Wedding Ceremony Basics

An Introduction to Officiating Wedding Ceremonies

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Is There a Legal Form to a Wedding Ceremony?

There is no legal form to a wedding ceremony, other than that the ceremony must include a Declaration of Intent.

The Declaration of Intent is at the core of all wedding ceremonies, no matter the length or elaborateness of the ceremony.

The Declaration of Intent can be understood as the oral version of the marriage license. Basically, the couple is verbally declaring that they want to enter into that contract, ie, they want to get married.

Beyond that, there are no legal requirements or guidelines imposed on the wording and events in the wedding ceremony. What you do outside of that is completely up to you and the couple.

If you want to have a steampunk themed wedding complete with a sermon on how steam, like love, can power the train of marriage, then go for it!

That said, bear in mind that audience members respond to recognizable templates, and that it always helps to have an introduction and conclusion, so that folks have an idea of what's going on. Because weddings are public ceremonies, they are performed for the audience as well as for the couple.

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WEDDING CEREMONY BASICS

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