THE CEREMONY

When the Bride reaches the Groom, and her father, mother or other relative is “giving her away,” the JP asks the question, the giver responds and places the bride’s hand in the groom’s. He then takes his seat. If the bride has chosen not to be given away, her escort simply takes his seat and she joins the groom, after handing her bouquet to her maid of honor.

During the ceremony, the couple should stand facing each other. They may hold hands, or just stand with their arms relaxed at their sides. Most brides and grooms naturally reach for each other’s hands during this emotional time. The officiant will lead them through the ceremony and, at the appropriate time, will “feed” their vows to them so that they can repeat them. If you prefer, you can memorize your vows, but make sure your officiant has a copy of them. This is a highly charged moment, and it’s very common for brides and grooms to stumble over their vows. That doesn’t detract from the beauty of the ceremony; in fact, it adds a charming touch. But you’ll want to have some prompting to make sure you say the words you chose so carefully.

When it’s time to exchange rings, the officiant will prompt the best man, if necessary, and he’ll give the rings to the groom. The groom keeps the bride’s ring and gives his ring to her. As they repeat ring vows, they follow the officiant’s instructions to place the rings on each other’s fingers.

SAMPLE CEREMONY

  • INTRODUCTION: The JP thanks everyone…
  • GIVING OF THE BRIDE: The JP would ask “Who gives this woman in marriage?”.
  • MOMENT OF REMEMBRANCE: For those deceased or not able to attend.
  • PARENT/SPONSOR INVOLVEMENT:
  • RECOGNITION OF PARENTS:
  • HOMILY: This is where the JP would talk about the sanctity of marriage, culturally, emotionally, socially.
  • READING OR POEM: Some couples may chose to, or have someone else, perform a reading or recite a poem. This would be an appropriate time.
  • INTRO TO VOWS: This would be an elaboration on the original homily. If there are kids present from previous marriages, this is a great place for them to get mentioned. Perhaps something about expanding the family.
  • DECLARATION OF LOVE: The vows may also begin with a “Declaration of Love”.
  • VOWS: The Bride and Groom are encouraged to write their own vows.
  • RINGS: Rings begin with the rings being brought up, either by the best man, or children.
  • FINAL BLESSING: Pronouncement.