You’ve exchanged vows, signed your marriage licence, shared your first kiss and your officiant has pronounced you officially married. The only thing left to do is party back up the aisle to your favourite wedding ceremony exit songs!

The recessional – when you recess back up the aisle after the ceremony – is a time of cheering, big smiles and maybe even some confetti. And all of that is a lot more fun when you have an amazing exit song playing in the background. But what exactly is a ceremony exit song and which one should you choose for your wedding? Let’s find out!

Need more wedding music? Check out our wedding ceremony songs list & best readings from songs! 

What is a ceremony exit song?

A wedding ceremony exit song, also called a recessional song, is the music that plays at the end of your ceremony as you recess back up the aisle. It’s usually an upbeat, romantic song that signifies to everyone listening how excited you are to be officially married!

When is the wedding recessional song played?

The recessional song starts right after the couple is pronounced married by their officiant. Guests will cheer and clap as the couple celebrate and the song begins. It is played while the couple and their wedding party, if they have one, make their way up the aisle and out of the ceremony space.

recessional, wedding ceremony exit song
by Alicia Strathearn Photography

How many wedding ceremony exit songs do you need?

Usually you just need one ceremony exit song that can be played while the couple and their party recess up the aisle. Unlike the processional – when you process down the aisle at the start of the ceremony – a recessional is often faster and separate music isn’t played for the couple vs their wedding party.

That being said, if you have a creative idea for your recessional that involves playing one song for the couple’s exit and another for the wedding party, you could do that. Just be sure to run it by your DJ so the transition is smooth. If it’s getting too complicated, remember that you can save a song for your reception entrance!

Depending on your wedding day schedule, you may choose to keep the music going after your main recessional song. Perhaps guests will stay in the ceremony space for cocktails, in which case it might be nice to have your DJ transition from your exit song into cocktail hour music. Or if guests are leaving the space, it still could be a nice touch to keep the music going with a few exit songs to play your guests out.

kiss during the wedding recessional, end of wedding ceremony
by The Apartment Photography

4 things to keep in mind when choosing your wedding recessional song

1 – Think about the vibe you want. Many couples will choose a song that is uplifting or fast tempo to get guests in the mood to celebrate at the end of the ceremony. Others will choose something a bit slower and more acoustic or maybe a song with sentimental meaning to you. Discuss with your partner what kind of music you want to play and how you want guests to feel.

2 – Consider the logistics. Who will be playing your wedding ceremony exit songs? Do you have a DJ or is a friendor handling this task? If you’re having a friend handle the music, make sure they are comfortable with the sound equipment and know when to start your song. If you’re getting married in a non-traditional venue, such as someone’s home or backyard, make sure the right music equipment is available to use.

3 – Evaluate your space. While most songs should give you and your party more than enough time to recess up the aisle, keep your venue in mind when choosing an exit song. Is your aisle particularly long or do you have to navigate stairs? Do you have a huge wedding party? Make sure your song is long enough to last the length of your recessional.

4 – Practice any special elements. If you have a specific vision for your recessional or are planning for any creative additions, make sure you practice these at your wedding rehearsal. You (or your wedding planner) will want to let your wedding party members know when to start walking up the aisle and if they should walk solo or in pairs/groups. If you’re planning to stop for a kiss mid-recessional or want your exit music to start mid-way through the song, make sure everyone knows what’s happening.

confetti during wedding ceremony recessional, wedding exit song
by John Bello Photography

All right, let’s find your song from the 45 wedding ceremony exit songs below! 

Traditional exit songs for wedding ceremony

From traditional symphonies to old school classics, here are the perfect recessional songs for a more traditional exit:

  • “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn
  • “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven
  • “Allegro Maestoso” by Handel
  • “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole
  • “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
  • “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates
  • “Beautiful Day” by U2
  • “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder
  • “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys
  • “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
  • “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease
  • “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
vancouver wedding ceremony recessional, wedding ceremony exit songs
by Beige Weddings

Modern wedding ceremony exit songs

Check out these modern recessional songs that your guests likely have on their Spotify playlists, and that will get them in the mood to dance the night away at your reception:

  • “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding
  • “CUFF IT” by Beyoncé
  • “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  • “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” by Taylor Swift
  • “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo
  • “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay
  • “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles
  • “We Found Love” by Rihanna and Calvin Harris
  • “Glad You Exist” by Dan & Shay
  • “Adore You” by Harry Styles
  • “Butterflies” by Kacey Musgraves
  • “Somewhere Only We Know” by Kean
  • “I Found You” by Andy Grammer and Cash Cash
  • “Happy” by Pharrell
  • “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
  • “Firework” by Katy Perry
  • “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo
  • “Legends” by Kelsea Ballerini
  • “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine
  • “You Make it Easy” by Jason Aldean
  • “I Do” by Colbie Caillat
black and white wedding ceremony recessional
by Page & Holmes Photography

Off beat recessional songs: Rap about love!

If you’re a fan of rap quotes from songs or want to treat your guests to the funniest rap lyrics, while still keeping things romantic, check out these recessional rap options:

  • “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” by Jay-Z ft. Beyoncé
  • “Own It” by Stormzy ft. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy
  • “Wait For U” by Future ft. Drake and Tems
  • “Do for Love” by Tupac
  • “21 Questions” by 50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg
  • “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)” by Erykah Badu and Common
  • “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake ft. Majid Jordan
  • “LOVE” by Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari
  • “Your Love” by Nicki Minaj
  • “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell
  • “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA

What exit song will you be choosing for your wedding ceremony? We’d love to hear it in person when Young Hip & Married officiates on your big day! Meet our team of officiants, check out our packages and book today


feature image by Erica Miller Photography

When you elope with Young Hip & Married we provide your wedding officiant (of course!) and all of the ceremony and vow writing resources you need. We can even provide a photographer and helicopter! But are you ready to take your intimate elopement to the next level and create memories you can relive over and over again? Then this exciting announcement is for you: You can now add videography to your elopement!

Young Hip & Married has partnered with Vancouver videography company, Capture Media, to offer a videography add-on to all of our Vancouver + Lower Mainland elopement packages, including helicopter, seaplane and Whistler elopements!

In addition to photography (which is available or included in our elopement packages already), you can now add on professional video coverage! Simon and his team at Capture Media will film all of the important moments of your elopement and create a five minute highlight film for you to watch back and relive your memories forever.

Want to add videography to your elopement?

Simply fill out our contact form with your elopement details and tick the box to let us know you’re interested in videography.

You can also check out our elopement packages below to learn what’s included in our videography add-on, pricing and more. This package is currently available in the Lower Mainland of BC.

Interview with Capture Media: Learn more about what happens when you add videography to your elopement

Get to know our videography partner, Simon of Capture Media, in the below vendor interview. Learn all about his videography experience and style, plus find out what couples get wrong about wedding and elopement videography!

Take it away, Simon!

Please introduce yourself! How long have you been a wedding videographer and what first got you into videography?

Hi! I am Simon and I have been a wedding videographer for 10 years. I started my professional career in computer science, but was never fulfilled due to the lack of creativity, sitting at a desk for hours, and lack of interaction with people. I had always had an interest in the art of creating films, I started creating highlight videos of family vacations, adventure videos, etc.

In 2013, I started my videography business when I provided videography for my wife’s sister’s wedding, and my journey began. After a number of years, I eventually went full time and still love the creative outlet that it provides me.

Summarize your videography style in 15 words or less!

Capturing magical moments, having fun, being creative, making the process as easy as just hanging out!

What can couples expect with you as their elopement videographer?

My working style is laid back, fun and creative! One of the most important things as a videographer is to make my couples comfortable on camera and I do that by being human, not a robot with a camera, and having fun together!

Why do you love elopements?

Elopements are a great way to get married because they typically provide a day that is more intimate than a regular wedding and you get to experience your wedding day fully without all the stress of a large wedding. It is a much more simple and beautiful way to get married as elopements are more focused on the couple’s love in a more private setting.

What are your favourite elopement locations in/around Vancouver?

Stanley Park, Whistler, Squamish, Golden Ears, or any mountain top. If not accessible by helicopter, I am always open to packing my camera and hiking up with you!

Check out more suggestions for where to elope in the city of Vancouver and where to elope in Vancouver off the beaten path!

What are your best tips for couples eloping? How can they prepare for their elopement videography session?

Enjoy and cherish the day! Many couples can get caught up in the stress of getting married, but with an elopement you don’t have to! Your videographer & photographer are here to make sure that you not only look amazing on camera, but also to make sure that you enjoy your day and not feel awkward on camera.

As far as preparation, just show up and be yourself! Trust that we will be there to guide you through the process.

What do couples get wrong about wedding or elopement videography?

Some couples think they need to practice poses, work on their smile, etc. prior to their wedding or elopement. They may be looking at other wedding videos or photos wondering how they are going to pull that off. But if you have a good videographer, they will direct you and all this will come naturally.

Share a favourite elopement memory with us!

One of the best moments actually came after the elopement when I was delivering the video to my couple. Instead of just a thank you email, the bride went out of her way to call me and was in tears of joy over the phone.

“Wedding & elopement videography can be hard work but when you know that you are impacting a couple’s life with a video they will watch forever, it makes the job very fulfilling.”

When you’re not filming elopements or weddings, how do you like to spend your time?

I enjoy spending time in nature going on adventures, camping, and unplugging from the digital world we live in. I love fitness, so naturally I love trekking mountains, enjoying the views and quiet time that it provides, and in the winter getting on my snowboard to enjoy some fresh powder. Golf is another one of my passions; I usually am out on the course a few times a week as it’s the perfect way to recharge.

Where can we find you online?




Ready to add videography to your elopement? Fill out our contact form with your elopement details and tick the box to let us know you’re interested in videography! 


Whether you have a Pinterest board full of wedding signs or you’ve never heard of the term before, if you’re planning a wedding ceremony, this post is for you! Let the experts at Young Hip & Married walk you through the beautiful world of wedding signs.

What is a wedding sign? What’s the point of wedding signs? 

A wedding sign is a sign that gets displayed at a wedding (duh!). This can be a poster, marquee letters, cardboard sign, wooden sign, chalkboard, etc. The point of a wedding sign is first and foremost to pass along information to guests, such as where to find the bathrooms or what is being served at the bar. Their secondary purpose is decorative; wedding signs can help to portray the vibe of a wedding as beautiful pieces of wedding decor.

Signs at weddings are not to be confused with signing at a wedding. Signing at a wedding ceremony usually refers to signing the marriage licence.

guest book wedding sign
by John Bello Photography

neon wedding sign

Do we really need 18 wedding signs at our ceremony? 

Probably not. The point of us listing 18 signs to display at your wedding ceremony is to give you a comprehensive list of signs you may want to use – not 18 signs you have to use. Go through the list and see what signs make sense for your guest size, venue and ceremony style.

In fact, it would probably be overkill to have all 18 types of wedding signs at your ceremony. Too many wedding signs can start to feel tacky and dated (think of a home with “Live Laugh Love” plastered all over it). Worse, guests will start to ignore signs if there are too many. They came to have fun at a wedding, not read a novel’s worth of signs!

Bottom line: Remember that your guests are competent human beings who can likely find their way to the bar or know the bride is entering without a sign telling them so. Include signs where you think they will be useful – where a guest might be confused about what to do or where to go. If you’re using signs purely for aesthetics, show some restraint. If you have to ask, “Do we have too many wedding signs?” then the answer is probably yes!

What about wedding reception signs? 

As experienced wedding officiants, we’re just going to cover the signs you might want at a wedding ceremony in this blog post. But there are lots of signs you might consider putting up at your reception too. These include: a seating chart, bar sign, menu, table numbers, photo booth sign, hashtag sign, sweets table sign, food labels, favours sign and grand exit instructions.

favors wedding sign
by John Bello Photography
wedding table with card box, in memory of, guest book
by Sambajoy

18 wedding signs to have at your wedding ceremony

Welcome sign

Welcome to our wedding! Many couples like to display a welcome sign at the entrance of their ceremony. Not only does this set the tone for your wedding (your welcome sign will likely match the rest of your decor), but it can also be very helpful if you’re getting married in a venue that hosts multiple weddings at once, such as a conference centre. A welcome sign with your names on it lets guests know they’re in the right place!

welcome wedding sign, wedding signs at wedding ceremony

Wedding program sign

If you’re having wedding ceremony programs, a sign telling guests to take one might be helpful if you don’t have an usher handing them out. Alternatively, you may want to put the contents of a wedding program on the sign itself, instead of having individual programs for everyone. On the sign you could list the members of the wedding party and the order of events of the ceremony.

Directional sign

A directional sign points guests in the right direction. This could be as simple as a sandwich board that reads, “This way to the ceremony” or a large sign post with arrows indicating where guests should go for the ceremony, the reception, photos and if they need to use the restroom. If your venue space is very large or complicated, these signs may be necessary so guests don’t get lost.

directional sign at wedding, ceremony sign, ceremony arrow

Unplugged wedding ceremony sign

Many couples opt for unplugged wedding ceremonies these days and we have to admit, we’re big fans! If you want your guests to put their phones and cameras away during your ceremony, a sign reminding them of this policy is a good idea. You should also couple this with a note on your wedding website and an announcement by your officiant. You can never remind guests too often about this one!

Seating sign

How ever will guests know to “pick a seat, not a side, we’re all family once the knot is tied” unless you have an artsy sign telling them so? We kid, of course! But many couples do like to post a sign telling guests they’re free to choose their own seat. This comes out of the Christian tradition of the bride’s family sitting on the left while the groom’s family sits on the right. Most couples don’t bother with that tradition these days and so place a sign letting guests know they’re free to sit wherever they’d like.

seating sign at wedding ceremony, pick a seat not a side

Signs for blankets, fans, umbrellas, bubbles, bug spray, etc.

If you need your guests to pick up anything before your ceremony begins, throw a sign up to let them know. While a basket full of blankets might be obvious, it doesn’t hurt to have a small sign letting guests know the blankets are for them and they should bring one to their seat so no one gets frostbite mid-ceremony.

wedding sign telling guests to grab a fan

Sign carried by your wedding kids

If you’re having flower kids or ring bearers in your wedding party, many couples like to supply them with a cute sign as they’re coming down the aisle. Signs will say things like “Ring Security” or “Here comes Uncle Mitch!” Obviously this isn’t a mandatory wedding sign, but it sure can be adorable!

Sign carried by your wedding pets

If you’ve opted to send Fido down the aisle with the rings, you may want a cute sign to accompany him. Just like the signs that wedding kids might carry, these signs on pets aren’t mandatory. But if you’re going to trouble of putting your pup in a little tux or flower crown, why not add a sign?

wedding sign carried by dog at wedding ceremony
by Erica Miller Photography

Signs on chairs

One of the most important wedding signs at a ceremony is any sign you leave on a chair. Often these are reserved signs that let guests know certain seats are reserved for specific individuals, such as reserving seats for your parents in the front row.

Remembrance sign

Many couples choose to have a remembrance table at their wedding ceremony in honour of passed loved ones. You could set this up with photos or mementos of the deceased and a sign explaining who they are to guests who might not know.

remembrance sign, in memory of, wedding signs at ceremonies
by Sambajoy

Guest book sign

If you’re planning to put out a guest book at your ceremony, a small sign encouraging guests to sign it is a good idea. Some couples prefer to only have their guest book out at the reception or skip the guest book altogether. But if you do have a guest book and want as many signatures as possible, we recommend displaying it with an obvious sign throughout your wedding day.

guest book sign at wedding ceremony
by Olive & Bean Photo

Cards & gifts sign

Again, some couples will only have a box or space for cards and gifts at their reception, and so won’t need a sign at the ceremony. But if you have the space, it can be handy to have this available at your ceremony as well. Some guests will bring their cards and gifts to the ceremony, and want to offload them right away, or some may only be attending the ceremony and not have a chance to give you their gift at the reception.

Ring warming sign

If you’re having a ring warming – a unity ritual where guests warm the couples’ rings with their love before the ring exchange – during your ceremony, you may want to have a sign at the entrance of the ceremony space explaining what guests will need to do. Some couples forgo the idea of passing around the rings during the ceremony, which can be difficult to organize, and instead display the rings before the ceremony for guests to warm.

ring warming sign, signs at wedding ceremony, young hip and married
by John Bello Photography

Wedding timeline sign

Another popular wedding sign is a wedding timeline. On this sign, you’ll list out the order of events for the wedding day or wedding weekend so guests know when they need to be where. This can be very handy if you have a few events planned or strict times you need guests to show up.

Menu or drinks list

If you’re serving any food or drinks before, during or after your ceremony, having a menu sign or drinks list is a great idea. This way, guests know what is being served. These signs should list out important details, such as any allergens or if drinks are alcoholic. Even if you have a self-serve option, such as a juice dispenser or cooler of beer, a sign inviting guests to grab a drink is a nice touch.

wedding drinks sign, bar sign
by Olive & Bean Photo
wedding menu and drinks list
by Olive & Bean Photo

Wedding announcement sign

This is a great wedding sign if you’re having an intimate elopement with just the two of you. After tying the knot, you can pose with a sign that has the date of your wedding. That photo can be the perfect thing to send out to friends and family to announce your marriage.

wedding announcement sign, elopement announcement, marriage announcement
by Erica Miller Photography

Decor signs

Decor signs are optional wedding signs and, as discussed above, not to be overdone. However, a few decor signs here and there can be a nice touch and add to the overall vibe of your wedding. You may want to put up romantic quotes, a sign featuring your new last name, marquee letters of your initials, adorable photos or your pets, or a fun phrase in neon!

Just married sign!

Last but not least, we can’t skip over one of the original wedding signs: The just married sign! This is a super fun sign to pose with as soon as you recess up the aisle or to hang on your car as you drive off into the sunset.

just married wedding sign
by Hans Ogren Photography

What wedding signs will you be displaying at your wedding ceremony? We’d love to know!

But do you know what we’d love even more? To be there in person on the big day! Meet out team of wedding officiants and book your ceremony package now! 

When we think about parents at wedding ceremonies, the traditional role is a father walking his daughter down the aisle. Mom is nowhere to be seen and the parents of the groom are completely ignored. But all parents, regardless of traditional gender roles, can be involved in so many more parts of a wedding ceremony!

If you and your parents have been dreaming about your big day for years or you’re just looking for ways to honour your parents in your ceremony, look no further! Below we’re sharing 11 ways to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony and a meaningful part of your big day.

But first, let’s answer a few FAQs about parents involvement in wedding ceremonies:

Are both partner’s parents involved in the wedding ceremony?

Sure, if you want them to be! In a traditional wedding with a bride and a groom, it’s only the bride’s father who has a featured role in the wedding ceremony when he walks his daughter down the aisle. But many couples are choosing to involve moms, dads, stepparents and grandparents from all sides of the family in their processional and ceremony!

There’s no reason why only one parent or one set of parents should be involved in the wedding ceremony. All of the options below work for parents or loved ones of both partners.

What if our parents don’t want to be involved? 

That’s okay! If your parents don’t want to have a role in your wedding ceremony, because they’re nervous or for other reasons, that’s perfectly fine. Their involvement isn’t mandatory.

However, if it means something to you to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony, try to explain that to them. Share why you want them to take part and listen to their concerns. Hopefully you can reach a compromise. For example, if your parents are nervous about public speaking, you can ask them to sign your marriage licence instead of reciting a prayer.

parents of the bride and groom at wedding ceremony
by Aileen Choi Photo

Do our parents have to be involved in the wedding ceremony? 

No, your parents don’t have to be involved in your wedding ceremony. They can be involved as little or as much as you’d like – or not involved at all! Or, if you have other loved ones you’d rather involve in the ceremony, consider them for any of the “parent roles” below.

Based on your relationship and how weddings usually happen in your family, your parents may expect to be involved in your ceremony. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be. If you don’t want them involved, that’s okay. If you want them involved, but in a different way than they might be expecting, that’s okay too.

If possible, have a conversation with your parents ahead of time to explain specifically what you want their involvement to be on the big day. Be clear about your plans and give them time to adjust. Prepare for the fact that they may have questions or hurt feelings (neither of which mean you have to compromise your plans).

What about involving kids in the wedding ceremony or blended families? 

We’re all for it! Check out this post for involving kids in wedding ceremonies and this one all about blended family weddings.

how to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony, young hip & married vancouver elopement
by Erica Miller Photography

11 ways to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony

Remember, these are 11 options for involving your parents or loved ones. They’re a starting point from where you can tweak and edit until you find the choice that works best for your wedding ceremony. You can incorporate as many or as few as you and your parents want!

1. List your parents in the wedding program

If you’re having wedding programs – pamphlets or other pieces of paper that give guests information about what is happening during your ceremony –  they can be a great place to honour your parents. Similar to your wedding invitation, you may want to list your parents by name as the hosts of the wedding. Or you could include their names in a list of wedding party members.

You could even do something extra special by including a surprise note to your parents in your program. How fun would it be for them to open up your program and read: “We wouldn’t be here without our parents, who we love so much. Thank you, moms & dads!”

2. Ask them to join the processional

The processional – how the wedding party and couple of the hour walk down the aisle – marks the start of your wedding ceremony and can be the perfect place for your parents to get involved. There are four main options for parents joining the processional:

  1. Parents walk down the aisle before the processional officially begins: This usually happens while guests are still being seated and before the processional music has begun or the wedding party has come out. Parents take a more casual walk down the aisle, together or escorted by other family members, to their seats. This is usually the signal that the ceremony is about to get started.
  2. Parents walk down the aisle as part of the processional: If you’d rather give your parents a more formal role, they can join the wedding party processional. They will walk in with the wedding party, usually first or last before the couple, with the processional music as the ceremony begins. Sometimes parents are even part of the wedding party; who doesn’t want mom as Maid of Honour?
  3. Parents escort their children down the aisle: This is probably the most common option and most similar to the father giving away the bride. However, it’s not reserved for just fathers and daughters! All parents and all partners can take part in this tradition. This might look like each member of the couple being escorted down the aisle by their parents during their part of the processional entrance.
  4. Parents are not part of the processional and aisle walk: In this final option, parents are not included in the processional and simply find their seats with the other guests before the ceremony begins. More on seating later!

For more ideas check out 8 Unique Processional Orders for Your Wedding Ceremony!

processional alternative, groom walks in with parents, young hip and married wedding ceremony
by Erica Miller Photography

3. Share a greeting with your parents

Following the processional, many couples like to share a greeting with their parents at the end of the aisle before joining hands with one another in front of the officiant. While this is typically seen after the couple has been escorted by their parents, it can still be added to your wedding ceremony no matter how you and your parents come down the aisle!

Your greeting can be a hug, handshake or however you’d like to embrace your parents or special loved ones. If you’re comfortable doing so, it’s nice to greet your soon-to-be in-laws before the ceremony begins too!

For example, let’s say David is escorted down the aisle by his sister, Alexis. At the end of the aisle, he hugs Alexis and also shares a high five with his father, John, and cheek kiss with his mother, Moira. He then turns to his partner ‘s parents and shakes their hands before joining his partner, Patrick, at the altar.

4. Your parents can enjoy VIP seating

Traditionally, parents of the couple will sit in reserved seats in the front row. In some religions, parents actually join the couple at the front of the ceremony, sitting or standing by their side. This VIP seating (or standing) is one of the easiest ways to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony.

If you leave the front row empty, most guests will know to save these seats for the parents of honour. But adding a small reserved sign can help ensure an over-eagre third cousin doesn’t swoop in and steal the best seat in the house. You could also make it a special moment by including a small gift for your parents, such as a card or engraved handkerchief, on their seat.

parents of the bride and groom at wedding ceremony
by Page & Holmes Photography

5. Highlight your parents in the ceremony script

When crafting your ceremony script with your wedding officiant, let them know if you want to highlight your parents. Your officiant can point out lots of opportunities for your parents to get involved in the ceremony and be spotlighted.

For example, when sharing the story of how you two met and came to be standing in front of everyone today, your officiant can share how your parents introduced you, encouraged your relationship or helped set you up for a strong marriage. Your wedding officiant can also include time in your ceremony to honour any parents or loved ones who are no longer with us.

6. Ask them to recite wedding readings or prayers

If you’re planning to have wedding readings or wedding prayers at your ceremony, why not ask your parents to recite them? This is a great role to give to a parent or loved one who is close to you, who will take the job seriously, and who is a good fit to share advice about love and marriage.

This may be the perfect opportunity to honour the religion or culture of your family. For example, your parents may be able to share a blessing from your faith or a reading from your country of origin. This could also be a great time for a walk down memory lane, such as a parent doing a reading from your favourite children’s book (talk about a tear jerker!).

hugging parents at end of the aisle during wedding processional
by Erica Miller Photography

7. Have your parents take part in unity ceremonies

Another great way to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony is through unity ceremonies. Unity ceremonies, such as handfasting, wine blending, tea ceremonies and unity candles, are small practices done at the ceremony to symbolize a couple’s commitment. They often need to be facilitated or assisted by someone, which might be the perfect place for your parents to step in.

For example, in a handfasting ceremony, you could ask your parents to provide the ropes you use. These could be ropes passed down through your family or one’s made in a style or colour that’s significant to your family. You could even have your parents tie the ropes around your hands while your wedding officiant explains the tradition to your guests.

8. Your parents can hold onto the wedding rings

A sweet yet simple way to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony is to ask them to hold onto your wedding rings. While this is just a small moment in the ceremony, it’s one of great significance that won’t be lost on your parents. It’s a beautiful way to honour them, especially if they have a long and happy marriage they can warm your rings with.

Bonus: This is also a great solution if you didn’t want to trust the rings to a forgetful groomsman or too-young ring bearer!

tea ceremony with parents of the bride, parents involved in wedding ceremony
by Mattie C Photography

9. Ask them to sign the marriage licence

Another significant role your parents can take is signing your marriage licence at your wedding ceremony. In most places, a marriage licence is a legal document that needs to be signed by two witnesses in order for a marriage to be official. Some couples choose to sign the licence in private after the ceremony and other incorporate a signing into the ceremony.

No matter when you choose to sign the licence, it can be very special to ask your parents to join you as witnesses. Double check with your wedding officiant that your parents are able to sign in the jurisdiction where you’re getting married!

10. Your parents can join the recessional

Just like the processional to enter the ceremony, your parents can also join the recessional to exit the ceremony. Traditionally the recessional is led by the newlyweds with the wedding party following back up the aisle. You can have your parents join in behind, in front or in the middle of the wedding party.

Not only is it nice to include your parents in the formal recessional, it’s also quite practical. Once the recessional is over and the wedding party has exited, guests will start to make their way up the aisle too. This usually makes for a very crowded aisle as guests greet each other, wipe tears away and slowly find the exit. And what happens to the parents of the couple in the first row? They get stuck waiting behind everyone else to exit!

So if you want your parents to exit the ceremony right away – either for pictures or just because you want to rescue them from the venue – including them in the recessional is a good idea!

mother of the bride and mother of the groom custom mugs, vancouver wedding, parents in wedding ceremony
by Erica Miller Photography

11. Include your parents in the receiving line

A receiving line is a wedding tradition where the couple and often members of their wedding party form a line to receive guests. Wedding guests will then walk down the line greeting everyone. These are usually seen at the end of a ceremony or beginning of a reception.

Many couples will choose to include their parents in the receiving line. Not only is this a place of honour for the parents of the newlyweds, it also makes a lot of practical sense. If your parents contributed financially to the wedding, it makes sense that they would be there to receive, greet and thank them for coming. And outside of finances, it might be nice to have your parents there to help remind you of the names of all of your extended family members!

Now that you have some ideas for how to involve your parents in your wedding ceremony, don’t stop there! Make sure your wedding ceremony is exactly as you picture it with a Young Hip & Married wedding officiant at the helm. Meet our officiants and book your ceremony today!

Looking for modern wedding readings for your wedding ceremony? Discover 29 of our favourite ceremony readings, plus tips for how to find the best readings and readers for your wedding day!

How to choose readings for your wedding

Deciding how to choose readings for your wedding ceremony can be overwhelming. There are so many to choose from! The most important thing is that you and your partner feel connected to the reading. If you have a personal connection to it or resonate with the words, your choice will feel personal to you and much more engaging for your guests.

How to choose wedding readers 

Not only do you have to choose a wedding reading, but you also have to choose the readers! We recommend choosing people who are close to you, comfortable with public speaking and appropriate for the reading. For example, your grandparents who have been married for 50 years might be the perfect people to do a reading about the power and strength of marriage. Your frat buddy or 12 year old cousin? Probably not.

With readers in mind, make sure you pass along our top tips for wedding readers so they can nail their reading on the big day!

wedding reader, modern wedding reading
by Page & Holmes Photography

Why choose personal, modern wedding readings?

With so many readings to choose from, why are personal, modern wedding readings so appealing?

A personal reading is one that means something to you. Perhaps it’s connected to your heritage, like an Irish blessing in honour of your Irish family, or your interests, like a Jane Austen quote for a diehard Janeite. More than beautiful words, you have a deeper connection to this reading. And best of all, you and your partner can choose the reading together, combining your interests and ensuring it feels good to both of you.

When you opt for modern wedding readings over traditional ones, you increase the odds that no one has heard your reading before. Everyone is familiar with 1 Corinthians and most guests will zone out when a reader starts saying, “Love is patient, love is kind…” It’s not that these readings are bad, they’re just not as unique or memorable to you or your guests.

But because these modern readings are new, they’re more likely to engage your guests. People’s attention will be piqued and they’ll be interested to hear why you chose the reading you did and what it says about you.

A personal reading choice also ensures that your reading will fit with the mood of your ceremony. If you’ve asked your wedding officiant to craft a ceremony that is personal and funny, it can be odd to then have a traditional reading that is stuffy and serious. Instead, you can choose a more light-hearted reading to match the emotional flow of your ceremony.

Not sure if modern wedding readings are right for your ceremony? Keep scrolling for more sample wedding ceremony readings from literature, history, religion and more! 

wedding speeches, wedding toast, wedding readings
by Aileen Choi Photography

29 modern wedding readings 

Friends wedding reading

“For so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soul mate. Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soulmate, my friend.” —Monica Geller-Bing

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me.

But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created.

For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory.

Time Travellers by Terah Cox

May you take on the world together with all your hopes and dreams,
may you be each other’s anchor in smooth or rocky seas.

May you bend to the world’s winds and brave stalls and storms,
may you find common ground in all its changing forms.

May you cross stubborn boundaries and turn many a stone,
may you find haven for your souls, may you have heart and home.

And if some days are grey and some nights are long and cold,
May you be each other’s sun and moon as your destinies unfold.

And should you lose sight of each other and start to drift apart, may you circle back by following the compass of your hearts.

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

modern wedding readings, young hip & married

Parks n Rec wedding reading

“The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.” —Leslie

What is a soul mate? by Emily Matthews

If you have found a smile that is the sweetest one you’ve known,
If you have heard, within a voice, the echoes of your own,
If you have felt a touch that stirs the longings of your heart,
And still can feel that closeness in the moments you’re apart,
If you have filled with wonder at the way two lives can blend
To weave a perfect pattern that is seamless, end to end,
If you believe some things in life are simply meant to be,
Then you have found your soul mate, your heart’s own destiny.

Schitt’s Creek wedding reading

“I have never liked a smile as much as I like yours. I’ve never felt as safe as I feel when I’m with you. I’ve never known love like I do when we’re together. It’s not been an easy road for me but knowing that you will be there for me at the end makes everything okay. Patrick Brewer, you are my happy ending.” – David Rose

Blue-eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.

Carrie’s Poem from Sex and the City

His hello was the end of her endings
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle
His hand would be hers to hold forever
His forever was as simple as her smile

He said she was what was missing
She said instantly she knew
She was a question to be answered
And his answer was ‘I do.’

newlywed couple, bride in pink dress with veil, groom in colourful tux in wheelchair

Better Together by Jack Johnson

There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams,
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving

Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: “Why are we here?”, “And where do we go?”,
“And how come it’s so hard?”.
It’s not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing:
It’s always better when we’re together

Boy Meets World wedding reading

“I wasn’t sure this day would ever come, but you were. I wasn’t sure love could survive everything we put it through, but you were. You were always strong and always sure. And now I know I want you to stand beside me for the rest of my life. That’s what I’m sure of.” —Topanga

The Luckiest by Ben Folds

What if I had been born fifty years before you
In a house on the street
Where you lived
Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike. Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

Love Actually wedding reading

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. The general opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there — fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge — they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” —Prime Minister

From Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another—acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.

For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this—is my husband, this—is my wife.

newlywed couple holding hands, modern wedding reading

Tangled wedding reading

And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you.

Every Day by David Levithan

This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer wedding reading

“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the one.” – Spike

You and I by Ingrid Michaelson

Don’t you worry there, my honey
We might not have any money
But we’ve got our love to pay the bills
Maybe I think you’re cute and funny
Maybe I wanna do what bunnies do with you, if you know what I mean
Oh, let’s get rich and buy our parents homes in the south of France
Let’s get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance
Let’s get rich and build a house on a mountain making everybody look like ants
From way up there, you and I, you and I
Well, you might be a bit confused
And you might be a little bit bruised
But baby how we spoon like no one else
So I will help you read those books
If you will soothe my worried looks
And we will put the lonesome on the shelf

Twilight wedding reading

“It’s an extraordinary thing to meet someone who you can bare your soul to, and who will accept you for what you are. I’ve been waiting, what seems like a very long time, to get beyond what I am. And now…I feel like I can finally begin…No measure of time with you will be long enough. But let’s start with forever.” – Edward Cullen

The One by Rupi Kaur

They should feel like home

A place that grounds your life

Where you go to take the day off

how to find lgbtq+ friendly wedding vendors in 2023 with young hip and married
by John Bello Photography

How I Met Your Mother wedding reading

When you love someone you just…don’t stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just…you don’t give up… If I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be…some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is.

Soul Mates by Lang Leav

I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place, some other existence.

The Princess Bride wedding reading

I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

I know that love can be loud and jubilant…

It can be dancing in the swampy mud and the pouring rain at a festival and shouting “YOU ARE AMAZING” over the band.

It’s introducing them to your colleagues at a work event and basking in pride as they make people laugh and make you look lovable just by dint of being loved by them.

It’s laughing until you wheeze. It’s waking up in a country neither of you have been in before. It’s skinny-dipping at dawn. It’s walking along the street together on a Saturday night and feeling an entire city is yours. It’s a big, beautiful, ebullient force of nature.

I also know that love is a pretty quiet thing.

It’s lying on the sofa together drinking coffee, talking about where you’re going to go that morning to drink more coffee. It’s folding down pages of books you think they’d find interesting.

It’s hanging up their laundry when they leave the house having moronically forgotten to take it out of the washing machine.

It’s saying ‘You’re safer here than in a car’ as they hyperventilate on an EasyJet flight to Dublin.

It’s the texts: ‘Hope your day goes well’, ‘How did today go?’, ‘Thinking of you today’ and ‘Picked up loo roll’.

I know that love happens under the splendour of moon and stars and fireworks and sunsets but it also happens when you’re lying on blow-up airbeds in a childhood bedroom, sitting in A&E or in the queue for a passport, or in a traffic jam.

Love is a quiet, reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic, harmonious hum of a thing; something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.

chatterbox falls bc elopement wedding
by Northern Wind Photography

Shall We Dance wedding reading

We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying, “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

People say they ‘find’ love, as if it were an object hidden under a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. And Eddie found a certain love with Marguerite, a grateful love, a deep but quiet love, one that he knew, above all else, was irreplaceable.

Fleabag wedding reading

It turns out it’s quite hard to come up with something original about love, but I’ve had a go. Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. It makes you selfish. It makes you creepy, makes you obsessed with your hair, makes you cruel, makes you say and do things you never thought you would do.

It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. I was taught if we’re born with love then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot, feeling right, when it feels right, it’s easy. But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is, when you find somebody that you love, it feels like hope.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the centre of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.

A Beautiful Mind wedding reading

I’ve always believed in numbers and the equations and logics that lead to reason. But after a lifetime of such pursuits, I ask: ‘What truly is logic?’ ‘Who decides reason?’ My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional—and back. And I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found.

fun wedding officiant script at young hip and married vancouver elopement
by John Bello Photography

More wedding ceremony reading inspiration!

Need some more wedding reading inspiration? Not sure the above modern wedding readings are for you? Check out our list of wedding readings, scripture, sayings, wedding prayers, blessings and more!

Now that you’ve found modern wedding readings you love, it’s time to plan the rest of your wedding ceremony. Check out our ceremony packages and get in touch to book today! 

A part of the wedding ceremony that is often forgotten is the wedding announcements. Many couples don’t know what wedding announcements are or which ones to include. But since wedding announcements convey some of the most important information your guests need to know, you don’t want to forget them!

Keep reading to learn more about wedding ceremony announcements – what are they and which ones should you include?

What is a wedding announcement?

A wedding announcement is an announcement made during your wedding ceremony to pass important information onto guests. For example, reminding guests that your ceremony is unplugged and therefore they should put their phones away would be an important pre-ceremony wedding announcement.

Wedding announcements also refer to the old time-y tradition of announcing a marriage in the newspaper. This is when a family would pay for space in the newspaper to announce the upcoming wedding of their child. A more modern version of this would be sending out marriage announcements after your wedding day to let people know you got hitched.

wedding announcement by wedding officiant, young hip and married vancouver wedding
by Erica Miller Photography

Who makes wedding announcements? 

Announcements at the wedding ceremony are usually made by the wedding officiant or whoever is leading the ceremony. If you have any housekeeping announcements to make during your reception, these can be made by your MC or DJ.

“Okay, but do we really need 13 wedding announcements at our ceremony?”

No, you likely won’t need to have all 13 of these wedding announcements at your ceremony. But we like to be thorough! As you read through them, you’ll see which ones apply to your ceremony and which don’t.

Keep in mind that some of these announcements can be combined and will only take a few seconds to share with your guests. And with an engaging wedding officiant (like the ones here at Young Hip & Married!), wedding announcements will just seem like part of the fun that is your ceremony.

You can also include important announcements on your wedding website or on wedding ceremony programs. Make sure wedding party members and your wedding planner are aware of the information too so they can spread it to guests. However, the most important information should still be announced by your officiant so no one misses it!

young hip and married stanley park vancouver elopement
by Erica Miller Photography

8 wedding announcements to make before or at the start of your wedding ceremony

These pre-ceremony announcements are usually said before the wedding ceremony officially begins. The processional hasn’t started yet and none of the wedding party or the couple is in the room. It’s just your wedding officiant at the front and your guests taking their seats.

1. Introduction

Before launching into the real announcements, you may want your wedding officiant to quickly introduce themselves and let your guests know that the ceremony is about to start. This will prompt people to find their seats and get ready for things to begin.

Example: “Hello, everyone! My name is Shawn and I’ll be officiating Morgan and Jaime’s ceremony today. We’re going to be getting started in just a few minutes so please take your seats and get those happy tears ready!” 

2. Photo policy

One of the most important pre-ceremony wedding announcements is the photo policy. Most couples opt for an unplugged ceremony where guests are asked to put their electronics away. This not only ensures guests can stay in the moment but also that your professional photos don’t have a sea of screens in them!

Example: “Today’s ceremony will be unplugged. Please put away any phones, cameras or tablets as the couple has requested no photos or video be taken during the ceremony. They want to see your smiling faces, not the back of your screens!” 

Or, if you don’t mind photos being taken, your officiant can also make that announcement. With so many unplugged wedding ceremonies these days, guests may not be sure what you prefer, so an announcement either way is helpful.

Example: “You are welcome to take photos during the ceremony but please do so discreetly and please don’t block the lovely photographer and videographer that Jaime and Morgan have hired.” 

wedding announcements at young hip and married wedding ceremony
by Thea Loo and Jeremiah Reyes

3. Phone off reminder

In addition to an announcement about your photo policy, it may also be helpful to remind guests to turn off or silence their phones. No one wants to hear the screech of a ringtone halfway through the vows!

Example: “Just like at the movies, let’s all take a moment to turn off or silence our phones before the ceremony starts.” 

4. Instructions for after the ceremony

This is one of the most important wedding announcements: What are guests supposed to do after the ceremony is over? Despite all the details you meticulously provided on your wedding invitations and website, some of your guests will still be confused about what’s happening next. This announcement is especially important if you need your guests to be somewhere right after the ceremony is over.

Example: “After the ceremony, Morgan and Jaime would like everyone to meet them on the lawn just outside the doors for a big group photo. Please don’t run off as they want to make sure everyone’s beautiful face is included.”

Even if your guests aren’t expected to be anywhere or do anything immediately after the ceremony, it may still be useful to remind them of the next item on their wedding day schedule. That way, no one is confused or shows up at the wrong place or wrong time.

Example: “Morgan and Jaime look forward to raising a glass with you all tonight at the Riverfront Cafe at 5:00pm with dinner and dancing to follow.” 

brix & mortar vancouver wedding with young hip and married
by Sambajoy

5. Safety or venue-specific information

Obviously not all ceremonies will need an announcement about safety or about the venue, but if yours does, this is a great time to include it. These announcements might include where emergency exits are located, where bathrooms are located, mask policies, weather information, etc.

Example: “If the October chill is getting to you, please feel free to use one of the blankets located at the back of the hall. And if you need to use the bathroom after the ceremony, you’ll find those on your left when you exit out the big doors.” 

6. Information for parents

If you have invited kids to your wedding, you may have some information you need to share with parents before the ceremony gets started. While you can’t specifically ask young kids not to cry or have a meltdown (wouldn’t that be nice?), you can provide some helpful resources to minimize any noise or distractions.

Example: “If you have a little one with you, we invite you to sit on the end of the aisle, should you need to step out of the ceremony at any point. Jaime and Morgan have set up a kids’ room that you’re welcome to access before, during and after the ceremony.” 

kids at weddings, young hip and married vancouver wedding
by J Chan Photography 

7. Information the couple wants to pass on

If there’s anything else you want your guests to know before your ceremony gets started, now is the time to have your officiant announce it. Particularly if you have anything happening during your ceremony that requires guest participation or might be new to guests, let them know.

Example: “You may have noticed little bags of confetti at your seat. Please hold onto these until the end of the ceremony. As our newlyweds head back up the aisle, make it rain on them!” 

8. Land acknowledgment

A land acknowledgment is “a simple way for us to show respect and insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life, as well as recognize the history of colonialism and a need for change in settler-colonial societies.” It reminds everyone present whose land we are on. This announcement typically happens after the processional when the couple is at the front, but we’ve included it in this post as it is still a ceremony announcement.

Example: “We want to begin today’s ceremony by acknowledging with gratitude that we are gathered here on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh Nations.”

young hip and married wedding ceremony
by Ronnie Lee Hill Photography

5 wedding announcements to make after or at the end of your wedding ceremony

Congrats, you’re married! But before you officially head off into married bliss, there are a few wedding announcements you may want your wedding officiant to make at the end of your ceremony.

These announcements typically happen just before the recessional (when the couple and wedding party exit the ceremony) because once the recessional has happened, guests are on their feet and heading out, no longer listening to important information.

1. The big pronouncement

The pronouncement is when your wedding officiant will pronounce that you are now married and, optionally, invite you to seal your marriage with a kiss. This is usually met with rapturous applause from your guests!

Example: “Now that Jaime and Morgan have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are officially married. You may now seal your union with a kiss!”

Check out 15 pronouncements to end your wedding ceremony!

2. Reminder of post-ceremony instructions for guests

While your guests were definitely, 100% listening to all of the pre-ceremony announcements, they must have gotten so swept up in the emotion of your ceremony that they promptly forgot all about where they were supposed to go afterwards. That’s why a quick reminder at the end of your ceremony is important.

Example: “A reminder to please meet the fabulous newlyweds outside on the lawn for a big group photo right after we’ve wrapped things up here.” 

young hip & married vancouver wedding
by John Bello Photography

3. (op) Announcement about what the couple or wedding party is doing next

If you won’t be joining your guests right after the ceremony, you may want to let them know. That way, you won’t get cornered by a weepy Aunt Tessa telling you how beautiful you look when you’re supposed to be sneaking away for post-ceremony sunset portraits.

Example: “Morgan and Jaime will be heading off to take their first photos as newlyweds after the ceremony and are looking forward to seeing you all at cocktail hour at 5:00pm at the Riverfront Cafe.” 

This is also a great time to remind your wedding party or other important guests what they are supposed to be doing after the ceremony. You’d be surprised how many emotional parents completely forget they’re supposed to be taking family photos or joining your receiving line!

Example: “Jaime and Morgan, as well as their parents and wedding party, would love to say hello to all of you in a receiving line out on the lawn.” 

4. Any additional reminders from the couple

Is there anything else you need your guests to know about? This is your last chance to have your officiant make a big announcement before everyone disperses. This may be a good time to share transportation instructions, any photo or video policies for after the ceremony, a hashtag you want guests to use, or any last minute changes.

Example: “Don’t forget that the party bus to the Riverfront Cafe leaves from the hotel at 4:30pm!” 

vancouver wedding recessional
by Christie Graham Photography

5. Presentation of the couple

Once all of the other post-ceremony wedding announcements have been made, it’s time for the official presentation of the couple, followed by the recessional. This is when your wedding officiant announces you as a married couple, which usually signals your recessional music and walk back up the aisle while your guests cheer.

Example: “Presenting for the first time as a married couple, Morgan and Jaime! Let’s hear it for them!” 

Which wedding announcements will you be including in your ceremony? Or are there any we forgot? Let us know! 

And don’t forget the key to engaging wedding announcements that your guests will actually listen to – an amazing wedding officiant! Meet our team of officiants and book yours today! 


feature image by Aileen Choi Photography

Back in the day, weddings only happened between a bride and a groom, and the only way for the bride to marry the groom was to be given away by her father. Luckily, those days are gone! Modern couples have so many more processional options and alternatives to giving away the bride.

You can still include your parents or other loved ones in your wedding ceremony while tweaking this dated tradition. Below we’re sharing nine alternatives to giving away the bride, as well as a brief history lesson and the exact script you can use to get your parents on board.

PS: Still plan to have the bride’s father give her away? Go for it! If that’s a tradition you want to uphold, we support you in designing a ceremony that works for you. But if you’re curious about some easy changes you can make to modernize this tradition, keep reading! Even if you decide to stick with the traditional giving away, you’ll at least have considered all of your options.

Where does giving away the bride come from?

The tradition of the bride’s father giving away the bride officially dates back to 1549 in a book written by the Church of England. But the concept of fathers arranging matches for their daughters and “giving them away” in marriage goes back much further.

This tradition stems from an age when unmarried women were considered the property of their fathers and given away as a transfer of property, often in exchange for a dowry. Of course, in many modern marriages, dowries are obsolete and women are no longer considered property (phew!).

brides father, gives away, giving away the bride at wedding ceremony, processional
by Erica Miller Photography

Why “giving away the bride” isn’t inclusive

We’re pretty sure the answer to this one is obvious, but just in case it isn’t we’d love to dive into why “giving away the bride” is not an inclusive term or practice.

To start, not all weddings have a bride. This is an extremely heteronormative tradition and is obviously exclusionary for couples who don’t have a bride or who have more than one bride. This tradition also assumes a bride will be given away by her father, but a bride’s father may not be involved in the wedding or the best person to take on this role. It also completely ignores a bride’s mother or other important loved ones in her life.

Perhaps the biggest red flag with this tradition is the concept of “giving away.” By referring to one member of the couple as a piece of property to be transferred from one man’s ownership to another, we not only remove their humanity by treating them like an object but we also remove their agency by not giving them any say in the decision.

hugging parents at end of the aisle during wedding processional
by Erica Miller Photography

“But I still want to have a special moment with my dad at my wedding!”

You can absolutely still have a special moment with your dad, or any parent or loved one, at your wedding. You don’t have to incorporate the “giving away of the bride” tradition in order to honour your parents and your relationship with them. Below we’re sharing lots of alternatives to giving away the bride that honour your beliefs and still show your parents how much you love them!

“But my dad has always dreamed of giving away his little girl! What should I tell him?”

This is something we hear from a lot of couples, so know you’re not alone in having a parent who feels strongly about this tradition. However, in our opinion, that’s not a good enough reason to incorporate a tradition you don’t believe in that removes your agency and personhood.

Before you try and talk your dad out of giving you away, take some time to reflect on this tradition. If it doesn’t sit right with you, figure out what you want to do (check out our alternatives below!) and what you feel comfortable with. Make sure you loop your partner in on these conversations so you can get their support.

With an alternative in mind, sit down with your dad or parents well ahead of your wedding ceremony. As long as the conversation remains respectful, you can explain your perspective and hear where they’re coming from. Remember that you do not have to justify why you feel a certain way or tolerate a conversation that impacts your emotional or mental health.

Once you’ve presented an alternative to giving away the bride to your parents, give them some time to adjust or ask questions. They may need a few days or few weeks to get on board.

parents walking their daughter down the aisle, brides father gives away bride alternatives
by Erica Miller Photography

“But what do I actually say to my dad to help him understand?”

For most dads who dream about “giving away their little girl” what they’re actually dreaming about is having an important role on your wedding day and being by your side, not selling you like cattle. They may have never taken the time to think about what the tradition stands for, too busy picturing themselves wiping away tears as they walk you down the aisle.

So rather than stomp on their dream, you can gently explain why the tradition doesn’t sit well with you and how they can still be involved on your wedding day. You could say something like:

“Dad, I understand that you’ve been thinking about giving me away at my wedding for many years. I love that you’re so excited for my wedding day and I definitely want you to be a big part of it. I don’t feel like the traditional giving away of the bride reflects our relationship or how I want to enter into my marriage. Instead, I’d love if we [insert your chosen alternative here]. That way, I still get to have a special moment with you and honour my beliefs.” 

Bottom line: You dad’s long held dream doesn’t override your agency and how you choose to enter your marriage.

couple walking into their wedding ceremony together, alternative processional ideas
by Erica Miller Photography

9 alternatives to giving away the bride

So if the tradition of the bride’s father giving away the bride is out, what’s in? Check out nine alternatives that might work for your wedding ceremony:

Each member of the couple walks in with their parents

Rather than just the bride and her father (remember, not all weddings have brides and not all brides have fathers!), in this alternative both members of the couple and all of their parents will be included in the wedding processional. That way, the spotlight is on both spouses-to-be and all of the wonderful people who raised them.

Each member of the couple walks in solo

Another option is to walk in solo, processing down the aisle on your own without any escorts. Both members of the couple can do this, representing their agency and independence in making the choice to be together. This is a great alternative if you don’t want to include your parents in the aisle walk or have too many parents to include and don’t want to choose which ones will join the processional.

alternative to giving away the bride, bride walks in solo
by Bobbi Barbarich Photography

The couple walks in together

One beautiful alternative to giving away the bride is for the almost-newlywed couple to walk into their ceremony together, escorting one another, instead of walking in alone or with parents. This is a modern option, as traditionally the couple doesn’t see each other until the end of the aisle. But we love the idea of a couple walking into their marriage together! Again, this is a great compromise if you don’t have relationships with your parents or have too many parents to include.

Parents walk their child part way

If you like the idea of walking yourself down the aisle but still want a sweet moment with your parents, consider this alternative. You can process with your parents part way down the aisle and then meet up with your partner or walk yourself the remaining length of the aisle, your parents walking a few steps behind. That way, you’re not being given away and you’re able to walk independently into marriage with the support of your family literally behind you.

processional alternative, groom walks in with parents, young hip and married wedding ceremony
by Erica Miller Photography

Parents join the processional

A great way to give your parents a meaningful role in the wedding party while removing the giving away tradition is by including them in your processional. Instead of escorting you down the aisle, your parents can have their own moment walking down the aisle with your other wedding attendants. They can then take seats of honour at the front.

The couple processes with their chosen loved ones

Remember, it doesn’t have to be your parents who walk you down the aisle! You can choose to process with anyone (or no one!) including your children, siblings, grandparents, friends or fur baby.

groom walks down the aisle with dog at vancouver wedding
by Bobbi Barbarich Photography

The couple greets their parents at the end of the aisle

This option can be added onto any of the alternatives on this list. No matter how you come down the aisle, you can take a moment to greet your parents before your ceremony begins. Many couples love to include a sweet hug with moms and/or dads before they join hands and say I do. This also gives you a chance to hug your parents-in-law, which is always nice!

Parents are included in the wedding ceremony

Rather than join the processional, or in addition to, your parents can take on roles in your wedding ceremony. For example, your parents can be ceremony readers, light the unity candle, sign your marriage licence as witnesses or hold your wedding rings. Your wedding officiant can even include them in your ceremony script, acknowledging the impact they’ve had on your life and relationship.

Parents are included in other special wedding moments

Just because you don’t want the bride to be given away by her father at your wedding doesn’t mean you and your partner can’t have special moments with your parents. But rather than going along with a dated tradition that is gendered and treats women as property, you can create something that feels more authentic to your relationship and the celebration you’re planning.

For example, you can do a first look with your parents, arrange to have special family photos taken, ask your parents to give a speech at your reception or rehearsal dinner, choreograph a special dance with them or involve them in pre-wedding activities, like outfit shopping. There are lots of ways to involve your parents in your wedding day and honour them in front of all of your guests!

parents of the bride and groom at wedding ceremony
by Page & Holmes Photography

Bonus: 5 alternatives to “Who presents this woman to be married?”

There is a religious tradition that sometimes accompanies the father of the bride giving away the bride. As the father and bride approach the end of the aisle, the officiant will ask, “Who presents this woman to be married to this man?” The father will then answer, “I do.”

But if that gives you the ick, go ahead and change it! Here are five alternatives to the who gives this bride away script you can use at your wedding ceremony.

  1. Remove it entirely. Unless it’s mandated by the religious body that you’re getting married under, you can remove the who gives this bride away script completely from your wedding ceremony. Good riddance!
  2. Change the question. You can make this question less dated and more palatable by personalizing it. For example, you can use your names instead of “man” and “woman.” You could also change the word “gives” or “presents” to something like “supports” to better represent your beliefs. For example, “Who supports Cory in marrying Taylor today?”
  3. Change the response. Another way to update this question is by changing the response. Instead of having just the father of the bride say “I do,” both parents could say, “We do” or “Her loving family.” They could even say, “She gives herself with her family’s blessing.”
  4. Ask both partners’ parents. If this question has to be asked at a ceremony (and we hope it’s not mandatory!), why are we only asking the bride’s father? Both partners’ families should be asked this question to represent the support of both sides, rather than representing the transfer of property. For example, this might sound like, “Who supports Cory in marrying Taylor? And who supports Taylor in marrying Cory?”
  5. Ask everyone. Rather than making this a question that is asked only of the bride’s father, why not take the opportunity to ask all of your guests for their support with a community vow? For example, “Do you, Cory and Taylor’s family and friends, promise to encourage and support them in creating a strong and vital marriage? If so, please say, ‘We do.'”
groom hugging parents at end of the aisle, wedding party processional
by Cedar & Sand Photography
parents of the bride and groom at wedding ceremony
by Aileen Choi Photo

Tips for ditching the traditional processional and giving away of the bride

Now that you have some great alternatives to giving away the bride, here are some tips to make those alternatives happen at your wedding ceremony!

Discuss your options early. Take the time to think about all of the traditions that you’ve seen in wedding ceremonies. How do you feel about them? If any don’t sit right with you, or if there are any you want to add, do some research and start having conversations with your partner. Make sure you know how you feel and you’re both on the same page before you involve anyone else.

Share your plan with your parents. You’ll want to ensure your parents and wedding party are aware of your plans for your ceremony ahead of time. Scroll up to see our script for how to have this conversation with your parents, especially if dad has been talking about walking his little girl down the aisle for years!

Be clear about what your plan will and will not entail. It’s one thing to tell dad the bride doesn’t want to be given away – it’s another to very clearly communicate your plan for the processional. For example, if you don’t want you parents to place your hand in your partner’s hand or lift your veil, make sure that is clearly stated.

Loop in your officiant and planner. Your wedding officiant and wedding planner have been to countless ceremonies and will be able to help you choose the right alternative to giving away the bride and ensure it happens as smooth as possible on the big day. If you need advice or support, turn to them.

couple walking into their wedding ceremony, young hip and married elopement, alternatives to giving away the bride
by Amber Leigh Photography

Need more ideas? Check out our processional blog posts

Ready to start planning your wedding ceremony with a processional that honours your beliefs? Check out our packages and get in touch to book today! 


written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Thea Loo and Jeremiah Reyes

Everyone has been to a wedding (or seen one on TV) where a gaggle of flower girls in puffy dresses and ring boys in little suits come down the aisle and we all say, “Awwww!” After all, what could be cuter? But do these roles make sense for your wedding? And if not, what are some alternatives to flower girls and ring boys?

Find out below!

First: Do we still need to call them flower girls & rings boys? 

The terms “flower girls” and “rings boys” are obviously and unnecessarily gendered. In an industry that is already so gendered, let’s remove as many gender norms from weddings as we can please!

Of course, children of all genders can hold rings, hold flowers or be in your wedding party. There’s no reason to split the kids down traditional gender lines. While it might not feel like a big deal, we guarantee someone in your community will appreciate you making this simple change.

Second: Do you need kids in your wedding party? 

Before you start thinking of alternatives, do you even need kids in your wedding party? Maybe not. Maybe you’re not inviting kids to the wedding at all!

It is absolutely not mandatory to have flower kids or ring bearers in your wedding party. If you don’t have children in your life that you’re close to, it’s not worth the hassle just for the cute photo opp. While tiny tuxedos coming down the aisle sounds cute, don’t forget about all of the work that goes into wrangling kids.

On the other hand, you may have special kids in your life but choose not to include them in your wedding party or ceremony processional for a variety of reasons. That’s totally fine! You can still include them in photos, speeches or other parts of your wedding day.

If you do plan to include kids in your wedding party, check out our post: 10 Rules for Having Kids in Your Wedding Party.

flower girl getting a kiss from the bride and groom at young hip and married wedding
by J Chan Photography

15 alternatives to flower girls & ring boys for your wedding

1 – Change the titles

As we mentioned above, let’s remove the unnecessary gender tags on these roles! You can still have children in your wedding, but let’s change their titles to something more modern, more inclusive and, frankly, more fun!

Here are some great alternatives to flower girls & ring boys:

  • Flower carriers
  • Ring bearers
  • Flower kids
  • Wedding kids
  • Junior wedding attendants
  • Best kiddos
  • The fellowship of the ring

2 – Enlist a flower dude or flower crew

Instead of having a group of small kids carry flowers down the aisle, why not enlist a few of your favourite adults? This is a great way to eliminate the hassle of dealing with kids coming down the aisle and include more of your adult besties in your wedding.

Plus, this option lets you have a lot more fun! We’ve all the seen the videos of “flower men” coming down the aisle and throwing petals from their belt bags with so much pizazz that your guests can’t help but laugh and cheer. What a way to start a ceremony!

3 – Ask your grandparents to be your flower carriers

If you rather be sentimental than silly, why not ask Grandma to take on the role of flower carrier? This is another trend we’ve seen lately and there’s truly nothing more adorable than watching a sweet granny come down the aisle with a basket of petals.

This is a great way to include your grandparents in your wedding party and honour them during your ceremony. And while this trend is often seen with grandmothers, there’s no reason why grandfathers or any grandparents couldn’t take part!

4 – Send your dog down the aisle!

Many couples are skipping the flower kiddos and choosing to send Fido down the aisle instead! This is a great way to include your fur baby in your wedding ceremony and give them the spotlight they deserve.

Of course, a lot of consideration and planning needs to go into including a pet in your wedding ceremony. Ensure it’s something you, your venue and, most importantly, your dog are all comfortable with before making any plans.

wedding dog, dog ring bearer, dog at wedding ceremony
by Erica Miller Photography

5 – Opt for a flower baby

What’s cuter than a little, tiny baby coming down the aisle? Nothing! Imagine a little baby in a tuxedo onesie or perhaps an Anne Geddes-style floral outfit. Too cute!

Of course, a tiny baby isn’t going to be able to walk themselves down the aisle. You’ll need to have someone carry them and, most likely, a back-up plan should the adorable baby decide to do what babies do, cry the whole time!

6 – Give the rings to an adult in your wedding party

There’s no reason why ring bearers have to be small children. In fact, traditionally, the ring bearer was one of the groom’s attendants in the wedding party.

So skip the pint-sized ring bearer role entirely and just ask someone else in your wedding party to hold the rings. This is the perfect job for a person of honour (FKA maid of honour) or best person (FKA best man).

7 – Give the rings to your parents

An incredibly sweet way to include your parents in your wedding ceremony is to ask them to hold onto your wedding rings. After the processional, most parents take a seat in the front row and aren’t involved in the ceremony again. In some cases, parents who don’t walk in during the processional aren’t involved in the ceremony at all!

Fix that by asking your parents to hold onto the rings. Be sure to make a moment out of turning to them to retrieve the rings before your ring exchange. We’re sure they’ll love it!

8 – Carry each other’s rings

Since you have to put your partner’s ring on their finger and they have to put your ring on your finger, why not just carry each other’s rings in the first place? We’re here for it! Not only is this a practical solution, but it’s also very sweet to think that you’ll be keeping your partner’s ring warm the whole time.

If you opt for this alternative, make it someone else’s job to remind you to grab the ring before you leave your getting ready area. You also want to make sure you have a good place to keep the ring that you can easily access during the ceremony. Unfortunately, not all wedding outfits allow for this!

wedding rings, ring exchange at wedding ceremony, young hip and married
by The Macleans

9 – Do something outside of the box!

There’s no reason why you have to do the same old thing with your flowers and rings! Officiant Shawn once led a ceremony where the couple had a trained bird of prey swoop in and deliver the rings directly to Shawn. He wore a special glove and everything!

Of course, you don’t have to involve birds of prey in your ceremony. But it never hurts to think outside of the box! Could you have the rings come in on zip-line or have them parachuted down to you from above? Get creative!

10 – Have a ring warming

A ring warming allows all of your guests to “warm” your rings with their love before the ceremony starts, either by passing them around or having a place where guests can see and touch them before they sit down.

The logistics of a ring warming can be hard to arrange, but it’s worth it if you love the idea of having your guests more involved in your ring exchange!

For more creative ideas, check out our post: 30 Fun Ideas for Your Wedding Ceremony

11 – Ask the kids to carry something else

There’s no reason why the kids in your wedding party have to carry flowers or rings. In fact, the idea that a kid might lose the wedding rings is a real fear for most couples (and the reason why most mini ring bearers either don’t carry the rings, or only receive them moments before walking down the aisle).

Here are a few things the kids can carry instead:

  • Cute signs
  • Lanterns (without a flame!)
  • Balloons
  • Confetti
  • Nothing! They can simply hold hands or come down the aisle together.

When choosing an item for the kids to carry, there are four things you should not choose:

  • Nothing the venue won’t allow: Many venues have rules against throwing items like confetti or rice.
  • Nothing dangerous: You don’t want kids carrying candles with open flames, for example.
  • Nothing complicated: Kids shouldn’t be asked to carry pets or smaller children in their arms.
  • Nothing you wouldn’t want to lose: The vow books, for example, would be a bad idea to ask the kids to carry.
flower carriers and wedding kids coming down the aisle with kids in wagon
by Barbarich Photo

12 – Use floral decor

Instead of having an official flower carrier, you can just incorporate more florals into your wedding decor. And if it’s specifically the look of petals on the aisle that you want, that’s something you can arrange with your wedding vendors ahead of time.

In fact, it’s probably best to have a professional wedding vendor place the petals on your aisle rather than a six year old. We’ve all seen them drop a basketful of petals at one end and completely forget the rest of the aisle!

13 – Have junior attendants instead

As we shared above, having young kids in your wedding party is not always the best idea. They can get stage fright, they can lose things, and they can be hard to wrangle without constant supervision, naps and a juice box!

So why not include older kids in your wedding instead? If you have any older kids or young teens in your life, including them as junior attendants in your wedding party might be the perfect thing. They’re too mature for the role of “ring bearer” but too young to party with the adults during the bachelor or bachelorette events – so a junior attendant role is perfect!

14 – Give the kids another role in your wedding

There are lots of ways to involve kids in your wedding – they don’t just have to be flower carriers or ring bearers. Some children may not be comfortable walking down an aisle, feel the flower/ring bearer role is too junior for them, or may not be part of the ceremony at all if you’re having an adults-only ceremony.

Here are some other ways to involve your kids in your wedding:

  • Take photos with them while you’re getting ready
  • Do a first look with them
  • Share a special dance with them at the reception
  • Ask them to give a speech
  • Include them in the wedding party photos
  • Have them wear matching outfits
flower girls kissing the bride before wedding ceremony
by John Bello Photography

15 – Skip flower girls and ring boys entirely!

Last but not least, one of the best alternatives to flower girls and ring boys is to skip the tradition entirely! As we shared above, these roles are not necessary and you can absolutely skip them if you don’t have children you’re close to, it seems like too much of a hassle, or you simply don’t want to.

If none of the alternatives above resonate with you – or still sound like more trouble than they’re worth – go ahead and skip them too! We’re all about throwing out wedding traditions that don’t work for you and only keeping elements that truly represent you two.

  • Don’t force yourself to create a Flower Dude role if the idea of a grown man coming down the aisle with petals makes you cringe.
  • Don’t spend weeks looking for flower replacements because your venue doesn’t allow petals or confetti.
  • And don’t waste another minute trying to plan a pet-friendly processional if you know your pooch would rather stay home!

As we always say: it’s your wedding, your way. Get rid of anything that doesn’t work for you (including other people’s expectations!) so you can create a day you’ll love.

Will you be having flower carriers and ring bearers at your wedding? Or are you trying one of these alternatives? Let us know!

And don’t forget to book your wedding officiant for your ceremony – one role that you can’t skip if you want to be legally wed! 

Wedding ceremonies can be serious, monumental, emotional and sentimental. But they can also be a heck of a lot of fun! Looking for some fun ideas for your wedding ceremony? We’ve got you covered!

We firmly believe that your wedding ceremony should represent who you are and reflect your values. If you’re a couple who loves to laugh, inject some humour into your big day. If you love colour, make your ceremony bright. And if you’re full of personality and creativity, make your ceremony as unique as you are.

Check out 30 fun ideas for your wedding ceremony: 

Serve drinks before the ceremony

fun ideas for your wedding ceremony like a sign encouraging guests to enjoy a drink before the ceremony that says "enjoy a drink while waiting for the brides"
by John Bello Photography

Who says you have to wait until cocktail hour or the reception to open the bar? You can absolutely serve drinks before your wedding ceremony. Not only is this a fun way to start off your wedding day but it sets the mood for your awesome party ahead.

For a morning wedding, consider serving mimosas or caesars. If your ceremony is formal, you can’t go wrong with champagne flutes. Or if you’re wanting to create a more fun and casual vibe, why not a keg of craft beer or a DIY cocktail bar? You could even serve a signature drink that you and your spouse-to-be design yourselves.

And, of course, your pre-ceremony drinks don’t have to be alcoholic. Consider an apple cider bar for a fall wedding, a hot cocoa bar for a winter wedding, or a lemonade bar for a warm, summer day.

Serve some pre-ceremony snacks too!

overhead shot of snacks, like pretzels and croissants, arranged on a table

If you’re thinking about serving pre-ceremony drinks, you may want to consider some pre-ceremony snacks too. After all, you don’t want your guests drinking on an empty stomach!

Pre-ceremony snacks should be easy – both for your vendors to serve and for your guests to eat. You don’t want to serve anything that would be complicated to set up or tough to eat while standing. Think of handheld items that can be set up ahead of time, like bags of popcorn or a candy bar.

Remember: Pre-ceremony drinks and snacks are not mandatory. If you don’t have the budget or capacity to plan for them, go ahead and skip them. But if you’re big foodies or love a craft cocktail, this is a great way to share that with your guests.

Provide pre-ceremony entertainment

playing yard games like ladder ball at your wedding ceremony

Another idea to start your wedding ceremony on a fun note would be to provide some entertainment for your guests to enjoy before the ceremony gets started. You could set up lawn games, have a photo booth or ask your musician/DJ to take requests.

You may even be able to use your pre-ceremony entertainment post-ceremony, during cocktail hour or during your reception. If you’ve rented lawn games for the day anyway, why not set them up early? Let your fun ideas entertain your guests all wedding day long!

Plan a theme or costume wedding ceremony

halloween wedding ceremony with young hip and married, officiant dressed as a witch and bride and groom in costume
by Amber Leigh Photography

Nothing says “fun wedding ceremony” better than a theme or costume wedding! As officiants, we’ve officiated a number of theme weddings such as Halloween weddings or nerdy fandom weddings.

Theme weddings aren’t for everyone. But if there’s a holiday, hobby or theme that you and your partner are passionate about, why not incorporate it into your wedding? Your guests will have a blast dressing up, checking out your on-theme decor, and finding all the fun ways you’ve incorporated your passion into your wedding day.

Warning: Don’t let your theme go too far! Just because you’re having a Star Wars wedding doesn’t mean every last detail needs to be from a galaxy far far away. Don’t forget the real theme – getting you married!

Show up in style

bride and her father processing down the aisle on motorbikes, making a grand entrance for your wedding ceremony
by Always Smiling Photography

Talk about making an entrance! A fun idea for your wedding ceremony could be showing up in an out of the box way that will totally blow your guests’ minds. Wow them from the moment you arrive at your venue!

You could ride in on motorcycles or in an old fashioned car. You could hire a big school bus or even take a helicopter to your ceremony. Consider getting more bang for your buck by also using your cool mode of transportation for your ceremony exit too.

Hire a live musician to play at your wedding ceremony

live musician playing at a wedding, fun ideas for your wedding ceremony
by Amber Leigh Photography

While we love DJs and playlists, sometimes there’s nothing better than live music. A musician can add a special element to your wedding ceremony and let you personalize the moment.

You can hire a singer, guitarist or piano player. Or go outside the box and hire a violinist, tuba player or someone who rocks the kazoo! Curate the song selection with a few of your favourites or ask your musician to write a custom song just for you two.

Start the guest book early!

creative wedding guest book where guests are asked to write a bucket list idea on a popsicle stick
by John Bello Photography

Ask anyone who had a guest book at their wedding and odds are, not all of the guests signed it. In fact, most guests completely miss the guest book. They’re too busy eating, dancing and drinking at your reception!

So why not put your guest book out at your ceremony? For guests who show up early, they’ll have fewer distractions to keep them from signing. Plus, if you have your guest book out at both the ceremony and reception, you’ll double your chances of people signing.

Remember, a guest book doesn’t have to be a book. Ask your guests to sign a globe, a bench, a record or something unique and fun for you two. You could also ask for marriage advice or date night ideas, instead of simply guest signatures.

Invite your guests to participate in a ring warming

newlywed couple exchanging rings

A ring warming is when your wedding rings are passed around to all of your guests to warm with their love and blessings before you exchange them during your ceremony. While the logistics of this can be hard to arrange, the idea behind it is very sweet! Plus, it’s a fun way to keep your guests involved and engaged in your ceremony.

For tips on how to do a ring warming without a hitch, plus more ways to involve your guests in your wedding ceremony, check out this post! 

Wow your guests with unique ceremony decor

unique ceremony decor of an arch and doorway leading to benches and floral aisle

If you’ve spent any amount of time wedding planning, you’ll know that you can have a lot of fun with your decor! From custom signs to hanging floral installations, the sky is truly the limit!

Use your ceremony decor to show off your personality. Showcase your favourite colours, lean into a theme or impress your guests with something they’ve never seen at a wedding before. Hire designers and decorators or go the DIY route – both work for a wedding ceremony look that will truly wow you and your guests!

Ask your guests to take part in a community vow

young hip and married wedding ceremony involving wedding guests
by Thea Loo and Jeremiah Reyes

A community vow is a great way to involve your guests in your wedding ceremony and, specifically, bring them into your vows and declaration of intent. Much like you and your partner will commit to one another by saying “I do,” a community vow allows your guests to do the same.

For example:

Your officiant says, “And do you, honoured loved ones, promise to encourage this couple, support their marriage and bring joy to their lives together? If so, please respond with a resounding, ‘We do!’” 

Your guests say, “We do!” 

Give your wedding party a statement look

wedding party dressed in denim jackets and jumpsuits
by Jelger & Tanja
matching jackets for wedding party embroidered with their names
by Erica Miller Photography

Everyone has seen bridesmaids in matching pink dresses and groomsmen in matching navy suits. Why not have some fun and mix it up a little?

The sky is the limit when it comes to your wedding party’s outfits! You could go for a mismatched look, asking everyone to follow a specific colour scheme. You could gift each member with a pair of funky socks or a cool bow tie. Or you could go outside the box and opt for custom jumpsuits or jean jackets.

Mix up the seating

unique wedding ceremony seating with chairs set up in a circle

In a traditional wedding ceremony, guests are seated in rows facing the altar with one partner’s family on one side and the other partner’s family on the other. But there’s no reason you have to follow this tradition!

Many couples mix up the seating by inviting their loved ones to sit wherever they want, rather than sticking to a specific side. Some take it a step further by rearranging the ceremony seats into a circle so their guests can encircle them with love. You could also consider having your guests seated at cocktail tables or on couches for a new approach to ceremony seating.

Play unexpected ceremony music

wedding songs, wedding music, guitar and amp

There’s no reason why you have to walk down the aisle to the Bridal Chorus by Wagner or a hymn or instrumental track you’ve heard at every other wedding. There are no rules when it comes to ceremony music, so why not have some fun with it?

You can come down the aisle to 90’s hip hop, a piano cover of your favourite TV theme song, or the latest single from Taylor Swift or Drake. If it’s a song you love, why not include it in your ceremony? Of course, you’ll probably want to opt for something wedding-appropriate (hint: no lyrics about exes and cheating), but it doesn’t have to be a traditional love song.

Check out our top ceremony song choices!

Make your wedding programs fun and personal

wedding ceremony programs as fans with wedding details, wedding party names, ceremony schedule and thank you message

Do you need wedding ceremony programs? Probably not. But if you want to have them, you might as well have some fun with them!

Besides covering any essentials, like instructions for a cultural ceremony or lyrics to a song guests are expected to sing, your program has a lot of room for fun. You can include little jokes, a timeline of your relationship or maybe an illustration of your pets. Your program can also pull double duty as a fan!

Get creative with your ring bearer and/or flower attendants

flower girl with sunglasses and a pacifier
by Amber Leigh Photography

Wedding TikTok has shown us that ring bearers don’t have to be little boys in suits and flower girls don’t have to be little girls at all! We’ve seen grandparents, pets and grown men throw petals down the aisle or carry the rings.

Have fun with your ring bearer and/or flower attendant by asking other people in your life to take the role, especially if you don’t have any kids you’re close to. You could also consider asking your ring bearer or flower attendant to hold a funny sign, wear a costume or come down the aisle creatively, like on skateboard!

Swap out the traditional bouquet

bride in pink dress holding a floral hoop, wedding bouquet alternative
by Erica Miller Photography

Another fun idea for your wedding ceremony is to mix up your bouquet. You don’t have to go with the traditional wedding bouquet you’ve seen hundreds of times before. Opt for something more fun that suits your theme and personality.

You can go dramatic with a huge bouquet in striking colours. Or you can go more minimalist with a bouquet made out of greenery or no bouquet at all. Instead of a typical bouquet style, you could opt for a floral hoop or basket. Or you could go really outside the box and come down the aisle holding a lantern, balloons or even puppies!

Walk into your wedding ceremony your way

processional with bride and her father
by Erica Miller Photography

The wedding processional is the way the couple of the hour and their wedding party get to the front of the ceremony. There are traditional processional orders and then there are modern spins. Need some inspiration? Check out 8 unique processional orders for your wedding ceremony!

The way you walk into your wedding – much like the way you walk into your marriage – should honour your beliefs and work for the two of you. If the idea of a bride being given away by her father makes you uncomfortable, change it. Or if you love that traditional aspect, keep it! If the idea of a groom not getting to walk down the aisle doesn’t sit right with you, add in an aisle walk for him. Remember: This is your wedding, your way!

Incorporate a unity ceremony

unity candle ceremony at wedding, bride and groom light the unity candle

One of the most fun ideas for your wedding is to incorporate a unity ceremony. A unity ceremony is a special event during your larger wedding ceremony when you and your spouse do something to symbolize your marriage commitment.

The most common unity tradition is the unity candle ceremony. In this tradition, each member of the couple will take a lit candle and together light a third candle. There are also variations of this ceremony using sand, paint or even wine!

Plan a surprise for your spouse

young hip and married elopement, couple laughing during their ring exchange
by Erica Miller Photography

What could be more fun that surprising your spouse-to-be during the wedding ceremony? Put a huge smile on their face when you surprise them with an element they didn’t see coming. You could surprise them by playing their favourite song as you come down the aisle or saying your vows in their native language.

Remember that any surprises you plan for your spouse on your wedding day should be small things you know they’ll love. A balloon drop at the reception that they weren’t expecting? So fun! Completely changing the dinner menu they helped choose? Not so fun…

Ask your officiant to share your love story

porteau cove wedding with young hip & married, officiant sharing love story as couple exchanges rings
by Clint Bargen Photo

We’ve all been to the same boring wedding ceremony where the officiant says the same generic things about love. Don’t want that for your ceremony? Go for something custom and creative instead!

With Young Hip & Married’s Custom & Creative Ceremony, your officiant will custom-write a ceremony completely personalized to you. They will meet with you to learn all about your love story and even interview your friends and family to get the inside scoop. You’ll have final say over the script and get to edit as much as you want.

Learn more about Young Hip & Married’s ceremony packages here! 

Incorporate your traditions and beliefs into your wedding ceremony

persian table with couple taking part in cultural traditions during their young hip and married wedding ceremony, fun ceremony ideas
by Page & Holmes Photography

Another amazing way to add some more fun and personality to your wedding ceremony is to incorporate your personal, cultural or religious traditions and beliefs. This can make your ceremony so much more meaningful and engaging for you and your guests.

For example, Officiant Beth shares this from Telnaz and Farbod’s wedding:

“I got to partner with their grandparents to lead the Persian traditions within the ceremony, like the grinding of the sugar and the fingers dipped in honey. After the wedding, I had posted on Instagram a photo of their Persian desserts and how I wished I could have tried them. Telnaz, the bride, brought some leftover sweets to my house a couple days later, along with some dried flowers from their table! What a gem.” 

Involve your loved ones in your wedding ceremony

kids at the wedding ceremony, children running to their newlywed parents
by Erica Miller Photography

If you want to honour and involve your loved ones in your wedding ceremony, you can do so in lots of fun and creative ways. Of course, the obvious option is to invite them to join your wedding party, but there are other options too.

You could invite loved ones to take other roles in your wedding ceremony, such as ushers, readers or even musicians if they have that talent (though be warned about working with friendors!). You could also make time in your ceremony to stop and hug special loved ones, like your grandparents, or ask your officiant to shout out guests who travelled from far away.

Make sure you and your guests are comfortable

young hip & married elopement with umbrellas on a rainy wedding day in Vancouver
By Erica Miller Photography

You can’t have fun if you’re not comfortable! Before you worry about making your ceremony fun and exciting for you and your guests, you first have to ensure that everyone is comfortable.

This might look like having a plan for the rain so no one gets wet, not making guests stand through a long ceremony, and ensuring no one gets too hot or too cold. But you can still have fun with it! Instead of a heater, consider beautiful blankets to keep guests warm. And for sunny days, consider handing out funky sunglasses or custom fans.

Incorporate props

newlywed brides recessing down the aisle under confetti as fun idea for your wedding ceremony
by John Bello Photography

An easy and fun idea for your wedding ceremony is to utilize props. Guests both young and old love when they have something to hold and something to do during a wedding event. For example, you could hand out kazoos, confetti or bubbles for guests to use during your recessional.

Not only are props fun for guests, keeping them more engaged and involved in your ceremony, but they also make for awesome photos!

Start the photos early

close up of a camera lens

Speaking of photos, why not start your photo coverage even earlier during your wedding ceremony? If you have the budget, you could set up a photo booth at your ceremony to start capturing memories right away. You could also ask your photography or videography teams to arrive early and shoot more footage from the ceremony.

While not everyone has the budget to add extra photo coverage to their day, if it’s an option for you, it can be pretty special to get more shots of your guests mingling, reuniting and gathering for your big moment.

Hire an artist to create a live wedding painting

paint brushes in a cup for a wedding painting

If you’re looking for a creative keepsake from your wedding and something that will wow your guests, consider hiring a live wedding painting artist. This artist will set up at the back of your ceremony and create a painting of your wedding in real time. It’s pretty impressive to witness!

Plus, what could be a cooler wedding memory to hang in your house than a live painting of your ceremony?

Involve your pet in your wedding ceremony

bride and groom posing with their dog, dogs at weddings as a fun idea for your wedding ceremony
by Leah Kathryn Photo
bride and groom posing with their dogs at wedding
by Erica Miller Photography

If you’re a pet parent, the cutest thing you can do would be involving your pet in your wedding ceremony. Everyone has fun when a wedding dog is around!

Of course, it takes some planning to involve your pet in your ceremony. You’ll need to figure out how they get there and get home, assuming they’re not staying for the entire wedding. You’ll also want to make sure that your pet can handle a high-stress, crowded situation.

If your pet can’t be a physical part of your ceremony, you can still involve them in your wedding day. You can talk about them in your vows, use their photos in your decor or name your signature drink after them!

Go out in style!

wedding toast with wedding guests, cheers to end your wedding ceremony
by Tomasz Wagner Co

End your wedding ceremony with a bang by incorporating a fun, creative element. As mentioned above, you can distribute props for your guests to use during your exit recessional, such as bubbles, confetti or ribbon wands.

You could also end your ceremony by distributing champagne flutes or shot glasses and doing a toast with your guests. What a fun way to end your ceremony and officially start your marriage! Or you could show off your skills and perform a choreographed dance as you exit your ceremony.

Take a group photo right after the ceremony

group photo at the end of a wedding ceremony with champagne spraying and everyone cheering
by Erica Miller Photography

Nothing says fun like a group photo, right? Sure, it might be cheesy but we promise a big group photo is one of the best memories you’ll have from your wedding day. And the best time to take that group photo? Right after your wedding ceremony!

This is the perfect time to take your big group photo because everyone is there, everyone is excited and no one is too drunk or tired yet (hopefully!).

Host a post ceremony ice cream truck!

Couple eating ice cream after their wedding ceremony, bride and groom eat hold and eat from an ice cream cone
by Jelger & Tanja

Who wouldn’t want ice cream cones right after the ceremony? This is the perfect sweet treat for you and your guests, especially after an outdoor, summer ceremony. Plus an ice cream cart doubles as a great place to sign your marriage licence!

Bonus: The most fun idea for your wedding ceremony? Writing your own wedding vows!

bride reading personal wedding vows at hycroft manor vancouver wedding
by Aileen Choi Photo

The most fun, creative and personal element you can add to your wedding ceremony is your own vows. Personalized vows not only allow you and your partner to share an intimate moment, but it also gives your guests a sneak peek into your love story.

Plus, writing your own vows can also be a ton of fun! Imagine sitting down with your fiance and reminiscing about your relationship milestones while you look at old photos and cards. Then you crack open a bottle of wine, grab your notebook and sit down with a vow writing course to help the words flow.

Your personal vows let you design your own promises for marriage – not just the generic promises that everyone makes. They let you tell your own love story. And personal vows are the most loving thing you can give to your spouse – they’re the best wedding gift ever!

Nervous to write your own vows? Not sure where to start? Grab our free guide: How to Write Kickass Wedding Vows! Plus, learn all about our video vow writing course!

Which one of these fun ideas for your wedding ceremony is your favourite? Which will you be using on your wedding day?