Traditional Wedding Ceremony Order of Service
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
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 Celebrant, of course! You’ll have complete freedom to choose any vows, readings, music, symbolic rituals, 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.
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 Celebrant will welcome your guests and set the scene for the ceremony.
This is where your Celebrant 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.
This is where you get to say “I do”!
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.
Reading or Symbolic Ritual
If you are including more than one reading, this is often a good place for the second one.
Once you’ve exchanged rings, it’s a lovely place to include a unity ceremony , whether that’s handfasting, a sand ceremony, or the lighting of a unity candle - or anything else you have in mind!
Your Celebrant 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:
The moment all your guests have been waiting for! Your Celebrant will introduce you as a married couple, and invite you to mark the occasion with a kiss.
Signing of the Certificate
Your Celebrant will invite you, and any witnesses, to sign a commemorative certificate.
(If you are using a Registrar, then this is when you will sign the marriage register.)
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.