The elements in a marriage ceremony may include any or all of the following but must include the bold items:
- Opening Words
- Address to Family and Friends
- Affirmation of Intentions
- Address to Couple
- Exchange of Vows
- Exchange of Symbols
- Reading or Meditation or Prayer
- Witnessing Signatures on Certificate (may be done during or after the ceremony)
- Candle Lighting and Children’s Affirmation
- Wine Cup Ceremony
- Blessing / Benediction
- Closing Words
The wedding packet contains many selections of readings, vows, and blessings. As your celebrant, I will work with you to create a ceremony that is meaningful to both of you. It is suggested that each couple carefully consider the various readings to find language that “speaks” to their heart. Remember, not every element in the above “Order of Service” needs to be included – only the four elements in bold must be present, and the witnessing element often is done after the ceremony.
Couples are also encouraged to find their own readings, and/or to write their own vows – but these substitutions must be approved by the celebrant in advance to be sure they will meet the legal requirements of a wedding in the state of New York, as well as the moral requirements of a loving union.
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