Wedding Ceremony Length?? Is it too short?

Rach371Rach371 Posts: 985 New bride

So the countdown is officially on and I've just printed out the wording for the ceremony to familiarize myself before the big day which is now less than two weeks away!

We went for quite basic wording, no enhancement, no additional promises, no readings etc. I'm every so slightly worried it'll be over in 5 minutes! 

Do any brides have any experience of this, how long was your ceremony?

It's a civil ceremony in a registry office if that helps. 

Posts

  • MrsHowgateMrsHowgate Posts: 1,256 New bride

    H2B sister had  exact ceremony and we was out in 8 minutes it was that short. It didn’t feel special or meaningful and we was all saying to each other “was that it?”. Go with what you feel comfortable with. It’s your day.

  • Rach371Rach371 Posts: 985 New bride

    Mrs howgate im sure you didn't mean it this way but it reads as though you're saying my ceremony is really short and people will feel it wasn't special or meaningful!

    It's interesting to have your opinion though thank you.

  • SpacepuffinSpacepuffin Posts: 664

    We had the basic vows and added personalised music and readings. It went quickly but I was relieved as I was quite nervous and a bit overwhelmed, I would have struggled to keep up with my vows if they’d been any more complex! We found it meaningful and special and that’s all that matters. X

    ETA - If anything, I may have cut one of the readings. Also, we didnt have extra music, just the required entrance, signing the register and exit tunes. X

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Hate long ceremonies. Hate readings. Hate sitting and listening to a song that may mean something to the couple but means nothing to me. My friends brother is a classical operatic singer and I was half asleep while being made to listen to him perform during their ceremony. Also dislike a lot of the new add ons (sand thing for example).

    We are having church ceremony but only having what they say we have to have in terms of music and readings.

    As a guest I want to get to the food and party lol 

  • MrsHowgateMrsHowgate Posts: 1,256 New bride
    Rach371 wrote (see post):

    Mrs howgate im sure you didn't mean it this way but it reads as though you're saying my ceremony is really short and people will feel it wasn't special or meaningful!

    It's interesting to have your opinion though thank you.

    Just because we found his sisters wedding not meaningful because of the length it doesn’t mean that yours will be the same and it wasn’t directed at your plans. I was talking about my experience at a basic wedding ceremony. I will not c9mment in future.

  • LizzieBHLizzieBH Posts: 196

    Ours was about 20 minutes, which I thought would feel long, but on the day it flew by far too quickly! I would just advise bearing in mind that things can feel blurry or overwhelming on the day, so you might want to give yourself a bit more time so that you have a chance for it to sink in. x

  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 828 New bride

    You could always add in a couple of readings if you're worried about it? Pick something that you both love and will entertain maybe. Or you could have some music for the signing of the registrar? 

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,468 New bride

    Difficult one.  Having such a short ceremony will make it quick, but as long as it is special for you, that is the main thing.  You can always elongate it with photos etc.  At this late stage I don't imagine there will be the option to add anything else in, but you could always ask if you are worried

  • Mrs P 2019Mrs P 2019 Posts: 49 New bride

    Not had experience but our registrar has said the ceremony is usually at most 30 minutes long. More time for photos I guess?

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,086 New bride

    I think somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes is fine, I get mightily bored if they are much longer tbh!

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    I think it really depends what you want, do you want a quick service? Could you perhaps add a short reading? or lighting a candle etc?

    I've been to lots of civil weddings are usually they are around 30 mins, but I couldn't say if they had extra words or not. 

  • Kitty12Kitty12 Posts: 119 New bride

    We had the basic vows, and had no additional songs or readings, other than some background music while we were signing the register.

    Our registrar was really good, and she did a nice introduction. I couldn’t tell you exactly how long the ceremony lasted because it’s a bit of a blur, but it certainly didn’t feel rushed. There was time for our guests to get some pics during the signing, so that added a bit of time.

    I wouldn’t worry, have the ceremony you want, it’ll be special because it’s yours, and the registrar will have experience of running the basic ceremonies, and I’m sure they’ll do everything they can to help make it special too.

     

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,135 New bride

    I’m sure adding in readings or music just to pad it out won’t actually make it feel “more” special so only do those things if you actually want them and they’re meaningful to you. Whatever you say will be special to you, don’t worry about what your guests think. Let’s face it, hearing a Corinthians passage or the excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin for the fifth time this wedding season isn’t going to mean anything to your guests so unless you really want it yourselves then don‘t Just have it for the sake of it, I do t see the point. As someone else said, most people are just excited to throw the confetti and start the party!

    That said if you do want to add something I always think Union by RobertFrost is a really nice reading to start a ceremony with as it ends basically saying ”after the next bit you’ll see the world differently as husband and wife”. It’s not overly soppy either and could be read by anyone if you do want to add something in to make it a bit longer. 

  • Rach371Rach371 Posts: 985 New bride
    MrsHowgate2B wrote (see post):
    Rach371 wrote (see post):

    Mrs howgate im sure you didn't mean it this way but it reads as though you're saying my ceremony is really short and people will feel it wasn't special or meaningful!

    It's interesting to have your opinion though thank you.

    Just because we found his sisters wedding not meaningful because of the length it doesn’t mean that yours will be the same and it wasn’t directed at your plans. I was talking about my experience at a basic wedding ceremony. I will not c9mment in future.

    1. I thanked you for your input, I'm grateful for everyone's opinions on this. 

    2. I merely pointed out that the way you worded your reply (not what you said) could be interpreted to read that you think my ceremony would be less meaningful.

    Your original comment was "H2B sister had  exact ceremony and we was out in 8 minutes it was that short. It didn’t feel special or meaningful and we was all saying to each other “was that it?”. Go with what you feel comfortable with. It’s your day." which I read as your husband to be's sister had the exact ceremony and you were out in eight minutes. By advising me that my ceremony is the same as your sister in laws can you not see how I would assume that you were comparing mine to hers and that your feelings for hers would be echoed by my guests?

    3. No where in my posts have I told you you're wrong or asked you not to comment. In my first response to you I even said that I'm sure you didn't mean it in the way I interpreted it.

    Wishing you the very best of luck for your big day. 

  • Rach371Rach371 Posts: 985 New bride

    Thank you for your responses everyone, I really appreciate them. I think I'm just panicking now with 11 days left to go that it won't be what i want it to be. I hate talking in front of crowds which is why we went for quite a simple ceremony, plus the venue we're getting married in is a glass building with no air con so maybe a shorter ceremony in this weather will be good anyway....

    I'm a bit too late now to add any readings or music and I don't think I want that stress. I'm sure no matter how long the ceremony is it'll go past in a blur! Thanks everyone for your reassurances!

  • Rach371Rach371 Posts: 985 New bride
    Sadieee wrote (see post):

    Hate long ceremonies. Hate readings. Hate sitting and listening to a song that may mean something to the couple but means nothing to me. My friends brother is a classical operatic singer and I was half asleep while being made to listen to him perform during their ceremony. Also dislike a lot of the new add ons (sand thing for example).

    We are having church ceremony but only having what they say we have to have in terms of music and readings.

    As a guest I want to get to the food and party lol 

    I've just looked up the sand thing as i didn't know what it was! do people do that? I've missed a trick!

  • Victoria197Victoria197 Posts: 720

    Hi Rach, as you have asked my own personal opinion is that it's too short and I have been to two weddings that followed this format and both times was left thinking was that it, as Mrs Howgate said from the bride starting the walk down the aisle to it all being over it was 8 minutes. But it's your choice if you don't want readings then don't have them. The registrar will have given you a time slot so if you have changed your mind and want to add some let them know asap so they can include them.

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,135 New bride

    I’ve never seen the sand thing either, I’m not sure if that might get a bit boring to watch as a guest!? I like things you can listen to and don’t need to be able to see becauae I inevitably end up in a seat where I’m craning my neck to glimpse what’s going on. If the weather keeps up you and your guests will definitely appreciate the shorter ceremony. I’m sure it’ll be everything you want. I think our brain just plays tricks on you closer to the day and makes you start questioning stuff that was, at the time, a clear cut decision!

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    I've seen the sand ceremony three times. Does my head in lol it is very boring and unless you are at the front you can't even see it properly!

  • Amanda198Amanda198 Posts: 152

    To be honest, I don’t think our ceremony will be much longer and although we have 2 readings, they are only short and only take about 2 mins to read. We then just have the music for signing the register.xx 

  • LizzieBHLizzieBH Posts: 196

    I honestly think it will be perfect no matter what rituals you do or how long it is – it's your wedding ceremony for crying out loud! Just enjoy it :)

  • Ozzy2bOzzy2b Posts: 143

    We have gone for a short ceremony too and I think it will be fine. Remember once you have the music and the time signing the Register it will all add up! As long as you feel comfortable with it that’s what matters, and as it’s your day then it’s about what feels special to you both. We read through the suggested wordings together and a lot of them were just too ‘flowery‘ and OTT for us so we chose the options we liked best and they happen to be short..but doesn’t change the outcome! 

  • SC2BxSC2Bx Posts: 109 New bride

    Hi,

    I’ve had the same thought cross my mind but ultimately I don’t enjoy readings at other peoples so I don’t want them at mine. I totally get why people have them and I’ve heard some beautiful things said but shoe horning some into the ceremony just to drag it out seemed daft. I feel I’d be stood there waiting for them to be over!

    I think its one of those very personal things, and also pretty marmite plenty of people have them and equally plenty don’t- just do what you feel comfortable with.

    Have a fabulous day x 

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,086 New bride

    Just looked up the sand ceremony thing as haven't seen it before...yeah, it's not for me.

  • KatyMKatyM Posts: 32

    I have the same worries about my ceremony too but am struggling to find something meaningful / un-cringey to fill the time, I think I might just stick with it as it is.

     

    It is the most important part of the day though and the only part of the day that you actually need in order to be married. I think we can get carried away in the whole celebrations sometimes which can take over the important bit!

     

    For anyone who says 'as a guest I don't like watching this / listening to that' the ceremony isn't for the guests it's for the couple to enter in to a marriage how they choose, and if the guests can't appreciate that and are going to moan then I really don't think they should accept an invitation.

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,078 New bride

    It's completely up to you- I personally love the ceremony part and love watching it! But then I also love the bubbles and canapes sooooo...

    You be you, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. If it reflects you and H2B then keep it as it is. Personally I always like a reading, so you could ask someone to do that. We're not very soppy as a couple so are having Union by Robert Fulghum, even that makes me well up though! 

    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.

    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • Rach371Rach371 Posts: 985 New bride

    Thanks everyone for your help on this, I've really valued everyone's input.

    I've had a chat with the registry office and she laughed at me (in a nice way!) and told me not to worry, that it would still last about 20 minutes after we sign the register etc. I feel more reassured now and everyone's right, it's about what suits me and H2B not what anyone else thinks. If there are guests that feel it's too short well that's their problem not mine!!

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