The ceremony is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. Not only does it legally bind your union, but it also sets the tone for the day. Wedding officiants are given the task to make ceremony magic. But, how does a wedding officiant write a wedding ceremony? To answer this question, we asked five officiants what goes into writing a wedding ceremony.
Meet our officiants;
WHAT GOES INTO WRITING A CEREMONY?
Precious: I start by loading my couples up on information, almost to the point of overload and then we cut it right the way back. There’s a lot of misconceptions about what a wedding ceremony has to include. As long as the legalities of the ceremony are met, then the rest is up to us.
When we meet I start by asking my couples what they love and hate about weddings. Maybe they’ve been to their cousins wedding and hated the start, or have seen a movie and loved how the couple walked down the aisle to a flash mob of musicians [I’m looking at you Love Actually]. And, after we have some of that in the mix, then we talk about traditions that they like and how to make them more modern. From there we usually have a pretty good outline of where to go. We start talking about the particulars of the ceremony – like who they’d like to include, what they’d like to say and the language they’d like to use.
Some of my couples love calling their partner their best friend and soulmate. Other couples of mine would cringe completely at the thought. It’s up to us to decide what language we use, what stories go in and how much laughter and tears we want.
Sharon: I call it story time. Creating something out of nothing most of the time with couples not giving up much info. When you have your last catch-up, that’s when you pry the nitty-gritty. Often is the stuff that sticks the entire ceremony together so perfectly.
Kitty: I ask my couples questions so that I can get a feel for their personalities. It helps determine what kind of ceremony they are after. I then use their answers to craft a ceremony, so I sound like a close friend sharing their love for each other. This is not always an easy process and can take some time to get it right. It can also be a collaborative approach. Most couples love to have a surprise on the day and hear the ceremony for the first time.
Wendy: Lots of carefully chosen words! I spend a lot of nights crafting my ceremonies. Making sure the words I’m using reflects my couple and the ceremony they have asked for.
I’ve got resources that I share with my couples as a starting point this way I can find out what they would like included. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve to find out a bit more about my couple and get a picture in my mind about what their ceremony could look like. I then write the ceremony from all of these aspects.
Kate: My heart and soul!! We have a ceremony planning and creating meeting where I ask the couple 50 million questions. Throughout that conversation I’m tuning in to their story, their dynamic, how they relate to each other, how they like to express themselves; and I’m also writing a whole lot of notes.
I sense where I need to take the conversation to get to know them without making anyone feel uncomfortable. It feels more like you’re hanging out with a friend, having a chat. I also put a whole lot of ideas out there about how we bring the awesomeness of them into their ceremony. It’s a super relaxed, collaborative, brainstorming session.
After that meeting, I am on their vibe and I write their ceremony draft. That usually involves me sitting somewhere light and bright [I need sunshine to be creative], visualizing your wedding day and letting the words flow onto the page to create that authentic celebration of you!