Step Objective

Research wedding styles and ceremony sites. Find a few you like and add them to your wishlist.

STEP OVERVIEW

Your Wedding Ceremony

Don’t leave your ceremony planning to the last minute! It’s the heart and soul of your wedding day, so be sure to set aside ample time to meet with local Rochester officiants and find someone that you and your partner really connect with. Don't forget to also work with ceremony musicians to choose processional music that fits your style and personality.

Latest Inspiration

CEREMONY CHECKLIST

Research ceremony sites

If you belong to a house of worship, ask about open dates and pricing. If that's not the case, find a few places you like, and then schedule time to take a tour. See nearby ceremony sites using our search.

Research officiants

If your ceremony site isn't a house of worship, contact city or town halls to ask about judges or justices of the peace or use our officiant finder. You could even ask a friend to do it.

Book your ceremony site

If it's a nonreligious space, request a contract and put down a deposit. Now is also the time to find out about marriage license requirements (so you have time to gather necessary documents).

Book your officiant

If it's a nondenominational person, there will probably be a contract and a deposit involved. This is also the time to start scheduling any premarital counseling sessions (if you're having them).

Finalize your ceremony reading

Narrow down your favorites and shorten longer selections (in total your readings should be about four to five minutes long). Then send to your readers so they can get familiar with it.

Finalize your ceremony outline

Schedule a follow-up meeting or phone call with your officiant to go over ceremony timing and details. Go over any personalized ceremony additions you want. If you find starting from scratch tough work from another outline to create your traditional ceremony flow.

Get your marriage license

Before you head down to the clerk's office, check out their website. Most counties won't let you apply for your marriage license more than a week or two before the wedding day.

QUESTIONS TO ASK CEREMONY SITES & OFFICIANTS

The majority of couples aren’t quite sure what questions to ask their officiants and ceremony sites. Here is our rundown for most of the important questions.

x.

Will it be available?

Is the site/officiant available on your preffered wedding date?

x.

What are the charges and fees?

Does the site/officiant charge a standard fee? Is it a donation to the house or worship, a fee to rent the space, or a specific amount to pay the officiant?

x.

Is there going to be enough space?

Is the sanctuary or other ceremony space large enough for the approximate number of guests you’re planning to invite? Where will everyone (the wedding party, officiant, you two, the musicians) stand? Do you like the setup?

x.

What are the restrictions and rules?

Are there any restrictions on how you can decorate the sanctuary or ceremony area? What about rules for photography or videography?

x.

Will we need a permit?

If your ceremony will be outdoors in a public place, do you need a permit? When and where should you apply? Are there restrictions (number of people gathered, for example)?

x.

Can you write original vows?

Can you write original vows, or does the officiant use standard ceremony wording? If the latter, can it be modified to suit your ceremony?

x.

Can you bring your own musician?

Must you use the site’s in-house musicians, or can you bring your own? Is there an additional fee?

TOP CEREMONY TIPS

The ceremony is the wedding. For some, a favorite family officiant or house of worship drives the entire process.

1.

Officant

Find an officiant you both love

Whether it’s your minister form the church you grew up in or a family friend, it’s important that you both share a mutual respect for the person officiating. Allow him or her to learn about you as a couple (be it through premarriage counseling or meetings). It’ll lead to a much more personalized ceremony.

2.

Families

Including both families (and faiths)

Early in the process, listen to both families’ views and expectations for your wedding day. You and your sweetie should then decide how to proceed-and discuss your choices with your families. Be open and honest with everyone from the start so they know what you’re planning and why.

3.

Guests

Clue guests in on your traditions

If you’re including special rituals or traditions, explain them to your guests on the ceremony program. Some guests may not understand what’s going on and your program can help make the experience more meaningful for everyone in attendance.

4.

Program

Make a program

They’re not required but they’re a great place to list and thank your wedding party and close family. You can also make them work for you double-time. Order program fans if it’s an outdoor wedding.

5.

Plan

Plan ahead

Don’t wait until the last minute to find out about marriage license requirements in the area. Check your county clerk’s website for guidelines and set aside time to pick up your license the week of.

6.

Rehearsal

Schedule a rehearsal

Don’t worry too much about processional and recessional order;during your ceremony rehearsal, your officiant will make sure everyone knows where to stand, when to walk, and when to sit.

7.

Invite Officiant

Invite your officiant

Send your officiant and his or her spouse an invitation to your reception; plan to seat them with your parents or at another family table (especially is your officiant has known your family for a long time). Many officiants decline the offer (they may have another wedding to preside at>, but they’ll appreciate the gesture.

8.

VIPs

Honor VIPs

The ceremony is a great time to recognize important family members and close friends who aren’t in your wedding party. Depending on your ceremony, having your moms light the unity candle; choose several short readings performed by close friends; or ask a favorite relative to witness the marriage license.

9.

Seating

Deciding on seating

In christian ceremonies, the bride’s side is the left and the groom’s side the right; it’s the opposite for Jewish ceremonies. You could follow this format, or simply have friends and family fill in from the front.

10.

Ushers

Give your ushers a cheat sheet

Your ushers really need to understand where everyone is supposed to sit, so print out a list for them to have in their pocket just in case they forget!

Browse Wedding Styles

As they say, when it comes to weddings, “it’s all in the details.” Your color palette, the setting, the season, and the style you choose all work in harmony to create a celebration that is truly yours.

Browse Styles

Ceremony Sites near Rochester, MN

Find a location you like? Add them to your wishlist

JR’s Barn LLC

21573 45th Street, Waldorf, MN, United States
New 1912 Barn/Farm venue for wedding and receptions. Now booking 2017-2018 Located 75 miles west of Rochester 30 mlies souteast of Mankato

Steeplechase Event Center

59468 423 Avenue, Mazeppa, MN 55956, United States
Steeplechase is unlike any other wedding venue in Minnesota. It will make your special day one that you and your guests will always remember!

Plummer House

1091 Plummer Ln SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55902, United States
The Plummer House is the former residence of Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer and Daisy Berkman Plummer.

Coop’s Event Barn

65572 200 Avenue, Dodge Center, MN 55927, United States
Coop’s Event Barn is a ten-acre farm setting in southern Minnesota between Rochester and Owatonna and 90 minutes south of the Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Four Daughters Vineyard

Spring Valley, MN, United States
Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery is a charming event space located on more than six sprawling acres of land in Southeastern Minnesota's farm country in Spr

Step Objective

Research wedding styles and ceremony sites. Find a few you like and add them to your wishlist.

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