Cape May Officiant Rev. Donna Eleby

The Wedding Ceremony

There are endless options for your ceremony from traditional to modern to completely unique.

I give you the option to select from a group of already put together sample ceremonies or to build your own to your liking.

Communication is our first step:

1.The tone of the ceremony: Religious, secular, humorous, themed? If you would like to include traditional religious elements from any culture or religion be sure to let me know. General spiritual and non-religious is fine as well and also entirely up to you as a couple.

2.Vows? To repeat after me or not to repeat after have an important decision to make: memorize your vows, read from an index card, completely wing-it improv, or- of course, repeat after me.

3. What do most basic ceremonies entail?



-Charge to the Couple

-I Do's/ I will's 


-Blessing/Explanation of the Ring(s)

-Ring Exchange

-Any additional elements(Unity Candle, Sand Ceremony, Rose Ceremony, including children from previous marriage, etc.)





4.What do you want to include in your ceremony? I send over many samples and options for you to look over in your initial packet in the interest of not over-whelming the bride and groom. However, there are many options from many cultures to choose from. If you are interested in even looking at some of the samples of any of these feel free to email me with what you want to know more about it and I'll send over some samples.

Unity Candle

Sand Ceremony

Hand Ceremony

Rose Ceremony

Wine Ceremony

Jumping the Broom


Giving Away the Bride


Adding Children to your ceremony 

5. Some wedding ceremonies can include readings, poetry, or songs from a family member or friend, I will assist you with coordinating this if desired.

6. Rehearsals or not? Well let me put it this way. Larger weddings, highly detail oriented brides, and complex ceremonies need rehearsals. When the bride's not there people don't know what they are supposed to do, what order to go in, when to walk, when to leave, how fast or slow, who has the rings, who has the bubbles, what side to stand, and who has the all important marriage license. While I can offer suggestion as to the traditional ceremony ways it may not be exactly what you want. All to often no one is in charge when the bride is getting ready. If you know nothing about weddings and want my suggestions the best bet is to have me at the rehearsal so I can direct those to your wishes the day of. When you book your wedding date with me please do not assume I'm free for your rehearsal date/time. Book your rehearsal with me as well to ensure my availability if you do want me there. I will assist as much as you want me to. If you would like me to fully take charge at the rehearsal, I have no problem with this and will lend my expertise to the design of your ceremony. Please allow additional time prior to the rehearsal to arrive early so I can convey all of your wants to your wedding party and the line-up can be in place prior to rehearsing it.

7. Will there be music? I do many beach weddings and truly there is no need for music on the beach since nature provides its own and you just wouldn't hear it over the crashing waves. If you would like music before, during, or after your ceremony that is up to you and please keep me informed of your ceremony decisions. 

8. Unusual requests? Sure, why not...medieval weddings, star wars, harry potter. and what ever else you can think of for a memorable wedding...want your dog as a ring-bearer? Anything you can come up with as long as it has a Question that I must ask of, if you want to marry this person and you both answer yes in front of 2 witnesses.

9. As of right now, I do not rent the use of a microphone. Many beaches/places do not allow them. Please make sure this is discussed when obtaining your permit with the municipality.Most often your DJ will provide them as needed. I have no problem using one. Just let me know of your intentions to have a microphone at your ceremony so we can check the equipment and sound to avoid problems prior to the ceremony. Larger weddings 200+ I would recommend them, however my voice does carry well as long as its not too windy or we are too close to the beach waves.