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What Makes Up a Ceremony?


The Wedding Ceremony Order of Events

1. The Processional
First off, the processional. This is when members of your immediate family and wedding party head down the aisle and either find a seat or take their places on either side of the altar. The processional begins with the grandparents, flows through the parents, groom, officiant, wedding party, flower girl, and ring bearer, and ends with the bride making her entrance.

2. Words of Welcome
Once everyone is in place, the officiant will say a few words of welcome. He or she may thank guests for bearing witness to your union, as well as welcome everyone to your venue and your celebration.

3. Opening Remarks and Introduction
Next, the officiant will offer an introduction and some thoughts on marriage. This could be a brief recounting of your love story, words on what marriage means to you, or a statement about the ceremony to come and what it represents.

4. Readings
From there, if you are including readings of any sort in your ceremony, readers will be invited up to share a few words. You could have your officiant introduce each reading and reader or have things flow more naturally between readers.

5. Exchange Vows
After the readings have been shared, the two of you will exchange vows. You could opt to write your own vows, share personal statements and then exchange the same vows, or use traditional phrasing. This is also the part where you'll place rings on each other's fingers as symbols of your marriage.

6. The Kiss
Now, the good part! After you've exchanged vows and rings, the two of you get to seal your marriage with a kiss. You're officially husband and wife!

7. Unity Ceremony (optional)
If you're planning on having a unity ceremony, this is a good time to incorporate it. In a unity ritual, the couple does something that physically symbolizes their new union, such as using two candles to light a single candle or binding their hands together with ribbon.

8. Final Blessings
If your ceremony is a religious affair, this is the proper time for a final prayer.

9. The Recessional
The officiant introduces the married couple for the first time. Then, the bride and groom lead the recessional back up the aisle.

10. Officiant announces the festivities that will follow and thanks everyone for being there.

Please view the sample ceremonies by clicking on the individual tabs below...

The Joining of Two Hearts Ceremony

Simple Ceremony

A Sweet Secular Ceremony

Christian Ceremony

Native American Inspired Ceremony

Buddhist Inspired Ceremony

I Still Do Vowel Renewal

Legal Information

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To obtain your marriage license you will need to visit the official website below to read about what is required in each state. 
If you have any questions after reading just ask...

North Carolina.

South Carolina


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