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What Is The Order Of A Wedding Ceremony

Giving Away The Bride


I love the time-honored tradition where the father escorts his daughter down the aisle. He walks proudly with his baby girl all the while thinking how much this damn wedding cost him and that the marriage better last.

The groom anxiously stands at the altar as the brides father leers menacingly at him.

When the bride and her father get a few feet away from the altar/groom/officiant, the minister will ask, Who gives this woman to wed this man?. The father will then say either, I do or I and her mother do.

The father then lifts the veil, kisses his daughter, and turns to the guy and punches him in the kidney. Or, he can give him a handshake and a hug.

The groom will offer his hand to the bride to guide her the last step up the altar. The bride may decide to either hand her bouquet to her maid of honor or hold it for the first part of the ceremony.

What Is A First Look Wedding

A first look at awedding is referred to the moment when the couple sees each other right before the wedding ceremony takes place. The photographer accompanies them during this moment and clicks a bunch of candid pictures of the bride and groom. The way the first look session will pan out and the location where it will be set in is decided several days before the wedding day. The first look session takes around 15-30 minutes to conclude. It is usually organized 1-2 hours before the arrival of the guests.

Who Puts The Ring On First

In a traditional wedding ceremony order, the vows are followed by the ring exchange. The groom usually goes first, though we invite you to be progressive. He puts the wedding band on the brides finger while repeating a phrase like, I give this ring as a sign of my love. Then, its the brides turn.

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Civil Service Order Example

Having a civil service does not mean you have will end up having a short and impersonal service. You can add special touches that will make it intimate and memorable. One example of a personalized civil order of service would be:

  • Prelude: Optional: Musical selections played while guests are being seated.
  • Processional
  • Reading: Optional: A short love poem or sonnet can be read.
  • Musical Selection: Optional: A soloist can sing the couple’s favorite love song.
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Rose Ceremony: Optional: The couple may choose to honor their parents or children by exchanging roses and then presenting them to the family member.
  • Pronouncement
  • Recessional

In a civil service, you will have a good amount of leeway when it comes to placement of optional rituals and rites beyond the basic requirements. Keep in mind that you will want to let your officiant know any changes before the wedding rehearsal, so it can be practiced in the correct order.

Do You Need To Have An Order Of Service At A Wedding

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No, it is not necessary to have an order of service at a wedding. As attractive and interesting they seem, orders of service cost a good amount of money to make. Opting to have an order of service at a wedding or deciding not to have it is a matter of personal preference. The larger the guest list, the more you have to spend on getting the orders of service made.

A lot of people think making orders of service for a small-scale or an intimate wedding is a waste of money but you dont have to adhere to such notions. A friend of mine, who got married last year, believed in the importance of orders of service and got them done for his wedding.

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Plan And Practice The Correct Order For Your Wedding

In many cases, personal preference or religious tradition dictate the correct order of a wedding processional. However, there is no one right way to organize a wedding processional and what’s correct for your processional may not be the traditional option. That’s why it’s important to spend some time thinking about how you want to structure the processional before the big day arrives.

Does The First Dance Come Before Dinner

If you go by traditional norms, the first dance happens after dinner. However, these days a lot of couples prefer having the first dance before dinner. You must know that there are pros and cons to both scenarios. Often, couples are in the mood to have the first dance when the reception has begun. They might not have a similar kind of energy after having a full meal. When my brother got married, he and his wife preferred having the first dance after dinner as they felt they would be a lot more relaxed after ensuring that all the guests have eaten and that they are done with all their responsibilities for the day.

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Wedding Processional Order A Complete Guide

When it comes to wedding processional order, weve seen a lot of variations.

Varying factors, like your religion, wedding party size, and other preferences, will influence your ceremonys processional and recessional order.

We cant advise you what the correct way for you is, simply because we dont think there is one! Nonetheless, weve come up with a set of helpful infographics, so its easier for you to learn about the different ceremony order variations.

We feel that the traditional Christian / Catholic processional order doesnt give the groom enough of the spotlight. After all, its his wedding too! So, we love it when we see grooms walking down the aisle in more recent weddings.

If youre planning a Jewish wedding ceremony, the order is a bit different. The bride and grooms sides are flipped, and we feel so much love when we see the parents of the bride and groom walk their children down the aisle.

Whats more? At first thought, you might think that the recessional order is the same as the processional order. But it usually isnt! Of course, after the newlyweds are married, the bride and groom will exit hand in hand. Since the climax with the nuptials have already been reached, things can move a bit more quickly afterwards. So, the rest of the wedding party usually leaves in pairs. In addition, the parents and grandparents stay seated and do not leave with the rest of the wedding party.

Basic Christian Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony Order of Events Video

There may or may not be an officiant offering a prayer service. Generally, these few events remain the same for any kind of Christian wedding ceremony.

ProcessionalThe bridal partybrides parents, bridesmaids, flower girls, and relativesenter the aisle in a procession.

Bridal MarchThe bridal march is the entrance of the bride to the ceremony area.

Welcome/IntroductionThe officiant welcomes or introduces the guests, bridal party, and the couple.

Exchange of VowsThese vows are the commitments of the couple to be together forever, in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows.

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Hindu Wedding Ceremony Order

If you’ve been to a Hindu wedding, you’ll know that they are often long, fantastical, and opulent events. “Hindu weddings are traditionally elaborate events lasting multiple days. While the ceremony is only one of the days, the festivities and traditions surrounding the wedding stretch the event out,” says Miller.

The Wedding Processional Order

  • Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids
  • Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
  • Partner two

Mixed-gender wedding parties are more common these days, particularly for LGBTQ+ weddings, Rae says, so more often than not, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other bridal party members are no longer entering two-by-two with linked arms. “Sometimes they will go one-by-one, sometimes it will be one side then the next,” she explains.

Moreover, while many couples continue to enter separately as outlined above, couples are also choosing to walk in together or back to back. “This is very symbolic for couples that have lived a lot of life together where their wedding is not the ‘start’ of their relationship, rather the continuation of their love and their life together,” Miller explains.

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What Happens In A Jewish Marriage Ceremony

A Jewish wedding ceremony includes the following features. A chuppah is placed under the couples feet, blessings are given, and the groom places the wedding ring on the brides finger as the couple stand under it. The bride also gives the groom a ring at some ceremonies. Sheva Brachot is a seven-word blessing that is read by the rabbi or guests.

Traditional Wedding Ceremony Order Of Events

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  • The procession. The procession begins with the officiant taking his or her place at the altar. Then, the groom will stand to the left of the altar. The rest of the wedding party will take their positions in a few different ways. The best man could approach first and stand next to the groom. The groomsmen and bridesmaids can arrive together in pairs, with the best man and maid-of-honor arriving last. The exact order is up to the newlyweds preference. The flower girl and ringbearer follow up the wedding party. Finally, the bride walks down the aisle, often escorted by her father.
  • The officiants opening remarks. Once everybodys in their places and the other guests are seated, the officiant will give some opening remarks about the couple and the joy and beauty of marriage. We are gathered here today is the most well-known opening line in marriage ceremonies, but the officiant can begin by saying something different. Depending on the theme of the wedding, opening remarks can be serious, poetic, or light-hearted.
  • Exchanging of vows. After the officiants opening remarks, he or she will ask the couple to recite their vows to one another.
  • Exchanging of rings. The couple place their wedding bands on their partners finger. Traditionally, the groom places a ring on the brides finger first. In some ceremonies, each future spouse will say a declaration of love before putting a wedding band on their partners finger.
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    Bride And Father Of The Bride

    The bride is escorted down the aisle by her father, who stands on her right side. Traditionally, after he gives her away, he lifts her veil, gives her a kiss, then takes his seat in the first row next to the bride’s mother. The bride can give her bouquet to the maid/matron of honor once the ceremony proceedings begin .

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    What Comes First Father

    Back in the day, it was a norm for the bride and her father to have a dance together before she joins her husband for a dance. As times changed, most couples preferred the first dance at the wedding to be theirs. Now, in most weddings, you will see the father-daughter dance happening right after the bride-and-groom dance. However, those who still swear by traditional values ensure that the father-daughter dance happens before the bride and groom get together for a dance.

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    What Are Some Alternative Wedding Ceremony Ideas

    Youve got much more creative freedom for how your wedding ceremony runs if you have a celebrant-led ceremony. Humanist celebrant ceremonies are legal in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but in England and Wales, youll need to do the legal part before or after. This means you dont need to worry about the legal declarations.

    One of the best ways to make a ceremony feel unique and personal is to perform a symbolic, unifying act. Examples of these include a sand ceremony, handfasting, a candle ceremony or jumping the broom.

    Heres an outline of what a humanist wedding ceremony looks like from

    • Arrival of the couple
    • Introductions and welcomes
    • Words of well-wishing
    • Closing and departure

    It’s not too dissimilar from the traditional ceremony structure, but you’ve got a lot more freedom. Any one of these parts can be left out or made the core of your ceremony.

    Who Should Be In Charge

    How To Order Your Wedding Ceremony Processional

    At the rehearsal, you are not practicing the ceremony itself you are only practicing walking in and walking out, and making sure everyone knows where to stand. Since the officiant is one of the first people to enter at the beginning of the ceremony, its not possible for the officiant to cue each group and tell them when to start walking. This is normally the responsibility of the coordinator at your ceremony site, or your wedding planner if you have one. Many of our couples will also ask a friend or family member to help run the rehearsal and cue everyone for their entrance to the ceremony, which is a great option. You want the same person who is running the rehearsal to be in charge of the ceremony on your wedding day as well that continuity will really help ensure that there isnt any confusion on your big day.

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    Pronouncement And The Kiss

    This is where the officiant says the words that make the marriage official, a form of I now pronounce you partners for life, followed by the phrase that everyone is waiting for, You may kiss the bride .

    And the sparks fly.

    The kiss between manifests bodily what the officiants pronouncement makes legalthe spouses-to-be are now spouses, proper.

    Flower Girl And Ring Bearer

    The littlest attendants signal that the bride is about to walk down the aisle. The children can walk together or the ring bearer can enter before the flower girl. Traditionally, the ring bearer carries the wedding rings tied to a pillow . The flower girl might carry a basket of flower petals, which she scatters as she walks, or a small bouquet of flowers. The children may then be seated with their parents.

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    What Is The Role Of The Mother Of The Bride

    The parents of the bride are the hosts of the wedding, and the wedding weekend. The father of the bride and mother of the bride duties include welcoming guests when they arrive in town, and host events over the weekend. They may include a welcome dinner, round of golf, a spa day, and the post-wedding farewell brunch.

    Prayer To The Lord And Sign Of Peace


    The priest requests the congregation to stand up and sing or recite the prayer to the Lord together. Once the prayer is over, the bride and the groom will kneel closer to the altar and the priest will offer them nuptial blessings. The guests might be asked to stand up for silent prayer and to bless the couple. A sign of peace is exchanged between the wedding party and the guests by shaking hands and uttering the phrase peace be with you.

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