General Format of the Wedding Celebration
Below is a general order of things as they happen at the actual ceremony, presented for your information. Couples have some flexibility and other than the legally required bits, you can build the ceremony to fill your needs.
Legally required language in number 3 and 5 and 7 for a marriage registered in Alberta.
1. Processional: how will the ceremony begin? Entrance of wedding party? Bride?
2. Introduction: getting things started: Welcome guests, general comments about marriage,
some talk about the couple about to become legally married.
2a.(Readings: other participants) a favourite poem, Biblical passage, a family tradition? This is certainly optional, but sometimes couples have something or someone they would like to include in the ceremony.
3. Declaration: legally required... "I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful impediment why I, ______, may not be joined in matrimony to _____." This replaces the old, "Is there anyone here who knows a reason why this marriage can not go forward."
4. "I Do's" questions “promise to give love of your person, patience of understanding (I do)
5. Marriage Vows: legally required: "I, ______, do take you _____ to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife/spouse" ... "to have and to hold from this day forward" Couples may write their own vows to go here or they can choose from a variety of vows available on another webpage.
6. Ring Exchange: “I give you this ring that you may wear it” Couples may write their own ring language to go here or they can choose from a variety of ring commitment choices available on another webpage. Note: rings do not come with a legal requirement in Alberta.
6a.Other celebratory activity—wine box, rose ceremony, sand ceremony. lovelocks, handfasting: there are a wide variety of ceremonies which some couples choose to have in the ceremony. They could come earlier in the ceremony, but this spot works for most ceremonies. Again, a variety of ceremonies and the language associated are available on other pages on this site.
7. Declaration “you have joined hands to accept one another, consented in marriage and declared your intent... authority vested in me… pronounce you legally married” ... you may seal your commitment with a kiss
8. Signing of marriage docs: your marriage license becomes your registration of marriage and must be signed by the couple, their two witnesses, and the marriage commissioner.
10. Recessional: How would you like to be introduced as a couple? How will you depart? Do you require any announcements after the ceremony for wedding guests as you exit? Will you have a greeting line? Are you off for photographs? Are there times for other celebratory activities?