Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony

Wedding programs

The wedding ceremony program is usually given to guests at church weddings. The wedding ceremony program has the names of the bride and groom and the date and name of the church. The program needs the approval of the priest or minister before printing and should have all aspects of the service, such as readings, hymns and music.

Wedding programs

Here is an example of one and for your convenience I have included one on my free
download page. Yes, I love you too.

Wedding_Program_Template_Pages Also see out full page of Cheap Wedding Programs & Ideas here.

Some couples begin the ceremony by lighting a unity candle or candelabra. Although, customizing the wedding vows or other aspects of the ceremony may add special meaning to your wedding day, it is still advisable to check with your priest or celebrant before making plans concrete.

On the Wedding Day

Here is the order of events for the ceremony:

  1. Wedding Ushers
  2. Groom & Best Man
  3. Prelude Music
  4. Wedding Seating Arrangements, The bride's family and friends arrive and are seated to the left of the church and the groom's family and friends, to the right
  5. Brides Mother and Bridesmaids, they arrive about 15 minutes before the ceremony and take their place
  6. The Bride now arrives
  7. Processional Music, starts a few minutes before the bride is ready
  8. Junior Wedding Attendants
  9. Adult Wedding Attendants
  10. The Bride & Her Father
  11. Groom & Best Man get out of there pews and move to the chancel steps
  12. Bride’s Father takes his daughters right hand and places it in the Grooms right hand
  13. Bride & Groom bride greets groom and then hands maid of honor her bridal bouquet
  14. Service Begins
  15. Wedding Vows
  16. Ring Exchange
  17. Husband & Wife :)
  18. Signing Register, The final stage is to sign the register. This usually takes place with the bride and groom, their parents, the best man, matron of honour and their attendants present. A register entry copy, is usually given to the bride by the minister for her to keep.
  19. Leaving Church

The Receiving Line

Here's an example of a line-up:

Bride's Mother

Bride's Father

Groom's Mother

Groom's Father



Matron of Honour

Best man






Groomsmen etc...

Links to resources that can help with your wedding planning

Wedding Etiquette & Tradition | Bridal Etiquette Q&As

Elite Events (Georgia Bridal Show) or (The Southern Bridal Show)

Kauai Wedding Professionals Association, for those of you who would like to get married in beautiful Hawaii here is a great resource.

The Perfect Wedding Guide is a great way to find everything you need for your wedding and more.

Best Wedding Sites is a collection of wedding vendors all over the country, it is a great site

Here is a sample Wedding Day Schedule

Here is a sample Wedding Day Directions

Here is a sample Christian Ceremony Day Processional Worksheet

Here is a sample Jewish Ceremony Processional Worksheet

Meanings of the Rings

The Meaning of the Ring(s) as a Symbol of the Vows (choose one)
The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe.  It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace.  In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle, in which, wherever you go, you will always return unto one another to your togetherness.   -Kenneth Patton
A circle is the symbol of the earth, of wholeness and perfection and peace.  The rings you give and receive this day are the symbols of the endless love into which you enter as husband and wife.
May these rings be forever symbol of the unbroken circle of love.  Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver — for each is the giver and each is the receiver.  May these rings remind you always of the vows you have made here today. 
-Rudolph W. Nemser (adapted)
May these rings be symbols of the love and devotion that you share.  May they remind you of the beauty of God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, may they remind you of the gift of your life together. As in the circle of the ring, may your love encircle each other.
The band of gold is a symbol of the purity and sacredness of marriage.  The ring, from ancient times, has been a symbol of eternity.  So may your marriage be eternally filled with the love of He who created you to love each other eternally.
These wedding rings are an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, signifying unto all, the uniting of this man and this woman in holy matrimony.

Wedding Readings

Here are some nice wedding ceremony readings that will help you set the toneScripture

5.1.1.  Psalm 1, adapted by Stephen Mitchell
Blessed are the man and the woman who have grown beyond themselves and have seen through their separations. They delight in the way things are and keep their hearts open, day and night. They are like trees planted near flowing rivers, which bear fruit when they are ready. Their leaves will not fall or whither. Everything they do will succeed.
Psalm 128, adapted
Happy is everyone who loves the Lord, who walks in his ways, You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus shall the man be blessed who loves the Lord.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7a
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
Song of Solomon 2:8-14, 16a
The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for you voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. My beloved is mine and I am his.
I Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; its is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.  But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.  Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.  And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.


Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.  Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fix'd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, not no... {one} ever lov'd.
by e.e. cummings

love is the voice under all silences;
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness;
the truth more first than sun more last than star.
"The Master Speed" by Robert Frost
No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you can have speed far greater.  You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still--
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted not be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Untitled by Roy Croft

I love you/Not for what you are
But for what I am/When I am with you.
I love you/Not only for what
You have made of yourself
But for what /You are making of me.
I love you/For the part of me
That you bring out.
I love you
For putting your hand/Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over/All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help/Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out/Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else has /Looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you/Are helping me
To make of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern/But a temple;
Out of works of my every day
Not a reproach/But a song.

Concluding Ceremony Prayer

God of Grace and Compassion, we pray for harmony and creativity as well as for love and laughter in their life together; and when there is pain, may there be peace that passes not away.  We pray for joy that they will share with other people, and for their home; may it be a temple for that which is beautiful and good and true.  As they share the richer experiences of life, so may their hearts and minds and souls be knit ever more closely together.  And yet may their bonds of sympathy strengthen their separate personalities.  We pray for courage for them when the road is rough, and for humility when fortune favors them.  May they carry the past gratefully with them in all the years of their sojourn, and with an equal measure of hope ever face and future unafraid.  Amen. 
                  - Dana McLean Greeley
Dear God, support _______ and _______ in keeping the covenant that they have made. Help them to be a blessing and a comfort to each other:  to share joy, to console in sorrow and to help each other in all the challenges of life.  May they give encouragement in whatever each sets out to achieve.  As they trust each other, may they trust life and be not afraid.  May they not only express and accept affection between themselves, but may they also have affection and compassion for others.  May their knowledge of love deepen as they grow in their relationship with each other and with You.  Amen.
Spirit of Life and Love, may these two souls find a communion of ideal being and perfect grace.  May their love reach the level of every day's most quiet need.  By sun and candlelight, may they love freely as those who strive for right.  May they love purely as those who turn from praise.  May they find strength to meet adversity; tolerance to resist prejudice; reverence for all that is beautiful; respect for the truth; and faith to met the uncertainty which will come their way.  May their days together be strong in promise, full of beauty and blessed with love.  Amen. 
                  -from Charles White McGehee and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (adapted)
Out of this tangled world, O God, you have drawn together these two souls, and bound them firmly with the swift sure bonds of love.  Their destinies shall now be woven of one design, and their sorrows and their joys shall not be now apart.  As they grow in mutual understanding, may their joy stand triumphantly against the storms of circumstance which beat against all doors.  From the rich encouragement of their love, may they complete together the unfinished pattern of their true selves.  Even as they have chosen each other from all those they have known, so let the days and years of their togetherness deepen the joy of that choice, and make it abidingly true.  Amen.  -Samuel Miller (adapted)

The prayer may be followed by the Lord's prayer if desired


The word benediction really means blessing and the form of it below from Numbers 6 was prescribed in the law of Moses. This blessing was spoken over the people, the priest having uplifted hands, after every morning and evening sacrifice. The promise that it would be fulfilled by God was also understood and the people would say 'Amen' at the end of it, which really means 'may it be so.'

May the God of love, beauty, and truth, who abides in all and sustains all that is alive and real, be with you both, now and forever more.  Amen.     -Paul H. Beattie
The peace beyond understanding, the peace of God, which the world can neither give nor take away, be among us all, and abide in our hearts.  Amen.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.  May the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forever.  Amen.  Numbers 6: 24-26 (adapted)
May the blessings of God rest upon you.  May God's peace abide with you.  May God's presence illuminate your hearts, now and forever more.  Amen.  -from a Sufi blessing
May you be comfort and joy, counsel and strength to each other.  May the home you create shed its peace upon you both and upon all who enter its shelter with you.  Amen.
Now you will feel no rain,
   for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
   for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you,
   now there is no more loneliness,
Now you are two persons,
   but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
   to enter the days of your years together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.   -Apache prayer
May the road rise to meet you.
may the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And through all the days of your life together
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.    -Irish Blessing, adapted
May you carry love forward.  May love carry you forward.

Ceremony Checklist

  1. Does everyone have the transportation schedule?
  2. Who has the rings?
  3. Have you switched your engagement ring to your right hand?
  4. Are the programs at the church?
  5. Does the officiant have your script?
  6. Does everyone have his or her bouquet, corsage, or boutonnière?
  7. If you’re having a Jewish ceremony, is the wine, kiddish cup, and glass to be broken set up?
  8. It you’re having a Christian ceremony, are the unity candle, chalices, and prayer books in place?
  9. Is the aisle runner in place?
  10. Who has the marriage license?
  11. Is the lighting set up?
  12. Are the special mikes, speakers, or other sound equipment set up?

Ceremony Site and Officiant Checklist

  1. If you’re interested in a particular house of worship, do you have to join the congregation and use their officiant? Or is it B.Y.O.O. — bring your own officiant?
  2. Are video cameras and flash photography allowed on site?
  3. What are the lighting conditions? Can you set up special lights or have candles on the premises?
  4. Is the sound adequate or will you need to supply a sound system?
  5. What floral arrangements or other decorations are available or allowed? When can the florist get in to set up?
  6. What is the parking situation? How many spaces can be reserved for your wedding party?
  7. Can you have the reception at the same venue? If not, how far is the site from your reception venue?
  8. Would the officiant perform the ceremony in a venue other than a house of worship, if that’s your preference?
  9. What marital preparation programs are required?
  10. How many times can or must you meet with the officiant?
  11. Do you have a good rapport or connection with the officiant? Does he or she seem interested in you personally? How long is the extended interview with you? How much does the officiant want you to divulge about yourself?
  12. Would it be permitted to have a ceremony in the round? Or with the bride and groom facing their guests?
  13. Are there other traditions such as who escorts the bride down the aisle that must be adhered to?
  14. Does the officiant have a set script? Are you allowed to edit it or create your own script and vows?
  15. Will the officiant be present at the rehearsal? Is there an extra fee for this?
  16. How long will the ceremony take?
  17. Will the venue have other weddings that day? If so, at what time?
  18. Will the officiant have any other weddings that day? If so, at what time?
  19. What are the rules and recommendations regarding music for the ceremony?
  20. Are there any rules or restrictions regarding dress at the site?
  21. Are there any restrictions against throwing rice, birdseed, or flower petals?
  22. What is the officiant’s fee and when do you pay it? Do you pay the officiant directly or make a donation to a house of worship?
  23. Is the officiant legally certified to marry you in the state or country where the wedding is taking place?
  24. Can you speak to other couples the officiant has married?
  25. Can you attend another ceremony where the officiant is presiding?
  26. May you sign the marriage certificate before the ceremony for convenience?

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