A wedding is a special day, not only for the couple involved but also for their friends and family who gather as witnesses. That doesn't mean the ceremony has to be long, though. There are many ways to celebrate a union, and a drawn-out ceremony is not always the way to go. Short and sweet wedding ceremonies can be just as meaningful, especially if the adjustment allows the couple to make room for other special parts of the celebration.
The shortest wedding ceremony script only needs to be a few sentences long. The officiant asks, "Do you take each other as lawfully wedded spouses?" and waits for the couple to answer in the affirmative. Then the minister can say, "I now pronounce you married," and the ceremony is basically over. The first part is the declaration of intent, and the final statement is the pronouncement. These are the only two elements that are required to make the ceremony consensual and legally binding.
There can be several reasons for keeping the wedding ceremony this succinct. The couple may want to focus their time and budget on the reception. Keeping the speaking portion of the service brief may allow them to incorporate mutual hobbies such as skydiving into the ceremony. A quick statement is also useful for a collective wedding. The key reason for a short and sweet wedding ceremony script, though, is simply that it fulfills the couple's wishes. No matter why they want to keep it concise and to the point, the main goal is to ensure their special day is just the way they want it to be.
There is no set length for a wedding ceremony. As with many factors in planning the celebration, the right length of an event depends solely on the wishes of the couple. The average wedding lasts about half an hour. Religious ceremonies are often longer to ensure that every desired portion of the ritual is given the time that its significance demands. From a practical standpoint, though, there's really no wrong way to do it.
A short wedding script can still include more than the declaration of intent and pronouncement. In fact, the couple may want to include many common elements:
- Rings exchange
- Personal vows
- Family involvement
There's no rule that says any of these elements have to take a certain amount of time. The couple can probably have everything they each want in the wedding and still keep it under 15 minutes. As the officiant, you can help by making editing suggestions to any section that seems to run longer than necessary.
Once you get ordained, you can officiate legally binding ceremonies for happy couples. While how much you are involved in the planning stages is likely to vary, if they come to you with questions about how to make their wedding short and simple, it's good to have resources ready to answer them. Visit the online store for guides on how to navigate any duty they'd like you to take on. You can compare sample wedding scripts and adapt them to meet the specifications of the couple with whom you are working. Almost any existing script can be shortened to fit the time they want to allot for the ceremony.
The right way to conduct any wedding is to pay close attention to how the couple wants it to go. Some couples don't want a long service, and that's ok. A short marriage ceremony script frees up time for other parts of the festivities and helps you tailor their special day to their wishes.