Question: How long does the typical ceremony last?
Answer: It depends! Let me explain.
Most of my ceremonies are between 20-25 minutes. The length of a service depends on how long the procession and recession are, how many readings (if any) are included in the service, whether you include a tradition such as a unity candle ceremony, and how organized the ceremony is (see my Q&A on rehearsals and wedding directors).
Most of my couples want short, sweet ceremonies, and I do all that I can to accommodate.
I was once asked, “What is the shortest ceremony you’ve ever officiated?” I thought for a moment and then said, “Well, I haven’t been asked to do this, but I could do a wedding ceremony in six words!” The person laughed and said, “No way!”
So here goes:
Officiant to groom: “Do you?” (two words)
Officiant to bride: “Do you?” (two words)
Officiant: “You are!” (two words)
Total 6 words; ceremony length: less than a minute!
By the way, I’ve never actually done that ceremony!