Have you started to plan your wedding? Are you wondering what your ceremony will look like?
The first thing to remember is that no two ceremonies are the same – especially if you are using a Wedding Officiant, of course! You’ll have complete freedom to choose any vows, readings, music, Unity Ceremonies, or anything else you’d like to include in your unique ceremony.
That said, most couples choose to follow a traditional structure, including familiar elements, such as walking down the aisle; exchanging vows and rings; and the first kiss!
As a guide, this is a suggested outline of a traditional wedding ceremony, but remember that you don’t have to include every step or even stick to this running order, but I hope that it is a useful place to start.
This is the part right at the beginning, where the wedding party walks down the aisle. Usually, the bridesmaids will enter before the bride, and sometimes they are accompanied by the groomsmen/ushers. Flower Girls and Ring Bearers also enter before the bride walks down the aisle.
Traditionally, the couple will enter separately, often accompanied by a parent or other member of the family, but sometimes they choose to arrive together.
Your Wedding Officiant will welcome your guests and set the scene for the ceremony. Often an opening prayer or blessing is conducted at this point of the service.
This is where your Wedding Officiant will tell your unique love story, and include all the little details and special moments of your life together, so far.
Often a good place to have a reading, and a nice way to include one of your family or friends. Some couples choose to have a song or music performed in this spot as well.
This is where you get to say “I do”! Check with your Wedding Officiant as there are three types of vows that couples choose for their ceremony – Recited, Repetitive, or Responsive.
Exchange of Rings
If you’ve decided to exchange wedding rings, then this is where it will happen and, if you wanted to, you could write your own words to say at this point.
Unity Ceremony or Ritual
Once you’ve exchanged rings, it’s a lovely place to include a unity ceremony , whether that’s handfasting, a chocolate and wine ceremony, or the lighting of a unity candle – or anything else you have in mind!
Your Wedding Officiant will say a few concluding words and, if you are having any religious elements, this would be the place for a final prayer or blessing, leading to:
This element is the pronouncement that you are officially wed.
The moment all your guests have been waiting for! Your Wedding Officiant will invite you to mark the occasion with a kiss.
This element is where the Wedding Officiant officially introduces you – the newly married couple!
You are presented to your guests and invited to lead them out to begin the celebrations! The couple will lead the way, followed by the wedding party, (parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen/ushers) and then the rest of your family and friends.
If the Official Wedding License has not yet been signed, it is normally signed right after the wedding ceremony.