sometimes reserved for the best man at the reception.



Sometimes called gathering words, this is what begins the ceremony by saying why everyone is there.


Charge/Address to the Couple

The charge is a reminder to the couple of the seriousness of the commitment they are making.


Declaration of Intent/Consent - As with anything legal, mutual consent is a factor. This is where each partner declares their intent to be married to the other.


The Vows - The declaration of intent in itself can serve as vows, but should you want something a bit more meaningful, consider these, something you write personally, or some piece of poetry that sums up your love.

Ring Exchange - The ring exchange can be done in silence or the couple can make statements to mark the exchange.

Pronouncement - The statement by the minister that makes it all official.


Additional Elements

If you want a ceremony with more layers than the basic, there are other elements that can be added, such as:  

Prayer - Prayer(s) can be added pretty much anywhere, though most usually after the opening statement or before the vows.

Special Music - Life prayer, special music can be added at most any point that doesn't break the flow.

Presentation of Bride/Couple - In times of old, it was customary to ask, "Who gives this woman to be married?" Though now somewhat dated, it can be a nice touch for tradition or when used to present the couple, as it shows the support of the families who pledge to stand behind the union. Some of the options even call on the whole assembly to pledge this support.

Ring Presentation/Blessing - As a segue into the ring exchange, the presentation/blessing of the rings tells of the symbolism behind the rings and adds a layer of sacredness to their exchange.

Blessing/Benediction - The blessing/benediction is a call to carry the spirit of this moment's specialness with us as we go back to the everyday.

Presentation of Couple - After all is said and done, the couple turns to face the assembly as the officiant presents the new couple as joined in marriage. This is sometimes reserved for the best man at the reception.