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!


Rev G

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