Your wedding ceremony sanctifies your commitment of union. It is the culmination of all your preparations and planning. During the ceremony it is the interaction between the couple and the officiant that is the core of the wedding experience. The officiant guides the exchange of expressions of love and commitment between bride and groom, an experience both intimate and public at the same time. Our basic Florida wedding ceremony comprises:
- Welcome – set the tone by greeting the wedding party and guests, and reminds them that they are witnesses to this uniquely sanctified union of bride and groom
- Commitment of marriage – a brief homily on what it means to commit one’s coupleship to marriage
- Reading – words that express love and commitment, which may be scriptural or poetic, serious or humorous
- Expression of vows – statements of love and commitment to each other that may be traditional, suggested by the officiant, or created by the couple themselves
- Exchange of rings – an expression of endearment by the couple representing the unbroken circle of love that the wearing of rings denotes
- Universal blessing – a poem that highlights the joys of coupleship
- Pronouncement of marriage – the formal announcement of becoming husband and wife, and sealed with a public kiss
- Introduction of the couple – presentation of the married couple to the wedding party and guests for the very first time
Optional Elements to Enhance Your Ceremony
- Remembrance of those not present – special mention in the welcome, or after final blessing, of those unable to be present for whatever reason
- Unity candle ceremony – lighting of unity candle by bride and groom, and /or members of the family following exchange of rings (can be provided at additional charge)
- Sand Ceremony – similar theme of unity expressed by pouring individual sand containers into a common sand receptacle (can be provided at additional charge)
- Rose Ceremony – groom presents rose to bride holding a rosebud after exchange of rings (can be provided at additional charge)
- Inclusion of children – this can be done during any part of the ceremony; for pre-teenage children especially a small gift exchange(rings, chains, bracelets, etc.) may be appropriate after the couple’s exchange of rings
- Release of butterflies/doves – a joyous announcement of marriage at the end of the ceremony (can be arranged by bride/groom)
Wedding Rehearsal If you decide on a rehearsal, usually on the evening prior to the wedding, we will provide up to an hour of service to coordinate both the processional (the sequencing of the opening procession) and the recessional (at the end of the ceremony) elements of the wedding ceremony. We recommend a rehearsal particularly for wedding parties that include more than six people and/or young children as ring bearers, flower girls, or junior bridesmaids.
Second Wedding Ceremonies: We are especially sensitive to the needs of couples marrying for the second time. This often involves a deeper blending of families through the incorporation of children into the marriage. We suggest that the children be included as fully as possible in the wedding ceremony to provide them with a sense of love and belonging that extends from the bride and groom themselves. This can be achieved through such actions as including them in the wedding party, the unity candle or sand ceremony, or in the presentation of a gift at the end of the ceremony (see Ceremony – Optional Elements)
We are also available for special counseling of such blended families as a post-nuptial service.
Post-Nuptial Services: We plan to be available to you throughout your married life. In this regard, we provide several services that highlight critical passages in your marital journey.
Anniversary and Vow Renewals — Celebrate special anniversaries by renewing your vows and recreating meaningful parts of your wedding ceremony. We recently officiated at a 40th wedding anniversary in Old Naples and at a 1st anniversary on Vanderbilt Beach.
Baptisms – one of the fruits of marital union is the birth of offspring. We rejoice with parents, family, and friends in blessing and naming the new arrival(s) and incorporating them into the human community. We recently performed this ceremony for twin daughters of parents we had married two years previously.
House Blessings – When a couple moves into their first home, or a new home, it is like creating a new sanctuary for their marriage. We are available to bless the positive and affirming energy that you desire to experience in your home, and that you wish visitors also to experience when they enter.