Write and Conduct the Perfect Wedding Ceremony in 10 Parts (2023)

So you have to write a script for the wedding ceremony and officiate a wedding. Instead of grabbing a premade, canned example from one of the 695,691 websites out there, start with the 10-part wedding ceremony script draft I use every weekend.

A canned script is restrictive from the start. He says, "I'm not quite sure what I'm doing." If we use script for wedding ceremonydescribe, transmits to our partner that we are structured and flexible. The process ends up being much more collaborative and the final script much more personal.

It's the difference between "Hey, I bought this cake." Now eat it" and "Hey, let's make a cake!" Or something like that.

Call your significant other, sit with them for an hour over drinks, and brainstorm your way through this standard 10-part wedding ceremony script. Discuss any personal items they would like to add. I've included some of the more common variations where necessary so you can discuss some options.

Here is the draft ceremony script that I start with for 100% of the weddings I officiate.

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The perfect script for the wedding ceremony in 10 parts

1. Start of the ceremony

The recorder steps forward (down the aisle or from the side) with Partner 1 and Partner 1's group, and then the recorder makes a few brief opening remarks.

  • Greet the guests.
  • Announce if photos are allowed.
  • Ask guests to silence the phones.
  • "Let's get started on that!" That is the signal for the procession.


  1. After the officer and Companion 1 and Companion 1's group enter, some grandparents or other important family members may enter and take front row seats before the officer speaks.
  2. If Companion 1 and his entourage are part of the procession, the officer may enter alone and give the opening address before everyone else enters.

2. The procession

Music plays and the wedding procession begins.

  • Entran los Ring Boys y/o Flower Girls y/o Junior Bridesmaids.
  • Partner 2's group enters in single file.
  • The officer asks the guests, "Please line up for [Partner 2] however you can."
  • Partner 2 walks in with the parents, walks down the aisle and stands in the front row.
  • Partner 1 moves forward to meet Partner 2 in the front row.
  • Couples and parents exchange handshakes, hugs, and kisses with the parents.
  • Partner 1 and Partner 2 look at each other and shake hands.
  • The registrar asks the guests to sit down.


  1. Sometimes when Companion 2 and his escort reach the front row, the music stops and the officer asks who is giving Companion 2 a gift or who supports this association. Partner 2's escort responds: "Yes."
  2. Ring boys and/or flower girls and/or junior bridesmaids may enter the procession first or just before partner 2.

3. The officer's speech

What makes today so important in this couple's life? They are the promises you make in front of your closest friends and family to always be there for each other ("vows"). This is what the officer says about it.

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Some suggestions on what to say:

  • Tell a story about the couple.
  • Read a poem or excerpt from a book that is meaningful to the couple,
  • say something deep and philosophical about devotion and fidelity,
  • add a few prayers or blessings from the couple's religious tradition.

Be creative, be respectful, and remember that everyone there wants to have fun and participate! (Well, except for the couple. They don't want to be engaged anymore. Heh. See what I did there...? Ohhhkay.)


We may be required by law to say some things at the ceremony, and I'll be happy to add them to the end of the speech. Some of these things could be:

  1. "If anyone knows of a legal reason why these two can't get married today, please speak up now."
  2. "[Partner 1] and [partner 2], you are here today to commit to each other in marriage."

How do we know if we need to include these things in the ceremony? Google in accordance with the laws of your state or province.

4. The exchange of vows

The couple makes promises. It's almost most of the day. No pressure.

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Do not be afraid! See my two blog posts atThe three ways to say the vowsYmy curated list of the most popular wedding vows.

5. The exchange of rings

The best man usually has both rings. The official claims that the couple will now exchange rings as a physical symbol of the promises they are making today.

  • The best man gives couple 1 the ring of couple 2.
  • Partner 1 slips the ring onto Partner 2's finger.
  • The officer asks Companion 1 to repeat a few lines about giving this ring as a symbol and reminder of their commitment (eg, “I give you this ring/as a token of my commitment to you”).
  • The best man presents partner 1's ring to the officer (so he doesn't have to cut the front).
  • The officiant hands the ring to partner 2.
  • Partner 2 slips the ring onto Partner 1's finger.
  • The officer asks Companion 2 to repeat a few lines about giving this ring as a symbol and reminder of their commitment (eg, “I give you this ring/as a token of my commitment to you”).

6. Pronounce the couple as married

"Well, before your closest friends and family (and before the provincial/state authority _________) I declare you husband and wife/married! [Partner 1], you may kiss [Partner 2]!"


  • Some officers put this item after signing, but I like to put it first. That way everyone has been clapping and cheering and the autograph session is more relaxed with a party atmosphere rather than stiff and ceremonial.

7. Signing of legal documents

Is this a legal ceremony? The officer informs the guests that the couple will be signing some papers and that we will all be back in a few minutes.

  • the music begins.
  • When the official legalizes the ceremony (or someone else does), go to the table and sign with the required number of witnesses (usually the best man and bridesmaid).
  • When you're done, everyone returns to the center as before, and the officer prepares to make some final remarks.


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  • Sometimes the couple chooses to do this privately with the groomsmen before or after the ceremony.
  • Some countries do this before or after the ceremony, so you can skip it if it's not customary in your home country.

8. Closing remarks

This is mainly useful material for the following steps. The officer tells the guests 1) what the couple will do next, 2) what the guests should do next, and 3) thank you for coming. For example:

  • "[Partner 1] and [Partner 2] will be stopping briefly to take photos and will join us shortly."
  • "In the meantime, everyone is invited to the terrace where drinks and light refreshments will be served, followed shortly by the reception."
  • "On behalf of the happy couple, thank you for coming and have a nice night!"

9. Presentation of the couple

Here, the couple is officially introduced to everyone for the first time. I usually say this:

  • “Now, finally stay by my side; It is a special honor for me to introduce to you for the first time: _______ and _______ as husband and wife/married!" or an alternative (eg, “Mr. and Mrs. _______!”).

10. The recession

  • The music of the recession starts immediately.
  • The couple walks down the hall.
  • When the couple has completely cleared the aisle (no photobombs or traffic jams!), the two wedding processions continue in pairs, arms crossed and beginning with the best man and bridesmaid.
  • The officer addresses the family of Companion 2, congratulates them, and tells them to proceed down the hall.
  • The officer addresses Partner 1's family, congratulates them, and tells them to walk down the aisle.
  • Finally, the officer stands up and signals the second row behind to leave the room.

There you go!

Well, one thing to note here at the end. This is a standard 10 part wedding ceremony. Our couple can expand it to 22 pieces or 648 pieces by adding readings or rituals involving various family members, fire, sand, doves, F-18 flyovers, clowns, alcohol, etc.

Just join! And remember: it's not our job to coordinate all the little details, like bringing in all the candles and bird cages! Our role as officiant is to enable and personalize how you want your ceremony to be and to create the space for it. Use my standard 10-part ceremony script as a starting point, and from there, design any style of perfect wedding ceremony.

If you feel you need more help, I offer you aComplete wedding script + 1 on 1 coaching service here, and aComplete the Unboring!Wedding Academy wedding officer course here.

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Now go out with your script and deliver your best. Ceremony. Always.


How do you plan a wedding ceremony step by step? ›

The ceremony order below is what's most commonly used.
  1. Prelude (music plays as guests take their seats)
  2. Entrance (music plays as the wedding party enters) ...
  3. Opening remarks.
  4. Readings.
  5. Officiant addresses the couple.
  6. Vows.
  7. Ring exchange.
  8. Pronouncement of marriage.
Mar 16, 2022

What is the correct order of a wedding ceremony? ›

Vows: Promises to one another, either handwritten or selected. Exchange of Rings: Ceremonial giving of the sign of love and loyalty. Blessing or Closing Remarks: Final words from the officiant. Pronouncement: Official declaration of marriage.

What is the most important part of a wedding ceremony? ›

The most important part of your wedding ceremony is the homily or the message from the one officiating your wedding. It will bless not only your marriage but also provide guidance in whatever trials that may come along your new journey together.

What is the structure of ceremony? ›

The structure of "Ceremony" by Leslie Silko is nonlinear. This is evident in the very first few pages of the novel. After the first word, which is "sunrise", there is a space of approximately one and a half pages where nothing is written in the book. Then, the story continues.

How do you start a ceremony? ›

1. Generic. Dear friends and family of the Bride and Groom, we welcome and thank you for being part of this important occasion. We are gathered together on this day to witness and celebrate the marriage of Name Of Bride and Name Of Groom.

How do you write an awesome wedding script? ›

Tips for Writing a Ceremony Script
  1. Start with Structure. A traditional wedding script often sticks to the same basic structure, guiding the timing and momentum of the ceremony. ...
  2. Simplicity in Storytelling. ...
  3. Make it About the Couple. ...
  4. Keep Your Audience in Mind. ...
  5. Run it by a Proofreader.
Jul 16, 2018

How do you lead a wedding ceremony? ›

Here are a few tips to help get you through the process.
  1. Interview the couple — and their friends and family. You were chosen to officiate because you know the couple and can make the ceremony personal. ...
  2. Figure out the structure. ...
  3. Get inspiration. ...
  4. Write the invocation. ...
  5. Help the couple stay on track.
Dec 12, 2018

What makes an amazing wedding? ›

Create the right atmosphere

If you want people to relax, set the mood with music, an unhurried pace and lots of space for your guests. If you want to get everyone in the mood for a party during the evening, add in some cool lighting, louder music and try to keep your guests together a little more.

What is ceremony example? ›

Ceremonies are the time and place setting wherein people communicate seriously. For example, in front of witnesses the groom tells the bride that he loves her and wants to be with her for the rest of his life.

What should officiant say at wedding? ›

Do you [Name], take this [woman/man/person] to be your lawfully wedded [husband/wife], to live together in matrimony, to love [her/him/them], comfort [her/him/them], honor and keep [her/him/them], in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, to have and to hold, from this day forward, as long as you both shall live ...

What are opening words for a wedding ceremony? ›

Welcome to the most important day in the lives of [NAME] and [NAME].” “Today, promises have become permanent and friends have become family.” “Today is a celebration and we are here to celebrate with [NAME] and [NAME].” “Thank you for joining us today on such a wonderful occasion.”

What are the opening words at a wedding ceremony? ›

Welcome to all of you, who have come to share in this important moment in the lives of BRIDE and GROOM. I ask you to join together in celebrating, acknowledging, and honoring this day and the vows that they will be making. By your presence, you witness and affirm the truth of their love and commitment to each other.

Who walks down the aisle and in what order? ›

From walking down the aisle first to last, the traditional order is: Mother of Bride, Mother of Groom, Grandparents of Bride, Grandparents of Groom, Groom, Officiant, the Wedding Party, Maid of Honor and Best Man, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl and lastly the Bride and her Father.

Which Mother walks down the aisle first? ›

The groom's parents precede the bride's mother during the processional. Here's a rundown: After the ushers have seated all of the guests, the grandparents start up the aisle, followed by the groom's parents. Then the bride's mother takes her turn. She is the last to be seated before the bridal party procession begins.

Does bride or groom name go first in ceremony? ›

The Names of Couple

Traditionally the name of the bride always precedes the groom's name. Formal invitations issued by the bride's parents refer to her by her first and middle names, the groom by his full name and title; if the couple is hosting by themselves, their titles are optional.

Who does the groom walk down with? ›

Groom. Traditionally, he walks down the aisle solo but some grooms prefer walking down the aisle escorted by both parents. Other grooms prefer a more subtle approach by entering the ceremony from the side of the venue (following the officiant and followed by the groomsmen) to take his place at the altar.

Who seats the mother of the groom? ›

5 minutes prior to ceremony: The groom's mother is escorted to her seat by the head usher, a son, or the groom. The groom's father follows and sits next to her.

Who walks out first in a wedding? ›

Your officiant is generally the first person to walk toward the altar, signifying the ceremony is about to commence.

Who goes up the aisle first? ›

The Grandparents of the Bride: The bride's grandparents walk down the aisle first. Once they reach the front, they are then seated in the first row, on the right side.

Who walks the divorced mother of the bride down the aisle? ›

The bride's stepfather would accompany the bride's mother unless he will be the one escorting the bride down the aisle. The bride's father can sit in the second or third pew with his spouse or relatives after he escorts the bride down the aisle.

Who gets announced first at wedding reception? ›

The wedding party is announced. Traditionally they are announced in the following order: groom's parents, bride's parents, flower girl and ring bearer, bridesmaids escorted by groomsmen, maid/ matron of honor escorted by the best man and finally the Bride and Groom.

Who puts the ring on first? ›

In a traditional wedding ceremony order, the vows are followed by the ring exchange. The groom usually goes first, though we invite you to be progressive. He puts the wedding band on the bride's finger while repeating a phrase like, “I give this ring as a sign of my love.” Then, it's the bride's turn.

Who says yes first in a wedding? ›

Why? Traditionally, the groom would say his vows first, followed by the bride, according to Nathan. However, there are no rules for that wedding tradition, and many couples now choose other ways to determine who goes first, particularly at LGBTQIA+ and nondenominational weddings.

Do you say your vows before you say I do? ›

"Can you just say 'I do' or do you have to repeat the marriage vow?" You have three basic options when it comes to your vows: Speak your vows yourselves, repeat your vows after your officiant, or say "I do" when your officiant asks you "Do you ...?" questions. There are sample wedding vows of each style.


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