Wedding Ceremony Rituals Explained

Sand Ceremony Wedding Ritual

While weddings are precious events that celebrate two people being brought together by love, the truth is that most people have no idea how weddings operate. Despite what many believe, there is a structure to the ceremony as well as the various services and events that are incorporated into the wedding. And while it can vary from state to state and from couple to couple, the general structure is going to remain the same. With that being said, let’s take a look below and take a look at the wedding services ranked by importance.

Want to see interesting rituals that many couples opt to include in their weddings? Check out Kate Joubert’s Pinterest account, which has an awesome collection of wedding ceremony ritual ideas!

Wedding Ceremony Introduction

The beginning of any wedding ceremony is usually going to incorporate the following:

  • Family Ritual
  • Presentation of Couple
  • Remembrances
  • Thanking of Friends and Family

Most wedding ceremonies are going to start off by introducing the bride and the groom. A few words of thanks will probably be given to the person would escorted them down the aisle. From there, special thanks will be given to the family as well as all of the guests. This is the point when any traditions or family rituals are supposed to occur. One popular choice for most couples would be to provide flowers for their mothers. Also, if the couple wants to include remembrances this this would also be the time to do them. Basically, it would incorporate a moment of silence that is candle lit and ended with the toast of wine.

Love Stories

Sometimes the ceremony will open up by talking about the “Love Story”. For those who don’t know, this is simply the story of how the couple met, when they fell in love, and when they decided to get married. Some couples like to do this and some couples don’t. Again, it comes down to personal preference. Sometimes the love stories can end with dreams of the future and where the couple see themselves later on down the road.

The Asking

This is when the “I do” will come from both the bride and the groom. They will generally turn towards one another, grab each other’s hands, and answer very important questions regarding their marriage. Once the couple agrees on these questions, they will be required to make some sort of positive affirmation (as stated above: “I do”). Tradition has shown that most couples like to exchange vows during this time as well.

Unity Rituals

Unity rituals are designed to symbolize the life that the bride and groom are going to be sharing together. Sometimes this will involve the planting of a tree, the exchanging of flowers or gifts, and even a wine ceremony. Either, this is something that generally occurs within most weddings and for most couples.

A beautiful memento from the sand ceremony wedding ritual. Photo from Weddinghigh

A beautiful memento from the sand ceremony wedding ritual. Image –

Dove Releases are a popular option for wedding couples.

Dove Releases are a popular option for wedding couples. Image –

Butterfly Releases also add a beautiful touch to the wedding. Image -

Butterfly Releases also add a beautiful touch to the wedding. Image –

Handfasting rituals symbolically bind the couple together in their declaration of unity. Image -

The Handfasting ritual symbolically bind the couple together in their declaration of unity. Image –

Ring Ceremony and Closing Remarks

The ring ceremony occurs when both the bride and the groom are placing their perspective rings on one another. This phase is fairly standard and will occur in almost every wedding. The closing remarks occur when the officiant makes a brief blessing for the both the bride and the groom and can sometimes incorporate the characteristics of a love story. The “Declaration of Marriage” occurs when they are declared man and wife and kiss.

Do Stages of a Wedding Change?

Almost every wedding out there is going to be different. What occurs within the ceremony is usually determined by what religious background the couple has as well as their personal preferences. In some cases, there are stages of the ceremony that are going to remain the same no matter what- like the declaration of marriage and ring ceremony. Others like the love story and exchanging of vows are optional.


As you can see, the stages of a wedding are relatively simple to understand. In general, it will always be an officiant leading the way and doing most of the talking. Above all, speak with your officiant so that you can be aware of your ceremony and understand what will be happening during that time.

Have you included any special rituals into your own wedding ceremony?  If so, we would love to hear which one(s), and what effect it had on the ceremony!