This eBook reflects the various wedding ceremonies we have either created or co-created with brides and grooms. It is meant to be a guide and resource for couples to use in creating their special wedding ceremony. Jim Albani is the author.
Most couples tend to be overwhelmed at the thought of organizing their ceremony and do not know where to begin. This eBook is a place to begin!
This wonderful planning guide is included FREE in Basic and Standard wedding packages.
Cost to purchase book on its own: $19.97
Wedding E-Book Contents:
The Wedding Ceremony Outline and Checklist contains all of the options a wedding ceremony 'could' have. It is a starting point in creating your wedding ceremony.
Opening presentation of the bride and groom occur at the beginning of the wedding ceremony following the bride’s processional. The traditional declaration is: “Who gives this woman to marry this man?” The parents normally respond to the declaration, but all in attendance may also respond.
A welcome and/or opening statement may be very brief or lengthy. Ideally it is tailored to satisfy the desires of the bride and groom. Some of the elements included are to:
- Thank and acknowledge the importance of all attending.
- Deliver any special message the bride and groom desire to share.
- Discuss role of witnessing and support the marriage vows;
- Acknowledge those present in spirit but not in form (deceased relatives, etc.)
- Outline or preview the marriage ceremony;
- In some cases, offer stories featuring the bride and groom.
The welcome and opening statements are usually presented by the officiant.
Opening wedding prayers precede the body of the wedding ceremony and are found in spiritual and religious ceremonies. The prayers are usually led by the officiant, but may be presented by family and friends of the bride and groom.
Wedding readings occur throughout the ceremony, and are usually limited to three or less. The officiant should meet with the readers at the rehearsal or before the ceremony to review:
- How and when they (the reader) will be introduced;
- Where to stand;
- How to introduce their reading;
- Read slower than they think necessary; and
- Instructions on using the microphone.
Wedding ceremony rituals provide symbolic content to the ceremony. They are ways that couples publicly express their love for each other. The wedding celebration is a public declaration of the couple's private commitment to each other. It's a mini-theater piece in which the bride and groom each publicly speak their vows of commitment to each other in front of their community of family and friends and where they, by implication or by stated intention, ask community support in maintaining their marriage relationship.
This is where symbolic acts come in. The wedding ceremony, white dresses, flowers, wedding readings, exchanging rings, wedding cakes, the special introduction, etc. are all outward visible expressions of an internal union of hearts.
As part of their wedding ceremony, couples often add a special symbolic act as an additional demonstration of their love for each other.
Declarations of intention set the stage for the recitation of vows and the giving and receiving of rings. The bride and groom usually respond to the declarations with a heart felt “I do” or “I will.”
The declarations appear before the recitation of vows and are presented by the officiant.
The wedding vows are the highlight of the wedding ceremony. They reflect the values, respect, commitment and love the bride and groom have for each other. The couple may adopt theng vow sets presented, adapt them or write their own wedding vows.
As a wedding officiant, I usually counsel the bride and groom to imagine they are at a candle lit dinner; looking into each others eyes and reciting their wedding vows. I tell them no one else needs to hear them and suggest they immerse themselves in the emotion and vulnerability of the moment. It is recommended that the wedding vows not be memorized or read. Memorizing never works and reading them tends to take the emotion out of the experience.
Take care in selecting your wedding vows and allow yourself to experience the power and significance of their message.
Children’s wedding vows give the children of previous, or current relationships a chance to participate in the wedding ceremony. It is important that they feel a part of the experience; since they are an important part of the ‘new’ family and often can be threatened by the changes that are occurring.
The bride and groom may also include a line or two in their wedding vows supporting and loving the other’s children.
This part of the ceremony follows the wedding vows and precedes the actual giving and receiving of the rings. It is an invocation of sorts and sets the tone for the ring exchange
The giving and receiving of wedding rings is an outward expression of the inward commitment offered with the wedding vows. They follow the wedding ring vows and generally repeated or answered with “I do” or “I will.” They may be spiritual, religious or civil.
The Blessing of the Marriage follows the recitation of the vows and the giving and receiving of rings. It can be spiritual, religious or civil. Most often it is delivered by the wedding officiant.
The marriage pronouncement is the declaration that the bride and groom are now husband and wife. The samples below can be modified to reflect a civil, spiritual or religious flavor. The pronouncement is generally followed by a kiss and the introduction of the couple.
The introduction can take the form of:
- Mr. and Mrs. ????
- First name and first name as husband and wife (often used where bride does not change her name)
- Or no introduction
Your receiving line offers you the opportunity greet and thank your guests for witnessing your marriage. As a rule of thumb, it is best to limit the ‘line’ to the bride and groom and their parents. Having others in the line tend to slow things down.
A number of considerations are:
- The number of guests
- Wedding photography: before or after ceremony
- Travel distance to reception site – if different than ceremony, and
The following ceremonies are samples of actual weddings ceremonies. They fit in four categories: civil, spiritual, religious and other. Use them as guides in creating your ‘own’ wedding ceremony or adopt them as ‘your’ wedding ceremony.
Brides and grooms often choose a sample and then tailor it to fit their needs by including alternate vows, readings, rituals, or ring exchanges.
Sample Wedding Ceremonies: Civil
- Civil #1 (Features Declaration of Intent)
- Civil #2 (Features Hands Ceremony & Unity Candle)
- Civil #3
- Civil #4
- Civil #5
- Civil #6
Sample Wedding Ceremonies: Spiritual
- Spiritual #1 (Features Hands Ceremony)
- Spiritual #2 (Features Hands Ceremony)
- Spiritual #3 (Features Unity Candle)
- Spiritual #4 (Features Hands Ceremony & Rose Ceremony)
- Spiritual #5 (Features Rose Ceremony)
- Spiritual #6 (Features Hands & Sand Ceremony with Children)
- Spiritual #7 (Features Hands Ceremony)
- Spiritual #8
- Spiritual #9 (Features modified Rose Ceremony)
Sample Wedding Ceremonies: Religious
- Religious #1 (Features Unity Candle)
- Religious #2 (Features Hands Ceremony)
- Religious #3 (Features Rose Ceremony)
- Religious #4
- Religious #5 (Features Sand Ceremony)
- Religious #6 (Features Unity Candle)
- Religious #7 (Features Rose Ceremony)
- Religious #8 (Features Sand Ceremony)
Sample Wedding Ceremonies: Other
- Tying the Knot