When writing a wedding ceremony, one of the key things to take into consideration is the flow of the ceremony and how it can help to maintain the emotion and thus the attention of the guests. Before I explain a little further, I want to remind you that our recommendation when writing a ceremony is to shoot for a wedding ceremony that is about 20 minutes in length. The ceremony shouldn’t really be much shorter than 15 minutes, unless it is an elopement, because it is tough to really celebrate the couple and build the emotion in that short of a time, and the ceremony shouldn’t really be longer than 30 minutes because with today’s attention spans, you will “loose” most of the guests, independent of how well written the ceremony is.
When working on the flow when writing a wedding ceremony, the key is to put pieces where they fit best and if you are not sure where they fit best, use a resource such as AMM’s Asked to Officiate workbook to help. For example, many of our couples like the reading, Union, and although this reading would work well in a couple different places within the wedding ceremony, it fits really well right before vows. Also, don’t be afraid to step outside the box. There have been more than a few times when I have used a reading or a famous quote to “grab” the guest’s attention before I even do my opening “welcome” words. The key is to try to arrange the wedding ceremony pieces so they fit and flow from one to the other, and if they aren’t perfect, you can help it along by writing some transitional wording.
If you pick the right pieces and make them flow well together, you can then create and manage the emotional feel you are trying to achieve for the couple. Some couples want a wedding ceremony that is more fun and light-hearted while others want a more serious or traditional feel to their ceremony. And some couples want something that is a good mix. Any tone or feel can be beautiful and meaningful as long as it fits the couple.
The great thing is that between the pre-written ceremonies you can find online, the large number of quotes and readings that are available for use, and AMM’s Asked to Officiate workbook which covers everything required to get a personal and custom ceremony, creating a wonderful and fitting wedding ceremony has become something that anyone can do if they put their mind to it.
This page covers higher level aspects of writing a wedding ceremony script and assumes basic knowledge of wedding ceremony script writing. For a more robust guide on how to write a wedding ceremony script, check out AMM’s page “9 Steps to Writing a Perfect Wedding Ceremony Script“.