The 3 Things Your Wedding Ceremony Kinda NEEDS

When it comes to creating your own wedding ceremony, there are very few rules. With a little thought and care, you can find plenty of ways to incorporate what’s most important to you (and you can leave out some of the standards that don’t fit your personal style).

Wondering just how far you can stray from the traditional “I dos”? We’re about to break it down.

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Here are the things you sorta have to have:

1. Vows
Your vows represent the promise you’re making with your future spouse, and the ceremony is all about solidifying that promise. Yours can be a traditional religious reading, something you wrote yourself, or even a heart-warming song or poem.

2. The expression of intent

In case you’re not familiar with this fancy term, we’re talking about the “I dos” here. Your officiant will lead these with questions you’ve agreed upon, like “Do you promise to support him in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…?” These prompts can be short and sweet, funny or heartfelt, but the “I dos” are a key part of the promise you’re making during the ceremony.

3. The pronouncement (and the kiss)!
The ceremony should wrap up with the officiant saying something along the lines of “I now pronounce you husband/wife and husband/wife” (or whatever phrase you’ve decided on). Then, the big kiss! This signals to your guests that the marriage is official and that the ceremony is coming to a close.

Here are the things you can totally tack on:

1. Readings
Many ceremonies include special readings, whether they’re religious scriptures or meaningful excerpts. Readings can help to round out your ceremony, and they’re a perfect way to get personal. You may consider asking someone close to you – like your sister or best friend – to choose a reading to share, or you may want to select one yourself.

2. The address
Oftentimes, the officiant starts the ceremony with an address. These can vary greatly depending on you and the officiant, but may include details about your relationship or advice about a successful marriage. An address certainly isn’t necessary, but it can really set the tone for the ceremony.

3. Rituals and traditions
Various religions and cultures have age-old wedding traditions that may be meaningful to you or your loved ones. Depending on religious regulations or family expectations, you don’t necessarily have to include these elements, but you may choose to incorporate them. You might also consider a new unity rituals for wedding ceremonies, like a sand ceremony, for example.

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Find more wedding ceremony advice on Loverly:

How Find a Ceremony Reading That Actually Means Something to You

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