One of the greatest wedding evolutions in the last decade has been the personalization of wedding ceremonies from traditional expectations. Many couples now insist on having a shorter ceremony so their guests can get to partying the night away and believe us, we are completely on board! However, we also recognize the ceremony is arguably the most important portion of your entire wedding day. The ceremony is where you commit to one another before the eyes of all your family and loved ones, officially sealing the deal to spend forever loving one another. 

We are outlining the crucial elements of a wedding ceremony with tips for how to craft a brief yet meaningful and personal ceremony. 

The Welcome

Following the processional and once the couple is standing before the officiant, this is when the officiant officially welcomes all guests to the ceremony. To keep the introduction brief, we suggest limiting personal relationship anecdotes to 1-2 sentences.

The Readings

Regardless of whether your ceremony is religious or nonreligious, readings typically follow the welcome. This can be a favorite poem, book excerpt, lyrics, or religious passage between the couple. We suggest choosing a 3-5 minute selection which supports how you plan to partner together and ask your officiant or featured speaker to practice and time the readings beforehand.

The Vows

Without a doubt, this is the most important aspect of your ceremony. The vows are where you verbally commit yourselves to one another forever. There is equal beauty in traditional and personalized vows and we leave the decision up to our couple’s discretion. If you choose to read handwritten personalized vows, we suggest keeping vows 1-2 minutes long and make sure the writing is very legible (in case you get emotional!). Have your Maid of Honor and Best Man hold the writings, and if you’re worried about either losing the vows, make duplicate copies for a bridesmaid and groomsmen to have as back-up!

The Rings

Before the processional begins, make sure your wedding planner checks with the Best Man to ensure he has the rings. Rings are a daily reminder of the sacred promises stated in your vows. The exchange of rings typically starts with “I take you to be my husband/wife…” to symbolize the completion of your vows. The exchange of rings typically takes 1-2 minutes.

The Pronouncement

To keep your ceremony short and sweet, we suggest having your officiant pronounce you officially as husband and wife right after the exchange of rings, rather than adding other embellishments. *Please note, if you are having a religious ceremony, we understand there are additional necessary elements and we are happy to share our suggested placement of religious aspects for Christian, Jewish, Catholic, and cultural weddings!

The Kiss!

The moment you have been waiting for! After the officiant pronounces you husband and wife, he or she will say something along the lines of “You may now kiss the bride/groom!” The kiss officially kicks off the reception as you and your partner start the recessional to cocktail hour. Let the party begin!



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