Wedding Ceremony: Recessional

This is the end of a 7 part series of blog posts. Click to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

The Recessional signals the end of the ceremony. Its the opposite of the Processional. Everything is done in reverse except that the couple walks out together first. They are followed usually by the bridal party in the reverse order in which they entered. This is also where any attendees would follow the last instructions of the Officiant by throwing rice, confetti or blowing bubbles at the departing couple. After the bridal party leaves everyone else can also either all at once or in a more orderly row by row fashion if there are a lot of attendees.

Just after the recessional it is best to sign the marriage license with your Officiant and witness if your plan is to make the marriage legal that same day. Doing it at this point is best since it does not interrupt the ceremony and you also make sure it gets done before the pictures and partying start. Its easier to forget after this point.


Some alternatives include one last ritual, usually of a religious or cultural kind before the recessional. Jumping the broom or breaking the glass are two of the more well-known. However, there are many more so do not hesitate to ask your Officiant to include any that are personally important to you in your ceremony.

Another alternative is to not have a recessional at all. Just like you don’t need to have a processional there is no need for a recessional. Once the marriage has been pronounced official you can just go out and party or turn and accept well wishes right there and then. Its whatever you want.

So how will you end your wedding ceremony? Let us know in the comments.


Wedding Ceremony: Pronouncement

This is part 6 of the Wedding Ceremony series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

We are almost to the end. Here we have the Closing Remarks and the Pronouncement. Closing remarks are usually a wrap up done entirely by the Officiant. Any final prayers, blessings, thanking those who have attended and any last words about marriage and unity are said as this time. This lets people know we are almost done.

The Pronouncement is very simple and again said by the Officiant. “By the powers invested in me by the state of ….” is usually how it starts as this is usually one of the few required statements by law that an Officiant has to say if this is also a legally binding ceremony. If not, it can be left out. Otherwise, the Officiant recognizes the couple as married and tells them to kiss. Once the couple does so, they will face the gathering and the Officiant will present them as a married couple to everyone often symbolized by saying their names.


The closing remarks can be adjusted to include any last minute instructions to the gathering about the recessional and any directions for after that. Guests have been focused on watching the ceremony so may have forgotten any plans for blowing bubbles or throwing flower petals or rice as the couple leaves. Also, usually after the ceremony the wedding party takes pictures so its good to direct the guests somewhere else for that time. Your Officiant can also announce the procedure for the receiving line later on. This is all done before the Pronouncement because afterward it will be very hard to get anyone’s.

Traditionally the Officiant would say you may now kiss the bride but they can say whatever you want. Also, the names you want the Officiant to use should be discussed beforehand. Any name changes will have to be done legally in whatever way your state requires it.

Will closing remarks be necessary at your ceremony? Are you more traditional or modern when it comes to how you would like your Officiant to pronounce you as married? Do either of you plan on changing your names? Let me know in the comments.

Wedding Ceremony

Happy New Year everyone!

Its a new year and there are lot of newly engaged couples out there. Most of whom will be getting married for the first time. Its very easy to get bogged down in the details of the pre- and post-wedding activities while the most important part, the ceremony gets overlooked.

This is understandable since the ceremony itself, unless it is an elaborately religious or mixing two cultures or religions, can be pretty simple. Beyond picking your wedding party and officiant the ceremony itself is pretty simple here in the U.S. However, because of this, many couples don’t know what can go into it. It doesn’t help that each state has slightly different requirements about what constitutes legally married. So, if you care about that, please do check with your state to see what the minimum requirements are for where you will marry and live. If not, that is one less worry on your mind.


To help you relieve a few more worries I have created this basic guide to what can be included in your wedding ceremony. You are not obligated to include everything listed here. These are just some options to give the newly engaged ideas for when they speak with an officiant.

This is the first in a series of posts. First, I’ll go over what the different parts of a ceremony generally include. Followed by a list of the most common additions. In subsequent posts I’ll go into more detail about each and give some examples. You may have noticed that I am long-winded. This way you won’t be bombarded with a novel length blog post all at once because who wants to read that?

So a wedding ceremony generally consists of 7 basic parts. You can click each of the sections below to read more about what they traditionally entail as well as :

  1. Processional
  2. Gathering Words
  3. Invocation/Marriage Address
  4. Declaration of Intent
  5. Exchange of Vows/Rings
  6. Pronouncement
  7. Recessional

Additional parts (in no particular order):

  • Blessing
  • Readings
  • Unity Ceremonies
  • Sermon/Homily
  • Prayer
  • Giving of the Bride
  • Post-pronouncement rituals
  • Remembrances
  • Family rituals
  • Ring Warming

There are many other religious and cultural practices which add different traditions to marriage ceremonies. For example, here are some parts included in a Pagan Handfasting.

  • Circle casting
  • Circle cleansing/consecrating
  • Calling of the elements/watchtowers/quarters/angels/etc
  • Evocation of the gods and goddesses
  • Handfasting
  • Dismissing the elements/watchtowers/quarters/angels/etc
  • Thanking the gods and goddesses
  • Closing the circle

So there you have it a basic breakdown of a wedding ceremony and just a tiny bit more. If you’ve ever been to a wedding or seen on on tv you will recognize many of these terms for what they are but in my next few posts, I plan to explain more about each part listed. So subscribe or follow me so that you get notified when the next posts come out.

Also, let me know if you have seen some other wedding ceremony traditions not listed here. I love to expand my knowledge and also answer any questions you may have.

Have a great weekend everyone,

~Lashette Williams, Efficiency and Happiness.

Etsy Weddings Showcase


Earlier this year I told myself to head out and find new vendors to work with for my business and one of my first attempts to network outside my comfort zone was Etsy Weddings. By now everyone knows that Etsy has a Weddings category where thousands of sellers that specialize in that special day promote their one of a kind (OOAK), handmade and vintage wares. Well, Etsy also has a yearly event where local vendors can showcase their products up close and personal to potential clients. This year I went to check it out. Once I got checked in with my little booklet I was on my way.

The first booth I came too was Hunter and Co. Designs and they make both custom and pre-made rubber stamps. Why would they be at a wedding event? Because they make custom stamps couples can get everything from a simple Thank You stamp to a full wedding invitation stamp with personalized names dates and locations.

thank you note
My personal Hunter & Co. Designs Thank you note

In my previous post I talked about how difficult it is for modern couples to find time to hand write invitations and thank you notes. This is a great alternative. What I also liked about my first stop was how they had it set up so couples could try things out right there and then with different stationary and stamps. I made my own thank you note to help remember them.

My next stop was at a vendor selling vintage wedding dresses and more. Salvato Collections has a beautifully curated vintage wedding day collection. From OOAK dresses to crowns and jewelry. All gorgeous and giving off a dreamy or fairy-like feel. Amanda, the owner and I had a great talk about how she picks her items looking for non-traditional and vintage looks. We got into a discussion about tea party bridal showers and picnic weddings; both of which we think should become trends.

Next came one of my fave vendors. Moontree Letterpress.

Garden Style Wedding Invite by Moontree Letterpress

You guys will learn how much I love nature and the outdoors as this blog goes on. And Rebecca from Moontree makes gorgeous stationary with trees and flowers all over it. Letterpress is a type of printing where images and text are pressed into the paper resulting in a relief. This is an old-fashioned style of printing.  Just absolutely gorgeous stuff and she has been studying horticulture. She’s got all types of plant life that she uses as inspiration for her botanical art and printing.

Daniela with  Monique Halter Cape Bridal Jumpsuit

The next unique vendor I got to see was a surprise. Daniela Tabois is another clothing vendor with an unassuming set up; just a small table, email sign up list and a rack of clothing. I was intrigued as she was the first person of color I had seen at the event so far. Turns out she is a new designer and her specialty is right up my alley. Daniela makes bridal jumpsuits instead of gowns. Now this was a unique and non-traditional idea. A fancy alternative for those women who didn’t want to deal with huge gowns or don’t want to wear a dress. These jumpsuits are just as glamorous and fitting for any bride. Daniela had so many options that looked amazing that I couldn’t choose so I told her to pick which was her favorite to take a picture with.

Turning around I almost bumped into the crowd around Olivia Ewing Jewelry‘s table. Delicate earrings, bracelets and, most importantly, rings designs inspired by nature. I instantly fell in love but didn’t get to talk to the creator since she was busy with prospective customers. I couldn’t even get good pictures so sad but definitely check out her website.

Floral-escence cotton bouquet

Okay, continuing with my unique and nature themes is Floral-escence. They make preserved floral designs. Everyone knows that flowers are here today and gone tomorrow. Their shelf life is shortened dramatically once they are cut but they add so much atmosphere. This goes for greenery as well. Well Melody, the owner has found a solution by creating floral designs with preserved flowers. My fave that day was the cotton bouquet. These are great for winter or rustic weddings.

And now we must talk about food, in particular dessert. I have four words for you; Mini Brownie Wedding Shop. First these brownies taste amazing. Second, they can put edible pictures on the brownies. These would make perfect wedding guest favors. And Julie assured me that her husband can make vegan and gluten-free versions as well. How cool is that?

Next up was a vendor making great bridal party gifts. Sandra Smith was showcasing her handcrafted and monogrammed change/makeup purses but she enthusiastically told me that she can happily make them for other types of events. They can come in various colors and prints and of course monogrammed for each lucky maid. These are high quality bags and I cannot wait to work with Sandra more.

    Flower Girl Feather Crown by Little Lady Accessories

I am not going to lie, I love headbands and crowns so much and there were so many vendors selling them, with and without veils, at this event. So many colors and materials. But my favorite had to be the beautiful bride-flower girl set made of feathers. The most unique and non-traditional of them all; made by Mandy of Little Lady Accessories. To be honest, my picture does not do it justice. I still cannot believe this was tucked up under the table. It must have been snapped up quickly because I could find it in the shop later on.

Last, but definitely not least, was the Samwell Leather Co. The only vendor showcasing items for the Groom directly. Guys need love too. But it was obvious with one glance that the owner Salvatore LiPuma knew what he was doing. His handcrafted leather items would be perfect gifts for any groom and his men. Absolutely gorgeous quality leather and who doesn’t love a leather merchant whose slogan is “respect the cow?”

Alright, that’s enough out of me. Before I go on to extol the good qualities of every merchant I encountered I’ll answer the question you’ve probably been wondering. Why am I sharing these great vendors only now? Because engagement season is coming up and for those couples getting married in Spring 2017 its time to start looking and buying many of those unique items you have not purchased yet for your big day.

Let me know what you think of my favorites or if you’ve worked with any of these sellers show them some love in the comments.

~Lashette, Excelsior Events