Your wedding ceremony is the culmination of months of planning, where your friends and loved ones gather to celebrate the love between you and your partner. It’s a beautiful and romantic time when you start a new chapter of your life with your soulmate.
Did you know that the length of a wedding ceremony can vary depending on a number of factors? Everything from your religion to your personal preferences can have a huge effect on how long your wedding ceremony will be.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at how long wedding ceremonies are, including the different reasons for longer and shorter ceremonies, and the length of different types of ceremonies across the UK.
Because there are so many different types of wedding ceremonies in the UK with so many different variables, it’s hard to put an exact figure on how long a wedding ceremony lasts. Some religious ceremonies can last an hour or more, while non-religious ceremonies, like registry office weddings, might only last 10 minutes.
The length of a wedding ceremony is determined by many factors, from the number of traditions you want to include to your budget. Every wedding has to follow some of the same steps to ensure the marriage is legal, and unless you’re having a religious ceremony that follows a set structure, you’re free to personalise it however you like.
Below are some of the factors that can impact the length of a wedding ceremony:
For more information, read our ultimate wedding ceremony guide.
Your wedding ceremony will be one of the most memorable times of your life. And yet it’ll be over in what feels like a flash! So why are wedding ceremonies often so short? Here are just a few reasons:
From traditional wedding ceremonies to Hindu wedding ceremonies, no two are ever exactly alike. Some might last a few minutes, while others could go on for well over an hour. Below, we’ll take a look at a variety of different wedding ceremonies and let you know approximately how long they last.
A traditional wedding ceremony is usually between 45 and 60 minutes, but this can vary slightly depending on your personal preferences. For example, if you choose to include readings or hymns, it will push your ceremony closer to 60 minutes.
Traditional ceremonies are among the most popular types of ceremonies in the UK. They can take place in a wide variety of venues, are highly customisable and couples of many faiths can have one. They include a lot of the most recognisable parts of a UK wedding ceremony, including the processional, the declaration, the first kiss and the signing of the register.
A registry office wedding is one of the shortest ceremonies you can have, with most taking around 10 to 15 minutes. They don’t include any references to religion and quickly get to the legal process without a lot of the pageantry that comes with traditional ceremonies.
Usually, after the officiant welcomes you and your guests, you’ll go straight to the vows. If you’ve chosen to have one, this may follow a reading before the rings are exchanged and you go on to sign the register.
When you have a Catholic wedding, which always takes place in a church and is officiated by a priest, it often includes a communion and full mass. When it does, a ceremony will take around an hour, but if it doesn’t it’ll take around 45 minutes.
A Catholic wedding not only focuses on your commitment to each other, but also on the commitment you’re making to God, which is why it’s often longer than a traditional wedding ceremony.
A Jewish wedding ceremony will often last around 30 to 45 minutes. The ceremony usually includes a lot of Jewish wedding ceremony traditions, such as the breaking of the glass and the circling of the fire.
A Muslim wedding ceremony, known as a Nikah, typically lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. However, this doesn’t include the toble, which takes place before the ceremony itself. There are several traditions, such as the Nikah-Namah and Savaqah, which are included in most Muslim wedding traditions.
A Hindu wedding ceremony, much like the overall celebrations, is one the longest around. Because there are so many traditions, a ceremony will usually take around 90 minutes. Some of the traditions include the milni, kanyadaan and jaimala exchange.
Following the ceremony, the celebrations and festivities can go on for days – sometimes for as long as five!
Most non-denominational weddings last between 30 and 45 minutes, but they can be longer or shorter. The great thing about a non-denominational wedding is that it’s super personalised, so can be as long or short as you want it to be.
Now that you know how long many of the UK’s most popular wedding ceremonies last, you can start planning your own big day and make it as personal to you as you like. Sign up to Bridebook for all the handy tools, information and resources you need to plan the wedding of your dreams.