No matter who marries you, take time to talk about and write down any customs, music or traditions that are important to both of you. Then start outlining the actual ceremony together:
If you are having a religious ceremony, the person marrying you should be able to help you craft the order of the wedding ceremony. Lean on that person to guide you.
If you are having a ceremony that is not overtly religious, you have different options. Look at what is important to you and your groom, and pull in elements that are personal.
Some of the traditional elements include:
Prelude (or music) that plays prior to the ceremony beginning.
Seating of the guests.
Seating of the parents. The mother of the bride should be seated last.
Wedding Processional that begins with the Groom and Officiant and includes all of the wedding party (except the bride.)
Grand entrance – this is where special wedding music is played and the bride enters (traditionally with her Father.)
Opening remarks from the officiant and a reading or prayer are common.
Giving away of the bride.
Charge to the bride and groom which includes a few words about the privilege and bond of marriage.
Exchanging of wedding vows.
Exchanging of wedding rings.
Declaration of marriage by the officiant and that first kiss!
Presenting of the newlyweds and their recessional walk back down the aisle together
There are only a few legal requirements for a wedding, so have fun creating a wedding that is special to you both! Then work with your officiant to create the perfect event flow.
After you are comfortable with the way the wedding ceremony has come together, go ahead and create your wedding program. A wedding program can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. It’s a wonderful way to let guests know more about your ceremony, and it should have the same feel as the rest of your wedding.
What goes into the program is up to you and your fiancé, but the names of the bride and groom will typically be listed at the top with the date and location immediately following.
Other information you might want to include:
Name of your parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen, the officiant, musicians, ushers, flower girl and ring bearer. Choose the people who you want to recognize in your wedding program.
Wedding ceremony agenda, including the names of any songs and readings that occur.
Personal notes. This may include a favorite poem or quote, a note about special friends or family that have passed on or a special, or information about special religious rituals that are part of your ceremony.
Housekeeping. It’s helpful to have a note that requests guests turn off their cell phones.
Share the ceremony outline and program with your bridal party and family. It will help everyone be better prepared for your big day!
Bride Connections has more tips and tools to make wedding planning just a little bit easier!