What Happens in a Wedding Ceremony?

An Introduction to Officiating Wedding Ceremonies


What Happens in a Wedding Ceremony?

A wedding ceremony is a ritual during which two people get married. There is no legally required form to a wedding ceremony. However, there are well-established traditions that dictate how a wedding ceremony proceeds. These conventions are observed during the vast majority of wedding ceremonies, and guests have come to expect them. In fact, the components of a wedding ceremony, such as the vows or exchange of rings, act as markers that let guests know what’s going on, and what’s coming next.

Understanding these conventions will be helpful when you are writing your own wedding ceremony script. If a wedding ceremony was a house, this means that the framework is already built for you. Your job is to decorate and expand the house as you and the couple see fit. This is where creativity and personalization come into play as you write your own wedding ceremony script.

So what really happens during a wedding ceremony?

In just a few sentences, the wedding party enters. Then, in front of the guests, the couple declares their intention to marry, they verbally agree to be married, and then they are declared a married couple by the officiant. This process could last just a few minutes, or longer depending on how the script is written. It’s really that simple. Of course, most ceremonies are longer because other components like personalized vows, ring exchanges, and readings take place. But these parts of the ceremony aren’t technically required, even if they are important.

Check out our Parts of a Wedding Ceremony page to learn about the basic wedding ceremony structure.

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