What’s the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Length?

One of the most common questions Marlborough wedding celebrant Heather Sorensen is asked is about the wedding ceremony length. Her couples understandably want every part of their day perfect and that includes their wedding ceremony length! Too long and everyone will get bored, too short and you may not fit everything in.

We asked Heather for her tips about choosing the perfect ceremony length and here they are:

Deciding on Your Wedding Ceremony Length

One of the most important parts of your wedding day is your ceremony. Without it, your wedding would just be a party! Marlborough celebrant Heather is often asked by couples, “How long should my ceremony be?” She often gets the feeling that couples feel that as a celebrant, she would plan a long ceremony which would cut into their party time. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Your wedding ceremony length needs to fit in the few legal requirements, plus what the couple would like. In general, Heather recommends aiming for around 20-30 minutes. Any longer and you risk the boring the guests, shorter and you risk missing out on including all your requirements.

What’s Important in a Wedding Ceremony?

Heather firmly believes that the most important thing for any wedding ceremony is that it is unique and personalised to each couple. As a public declaration of love and commitment between two people, the ceremony needs to reflect that and do it with the combined personalities of the couple too.

New Zealand wedding ceremonies have a traditional format, of which couples can choose to follow or not. Traditionally it begins with the entry of the bride which signals the start of the ceremony. This then follows with some introductory words, readings, the declaration, vows, giving of rings, signing the register and the closing words of the ceremony. A non-traditional ceremony still must contain the legal requirements, but the rest is up to each couple.

There are many ways to increase and shorted the wedding ceremony length, depending on the couple’s preferences. They include using readings, songs, poems and adding additional parts such as candle or sand ceremonies.

What Can Your Celebrant Do to Help You?

Let’s be honest: without a celebrant, you’re not getting married. Your ceremony may only take less than 30 minutes, but it is a crucial part of your wedding! Your celebrant’s job is to help guide you through creating the perfect ceremony for you both. One of the most important jobs is listening to what each couple wants! Other jobs include:

  • Meeting with you both to learn about you
  • Learning which things you do and don’t want in your ceremony
  • Suggesting things you may not know about for your ceremony
  • Guiding you through the creation of your ceremony words
  • Writing your ceremony if necessary
  • Explaining the legal requirements in your ceremony
  • More detail on what goes into the celebrant’s role are included here

While it may be your first wedding ceremony, your celebrant is the expert in this area. Listen to their advice and you can’t go wrong. For your upcoming Marlborough wedding, contact Heather and start getting your ceremony sorted today.

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