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One of the first questions that the bride and groom ask me is this: "how long does the wedding ceremony you officiate last?"

how long does a wedding ceremony last
Infographic from a Wedding Ceremony

The answer is simple; there is no rule, the couple decides, but on average it lasts 40 minutes.

40 minutes may seem like a long time if you spend it doing nothing, staring at the wall, and indeed it is. But for a wedding ceremony, with an officiant, it's the ideal time for the couple's rite of passage to take shape.

Remember that the wedding has music, the bride's entrance that makes everyone's heart race, so adrenaline goes through the roof. In this dynamic situation, time flies.

Duration of the wedding ceremony:

2 minutes: groom's entrance

3 minutes: entrance of the godparents

2 minutes: entrance of the bride's procession

1 minute: entrance of the flower girl

3 minutes: entrance of the bride

Partial sum: 11 minutes

8 minutes: officiant's opening speech

2 minutes: entrance of the rings

1 minute: blessing of the rings

1 minute: couple answers the solemn "I DO"

2 minutes: exchange of rings

5 minutes: exchange of vows by the bride and groom

Partial sum: 30 minutes

7 minutes: officiant's closing speech

3 minutes: greetings and exit of the godparents and newlyweds

Total sum: 40 minutes

The above timing clearly shows the dynamism of the wedding. When the ceremonial team, officiant, and musicians are integrated, it seems like an artistic composition, without gaps or mistakes, that guides the couple and their guests without them noticing the passage of time.

The 8 songs for the wedding ceremony

Remember that there are 8 different moments in the standard wedding ceremony that have music.

Check out this post we made with suggestions for choosing the 8 wedding songs!

Duration of the religious wedding

If you are getting married in the Catholic Church, with a priest or deacon, or with a pastor in an evangelical wedding ceremony, you need to ask the religious leader how long the ceremony he or she performs usually takes.

This is because each religious leader has autonomy to conduct the ceremony in their own way and at their own pace.

Invited to celebrate a wedding?

How long does the civil wedding last?

If you have hired a wedding officiant with civil effect, the duration is the same for the ceremony with or without civil effect.

But if you are getting married at the registry office, before a justice of the peace, the ceremony is quite quick, less than 20 minutes, as the marriage certificate is read, checking for any incorrect information, the solemn question, and the signatures only.

Many couples go to the registry office in casual clothes, as it is just about obtaining a civil document, without any symbolism or rite of passage.

Option for a brief and dynamic wedding

You can invite a friend, or even a couple of friends, to officiate your wedding.

This way, the people who will officiate your social wedding have a connection with you, have known you for a long time, and know what you like or dislike.

The main issue with inviting a friend or family member to officiate the wedding would be regarding how to conduct the ceremony, how it happens, and what the stages of a ceremony are?

So, for that, we created a kit with several ready-made ceremonies, which can be edited, used as inspiration, and come with basic instructions on how to conduct a social wedding ceremony.

If you decide to invite friends or family members to officiate, purchase the ceremony kit here and send it to them for ideas and inspiration ;)

We hope this article has helped you and has been useful to you, and for making it to the end of the article, we have a gift for you!

Don't create your wedding speech before reading this!

About the author of the article

Daniel Santos is a professional wedding officiant, who has officiated over 150 ceremonies and has top ratings on all wedding websites, including his Google My Business profile.


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