The Wedding Service by a Mendocino Coast Minister
There is no set standard for the wedding ceremony. What you include and what gets actually said in the service flows out from your own tastes and preferences. We’ll discuss the different possibilities and then create a customized wedding service that feels right for you.
Here’s a guide, however, for what often occurs in many weddings.
Processional – There are many ways to do this -- getting everyone ceremoniously to their places; it typically includes the “presentation of the bride” by the bride’s father or other honored guest.
Welcome to Guests – A nice way to have the guests feel included and a part of the service; I share your appreciation of their being there with and for you today.
Moment of Silence – If you like this (most couples do), an opportunity for everyone to ‘take a breath’….for you and your partner to feel this wonderful moment together, and for your guests to feel their love and connection to you.
Wedding Address – The cornerstone of the wedding service. I discuss how you came together, the love you’ve created, and how your relationship has grown to wanting to be together for all your days. I discuss what marriage is, how ‘commitment’ carries you through the rough spots, and your desires for building a life that will grow in deeper love and meaning together (including children, if that’s your intention).
Vows - I like to suggest writing your own vows (about 40% do) so the whole wedding becomes more “yours.” Most couples say this makes their marriage ceremony much more meaningful -- something they’re making happen rather than something happening to them. It does feel a bit scary at first, for most…but I’ll guide you through the process and make it a positive experience – something most couples say they’re glad they did. I’ll give you starter ideas (when you realized this person was the one; why you love your partner; what you’re promising, etc.) and then gently work with you to make them perfect and wonderful (for you and your guests).
Most couples, however, feel just stating meaningful vows to each other works best. I have a nice variety of beautifully-crafted ones you can choose from.
Ring Exchange - With the words affirming your marriage to each other.
Pronouncement – Declaring you are now husband and wife.
The Kiss – What you and everyone have been looking forward to!
Benediction – Some beautiful words blessing you and your marriage.
Other Possible Inclusions
- Readings (love poems and essays I can offer – read by chosen guests)
- Unity Candle Lighting
- Vows of Support (family and guests affirm their support for the two of you and your marriage)
- New Family Rituals – a variety of vows and other rituals to help celebrate when children become part of a new family.