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How long from procession to recessional?

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Nov 12, 2006
Hello~ Was wondering how long a ceremony is supposed to take from the very begining to the very end. I know alot of brides say that thier ceremony will be will ours (i.e. 15 min tops)....but there is more to the "ceremony" than the vows. The whole thing takes longer, right??

I''m wondering if, for a 15 min vow exchange, that the whole event wouldn''t take more like 45min to 1 hour.

15 min for guests filing in
15 min for processional
15 min for vows
15 min for recessional

How did this work for the already-married out there? Or, how do the engaged have this planned? We want to have a realistic time line.


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Jul 3, 2006
It really just depends on you.

I have a friend who''s ceremony from the time the first bridesmaid walked in to the time we exited the church took a grand total of about 20 min. It was surely short, sweet, and to the point. There were only 4 members of the wedding party plus parents, so it took us about 5 min to get us in there. Then it only took her about a min to get down the aisle. The officiant gave about a 2 paragraph reading and then went straight into the vows. It was over before I knew it. I was up there thinking, "They''re already married???" It wasn''t rushed or anything, it was just very simple. It actually nice having it so short. In fact, several of my friends have since copied her "short, sweet, to the point" format. It''s made for many quick, enjoyable wedding ceremonies.

On the other hand, I have some friends who think their ceremony will last between 1.5 and 2 hours because they are having 9 attendants on each side, bunches of readings, communion, and EVERYTHING else you can think of.

The ceremony can be as long or as short as you want it depending on what elements you decide to include.

Mine is going to be short and sweet. We are haveing the processional, a short lil reading by the officiant, vows, rings, kissing, a prayer, and that''s it. No singers, no unity candles, no friends doing readings, no awkward moments where the guests just sit and stare at us doing nothing while a song is played, etc. I am guessing it''ll take about 20 min.


Mar 11, 2005
Our cermony was about half hour. To me, it started with our officiant coming in at the start of our processional music, then his parents, then my fiance walking my mother, then my 3 bridesmaids, then me and my uncle. The officiant said her introduction, we did our handfasting, said the vows, exchanged rings, said the Wican pledge, were pronounced and then the recessional.

I''ve had a couple of friends do the entire Catholic Latin mass wedding ceremony. They were both about 2 hours. I guess it depend on what you are comfortable with; making sure it encompasses everything you want to do.


Jul 25, 2004
From the mothers being escorted down the aisle until every person was out of the church was about 40 minutes. From when I walked down the aisle to when my husband and I walked back down the aisle together was maybe 20 minutes or so. Nice and sweet IMO. FYI, we had two readings, no communion, and a unity candle.

I should note that we had about 120 guests and 8 people in the bridal party.


Jun 15, 2006
We had no wedding party and a total of 26 guests so our wedding, from start to finish was about 30 mniutes. The wedding started about 5 minutes late my husband''s friends appeared and then disappeared to find a bathroom so we waited for them), my dad walked me down the aisle. The psuedo-priest and my husband were standing at the alter. The ceremony was performed (we had two readings and no music except the processional and recessional which were short songs) and it was all over by 7:30.


Nov 25, 2006
are you going to have music/solos during your vows? like the lord''s prayer? or excerpt from corinthians? if so, it could be longer. i am having the lord''s prayer and a reading from corinthians and maybe another solo. i''m not sure, but i believe my actual ceremony might be 45 min...

San Diego Bride

Apr 9, 2006
just for a frame of reference we had ~45 guests and were married in a garden outdoors. the minister, my husband, best man, in-laws, mom escorted by brother, maid of honor, 2 ring bearers and 1 flower girl took less than 5 minutes to walk down the aisle. my dad and i followed. the minister said a few words followed by a reading from corinthians read in both english and spanish. then we said our vows, exchanged rings, had a blessing, kissed and, voila, we were husband and wife. it was just under 30 minutes from the time the minister walked in until everyone walked out.

we didn''t have music (other than processional and recessional), communion, unity candle, etc. everyone obviously structures their ceremonies differently.

hope that helps.
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