Sample Civil Wedding Ceremony

This is a general example of a civil wedding ceremony.

The layout here is very flexible and can be altered to suit your taste.

I have highlight the parts where there is music or song.

  • Entrance procession (Music - This is the big entrance, common pieces include "Gabriel's Oboe" or something Irish like "Tabhair dom do Láimh". Or else a song can work nice here e.g. "She Moves Through the Fair")
  • Opening Words by the celebrant. Can include the 'Giving in Marriage' speech here.
  • Music (e.g. Inis Oirr or a song)
  • First Reading
  • Lighting of the Wedding Candles (Music - something short here. This is played as the bride and groom are lighting their individual candles. I usually like to play a slow Irish reel on flute e.g. Absent Friends)
  • Definition of Marriage
  • Wedding Vows
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Music e.g. Ag Criost an tSiol
  • Lighting of Marriage Candle (Music - again this candle ceremony can be brief but it's nice to have some music playing as the bride and groom each take a light from their individual candles and light the marriage candle to symbolise their joining together. I like some Irish music here again e.g "Mo Ghile Mear")
  • Sand Ceremony (Music - something soft behind the celebrant talking )
  • Closing - poem or prayer
  • Declaration of Marriage (Music - something short and fanfare-like to announce the new couple to the room while they kiss e.g. Sí Beag Sí Mór)
  • Signing of the Register (Music - this is where everybody starts to get a bit rowdy as the bride and groom get to the business end of things and sign on the dotted line! Something loud and lively works here - I personally prefer some rousing jigs or reels)
  • Introduction of Newly Weds
  • Recessional/Dismissal (Music - the part where everybody waves the bride and groom out the door. Some options -  a Song "Fields of Gold", or a lively Irish jig "Haste to the Wedding")