Ceremony Elements: What should be included in the wedding ceremony?

These days there are many ways to personalize your special day but a few key elements that must be included to make your union official.  If you are having a friend or relative perform the ceremony, here are the best tips to get hitched without a hitch:

Make your officiant official - Depending on your state laws, your officiant will need to be ordained, becoming legally allowed to marry you. Organizations like the Universal Life Church can offer this process very easily for free or a very low price.  Sweet Sage owner, Shelby, is actually ordained by the Universal Life Church and can legally perform marriages (worse case scenario and only if your original plan falls through!).  This person must be at least 18 years old.

The paperwork - Probably the most important piece of the puzzle is the Marriage License.  The two of you will want to go together to your county recorder office with valid ID and pick up your license.  There is a small fee and it is only valid for 90 days so keep this in mind when scheduling your appointments.  It needs to be signed, witnessed, and turned back into the same office within 10 days of the ceremony.  There are two kinds of licenses: public and private so read about these differences before deciding which is right for you.

Ceremony squared - Often within the wedding ceremony is an element called a unity ceremony. This is not a requirement but can be a fun way to personalize your union. Traditional Unity Ceremonies include a sand ceremony or a candle ceremony, but we have seen more fun ideas over the years!  Our favorites have been a tree planting ceremony when the bride groom (and bride’s daughter) added a scoop of soil to a the base of their new tree.  They planned to then take the tree home and plant it in their backyard!  Another fun idea is a wine ceremony, where you each write letters to one another, and sealed them in a locked box with your favorite wine, only to be opened on your 10 year anniversary!

Good with words - For the real deal, your officiant must pronounce you married.  This means that in front of your loved ones, this person declares you now married.  There are variations to the wording but it must be said (and then usually sealed with a kiss!)

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