When I meet with couples, many tell me about weddings they attended (generally at churches) where the ceremony took forever. Many wedding planners and venue coordinators have told me about weddings (always with a first-time officiant) that lasted all of 3 or 4 minutes (which really screwed up the timing of the cocktail hour or whatever was taking place immediately after the ceremony).
Now I have nothing against church weddings but I know that some ministers not only are long-winded but also want to include many liturgical elements in a wedding ceremony. If you are thinking of getting married at a church, talk with the minister about what’s included in the ceremony. There are ways to pare down the liturgy but still be faithful to religious tenets and practices. Some ministers would be willing to do this.
If you are having a friend or relative as your officiant, chances are they’ll search “How to officiatea wedding” and find plenty of sites offering generic information. If they go with that information, your wedding ceremony will be 3 or 4 minutes long (including the processional and recessional). If that’s what you want, hey you’re set. If you’d like something more personal and memorable, Wed by a Friend can help your officiant design a great ceremony. How long should it be? I’ve found that a ceremony that lasts right around 20 minutes to be the perfect length. Personal touches can be added; the ceremony won’t seem rushed (Wed by a Friend can help weave the various elements together so there’s a good flow); and your guests will be engaged throughout the ceremony. And you will have great memories of a wonderful wedding day!