The Wedding Ceremony Outline

This is the foundational form of the wedding services I conduct.  It can be adapted to other types of ceremonies, like baptism or funeral, and can also be adjusted as needed for other wedding forms.

The bridal procession is the kinesthetic expression of your union.  Consider what you would like to convey through the opening of your ceremony.

Here the words are spoken to commence the wedding, gathering together bridge, groom, family, and friends.  It is a reminder of the love and commitment being expressed by you both, as well as a reminder of the involvement and support of the guests.

The purpose of the invocation is to create sacred space and put everyone in a reflective state of mind, focusing attention on the fact that what is being undertaken is life-changing and powerful.  In doing so I call upon a something larger than our normal selves, and how this is named is up to you.  Personally I tend to use Great Spirit, Universe, or Great Nature.

You may have a poem or passage with particular significance to your relationship, or you may draw upon time-honored sources.  You can do the reading yourselves or involve people from your wedding party or the congregation.  In any event, whoever reads what will be framing and offering something special about your feelings and philosophies.

My role in this whole process is to learn enough of your language to translate it for your audience, and the address is where I get to do that quite specifically.  It’s a fusion of reflection, admonition, and celebration from the vast state of love manifested in the universal as well the deeply personal.

Expression of Intent
It’s all been laid out: the joys, challenges, meanings, and demands of marriage.  This is where we make sure you understand what you’re getting in to, and that you’re prepared to enter into the rites.

Voice of Community
With it all laid out, this is where your community gets to pledge themselves not just as passive observers but as active participants in your union.

Your vows are the emotionally and spiritually binding part of the ceremony.  You are giving your word to one another, offering up your whole selves to this incredible mystery, making a promise not to an end but to a journey.  You may draw upon established forms, or write your own, but in either case take great care with what you set out.

Blessing and Exchanging Rings
The rings are the physical symbol of your marriage, so they are brought into the ceremony with great sanctity.  They are prepared with some form of  blessing, and then you will take them and place them on one another’s fingers and speak the words that will bring you to the apex of the service.

Pronouncement of Marriage
With the authority of my title, the great energy of the gathered community, and the spoken words of bride and groom, I make the ringing proclamation that you are officially husband and wife.

The Kiss
Much more fun than signing a contract, a sweet way to make known your claim with one another.

We gather up the risen energy, we give thanks, we bestow blessing, we ask make request, and we open the circle to send you on your way with great joy.

Strike up the song, it’s time to go.  Out walks the new couple, followed by the wedding party, family, and the congregation entire.

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