This is an example of the elements of a wedding ceremony and the order they should be performed.  You choose what you want to include into the ceremony.

  • Gathering Words - This is the ceremony's introduction - The officiant welcomes all that are present and indicates the intention of the marriage.
  • Opening Prayer or Blessings if the couple wishes.
  • Readings - A very personal and beautiful part of any ceremony. They add light and dark, they separate, punctuate, they give balance and effect to parts of the ceremony.  They provide opportunities for family/friends to participate.
  • Giving the Bride Away - Traditionally the bride's father gives her away, but more often now, both the bride and groom are being given away by either parent's or siblings or sometimes even a child or multiple children! A custom becoming very popular now is for all the family and guests to give both the bride and groom away, collectively! This can be very affirming for the couple.
  • The Asking - The groom and bride ask each other if they take one another as husband and wife and answer, "I will" or "I do". 
  • Candle Lighting Ceremony - Some couples choose to include this into their ceremony.
  • The Vows - The bride and groom make special promises or pledges to one another. No matter what promises the couple make to one another the vows have a legally required prefix which states the following: "In the presence of these witnesses, I (name), take you (name), to be my wife/husband".
  • The Ring Ceremony - it's usual for the celebrant to make a short statement on the symbolic nature of the rings prior to the rings being placed on the fingers. Rings are optional, but are typically included in the ceremony.
  • The Rose Ceremony - is simple yet profoundly moving. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other.
  • The Declaration of Marriage - The celebrant declares the couple husband and wife, a legal requirement.
  • Signing of the Marriage Documents - legally required, followed by the presentation of the Marriage Certificate to the couple.