The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding because it where the bride and groom vow to love each other forever and are pronounced husband and wife. But, you wouldn’t believe how many details are easily missed. (That’s what your wedding coordinator is for!) We compiled some of the highlights of your wedding ceremony you must consider before your big day. Download our checklist handout at the end of the post and use it yourself!
Guests arrive at the venue, you are hiding away waiting for your grand entrance down the aisle, what is the first thing you want your guests to see? Do you want a handwritten calligraphy sign to welcome them? Flower arrangements? A cold beverage on a warm summer day? The guests will quickly arrive at the welcome table and gift table near the ceremony. We always say that a smiling face goes a long way! Assign your friendly cousins or fun girlfriends to this task (everyone is always asking how they can help, delegate this to someone). Have some smiley girls welcome your guests and given them a little direction: point guests to the guest book, tell them to take a program, explain that an usher will be there shortly to seat them, etc.
Traditionally, guests sit on the separate sides of the aisle to symbolize their connection and support to the bride or groom. More and more, couples are starting to have open seating and invite guests to sit wherever they want. I’m sure you’ve heard the line, “Choose a seat, not a side.” Even with open seating, having ushers to take guests to their seats is always ideal. (You can utilize your groomsmen or brothers for this task too!) Ushering guests to their seats is a kind way to honor them, it keeps guests organized in the seats from front to back and ensures that there are enough seats together for everyone attending. Ushers are a classy touch we just love!
While guests are arriving and being seated. What kind of mood do you want them to be in? Music has a lot of influence and sets the “vibe” for the event. Do you want some upbeat pop for them to nod their heads to, country love songs, romantic classical, you name it! What song do you want to play when your wedding party enters the ceremony? Have you always dreamed of walking down the aisle to Canon in D? Or do you have the perfect song in mind that shows more of your personality? Music goes a long way. Chat with your DJ or Musicians about this!
One of the most important aspects to consider for your ceremony is not the decorations or the order of events, but WHO is standing beside you. Do you want to honor your grandparents and parents and have them ushered down the aisle? Do you want cute flower girls and ring bearers? Do you want a bridal party of ten or just two? Every couple is different. Some want the experience to be a big party, others want it to be small and intimate. We love that every wedding is customized to the bride and groom. Don’t get caught up in what you “have to do” or what is “traditional.” If you don’t know and little girls that would love to be flower girls, don’t stress about it. If you do know them, but you want to keep it simple, don’t have them. Invite people to be a part of your bridal party that hold a special place in your heart and you know will support you through your marriage for years to come.
Order of Ceremony
Okay, the guests have arrived, the music has played, your people entered, you are standing at the alter…now what? What does a wedding ceremony even involve? Here is the run down: Welcome, “Who gives this Woman?,” Officiant’s Message, Vows, Rings, Unity Ritual, Blessing, Pronouncement of Husband and Wife, Kiss! BOOM, YOU ARE MARRIED!
It is up to you how you what you want to include in your ceremony. Some couples include unity candles, unity sand, communion, washing of the feet, the signing of the marriage license, and other traditions. Do you want to say traditional vows? Or do you want to write personal vows? Or both?
These are all parts of the ceremony that you and your man should consider. What aspects are important to you and what others do you want to skip over. It’s your day, you get to decide! We’ve complied a tool that we hope will be helpful when considering the ins and outs of your wedding ceremony. Click to download our ceremony checklist below. Happy Planning!