Traditional Wedding Ceremony Elements

by Steve Pritchard-Jones

  • Processional: The “wedding procession” is simply an elaborate way of referring to the beginning of the ceremony when the bride or bride and groom walks down the aisle and is typically accompanied by either recorded or live music.
  • Opening Words: The opening words will often include some sort of welcome to the guests and a few remarks about love and marriage.
  • Wedding Readings or Poems: It’s traditional to include one or more poems or reading during the ceremony. They can be anything that is meaningful to the couple, and will typically reflect something about their love and their relationship.
  • Pledge / Declaration of Intent: This part of the ceremony is when the couple will face one another, and affirm their intentions to be united in marriage. The officiant leads each of them through a series of statements or questions, which are answered with “I Do” or “I Will”.
  • Blessing of the Rings: The ring blessing is a short statement or prayer by the officiant to bless or charge the couple’s wedding rings prior to the ring exchange. It can take the form of a few sentences, or a “ring warming ceremony” where the rings are passed to all the guests for their well-wishes. To learn about the ‘ring warming ceremony’ visit www.pjtopnote.co.uk
  • Exchange of Vows: Sometimes done simultaneously with the exchange of rings, the wedding vows can either be led by the officiant as a series of phrases repeated by the couple, or something completely unique written by each of them to one another.
  • Exchange of Rings: The ring exchange during the ceremony is typically led by the officiant, with each member of the wedding couple repeating a series of short phrases while placing a wedding ring on their partner’s finger.
  • The Kiss: The officiant will pronounce the couple as being married, and invite them to kiss.
  • Closing Words: Traditionally, the officiant will offer some words to officially close the wedding ceremony, blessing the couple or offering encouragement for their journey as a married couple. This typically marks the official end of the wedding ceremony.
  • Recessional: The recessional is the part of the ceremony where the couple exit the ceremony to their favourite song.
Traditional Celtic hand tying, ‘tying the knot’ comes from an old Irish tradition that symbolizes the bond of marriage in the same way that the exchanging of rings does in most ceremonies today

Wedding Ceremony Ideas:

  • Moment of Silence: Also normally toward the beginning of the ceremony, taking a moment of silence to remember those friends and family who have passed away or could not attend the wedding ceremony for one reason or another.
  • Handfasting Ceremony: An ancient Pagan and Celtic tradition, handfasting involves tying the hands of the couple together with a ribbon, rope, or braided cord to symbolise the unity between them and the connection they share.
  • Unity Candle Ceremony: This candle lighting ceremony can be performed at any time during the wedding ceremony, and can be done in a number of ways. The popular version involves the couple lighting a single candle with two smaller candles to symbolize their new life together.
  • Wine Box Ceremony: A more modern tradition, the couple write love letters to one another and seal them in a wine box with a bottle of wine, opening the box on their first or fifth wedding anniversary to read one another’s letters and share the bottle of wine to celebrate their marriage.
  • Love Box Ceremony: Another modern tradition, the couple write love letters to one another and seal them in a lockable box. They open the box on their first or fifth or ten wedding anniversary to read one another’s letters.
  • Blended Family Ceremony: For couples with children who wish to incorporate their children into their wedding ceremony as well, this ceremony includes the children of the couple in saying vows to one another affirming their commitment and promises as a family.
  • Rose Ceremony: There are two versions of this ceremony, one involving the couple presenting one another with a single rose to communicate their love and commitment, and the other with the couple presenting a rose to their parents as a way of thanking them for their love and support.
  • Ring Warming Ceremony: Typically done at the beginning of the ceremony prior to the vows, the officiant passes the couple’s wedding rings around throughout the wedding guests and asks each person to infuse the rings with their blessings and well-wishes for the couple’s marriage.
  • Jumping the Broom: A tradition which found its way to the states as a part of African-American weddings, the couple has a broom placed in front of them and jumps over it as they exit the ceremony.
  • Sand Ceremony: The couple pour different coloured sand into a single vessel to symbolise their union.

For further information visit www.pjtopnote.co.uk


Top Note Ceremonies

Tel: 07834 855064

Email: steve@pjtopnote.co.uk


Steve Pritchard-Jones

Steve Pritchard-Jones

I am an independent civil celebrant conducting weddings, celebration of life/funerals, commitment, civil partnership, renewal of vows, adoption welcoming, naming, pet funerals, internment or scatter of ashes, memorials service, and even divorce ceremonies in Shropshire, West Midlands, Mid and North Wales, Derbyshire, Staffordshire & throughout the UK.

Leave a Comment