Wedding Outline             25 Apr 2010        .

     gr      gr                       .

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Wedding Outline


The wedding outline below is drawn in the form of a pyramid in order to emphasize the most important part of the ceremony, "#8, Marriage Vows."   This is where you publicly declare you commitment to each other in front of family and friends, and by your spoken word, declare your intention.

Begin at the bottom left:  Procession / Entrance to Wedding Site 

Each step is described lower down on this page in the Explanation Section.

During your personal interview with us, via telephone or in person, we will discuss each step in considerable detail.   Then based upon your wishes, intentions, and requirements, we custom cerate your wedding ceremony to express the essence of your commitment to each other.





---8 --

            Minister’s         Exchange of      

           Words                          Rings

7------------------- 9

                            Reading, Sharing                      Symbolic                     

                     Words of  Love                                 Acts               

6 --------------------------  10

                Asking   of   Intention                                          Blessing            

5 -------------------------------------- 11

            Invocation  --- Gathering of Energy                           Pronouncement           

4 ------------------------------------------------- 12

        Greeting  the  Guests                                                                                             The  Kiss     

3 ------------------------------------------------------------  13

         Greeting  the  Couple ---Introduction                                                                               Introduction      

2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------  14

Procession / Entrance to Wedding Site                                                                                                 Recession / Exit

 1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------  15


The Fifteen Steps of a Wedding Ceremony




Please understand that the content of this page
is the copyrighted property of Connie Poggiani and The Life Center.

It is a product of many hours of our labor of love.

The outline and the description that follows 
shared with you  for your personal use only.   

Please honor and respect us and the time, the expertise and the effort
 that went into its creation by limiting its use to you personally.   



Outline Explained              ...

The  Fifteen-Steps -- Explained  

Essentially, a wedding ceremony is a mini theater piece in which the bride and groom publicly declare their intention to be husband and wife in front of their community of family and friends and ask the guests to acknowledge, support, and celebrate their union.

Each tradition has one or more of its own special components; however, wedding ceremonies tend to follow a very similar pattern, regardless of the culture, or the religion of the bride and broom.   This is particularly true within the  (3,000+)  variations of Christianity.   The fifteen steps below represent the most common elements of a wedding ceremony.   



rose icon    1 - Procession / Entrance to  Wedding  Site

In what order do the members of the wedding party enter the wedding sit?   Where do they stand?   In what order do they leave?  This is covered in considerable detail on the page titled:   Wedding Rehearsals.


rose icon   2 - Greeting  the  Couple ---Introduction

Once the bride is standing at the alter, the guests are invited to sit down, the bride's escort (if she has one)  is acknowledged,** the escort places the bride and groom's hands together, and then either sits in a front row seat or takes his place as part of the wedding party.    The bride and groom stand facing each other, in profile to their guest, and in profile to the officiant.   The couple is then welcomed to their wedding ceremony, and the purpose for their being there is briefly stated.

** Contemporary officiants no longer ask: "Who give this woman to be married."   Woman are no longer considered property (at least not in the United States).   The question is formulated as: " Who escorts (or accompanies)  the bride?"   Often the words "And givers his/her blessing to this marriage" are also spoken.   The Escort can respond any way he/she chooses.   The usual response is:  "I do."  or "I do for the family."


rose icon   3 - Greeting  the  Guests

At this point, the greeting is expanded and the guests are invited to participate in the ceremony by contributing their support and best wishes.   They are told that they are here to witness the marriage and to celebrate with the bride and groom as they become husband and wife in their presence.  Occasionally, the minister is asked to share with the guests some personal information about the bride and groom.   The minister is sometimes asked to acknowledge and say thank you to someone special, such as parents, the host, or the person who introduced them to each other.


rose icon   4 - Invocation  --- Gathering of Energy

This is the first of three places in the ceremony where the spiritual content is brought in.   Like all other aspects of the ceremony, brides and grooms choose the spiritual content of their ceremony.  Ceremonies can be anything from very religious to strictly civil  and are commonly somewhere in between those two end of the spectrum.


rose icon   5 - Asking   of   Intention

This is the first of the two aspects required by state for a legal marriage.   Traditionally, the groom is asked to answer first.   

The antiquate question: 

           "If anyone has any reason why this couple should not be
            married,  let him speak now or forever hold his peace"  

Is no longer used.  That statement stems from the days when women were considered property and a wedding was merely a meeting of two families to exchange property.   The question in essence was:  If anyone has any claims to this property speak now or loose your right of claim."


rose icon   6 - Reading -- Sharing -- Words of  Love

This is an excellent place to add a song, a poem, or words meaningful to the bride and groom.   Usually the words are  read by a friend or family member.   The officiant may be asked to do the reading.   This is also an excellent place to add a song, either recorded or performed live.   Occasionally,  the bride & groom may choose to speak words of love to each other.


rose icon   7 - Minister’s Words on Marriage

This is a brief statement about love, nurturing, and sharing;  focused on the bride and groom and designed to lead into the vows which are the high point in the wedding ceremony.   Occasionally this portion of the ceremony may include special words or special themes, depending upon what the bride and groom desire.


rose icon   8 - Marriage  Vows

This section is covered in considerable detail on the two wedding vows pages:  The What, Why, and How of Wedding Vows.   and   Sample Wedding Vows.



rose icon   9 - Blessing Rings  & Exchange of Rings

Wedding rings are held by the bride an groom while the officiant briefly speaks about the meaning and symbology of exchanging rings.   The officiant briefly holds rings, bride and groom place their hands over the rings, and the rings are blessed.   The couple then exchange rings.  



rose icon   10 - Symbolic  Acts

This is another optional portion of the ceremony.   About fifty percent  of brides and grooms choose to add something here.   It may be any of dozens of symbolic acts such as:

*   Lighting a unity candle;  
*   Pouring two containers  of wine (or fruit juice) into a common cup 
     and then giving each other a sip from the common cup; 
*   A rose exchange symbolizing the purity, the power, 
     and the passion of their love; 
*   or something the bride and groom have uniquely created
. for

See our Symbolic Acts. page for more details.   

This place in the ceremony is also commonly used to add another reading or a song.   It can be something  similar to what is done in step six, above.   It can be something you have uniquely created. for yourselves.


rose icon   11 - Blessing

This is the third of the three places in the ceremony where the spiritual content is brought in.   It follows the style, format, and spiritual content of the initial blessing done if step four above.   It is often spoken as a prayer of gratitude for the blessings bestowed.


rose icon   12 - Pronouncement

This is the second of the two things required by the state for a legal marriage.   The officiant acknowledges that the bride and groom are indeed married.   The antiquated pronouncement language (By the Power vested in me by the state...)  is no longer used.   Even the Roman Catholic Church now acknowledges that it is the couple themselves that administer the sacrament of marriage.   The officiant is merely the witness.

Couples often ask about witnesses signing the marriage license.   This is rarely included in the ceremony.   It's normally done sometime during  the celebration that follows the ceremony.


rose icon   13 - The  Kiss

If you need an explanation of this step, you shouldn't be getting married


rose icon   14 - Introduction

During the ceremony, the couple have been focusing their attention on each other and listening to the officiant.   They are now asked to turn and face their guests.   They are then introduced for the first time officially as husband and wife.


rose icon   15 - Recession / Exit

The bride and groom exit the ceremony site followed by the remainder of the wedding party.    The order in which people leave the wedding site is covered on the page titled:   Wedding Rehearsals..



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