Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15th, 2019
The key to a great wedding ceremony is to make it flow. And when we talk about “flow,” we’re referring to the words and the emotion of the ceremony, and that magical combination of saying the right thing at the right time.
When planning a wedding ceremony, consider what traditions or readings will resonate with the couple and audience. Choose a prayer, reading, traditional blessing, song lyrics, or poem that speaks to the couple's values and emotional state. Then, decide where to fit these parts into the ceremony.
Think about the ceremony as a story, with each piece fitting into a logical order.
Consider which pieces fit best leading into or following one another. We suggest writing short transitions between pieces. Not only do these transitions help with the flow, they'll also give you an idea of whether one piece works well following another, based on how easy it is to write the transitional wording.
The kind of pieces that you choose to include, as well as the order you place them in, allows you to manage the emotional flow.
For example, if you have a more lighthearted piece, putting it early in the ceremony (near the invocation or during the couple's story) will help get the couple smiling -- and reduce their nervousness. Doing this gets everyone in a relaxed and joyful state of mind.
Once you have everyone feeling the way you want them to be (at ease, happy, and excited for what comes next), you can transition into pieces that are heavier or deeper, while still early in the ceremony (e.g. the “we take this seriously” type pieces).
From there, you can go into personal stories, vows, and the rings exchange, shifting the emotion back to light-hearted. This helps to send the guests and the couple into the reception with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts.
If you need an example of a quick example of a light-hearted and personal component, consider a hand blessing. Hand blessings, which typically talk about the gift that the other’s hands are to them, fits perfectly after the ring exchange, because: the couple are most likely already holding hands; the couple’s hands were just the focus of ring exchange; and the piece fits well emotionally following the promises of the ring exchange.
See what we mean? The ring exchange flows right into a hand blessing!
We know it’s not always possible to create the perfect flow -- it depends on what your couple wants to include in the ceremony. However, taking flow into consideration as you create and format your script will go a long way toward making the couple's day - and ceremony - perfect.
Ultimately, the amount of thought and homework involved in a wedding ceremony is the biggest indicator of how successful it will be.
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Updated June 10, 2021
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