The Complete Guide to the Wedding Ceremony
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The Complete Guide to the Wedding Ceremony

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but fear not, we've got you covered! Welcome to the one-stop-shop for all your wedding essentials. Yes, you read that right - this is the only article you need to read to turn your dream wedding into a reality. Get ready to say "I do" to stress-free wedding planning as we dive into all the must-knows.

So grab a glass of bubbly (or two) and get comfortable, because we're about to make your wedding planning journey a whole lot smoother.

Everyone is talking about the wedding ceremony, but you still have a lot of questions? Does it have legal force? How to choose the right place and time?

How to arrange a zone for a celebration? What are wedding vows? How does it go and how long does it take?

We answer questions and tell you about organizing the ceremony of your dreams.

When is a wedding ceremony required?

You want to do what you like. In the registry office they do not choose a registrar, music and atmosphere, but they get what they have. Organizing your own ceremony, you do it the way you want - choose a leader, set your own music, create a beautiful arch or unusual lighting with decorators.

You don't want to "catch" the right time. Booking a convenient time at the Wedding Palace is problematic - the best slots are taken apart instantly. The outdoor ceremony does not limit anyone, you can start at lunchtime or exchange vows at sunset.

Yes, and the duration of the event in this case, you set yourself.

Photos are important to you. Even in the most beautiful registry offices, the design is sometimes outdated and does not look very good in the pictures. A wedding ceremony with thoughtful decor often looks better in photographs.

There will be many guests at the festival. Most Wedding Palaces limit the number of people present at the event, usually due to the capacity of the hall. If there are a lot of guests, and you want everyone to be nearby, you should think about the ceremony.

Are you hosting a themed wedding? For a celebration that obeys a specific theme, a wedding ceremony is mandatory, because for a Harry Potter-style wedding there is hardly a registry office that looks like a hall at Hogwarts. Or, for example, at an Art Deco wedding, you will probably want to see the registrar in the clothes of the desired era.

Want to be the only bride on this day. In the registry office, besides you, there will be other brides, grooms and guests. If this prospect does not please, choose a separate ceremony.

Having gone to nature, be sure that within a radius of kilometers from you there will not be a single girl in a white dress who also becomes a wife.

Katie Beverly

When is a wedding ceremony not needed?

You want to save. A really good ceremony will cost extra money - the decorator will create a ceremony area, the dj will work an hour or two more because of it, the registrar or host will charge an additional fee for holding. If the budget is small, you can get by with a solemn registration at the Wedding Palace.

You want once and for real. Many do not like that one day they receive a marriage certificate, and the next they arrange the main event. It seems that the importance of the event is blurred, because the creation of a family officially takes place at the time of signing documents and receiving a certificate.

If this is about you, do not think and calmly refuse an additional ceremony, it will not bring such joy as others.

You always wanted a solemn registration in the registry office. The seriousness of the moment, the march of Mendelssohn in a live performance of the orchestra, the official atmosphere - represented exactly this? Why then give up the dream for the sake of trends?

Do as your heart tells you.

Vladimir Borodenok

The difference between a wedding ceremony and an on-site registration

It is important to take into account that the exit ceremony and registration are different concepts from the organizational and legal aspects.

wedding ceremony - an oath exchange ceremony that you arrange on your own with a team of contractors. It has no legal force, therefore, before the wedding, you and your fiancé must obtain a marriage certificate from the registry office, having previously submitted an application.

Outside registration - an official exit ceremony, which is carried out by an employee of the registry office in accordance with a contract concluded in advance. Not all registry offices provide such a service, and you can choose a place for the ceremony only from the approved list (for example, in Moscow these are places such as Spiridonov's Mansion, Moskvarium, etc.). This event is official, at the end you will receive a marriage certificate.

Chris and Ruth Photography

Where and when to hold the ceremony?

You can arrange a ceremony anywhere - it can be both a hotel or restaurant hall, and a place in nature (a clearing in the forest, a beach, a field, a hotel territory). It is advisable to hold it in the same place where the main celebration will take place or not far from it. This will save you time and energy on travel.

Be mindful of photographs, so look around the site ahead of time to make sure you don't include piled up branches or an old wall with a crack in the frame. It is better to choose a place so that you and the registrar have the most beautiful view.

Time for the ceremony can be different depending on your wishes and the concept of the wedding:

  • The first half of the day. If the event takes place outdoors, keep in mind that after 12 o'clock the sun is bright and creates unfavorable light for photographs, and in the summer it is already very hot.
  • Golden hour: 16-17 pm. At this time, the most beautiful pictures are taken with warm sunlight, keep this in mind for an outdoor wedding.
  • The evening after sunset is fine if you dream of taking vows in the flickering light of dozens of lights or candles.

How is the wedding ceremony

  1. Before the start of the celebration, guests are seated on chairs in a pre-arranged and prepared ceremony area.
  2. To create a mood, music is played - live or staged by a DJ.
  3. The groom's friends and bridesmaids go out first if you choose to involve them.
  4. The groom is next.
  5. After the groom, a dressed-up girl or boy passes along the path between the chairs of the guests, scattering petals, on which the bride will step. If there are no children among the guests, this is not necessary.
  6. Finally, the bride comes out - alone or arm in arm with an escort. At this time, pre-selected music sounds - look at our selection of tracks for the bride's exit, for sure one of them will suit you. The facilitator makes a speech and passes the word to the young people.
  7. The bride and groom take turns saying their wedding vows, exchanging rings and kissing each other.
  8. After that, the young people walk along the path between the guests, showering them with petals, grains or confetti.
  9. At the end, the bride and groom accept the guests' congratulations.

Please note that the script described above is standard, feel free to change and supplement it as you wish.In this case, the time of the event should fit in 15-30 minutes. Less than 15 minutes will not let you feel the solemnity of the moment, and more than 30 will start to tire those present.

How to write wedding vows?

The most touching moment of the wedding ceremony is the pronunciation of vows by the bride and groom. Take their writing seriously, start early and don’t put it off until later, because your loved one will remember these words for a lifetime. Check out our article on wedding vows where we detail how to write them and also share good examples.

Who should be the leader of the wedding ceremony?

Unlike official on-site registration, the person conducting your celebration does not have to be an employee of the registry office. He can be the leader of the entire wedding, the leader of only the ceremony, an actor, a singer, and even a friend or relative. Whoever you choose, keep in mind that the facilitator must:

  • don't be afraid of public speaking
  • be able to speak loudly and fluently
  • be pleasant to the bride and groom, because he is with you at the time of creating a family
  • look neat and tidy

Decoration of the wedding ceremony

Pay attention to the decor of the celebration, it will help create a solemn atmosphere and decorate the photos. Don't forget to make out:

  • places for guests
  • path between chairs leading to the ceremony area
  • the oath-taking zone itself - it can be either an arch or any design that you like
  • table or cabinet for the presenter (if needed)
  • canopies in case of rain or sun (if needed)

There are thousands of options for decorating the ceremony, we will show those that we like the most - maybe some of this will appeal to you:

Cody James Barry

Sample Wedding Ceremony

Laura Martha Photography

Kathryn Krok

Eva Cherneff Photography

Wike Zijlstra

Nisha Ravi

The Seitter Wood House

Carol Olivia Photography

Ashley Noelle Edwards

Morgan Renee

Elsie Love Photography

Top photo by Brett Hickman Photography

Wedding Planning 101 | The Ceremony