Hey y’all, it’s Landan! I wanted to take y’all through ceremony planning today and give you some insight on how we planned our ceremony. While the experience and stories are my own, the photos in this blog post are from when Audrey and Kolton Bailey tied the knot at The Chandelier. Their photos are so sweet and I couldn’t help but share them with all of you.

Of all of the things I planned and personalized for our wedding day, our wedding ceremony was my favorite. It was the thing I was most intimidated by and took the longest to sit down and actually do (seriously – even longer than our music selections). I stressed so much about what to include or what you were supposed to have. I didn’t want it to be too long, but I also didn’t want it to be too short. I wanted it to be personal, but I also didn’t want it to be so personal that no one knew what was going on. I knew our ceremony would be filled with a lot of moments that I would always remember, so naturally I avoided it like the plague. What else is new. But, as much as I worried about putting it together, it all came together and made our day that much more special.

Similarly, of all of the parts that make up a wedding day, ceremonies are my favorite. Though they’re one of the shortest parts of the wedding day, they’re one of the parts of the wedding that you get the most photos and video footage from. I love seeing what comes out of your day and how people customize their ceremony to make it true to who they are as a couple.

When it came to planning our ceremony, I think one of the biggest reasons I was hesitant to start was because I didn’t know where to start. I’d been to dozens of ceremonies, but I didn’t pay close enough attention to know what order things were supposed to go in or what parts we should include. So, if you’re in the same boat, I wanted to put together an outline for you. It’s a little long, so feel free to cut out things that don’t seem right for you or move things around if they make more sense in the flow of your ceremony.

I don’t think there’s any right way to do a ceremony, and I’m guessing that most officiants will provide you with their own outline or guide for planning your ceremony (or will just get to know you and plan it out for you), but here’s what we worked off of. I also included some of our personal welcomes/greetings in italics in case you wanted to see them. I’m an open book, so if you’re wondering about making something yours or want to know what we did for something I didn’t include, feel free to reach out to us!

Wedding Ceremony Outline

Prelude – music typically starts 15 to 30 minutes before the ceremony

Officiant Announcement regarding no cell phones/cameras

On behalf of Kevin, Landan and their families I’d like to welcome everyone. Today is a beautiful day and many wonderful memories will be created. Kevin and Landan have an amazing photography team and would appreciate you enjoying this beautiful occasion without distraction or any devices blocking any of the beautiful moments. At this time, please silence and put away all phones and cameras, and enjoy the ceremony.

Family Seating and Bridal Party Entrance

Bride Entrance and Giving Away of The Bride

I’ve never met a father who was willing to give up his daughter, so instead I ask, Rick, do I have your blessing for this marriage?

Guests are Seated and Opening Remark

On behalf of Kevin and Landan, I would like to welcome everyone to the party, and yes, I said party, because this is a celebration. We have been invited here today to witness and celebrate with Kevin and Landan as they become one in marriage. They are taking the first step of their new beginning as husband and wife; their new life together. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding for each other has grown and matured, and now with love and commitment, they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.  No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important than those you are about to take. 

Both of you come to this day with the realization that the bond of marriage is sacred, as are all of its obligations and responsibilities. As you start your new life together, take a moment and look around, because this is your wedding day. Your friends, your family, those who believe in you and love you are here. These are the people who will always support your marriage and commitment to one another.

Special Thank Yous, Military Appreciation, and/or In Memory Ofs

Opening Blessing or Reading

Love Story or Personal Anecdote

Ceremony Reading, Scripture Reading, Special Reading

This is a great time to invite someone up to do a reading if you want to make someone part of your ceremony who may not necessarily be in the wedding party. Kevin’s sister read a reading from The Alchemist followed by a short statement on why she chose it for us. 

Wedding Vows

We did our personal vows followed by traditional wedding vows. There are hundreds of “traditional vows” out there to choose from if you google them. Select what means the most to you and resonates with you. For your vows, you can have your officiant read them and just say “I Do” afterwards, do a repeat after me, or read them directly. 

Unity Ceremony

Ring Ceremony

Instead of jumping into asking the best man for the rings, you can transition into the exchanging of the rings with a ring ceremony. A ring ceremony can include the meaning of why we exchange rings, a blessing of the rings, and/or words you exchange with one another while giving each other your rings. 

Closing Blessing or Reading

A final thought before I pronounce you: “May you love deeply, laugh heartily, practice patience and smile often.  May you dream together, grow, be crazy, give, give in, and trust enough to take.  May you see many sunrises, listen to the rain, savor special moments and rediscover each other over and over.  May you have health, happiness and a lifetime of rich adventure.”

The Pronouncement and The Kiss

In accord