Planning a wedding can be a daunting task, and it's important to know the correct order of a wedding ceremony. Usually, there is a welcome or presentation by the minister, followed by an exchange of votes. The couple then exchange rings and, after the couple shares a kiss, the minister announces them for the first time as a married couple. During this part of the wedding ceremony, your immediate family, the wedding party, and finally, you and your partner walk down the aisle.
Traditionally, if the wedding is for a couple of the opposite sex, the procession begins with the officiant and continues with the groom (who can walk down the aisle with his parents or alone), the godfather, the groomsmen, the bridesmaid, the bridesmaids, the florist, the ringbearer and the bride (who can walk down the aisle with her parents or alone). Although this structure is what is usually followed, it can be adjusted, especially for LGBTQ+ couples, who should feel empowered to customize the processional order as they see it. Wedding readings are texts that you and your partner feel represent your relationship. The readings can be from poems, spiritual texts or even from your favorite movie.
Some couples ask their family members or friends to recite them to add sentimental meaning to the moment (if you do, the officiant will introduce each reader). The last step that marks the end of the traditional order of the wedding ceremony is the recession. Generally, the recessional follows the reverse order of the procession, meaning that the couple leads the way and the officiant is the last to leave. The officiant can walk out the center of the hall or step out one side after giving his closing speech and giving instructions to the wedding guests.
There is definitely a specific script that most Christian denominations adhere to for the order of wedding ceremony events, but there is some room for flexibility depending on the denomination. With that said, there's certainly a basic wedding program template you can follow for a typical Christian ceremony. In a traditional Christian processional order, the groom's parents follow the officiant, then the mother of the bride, the groom, the godfather and bridesmaid (they walk together), groomsmen and bridesmaids (they are escorted), ringbearer, florist and bride and father of bride walk down aisle. After procession, officiant welcomes guests and makes his remarks. Then there are wedding readings and exchange of vows. After that, a short prayer is made about wedding rings and then rings are exchanged.
Once couple is wearing their wedding rings, officiant declares them newlyweds and they are encouraged to share their first kiss as married couple. Finally there is recessional one which is in opposite order to processional. Before procession can begin couple must complete two important Jewish rituals: ketuba signing and bedeken ritual. A ketuba is a marriage contract that couple signs in front of two designated witnesses who are not consanguineous relatives before ceremony. Bedeken ritual is where couple's friends and family watch groom place bridal veil over bride.
This ritual comes from story of Jacob in Bible who was tricked into marrying his suitor's sister because she wore such heavy veil. After rituals of ketuba and bedeken traditional Jewish procession begins with rabbi and singer followed by bride's grandparents, groom's grandparents, godparents (who walk as couple), godfather, groom escorted by his parents, bridesmaids, ringbearer and florist (optional) and finally bride escorted by her parents. It is important to note that for Jewish wedding ceremonies in which there is bride and groom different altar is traditionally placed than most ceremonies since groom and his group are on left while bride and her group are on right. Unitarian Universalist community is very flexible in terms of elements you can include in ceremony and order of your wedding since they are proud to accept all religions and ideologies. That's why processional and recessive order depends entirely on you. Not only is it OK to change order of wedding ceremony but it's also encouraged by many officiants. Traditional order of wedding processions tends to be heteronormative and as such has to be completely changed for LGBTQ+ couples.
Maria Northcott, wedding officiant and founder of A Sweet Start believes it's OK to change things as ceremony should represent you and your partner as couple. For all aspects of your ceremony tradition is no longer guiding force in their place are creativity personalization personalization and finding options that they like best as couple Northcott says. Procession can be organized in several ways. First officiant takes his place at altar usually groom will stand on his left best man can leave at this point or you can have him come in with rest of groomsmen.
We've compiled list of complete order of wedding ceremony to help shape your special day from procession to recession we have what you need remember to include elements of ceremony in your personalized wedding program template be sure to mention who is who at wedding party to properly recognize your friends and family who helped make this day so special. Procession begins with bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down aisle usually as couple maid of honor and best man retire after all other bridesmaids and groomsmen have made their way down aisle ring-bearer will then bring rings to altar followed by florist in traditional Christian procession his father leads bride down aisle while groom waits at altar. In traditional Jewish procession groom's parents escort bride down aisle followed by groomsmen bridesmaids flower girl ring-bearer bride's mother father of bride rabbi singer cantor or other religious figure if desired. It's important to remember that no matter what type of ceremony you choose there are certain elements that must be included such as processional recessional exchange of vows exchange of rings prayer if desired readings if desired unity candle lighting if desired sand pouring if desired blessing if desired kiss if desired recessional music if desired etc. No matter what type of ceremony you choose it's important to remember that it should reflect you as a couple so don't be afraid to customize it according to your wishes! With these tips in mind you'll be able to create an unforgettable experience for yourself your partner family friends guests etc.