Ceremonies

CEREMONY TYPES

Civil – A civil ceremony is a ceremony that does not include any religious aspects.

Religious – A religious ceremony can be traditional, depending on your faith, or include just a few aspects from your religion. Whether you are observant or non- observant, a religious ceremony is still an option.

Spiritual- A spiritual ceremony does not subscribe to one specific religion, if any religion at all; but rather incorporates elements of a couple’s individual connection to each other and the universe through spirit.

Renewal of Vows – A renewal of vows ceremony is a beautiful way for couples to rededicate themselves to one another.

Interfaith – An interfaith ceremony blends traditions, cultures, and/or religious aspects to make everyone feel celebrated and included.

Same Sex – New York:  As of July 24, 2011, same sex couples can now legally marry in New York state.

New Jersey: As of October 21, 2013, same sex couples can now legally marry.  The state had previously recognized civil unions since 2007.

Pennsylvania: Same-sex marriage became legal on May 20, 2014, when a U.S. federal district court judge ruled that the states’ 1996 statutory ban on recognizing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

ELEMENTS OF A CEREMONY

A typical ceremony has a certain structure with a variety of elements. The length of your service will depend on how many elements you choose to include.

  • Processional – The entrance of the wedding party
  • Invocation – An opening prayer
  • Welcome Statement – A statement of welcoming to those gathered in attendance.
  • Remembrances and Acknowledgements – Special words or a moment of silence to pay tribute to those who cannot attend the ceremony.
  • Poetry/Reading – Classic love and wedding poetry as well as readings from different cultures and religions.
  • Declaration of Support – A way for the guests to pledge their support of the marriage.
  • Marriage Address – A paragraph about the role of marriage in our lives.
  • Personal Paragraph – A paragraph about the couple.
  • Vows – The promises that couples make to one another.
  • Ring Ceremony – The exchange of wedding rings.
  • Final Blessing/Prayer – The offering of good wishes to the couple as they begin their life journey.
  • Unity/Symbol Ceremony – A symbolic ceremony that celebrates the union of the couple.
  • Pronouncement – The official proclamation that the couple are now legally married.
  • Recessional – The exiting of the couple followed by the wedding party.