August 14, 2019

Because who doesn’t want to have a blog (or blog series) with the word “demystifying” in it?

Well, here we are chugging straight towards one year of blogging. And wow, have I learned a lot. I hope you have, too.

Time to tackle new things . . . like a blog series! Over the next few weeks, we are going to unpack the wedding ceremony structure for you. Our hope is that it helps you better write and customize your wedding ceremony, as well as better understand what is happening in any wedding ceremony (and even your actual marriage).

There is a basic structure to almost any wedding ceremony no matter the cultural or religious background.  This serves several purposes. First, people function better when they aren’t trying to figure out what is going on.  That goes for the bride and groom, as well as the guests. And when there is a flow and structure, people focus on what is happening, and are far more vested in the moment and the ritual . . . which is actually pretty important and amazing!

A basic structure also helps provide a framework from which to edit. It is much easier to edit and customize a document when you know what you are editing and customizing. A great example is adding a reading. Readings function best as a compliment to the marriage address. Occasionally they can help close out a ceremony. Sticking them in the welcome section can seem jarring and disjointed.

Finally, perhaps most importantly, the overall structure of a wedding should always have one goal:  to unite two people in the bond of marriage. Keeping the end goal in mind keeps weddings from digressing into other messages or platforms, or shifting focus away from the couple. With the goal always centered on the couple, the wedding ceremony structure can equip the couple to do just that – remain centered in their own marriage even as life throws along its inevitable, for better or worse, curveballs.

Next week? We’ll talk about the opening moments of a ceremony: the introduction, welcome, and gathering of the ceremony.