Photo taken at The Columbia Club
by Summerly Photography
by Summerly Photography
This is a template that I use when I send you your ceremony document. I send you a link to a Goolge Shared Document so we can literally be on the same page at the same time. I'm always updating this trying to make it as user friendly as possible. I want you to have fun and enjoy the process of choosing your ceremony. If that's not for you, no worries! I can ask you a few simple questions and choose a ceremony for you and fill in the details.
This page contains examples of how others have personalized their ceremony, or how I have done it for them. Sometimes it helps to read and see what I'm talking about!
Thank you so much for booking your wedding with me! This is your ceremony document. It is a Google Share document, so anyone with the link can both view and edit the document. You can cut, paste and edit the document however you like. It’s easier for me to keep everything in one place if you utilize this document instead of sending separate attachments. If you don’t like this format, that’s OK too. If you prefer to edit in a different format, you can send documents to me directly at email@example.com. Please make sure it’s in a format I can cut and paste from.
You have booked a formal wedding ceremony. I am scheduled to arrive at your wedding at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start time. I am currently scheduled to arrive at your wedding by XX:XX PM for a XX:XX PM Start. You have until (one hour past your scheduled start time) to finish your ceremony and have your license signed. This schedule can accommodate up to a 30-minute late start.
You are responsible for obtaining your own marriage license and bringing it with you to your wedding. Information about obtaining a marriage license can be found by following this link. I prefer to sign the marriage license before your ceremony because it’s easier. If you prefer to sign it after your ceremony, it must be done immediately following your ceremony before you move on to more pictures or your reception.
You have/have not booked me for a rehearsal. If you would like me at your rehearsal there is an additional fee. Please contact me for availability and to schedule. Or, Your rehearsal has been scheduled for XX:XX AM/PM on Day, Month, Date, Year. I will arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled start time and you will have one hour to rehearse.
Questions: (These are general, they may or may not apply to you.)
Do you have preferred pronouns? Please include any gender-neutral terms you may like to use instead of the traditional “Bride and Groom.” Like, “Married Partners,” “Spouse,” etc…
Will Bride be escorted down the aisle? By who?
If Bride is being escorted down the aisle, would you like me to ask, “Who gives this woman to be married?” or “Who presents this woman in marriage?” Or would you like to leave that part out?
Would you like to announce an unplugged ceremony? This is when we ask guests to silence and put away their cell phones and refrain from taking pictures during the ceremony. Some couples are OK with pictures; they just ask guests to stay seated.
Do you want a photo moment? This is when you allow guests an opportunity to take a picture before putting their phones away or allowing them to take them out towards the end of the ceremony to take a picture. It’s a controlled way to allow guests to use their phones.
Will you be writing your own vows and sharing them during the ceremony? Some couples write their own vows but don’t want to share them during the ceremony.
Who will have the rings?
Do you want a Unity Ceremony? Which one?
How do you want to be pronounced married? I now pronounced you married! I now pronounce you husband/wife and wife/husband! I now pronounce you partners for life! It can be a combination.
The First Kiss? “You may seal this marriage with a kiss.” “You may kiss your Bride!” Maybe you prefer not to kiss?
How would you like to be addressed as a married couple? It can be as simple as Name and Name are Married! Mr. and Mrs. First Name and First Name Last Name! Dr. and Mr. Dr. and Mrs etc…
Do you have any announcements for me to make after the ceremony?
Your Ceremony Script:
Here is a link to my Wedding Ceremony Script Guide. This is a link to a page of links. I have 10 Formal Wedding Ceremonies to choose from. Each has a different tone. Most of the ceremonies are completely secular, but I also have a traditional Christian ceremony, a Christian-lite ceremony, Secular Humanist, Interfaith-Jewish, and an updated Handfasting. I also have a guide to every part of a formal wedding ceremony, with several options for each part to choose from if you want to create your own ceremony. There is also a link to a vow writing guide.
Writing your own personal sentiments. This is kind of like writing your own vows to each other, but I’ll be reading them for you. This is optional!! (See examples below)
If you would like to include special sentiments in your ceremony, you are welcome to. Something like… “When reflecting on their relationship and why they choose to marry, the couple had these things to say about each other….”
If you would like me to include personal thoughts in your ceremony, like, why you love each other or special thoughts or feelings - but as more of a surprise to each other during the ceremony. Please feel free to email me privately and separately with the information to include in your ceremony. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This part of the ceremony is included at no extra charge, as I will read what you have written verbatim. If you want me to write your love story into the ceremony, there is an additional charge.
Please cut and paste your ceremony here.
If you just want a particular ceremony, you can write down the ceremony number.
If you want to make changes to a ceremony with my options, you can write, “We want Ceremony 4 with Christian Vow Options 2, A Unity Candle - Option 1, and we’d like to add the reading ‘Union.’”
When you have updated the document, please let me know!
Examples of your personal Sentiments.
Writing your own personal sentiments.
This is kind of like writing your own vows to each other, but I’ll be reading them for you. This is optional!
Examples of this:
As Claire and Zach prepared for the ceremony part of this wedding celebration, they reflected on what it is that they love about each other.
Zach, Claire loves that you are her partner and her teammate. She sees in you a strong, smart, and selfless man who is always up for an adventure. A man who works hard putting away the bad guys, but is never too busy to take care of her. She loves that you have made Boston feel like home and that you make sure she has a gourmet meal on her most stressful days. Most importantly, she loves that you share her values and vision for the future.
Claire, Zach loves that you have the courage to take on any challenge, whether it’s living alone in Germany or Australia, speaking your mind in a meeting with c-suite
executives or being willing to date long distance for nine years so you both could pursue careers you love. He loves you give your full effort in all you do. He loves that you make the most out of each day whether that means working hard at your job, securing a reservation at the best restaurants in Boston, or trying to finish a season of a Netflix show in a couple of days. You never waste a moment or fritter away a day. Finally, Zach loves that you believe with communication, understanding, and maybe a few hugs, the two of you can build a fulfilling life full of adventure and love together, and he wants you to know he believes the same.
What your personalized ceremony may look like.
There is an additional $100 charge for this option. It may include me writing your love story into your ceremony, or if you don't want they type of personalized information included, we can personalize your wedding ceremony for you that best expresses the two of you, your relationship, and (if you want) They best ceremony for you and your guests.
If you could answer these questions for me, they would help me to personalize your ceremony. I can write your love story into your ceremony or use the info to get your vibe and create a ceremony that sounds like you! - They can also help you in writing your own vows.
Do not feel like you need to answer all of them; one or two may speak to you more than others.
What are some pivotal moments in your relationship?
What was your first official date or favorite date?
Tell me about the first time you met.
When did you fall in love?
Why do you want to get married?
Favorite way to spend the day together?
Examples of this: (What I wrote with the answers)
Maddie and Logan's Love Story
This one made it into their wedding video! https://youtu.be/r_OVpDpv3hE
Maddie and Logan have known each other almost their entire lives in one way or another. That’s the start to a classic love story. They grew up in the same town, around the same families and friends. They both had the same preschool teacher, they played with the same group of friends during elementary school recesses. As middle schoolers do, they ignored each other. By their senior year in high school, their friends seemed to know they would make a good match so they pushed them together during their Santa Switch afterparty, where Logan won his first kiss after a bet was made during “water” pong, that, if he made the next shot, he could kiss Maddie! It must have been quite a kiss, because 6 years later, here we are! Growing up in the same small town, with the same friends and families, gave both Maddie and Logan roots to grow strong as individuals. When they decided to start dating, growing together was a natural process because of those roots. That’s a tribute to all of you who are here today - as part of their lives, you have helped to make them who they are. Thank you. When it came time to plan and leave for college, Logan and Maddie automatically included each other in their plans. There was no need for discussion; that’s just the way it was. They could feel it, and when you know, you know.
Calem and Alexa's Love Story
This story started a little over 3 years ago when Calem and Alexa met on a dating app. Let’s stop here and give a nod to technology because not only did they meet on a dating app, they matched on two different dating apps. Some may think, what an amazing algorithm! But let’s just call it romantic destiny! Just like Alexa’s friend seeing her texting Calem during a med school lecture and vouching for him could also be a nod to technology or destiny. It’s everything that has happened along the way and the conscious choices that have been made over the years that has led them here today.
Their first date was over craft beer, mushroom swiss burgers, poutine, porter, and cider. It was a pretty typical first date that ended with the most awkward hug in human history. But, NEVER dismiss an awkward hug, because it also shows the shy, nervous, sincerity of the person giving it. It did lead to an epic second date that was unequivocally the most significant night of their young relationship. Nerves were calmed and the two of them talked for hours. Conversations flourished, and the sprouts of love were planted. The two of them were so wrapped up in conversation they had no idea that so much time had passed when they were very kindly asked to leave, as the restaurant was closing.
As a dedicated med-student, Alexa only allowed herself to see Calem one day a week. In this case, absence made the heart grow stronger as Calem patiently waited, anticipating their time together. He traveled near and far to see her during her med school rotations, and on an evening with a beautiful sunset, 232 days from their first date, they both had spoken the words “I Love You.”
(It gives meaning to the phrase from The Fellowship of the Ring)
“Love is never late, nor is it early. It arrives precisely when it means to.”
Calem then took the relationship even more seriously when he traveled to meet Alexa’s big, and somewhat intimidating family, a few weeks later over Christmas to truly declare and prove his intentions. Thank you for welcoming him into the group and making him part of the family!
With the foundation in place, the whirlwind really started when Alexa matched for a residency in St. Louis. They moved in together, adopted a dog, got engaged, and now we are here today, on their wedding day.
Alexa, Calem wants to marry you today because he knows that you are the smartest, kindest, and most beautiful person he has ever met. You make him a better person inspiring him to be his best when he is around you. He misses you when you are not around and he truly appreciates all the time, effort, and presence you have in your relationship. He truly values the amazing team that you are, as you both bring forth your own strengths to support each other. His feelings for you are so deep that sometimes he’s shocked that he has tricked you into staying as long as you have.
Calem, you bring light and humor to Alexa’s life. She didn’t think she would end up getting married - but you changed her mind because she knows without a doubt you are the person she wants to share her life with. She can’t wait to start your
lives together as a family. Calem, Alexa wants to marry you today because she doesn’t want to spend a single day without you.
Jenna and Brandon
Jenna and Brandon. The two of You have known each other from your first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment - From the first day at the Rathskellar here in Indianapolis to Lansing to Greenville. Somewhere along the way, in a very natural way, you decided to marry. It wasn't the moment that Brandon officially asked, and Jenna said yes, but with every step along the way, you both have been making the promises and agreements in an informal way that creates a marriage. All those conversations that were held over facetime or while taking long walks with your dog Rue. Quite times on the couch drinking smoky margaritas. A sweet and natural “g’night, love you!” as you drift off to sleep… All those sentences that began with, I will, and you will, and we will - words that are just like wedding vows, and All those things - not only words, but mutual feelings and actions that have come so naturally, that are unspoken matters of the heart. Simple things, like taking the time to sleep in with no schedule, grabbing a cup of coffee, staying in and cooking dinner, watching Manchester United or that show you keep saying you are going to watch but never seem to finish… all these common things and more are the real process leading up to a wedding. Brandon, you came into Jenna’s life at exactly the right moment, appreciating her just the way she was, setting the tone for the natural unfolding of your relationship and who you are both authentically becoming separate and together. Now the formal, symbolic wedding vows that you’re about to make are a way of saying to each other… you know all those things that we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed? Well, I meant them all, every word.
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another. Friends, lovers, dog parents, and even teachers, for you have learned much from one another over these past few years. Now, you will say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you will say to the world, this is my husband, and this is my wife.