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Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Photo by Mikkelle Carlson Photography

Getting married soon? As Wedding Planners and Ordained Officiants, we've seen it all. Here’s how to ensure your ceremony goes off without a hitch.

The Officiant

  • Meet your Officiant beforehand (if you don’t know them), to ensure you feel comfortable with them guiding you through this special day.

  • ALWAYS request to approve the script. On average, it takes about 3 drafts before final approval of the script. Don’t be afraid to share what you want changed!

  • Consider officiant training for that friend or family member that volunteered to marry you. Here in Colorado, Amazing Colorado Weddings and Ceremonies offers free officiant training for friends and family members. Just because they’re close to you, doesn’t mean they’re great at public speaking or know how to write a Wedding Ceremony.


  • Make an announcement about it being an Unplugged Ceremony, even if you have signage. Unfortunately, great-aunt Sharon doesn’t always understand that your beautiful sign applies to HER.

Phrasing: “Elizabeth and Jason invite you to be present in this beautiful moment with them. Please kindly refrain from photos during the ceremony.”

  • Always direct guests where they should go after the ceremony, even if it feels obvious that family should stay for photos.

Phrasing: “Bridal Party and Family please stick around for photos. All other guests please head to the patio to enjoy cocktail hour”


  • Microphones: have your officiant wear a lapel mic so they can be hands free to hold a script, but have a free standing microphone set aside for your vows and any guest readers.

Pro-Tip: Unless you want your vows to be intentionally private, ensure your guests can always hear what is being said

  • Music has a way of making moments memorable. If you have a special love song or favorite tune you sing with your partner, consider having it softly play in the background during important moments of the ceremony (during a reading, vow, or Unity Ceremony).

The Extras

  • Programs: Include one if the ceremony is going to be longer than 30 minutes, has important religious or traditional customs, or has multiple moving pieces like readings and a Unity Ceremony. For most people, it’s an element you can skip.

  • Recessional: Before forcing your guests to blow bubbles or toss something after you walk back down the aisle, take into consideration who on your team is responsible for cleaning it up and if it will actually get used. More often than not, we have a lot of unused bubbles at the end of a wedding.

  • Weather: If there’s a chance of weather, it’s best to provide a fan or umbrella for your guests if the ceremony is longer than 15 minutes

The Marriage License

  • Consider a quiet moment after the ceremony to sign the marriage license and just be with your partner right after getting married. Even better, have your catering team bring you a plate of apps or your signature cocktail and enjoy a quick 10 before going back out into the craziness.

  • In Colorado, you can self solemnize! Don’t feel pressured to have an officiant or have witnesses if it doesn’t feel right for you. Your dog could marry you or act as a witness!

  • Make sure you sign on the correct line and understand the terms of the license. It seems silly, but it’s a mistake you do NOT want to fix later on.

Spice Up the Ceremony

Not sure how to take your ceremony beyond the Rings and I Do’s? Here’s a couple ways you can elevate and personalize your ceremony.

Favorite Things Prompt

Have your officiant ask you and your partner separately what your favorite 5 things are about your partner. Then, have them reveal this during the ceremony as a surprise for you and your partner.

Phrasing: “I asked Jason and Elizabeth to share with me their top 5 favorite things about each other and here is what they said. Jason, Elizabeth loves the way you always hold the door for her and pull out her chair. She loves the way you refuse to go to bed angry…”

Community I Do

Asking for objections during the ceremony is dated, but as a nod to traditionalism, you could have your officiant ask the crowd for a community “I Do.”

Phrasing: “Now before the big I Do’s, Jason and Elizabeth have asked you to be here as witnesses to the start of their marriage. I’d like to ask for a vow from all of you, to love them, to support them on this journey and to hold them to the vows they have made to each other today. If you agree to this, please say ‘I do’ - ‘I do’”

Unity Ceremony

Don’t feel like you have to do a Unity Ceremony if you don’t feel like it’s important to you. However, if you’re looking for a way to bring everything together, here’s some cute (and not corny) ideas:

  • Bonzai/Tree Planting Ceremony

  • Time Capsule for an anniversary down the line

  • Wine Bottle Sealing for your 1st Anniversary

  • Traditional/Religious Touch: Jumping the Broom, Tea Ceremony, Washing of the Feet

Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to ensure your ceremony is unique and memorable. Start planning early and when in doubt, consult your Wedding Planner, Coordinator, or Officiant for advice!

Looking for a Wedding Officiant in Colorado? Reach out to us for our recommendations on our favorites in the area!

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