Every religion has their own established rituals, customs and traditions for wedding ceremonies. Also, your clergyman or Officiant may also have specific rules and procedures to be followed when they officiate a wedding ceremony. So, when planning your ceremony, be sure to consult with your Officiant every step of the way!
Here is a general outline of the sequence of events for a traditional Wedding Ceremony:
View the complete order of a traditional wedding processional.
The Welcome, Call to Worship, Introduction:
The Officiant greets the guests and usually says a few words about marriage.
Questions of Intent:
The Officiant will ask the questions of intent to the bride and the groom.
Example: “Will you have this women to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health?”
Declaration of Consent:
The declaration of consent is seen primarily in Protestant ceremonies. The Officiant asks “Who gives this woman to be married today?” The Bride’s father replies, “I do”. Some brides prefer not to include this segment in their ceremony – – while some brides like to include it as part of the ritual and tradition of the wedding ceremony.
A more modern twist to this tradition – – the Officiant asks the question to the brides parents or both parents. Then, they all respond together “We do”.
Readings and Music:
Readings and music are a wonderful way to personalize your wedding ceremony. Before making any selections, you’ll want to check with your Officiant first. Some faiths and churches have specific rules and guidelines as to the type of readings and music that can be played. For instance, some churches will only allow scripture and religious readings.
Most people are familiar with the Protestant wedding vows:
“Do you ‘Steven’ take ‘Susan’ to have and hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish from this day forward.”
Exchange of the Rings:
The groom places the ring on the bride’s finger. Then, the bride places the ring on the groom’s finger.
Blessing of the Rings:
The bride and groom will make statements to each other. This is done right after the ring is put on the finger (above).
Example: “Take and wear this ring as a symbol of my love”
Pronouncement of the Marriage:
“I now pronounce you husband and wife… ”
Special Acts of Celebration:
Lighting of unity candle, flower giving to parents, blessing of medallion or gifts for step children.
This is another great way to personalize your wedding ceremony and to include children or parents into the ceremony.
Benediction, Prayers and Blessing:
Benediction and prayers led by the Officiant.
Presentation of the New Couple:
The Officiant presents “Mr. and Mrs. _________________” for the first time!