How to organize the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec? The 10 key steps!

How to organize the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec? The 10 key steps!

You are in the midst of your wedding preparations and you don’t know how to plan the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec? Don’t panic, we are here to help you!

In just ten steps, we detail a civil ceremony that makes sense. Of course, you are free to modify this program and customize it! You can let your inspiration speak and add (or even remove) some of the following elements to make your wedding ceremony look like you. In addition, the duration of your civil ceremony will depend on the content of your program. We estimate that a ceremony usually lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour. The more speeches or elements you have, the longer your ceremony will last!

Here are our 10 key steps for the structure of your civil ceremony.

1. Your officiant’s greeting message

You can choose to hire a professional officiant or someone close to you to marry you, depending on what you prefer. Note, however, that if it is a friend or a relative, this person will have to take some steps in Quebec in order to have the authorization to celebrate your union legally.

We advise you to ask the person who will officiate your wedding to start the ceremony with a message of welcome and thanks to your guests. Your officiant can also take advantage of this time in the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec to ask the congregation to turn off their cell phones if you wish to have an “unplugged ceremony”. This will allow them to take full advantage of your civil ceremony, and it will save you from facing a wall of screens when you enter!

2. The groom’s entrance

The groom is the first to enter, traditionally accompanied by his mother. However, we are seeing more and more newlyweds deciding to walk down the aisle in the arms of both parents or even alone. Personally, we think it’s so loving and beautiful when the bride and groom walk down the aisle accompanied by their two parents! It really depends on what you want, there is no rule in the matter: it is up to you to choose what suits you the most.

3. The bridal party’s entrance

It is then the turn of your bridal party to enter your civil ceremony. If you have asked children to be part of your bridal party as flower girls or ring bearers, they will come forward first. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen then walk down the aisle, two by two or one after the other. Finally, it is your maid of honour and man of honour who close the entrances of the bridal party. We advise you to reserve the first seats for the members of your procession and your parents, so that the most important people participating in your ceremony can easily find their place! Nothing is more embarrassing than having to move an ill-placed guest to make room for your procession once your ceremony has started…

To know more:
Everything you need to know about your bridal party

4. The bride’s entrance

Once the whole procession and the groom are installed, it is now the turn of the one everyone is waiting for to make her entrance! To add a touch of suspense, you can choose to put on a different song from the other entrances so that everyone gets ready.

While the bride traditionally walks down the aisle on her father’s arm, more and more women are choosing another option. Thus, many brides prefer to walk on the arm of both parents… and some also choose to walk the path to their better half alone! You go, girl!

5. The officiant’s speech

Once everyone is well settled, the unfolding of your civil ceremony in Quebec as such can now begin. And it’s up to your officiant to jump in and start speaking! This first speech is about welcoming your guests and reminding everyone of the reason why everyone is gathered: the celebration of your wedding. Your officiant can then talk about your couple, your story and also recall their relationship with both of you (especially if it is a close friend or a relative). This is where the art of choosing the right officiant comes into play so that their speech resembles you – and pleases you!

6. The speeches of our loved ones

When your officiant finishes their speech, they will call on your loved ones to speak. Indeed, a significant part of the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec consists of several speeches. Do not hesitate to inform your loved ones of the time you had planned by speech. This will help them write their text!

If you have asked several people to speak, we advise you to distribute their speeches during different moments of your beautiful ceremony. Thus, the speeches do not follow one another too much and you avoid the risk of tiring your guests. For example, you can plan for your parents to speak first, then for your maid and man of honour after your ritual. The other people you have asked to speak can do so at another time during your wedding, such as during the reception for example. It’s up to you two to plan these beautiful interventions according to what suits you the most!

7. The symbolic ritual

If you choose to set up a symbolic ritual during the course of your wedding ceremony, this will allow you to add a very personalized element. Therefore, different options exist to add a non-religious aspect to your civil ceremony.

For example, you can plan to pass your wedding rings around the assembly so that your guests warm them with their wishes of happiness. If you are getting married at home, you can also plant a tree that will grow with your love throughout your marriage. For the most bibliophile among you, it is also possible to ask each of your guests to offer you their favourite book: these books will constitute the library of your wedding. The possibilities are endless, so you are sure to find a ritual that suits you both perfectly!

We will detail in a future article our best ideas for rituals. Stay tuned!

The ritual in the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec
Photographers: ©Naomie Gagnon | ©Crabe et Koala

8. The exchange of your vows

Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for the most: the exchange of your vows! This is THE most moving moment of the entire course of your civil ceremony, the one where you will tell your better half everything you feel and what you promise them for your future together. You will be able to talk about your relationship, your commitment to each other in your own words and what this important step means to the two of you.

A little word of advice: prepare your tissues, because it is highly possible that the speech of your partner will overwhelm you with emotion!

9. The exchange of the rings

The wedding rings that you will exchange with each other is the last step before the end of your civil ceremony. This very symbolic and emotional moment seals your union. The exchange of your rings can either be an integral part of the exchange of your vows or be guided by your officiant. It really depends on what you prefer!

10. The newlyweds’ kiss

That’s it, the course of your civil ceremony in Quebec is coming to an end: it’s finally time for your officiant to declare you married! Your officiant will also invite you to seal this beautiful moment with a kiss. This kiss is going to be the first one you will exchange as a married couple, congratulations!

We finally share our two little tips for this beautiful step that is your first kiss. The first one: practice! Indeed, if you want to do something a bit original, we advise you to practice a little before the wedding. Remember that this moment will be immortalized by your photographer! Besides, between us, do you really need an excuse to kiss your significant other? Second little piece of advice that you will be happy to think of on D-Day: ask your officiant to move away for your kiss! This way, you will be the only ones to appear in these emblematic photos of your wedding – and that’s what it takes!

Do you need more practical advice for the organization of your wedding? Download for free our notebook JOLI RENDEZ-VOUS by clicking here!

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