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A wedding ceremony is more than saying "I do" before "Let's party". It's the foundation of your wedding day! While the significance of the ceremony is hard to overlook, planning a wedding ceremony can seem intimidating.

Here are our tips for planning your own unique, meaningful wedding ceremony. 

Why Should You Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony?

Creating a custom ceremony is an opportunity to grow closer as a couple. Focusing on your relationship and your ceremony is a good reminder of your end goal: marriage. This can often make other decisions feel easier.

How Do You Start Planning or Writing a Wedding Ceremony?

1. Use Experiences from Past Weddings

Recall the weddings you've attended, and discuss elements you really liked, as well as things that were distasteful or not appealing to you. (This is usually an easy first step.)

2. Discuss Your Cultures and Traditions

  • What religious traditions (if any) do you come from, and how would you like to weave these into your wedding? 
  • What cultures are part of you that you'd like to honor?
  • What family traditions might be fitting to include? 
  • Is there music, poetry, or another piece of art that's special to you and which might enrich the significance of your ceremony?

3. Draw on Family History

Reach out to your parents, grandparents or other close family members and ask them about their wedding ceremonies. "I like to remind couples that they're joining a lineage of wedded unions," says Martha Dallas of Vermont Celebrants. "And I ask how they wish to honor that connection." 

(Personal story from my wedding: every time I heard an instrumental version of "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" I teared up thinking about walking down the aisle. I mentioned this to my mom, and she surprised me by saying that was the song played as she walked down the aisle! After that, it was an easy processional choice.)

I think it would be fun would it be to host a few video chat dates with family and close friends to ask about their weddings! You'll stay connected, probably learn something new about them, and bring your community into your celebration.

Other Common Wedding Ceremony Planning Questions

How many readings should we have?

Deciding the number of special elements, such as readings, musical pieces, or rituals is ultimately guided by a couple's values and vision. Each chosen element should have a purpose in moving the ceremony forward.

How long should our wedding ceremony last? 

Let the content of your ceremony dictate the length! Generally speaking, twenty to thirty minutes is a sweet spot. 

Do we have to do or say anything during our ceremony to make it legal? 

In Vermont, there are no required words for a wedding ceremony to be legal. (You do need to have a signed marriage license, but this is typically not part of a wedding ceremony.) 

Taking time to plan your ceremony can be a bonding, important step as a couple. If you want more support as you work through your ceremony, reach out to one of these talented officiants for support!