Wedding Ceremony Order of Service
Many Chicago area couples have used this as a typical order of events for a wedding ceremony. Since it is your wedding, you should feel free to add, drop, or alter the sequence of these events. When I meet with couples to plan their wedding, we discuss many of the options available to them. This makes a ceremony that is custom and personal, uniquely theirs, and according to their wishes.
It has only been comparatively recent in history that couples have been "allowed" to design their own wedding ceremony within a church setting. For your reference, you may want to look at the classic "Anglican Wedding Ceremony" from 1662 (pdf file), which was widely followed until about WW II, and which has the infamous "obey" clause for the Bride. (Note: The man had to give full title of all his "worldly goods" to his bride, so perhaps the "obey" part wasn't such a bad thing for some wives.) And you may want to look at the "Book of Common Prayer Wedding Ceremony" of 1945 (pdf file), which is followed by many churches even today.
Ushers seat the guests (Prelude music playing)
Special music begins
Mothers/parents/VIPs enter and light candelabras
Parents of the Bride and Groom are seated
The Minister and Groom enter and proceed to the front
The Bridal party enters and proceeds to the front
The Ring Bearer and/or Flower Girl enter, proceed to front, sit down
Music concludes for bridal party
Ushers unroll the aisle runner
The Minister asks the audience to rise and welcome the Bride
Music begins for the Brides entrance (Processional music)
The Bride and her escort enter, and are met by the Groom
Brides music concludes.
Bride and Groom light "family candles" to represent their families
Bride and Groom present flowers to parents and/or VIPs
"Declarations Of Intent" by Bride and Groom
Musical interlude (solo, etc.)
Special music (musical interlude, or musical and vocal performance)
Exchange of wedding vows (traditional or customized)
Blessing of the rings
Exchange of wedding rings (traditional or customized)
Audience recites Lord's Prayer (Roman Catholic or Protestant version)
Minister's prayer of blessing for the Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom light Unity Candle (music in background)
Bride and Groom kiss
Introduction of the new couple by the Minister
Recessional music begins
Bride and Groom exit
Bridal party exits and forms reception line.
instructions to the audience.
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