A standard wedding ceremony has the following components,
some of which you may or may not want to include in your ceremony.
Welcome – The officiant welcomes the guests and thanks them for attending on behalf of the couple before the music begins. This might include asking all to be seated and to turn off cell phones.
Processional – The couple and wedding party enter the ceremony space, usually with accompanying music. The guests generally stand for the bride’s entrance.
The “Giving Away” – If you will have your parents, relatives or friends “give you away” or “support you” in your marriage, this is the time for this presentation.
Opening Remarks – The opening remarks are generally about marriage and can include any stories you would like told.
I Do’s (Declaration of Intent or Consent) – This language can vary, but the purpose is for the couple to declare to everyone in attendance that you are here on your own to consent to your marriage. In Colorado, the one part that must remain the same is the use of the words “I Do” to indicate your consent or intent to marry.
Exchange of Vows – These are the words you to choose to share with each other before your family and friends. You may choose to use pre-written vows or write your own.
Readings and Rituals – These are any readings, such as poems, blessings, or quotes, music selections or a ritual, such as a unity candle or a hand fasting. You also might choose to have the readings in other sections of the ceremony.
Ring Exchange – You will give each other your rings and recite short phrases during the exchange.
Closing Remarks – The officiant adds closing remarks about marriage or a story about the couple to lead into the declaration of marriage.
Declaration of Marriage – This is where you are pronounced “husband and wife” or “married.” This statement is the other requirement in Colorado law.
The Kiss - After you are pronounced married by the officiant, you kiss.
Closing – The officiant sends you off with best wishes for your marriage.
Recessional – You face the guests and proceed down the aisle as a married couple, usually with accompanying music.
Signing of the Marriage Certificate – Before the photos begin, you sign the marriage certificate with your officiant and any witnesses, such as your best man and maid of honor. This is usually photographed as well.