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Usual Elements of a Wedding:  You Choose, It's Your Wedding

The Prelude

Music as the guests gather.


The Procession

This is the part where the wedding party walks down the aisle and takes their places for the ceremony.


The Officiant's Opening Remarks (required)

Let’s folks know why they’re there.


Collect/Words that Set the Tone

This will generally set the tone of your wedding. May include a remembrance for those who have passed but would have been important to the couple.


Giving Away the Bride

A traditional handing off of the bride to the groom by someone designated to do that.


Declaration of Intent (required)

Couple publicly declares their intent to marry.



Some readings or music, ideally read/sung by family/friends.


The Officiant Addresses the Couple

The officiant may take this moment to emphasize the significance of the vows you're about to exchange. This may also include a reminder of your duties and roles in marriage.


Story of the Couple’s Journey

This is the telling your story as part of your ceremony.


The Exchange of Vows

Your vows are your promises to each other.  Both parties need not say the same thing.


Expression of Community Support

The guests are asked support the couple in their marriage together


The Ring Exchange

As you exchange rings, you say something about why you’re doing it.


Unity Ceremony (various forms)

E.g., Candle, sand, rose ceremonies, handfasting—what you may choose (or not)


The Pronouncement of Marriage (required)

The officiant makes it official.


The Kiss/Greeting

Greeting one another, sealing the marriage..


The Closing Remarks/Introduction of the Newly Wed

The officiant wraps things up with a few last words.  Maybe this includes instructions to the guests about what to do next.


The Recessional

Basically, the reverse of the processional.  Music is good here too.

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