Plan An Intentional Ceremony (Checklist Included)

It's go time - your ceremony, and this seriously might be my favorite time of the entire day. This is why we're here. And I'll be cheering you on from the back (and sides, and wherever else there's room for me). It's gonna be great. What I truly love is when brides and grooms plan intentional wedding ceremonies. How can you do that?

When planning your ceremony, remember you have freedom to add and leave out anything from what's traditional and expected. Think about the things that are most important to you as a couple. Weave those things throughout your ceremony, and make it true to who you are. That's what will make your ceremony special, meaningful, and impactful.


I recently shot Kaitlin and Jaaz's mountain wedding, and their ceremony was filled with intentionality.

  • Kaitlin's dad said a few words at the front of the room immediately after walking his daughter down the aisle. I'd never seen that done before. It was perfect.

  • The bride and groom, their wedding party, the families, and every guest joined their voices together to sing songs of worship and praise to God.

  • During the message to the couple, Kaitlin and Jaaz, along with their wedding party, SAT DOWN. No rules say that you have to stand. And because every detail was planned, the bride + groom sat on a beautifully unique boho woven bench.

  • They didn't have a "unity" ceremony. Again, no rules.

Ceremony Checklist (of sorts)

I say, "of sorts" because I want to stress that you can do whatever you want as long as you follow legal requirements for marriage in your state! But here are some things to consider. Feel free to screenshot.

  • Officiant/Pastor

  • Music - prelude (music played before the ceremony starts), song for seating of parents, grandparents, processional (some people use a different song for bridesmaids and bride), recessional, any special music during the ceremony (a solo, group, song during unity ceremony, or congregational song)

  • Vows - This is the reason we're here! You can write your own or go the classic route.

  • Unity candle or alternative - Not required of course, but there are all kinds of options for unity ceremonies.

  • Prayer - I've seen people do bridal party prayers, family prayers, or just a bride and groom prayer while everyone else prays in their seat.

  • Flower Girl (outfit + basket)

  • Ring Bearer (outfit + what he'll carry)

  • Programs

  • Charge or Readings

  • Flowers/Arch/Decor

  • Don't forget your marriage license!

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