I had a bride ask me the other day, How long will the wedding ceremony last? Great question! Depending upon how many songs and optional ceremonies you include, the ceremony might be as short as fifteen minutes or it could go about thirty minutes.
First, let’s talk about optional ceremonies. Near the beginning of the ceremony, one could include a Memorial Ceremony for loved ones who have either died or could not be in attendance for various reasons. This could be done in a variety of ways. Some couples chose to use pictures of loved ones near the guest book. Another option would be to print in the program the names of loved ones. And finally, during the ceremony itself, the wedding officiant may have a moment of silence to remember loved ones saying their names. This is usually done early in the ceremony so that most of the ceremony is focused on the couple.
Another ceremony that is held early in the wedding is what I call the Parent’s Ceremony. This time is meant to honor your parent’s. Essentially the couple thanks the parents for their love and support, and offers them flowers or other gifts to show their love and appreciation. This is a beautiful way to show not only how important our families are to us but that now they are forming a new family as they marry one another.
The Vow and Ring Ceremonies are the centerpiece of most weddings. Couples may choose to write their own vows or use words that have been used by others. As a wedding officiant, I offer several options for couples to choose from. I have traditional, contemporary, and many variations that I send to couples for them to incorporate into their wedding ceremony.
Following the exchange of Vows and Rings, I encourage couples to incorporate a Unity Ceremony into their wedding. This may include a Candle, Sand, Wine, or Hand Ceremony. Candles are always beautiful in the wedding ceremony. While the Unity Candle is a more traditional ceremony it still has the beauty and simplicity that many couples want. More contemporary unity ceremonies include the use of wine , sand, or hands in conveying the message that “ The Two Shall be as One”. Music, of course, conveys a powerful message of who the couple is and adds the element of emotion to any Unity Ceremony. Couples are encouraged to choose something together that is meaningful to them. So, how long will the Wedding Ceremony be ? Just long enough to express your wishes and hopefully leave your guests saying, “Now that was a meaningful and beautiful ceremony that captured both the bride and groom and their love for each other…….