In my last post, I showed you the outline that I begin with when creating a wedding ceremony. With this outline, we work together to decide which elements will be included, which we will develop to include more traditional elements, and which we will develop into very personalized elements. Before we begin, though, let’s consider the length, type and tone of your ceremony.
The type of ceremony you will have should match your own beliefs about marriage and spiritual disposition. Sometimes, couples take into consideration certain family members as well. For example, though many couples I marry were raised Catholic, they don’t necessarily practice their faith on a daily basis. However, they may include some elements from a Catholic wedding to make their parents happy. (And of course, some don’t!) Here are questions to consider:
- What, if any, religious or spiritual traditions do you follow?
- What, if any, religious or spiritual traditions do (did) your parents follow?
- Is there anything from these traditions you wish to either include or avoid in the wedding ceremony?
- What issues might come up for you or your parents (or other important family members) in using – or not using – elements from these or other traditions?
Reverent and serious? Casual with a little humor? Of course, each ceremony will be developed and officiated with love, respect and awe of the importance and meaning of the day. But the tone can vary from couple to couple – depending on your own personalities.
20-30 minutes is a standard and comfortable length. That also depends on how many rituals, readings or songs will be included. Though many nervous brides and grooms would love to have the ceremony last 5 minutes, a ceremony shouldn’t be shorter than 15-20 minutes.
In the next blog I’ll talk about the first part of the ceremony – the opening. This section may include the procession, presentation of the bride, opening blessing, and thanks and remembrances.