Writing a wedding ceremony script

How Long Do Wedding Ceremonies Last, and What is the Best Length?

You heard the saying, “timing is everything.” The same can be said about wedding ceremonies. You may not realize, but timing is one of the most important elements in your big day. If you predetermine the schedule of the different portions of your wedding, like when it starts and ends, you’ll appreciate how effortless it is to organize it. With that in mind, how long should your ceremony last? What is the perfect duration for a ceremony? Here are a few things you need to take a look at.


The Average Duration


The perfect length for a typical wedding ceremony is anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes. This is good enough to cover the most important elements, including readings, welcome remarks, exchange of vows, and the final pronouncement. However, the exact whole stretch of your ceremony will depend on how many elements you incorporate and whether you’re having a secular or religious service.


A Secular Ceremony


Non-religious wedding ceremonies give you more control over the duration. The biggest deal is that each of you agrees to marry one another and that the officiant pronounces you married. Therefore, you can decide how long other elements will be. With fewer readings, you will have a quicker program. On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive retelling of your love story, you will have to add more minutes to the timeline.



A Religious Ceremony


Religious wedding ceremonies are a little bit more detailed than secular ceremonies. They follow a certain pattern. The processional often comes first, where the couple, along with the wedding party, make an entry into the ceremony area. When the couple is at the altar, the officiant delivers the opening remarks. Having an officiant with good communication skills will help ease our nerves during this part. 


Then, the readings will follow, where a close friend comes to the front to read out an excerpt from Scripture, a book, or a poem that would describe the relationship the couple shares with each other. What comes next is the unity ritual, which is symbolic of the union between the groom and bride. After that, the officiant gives a marriage address and explains what marriage is and what makes it successful. 


Then, the couple will exchange vows, making a promise to be there for one another through thick and thin. Subsequently, the ring exchange takes place, where the officiant requests the ring bearer to carry the wedding rings forward. 


The final step of the wedding ceremony is when the officiant declares, “I now pronounce you married.” This statement is the final declaration of the marriage. Oh, let’s not forget the couple sharing their first kiss as a married couple!


We hope this article has helped you get an idea of how long wedding ceremonies usually last and what the perfect length is. If you want to find out more about writing a script for a wedding ceremony, visit AMM’s wedding officiant training pages: https://theamm.org/officiant-training