Ceremony Overview

THE BASICS OF A TRADITIONAL WEDDING CEREMONY

♥   The Bride, Groom and Minister always has the same position where they stand in any wedding ceremony.

♥   The Bride is always on the left side of the Groom.

♥   Anyone who will be standing up with the Groom will stand next to him on the Groom’s right side.

♥   Anyone who will be standing up with the Bride will stand next to her on the Bride’s left side.

Guests of the Bride are seated on the left side of the aisle and the Groom’s on the right. The Grandparents are seated before the Mother of the Bride and the Groom’s parents. Optional at this time if you have chosen to have a Unity Candle or Sand Ceremony is for each of the Mothers to light one side of the Unity Candle Trio or to pour some Sand into the Base container before taking their seat.  Next the Minister, the Groom and his Groomsmen will take their places.  Now the Wedding music begins for the Processional of the Bride’s attendants.

Today wedding ceremonies often blend the Traditional with the Contemporary.  Since weddings are now performed at a variety of different types of locations there are times when Tradition doesn’t work ideally for all situations or just may not be your preference!

PROCESSIONAL OPTIONS

Traditionally the Groomsmen take their place with the Minister and the Groom giving the Bride’s Attendants the spotlight as they walk in down the aisle.  After the ceremony the Groomsmen escort the Bridal Attendants out for the Recessional.  However, you may choose to have the Groomsmen escort the Bride’s Attendants in during the Processional and out for the Recessional.

PROCESSIONAL ORDER

Traditionally the Bridal Attendants walk down the aisle in the order they will stand next to the Bride.  The Maid/Matron of Honor walks down the aisle first leading in the Processional of the Bride’s Maids.  However you may choose to have them walk in reverse order starting with the Bride’s Maids and ending with the Maid/Matron of Honor taking her place which is always next to the Bride.

The Ring-bearer goes before the Flower Girl or they may walk in together.  If they walk in separate, the Flower Girl is the last to walk in just before the Bride to throw the petals for the Bride to walk on.

LOCATION OF THE RINGS

Traditionally the Best Man holds the Bride’s ring and the Maid/Matron of Honor holds the Groom’s ring.  If you have a ring pillow we would suggest that you do not tie the real rings onto the pillow but have them in the care of an adult.  When rings are tied on loosely they can accidentally come off and when they are tied on too securely they can be difficult to remove.  We have seen the tying of the rings onto the pillow go well but we have also seen it go bad many times!

HERE COMES THE BRIDE!

When the music for the Bride begins, the Bride will enter and the guests will be asked to rise.  The Bride walks down the aisle to the Minister and Groom.  If the Bride is being escorted down the aisle, her escort will be on her right side.  The music should now fade off.

The Minister will ask, “Who gives the Woman to be married to this Man?”  The person giving the Bride’s hand in marriage will respond with whichever answer is appropriate. (I do, We do, Her Mother and I do, Her Family and I do, etc….) The Minister will instruct everyone to be seated. The Minister will now proceed with the ceremony.  Below is a basic outline of the Ceremony Program for a Traditional ceremony:

The Program Guide
The Invocation and Address
(Insert 1 Optional)
The Exchanging of Vows
(Insert 2 Optional)
The Exchanging of Wedding Rings
Blessing of the Wedding Rings
The Unity Candle or Sand Ceremony (Optional)
(Insert 3 Optional)
The Prayer
The Pronouncement of Marriage
The Kiss
The Benediction and Introduction

THE RECESSIONAL

Once the ceremony is completed the Bride and Groom will walk up the aisle with the Flower Girl and Ring-bearer behind them. Next the Best Man will escort the Maid/Matron of Honor up the aisle followed by the Groomsmen escorting the Brides Maids. The Minister will gesture to the parents of the Bride and then the Groom if they are to be release to walk up the aisle or they may remain seated for photographs that will be taken immediately after the ceremony.  The Minister will make any announcements requested for the guests and then will recess up the aisle concluding the ceremony.