Religious Wedding Program Templates And Wording Ideas

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Most of today’s major religions hold marriage in the highest regard. Every action possesses traditional meaning and the entire series of events creates a connection with god. These religious wedding programs will outline all of the critical elements of a religious wedding and the order in which they should occur.


This will help religious couples brush up on their formality, and will help unfamiliar guests understand what happens and why.

Frequently Asked Question

Why are wedding rituals so important?

Weddings are considered significant rites. Some rise to the level of Sacrament or Prophetic tradition, making wedding rituals highly symbolic.


Religious Wedding Program Information

With so much audience participation required, religious wedding programs are essential. Guests aren’t just witnesses. They are expected to partake in many customs while each member of the wedding party serves a specific purpose.

These are just examples that don’t apply to a specific faith, but including information like this on your religious wedding program will help guests know what to expect and follow along with ease.

  • Provide a timeline of each event along with how long each step is expected to take.
  • Highlight any special moments like handfasting or breaking of the glass so that everyone knows what to expect.
  • Provide specific books, verses, and passages of any readings or hymns.
  • Include the names and titles of each immediate family member to express who the union applies to. Many couples will also acknowledge special guests and prayers to currently lost loved ones.


Sample Christian Wedding Programs

The aesthetics of Christian weddings have been updated throughout the years, but the process and meaning has remained roughly the same. Built around community, Christian weddings are designed to build a relationship between a village, two families, and god.

  • Procession
  • Seating of Guests – Matthew Ward, “Perfect Union”
  • Procession of the Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids – Josh Groban and
  • Charlotte Church, “The Prayer”
  • Procession of the Bride – The Beatles, “Here comes the sun”
  • Welcome and Opening Prayer
  • First Reading – Genesis 2:18-24, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.” and name of the reader
  • Second Reading – Romans 12:9-18, “Love in Action” and the name of the reader
  • Gospel – Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the light of the world”
  • Exchange of Wedding Vows
  • Blessing and Exchange of the Rings
  • Sand Ceremony
  • Nuptial Blessing
  • Communion
  • Final Blessing
  • Recessional – Beethoven, “Ode to Joy”


Catholic Religious Wedding Programs

The Rite of Marriage involves the exchanging of rings with an added blessing. The couple will also repeat a traditional series of intentions they will fulfill as man and wife.

Catholic weddings will take at least 30 minutes. However, there are several optional traditional components that some couples will opt for. This can include lengthy readings from friends, family and church officials. More often, it includes a special version of mass that directly addresses the wedding.

A briefly description of Catholic weddings, you can write about what they believe about love and marriage. Suggest such a program outline:

  • Prelude – Title of the chosen song or hymn that would play
  • Bride’s Processional – Name of the processional song or instrumental. Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”, more commonly known as “Here comes the bride”
  • Opening Prayer
  • Old Testament Reading – Related bible verse from the old testament. Genesis 1 “the creation of man and woman” is a popular choice
  • New Testament Reading – Related bible verse from the new testament. 1 Corinthians 12-13 “Love is patient” is always a lovely option
  • Gospel Reading – Gospel reading bible verse. Matthew 7 “building a house on rock”
  • Homily
  • The Exchange of Vows
  • Exchange of Rings and Blessings
  • The lighting of the Unity Candle
  • Intercessions
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Communion – Corresponding hymn.
  • Sebastian Temple, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”
  • Closing Prayer
  • Final Blessing
  • Recessional – Title of song or hymn that will play

A Catholic wedding program will definitely help guests understand the significance of each phase of the process. The Catholic iteration of wedding ceremonies are similar to the Christian process, but with a few key additions.


With Mass

Catholic wedding programs will have an entire section added to the day’s events. Mass takes place right after the Rite of Marriage, beginning with the Liturgy of the Eucharist. If you are unfamiliar, the Eucharist commemorates the Last Supper where consecrated wine and bread are consumed.

Every guest will be invited to participate. However, it’s common for guests outside of the Catholic church to stay seated during this process.

Front Cover

  • A Marriage Celebration
  • Names of the Bride and Groom
  • Details of the Wedding Ceremony Venue, including address and date

Page 1

  • Names of the Parents of the Bride
  • Names of the Parents of the Groom
  • Name of the Maid of Honor
  • Name of the Best Man
  • Names of the Ushers
  • Name of the Ring Bearer and the Flower Girl
  • Name of the Organist and the Soloist, if any

Page 2

  • Prelude
  • Processional – Schubert, “Ave Maria”
  • Bride’s Processional – Pachelbel, “Canon in D”
  • Liturgy of the Word
  • Opening Prayer
  • First Reading – Bible verse Ecclesiasticus 26:1-4, “A good wife is a gift from God”
  • Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 103:1-2, 8+13, 17-18a “The Lord is merciful and gracious” and reader’s name
  • Second Reading – Romans 8:31b-35, 37, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” and the reader’s name
  • Gospel
  • Homily

Page 3

  • The Sacrament of Marriage
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Blessing and Exchange of Rings
  • Unity Candle – Title of song John Tesh, “Give me Forever (I Do)”
  • Prayer of the Faithful and Response, Name of the reader
  • Presentation of the Gifts
  • Liturgy of the Eucharist
  • Lord’s Prayer
  • Nuptial Blessing
  • Sign of Peace
  • Communion
  • Final Blessing
  • Recessional – Brandon Heath, “Love never fails”

Without Mass

Many modern Catholics choose to skip the mass portion of their wedding program. When both the husband and wife have been baptized, forgoing mass does not impede the legitimacy of the marriage rite. Similarly, many couples are of mixed religions. Since the Catholic church does not expect people of other beliefs to accept the body and blood of Christ, mass is not required to complete the rite.

This may, however, change the order of the wedding program.

  • Introductory Rite
  • Prelude and Seating of Guests – “There is a balm in Gilead”
  • Seating of Parents – “God is able”
  • Bridesmaid Processional – “Gloria”
  • Bridal Processional – “Bridal chorus”
  • Greeting and Opening Prayer
  • Liturgy of the Word
  • First Reading – 1 John: 3:18-24, “Let us love in truth and action”
  • Responsorial Psalm Psalm 33:12+18, 20-21, 22 (R.5b), “The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord”
  • Second Reading – Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b, “Let marriage be held in honour by all”
  • Gospel Acclamation
  • Gospel – Bible verse Mark 10:6-9, “They are no longer two, but one flesh”
  • Homily
  • The Rite of Marriage
  • Marriage Vows
  • Blessing and Exchange of Rings
  • The lighting of the Unity Candle
  • Prayer of the Faithful
  • Nuptial Blessing
  • The Sign of Peace
  • Concluding Rite
  • Solemn Blessing
  • Presentation of the Bride and Groom as a married couple
  • Recessional – “Let there be peace on earth”


Baptist Religious Wedding Programs

The definition of Baptists isn’t as narrow as other denominations. Where and how to worship is not nearly as important as the personal connection to god. Due to the flexibility of the belief system, prayer, musical and reading choices are also very flexible.

That being said, most Baptist weddings attempt to stick to tradition to at least a small degree. The wedding program is very likely to include standard processionals, honoring family members, prayer, scripture readings, and the lighting of the unity candle.

Front Cover

  • The Blessing and Celebration of Marriage Unity
  • Name of the Bride and the Groom
  • Details of the Wedding Ceremony Venue, including address and date

Page 1

  • Details about the Wedding Party
  • Parents of the Bride
  • Parents of the Groom
  • Grandparents of the Bride
  • Grandparents of the Groom
  • Maid of Honor
  • Best Man
  • Names of Bridesmaids
  • Names of Groomsmen
  • Officiating Ministers
  • Pianist and/or Flutist, if available
  • Soloist
  • Other musicians

Page 2

  • The Marriage Ceremony
  • Prelude – Scott Wesley Brown, “This is the day”
  • Seating the Mothers and Grandmothers – Audrey Assad, “Be Thou My Vision”
  • The Processional – Johann Sebastian Bach, “Arioso”
  • The Bridal Processional – Franco Corelli, “Panis Angelicus”
  • The Worship Service
  • Presentation of the Bride
  • Homily – Declaration of Intent
  • The Exchange of Vows
  • The Exchange of Rings
  • The Communion
  • Prayer of Blessing
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • The Recessional – Handel, “La Rejouissance”

Jewish Wedding Program

Jews and Christians enjoy a shared history. Although many of the traditions may seem a little foreign to a Christian experiencing them for the first time, they will quickly become familiar. The order of the procession will be a little different, but the sentiment is the same. Instead of the bride and groom reading their vows, they are recorded in the ketubah. Rather than a church, Jewish weddings are performed outdoors or in a synagogue.

Readings will be in Hebrew, but they come from the Old Testament that Christians are familiar with. The meaning and tradition behind lighting the unity candle and the breaking of the glass varies, but they both symbolize a formal union between husband and wife. As you can see, the differences are on the surface. The similarities run through the core.

Kaballat Panim

  • Greeting the Chatan & Kallah
  • Details on where the bride will receive her guests and where the groom will receive his.
  • The Ketubah (Marriage Contract)
  • The signing of the ketubah
  • Bedeken (Veiling of the Kallah)
  • Here the groom veils the bride after looking at her to confirm. This stems from the story of Jacob who married the wrong sister, being easily tricked because she was veiled.
  • Guests take their seats in the ceremony room.

The Ceremony

  • The Chuppah (Marriage Canopy)
    The ceremony is conducted under the chuppah. It is a canopy under which the couple will stand during the wedding ceremony. The couple will walk to the chuppah to perform their rites.
  • The Kiddushin (Betrothal)
    Though the term for betrothal in Hebrew, in a Jewish marriage, the kiddushin serves as the first part of the marriage ceremony.
  • The giving and acceptance of the wedding ring
    Similar to the exchange of rings in a traditional wedding. The groom places the ring on the index finger of his bride.
  • Reading of the Ketubah
    The reading of the ketubah, which is the Jewish marriage contract outlining the rights and responsibilities of the couple in their marriage.
  • Nissuin (Marriage Blessing)
    This is the second part of the marriage, which comes with a blessing for the couple to start their lives together.
  • The Breaking of the Glass
    This actional finalizes the marriage covenant. The couple is now married.
  • Exit
  • Yichud (Togetherness)
    The couple exit to a yichud, which is a private room watched over by two witnesses, where they can rest, eat and be together for the first time after their wedding.
  • Seudat Mitzvah (Wedding Meal)
    Celebratory, festive meal, much like the wedding reception for a traditional wedding or the celebration of a bar mitzvah.


Religious Wedding Programs Muslim

Muslims also share a history with Jews and Christians. In all 3 cases, marriage is a contract under God – The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – and, in the case of Islam, is a Prophetic tradition. Although the core intention serves a similar purpose, it’s difficult to point out further parallels. Islam is the second largest religion in the world, producing many variations on belief and tradition.

Christian denominations include – to name a few – Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic. Comparably, there are a variety of specific beliefs and practices of Muslims. That being said, the vast majority of Muslim wedding programs will contain a basic framework.

Front Cover

  • A title, with the name of the Bride and Groom
  • Details of the Wedding Ceremony Venue, including address and date

Page 1

  • Baraat Welcome
    Arrival of the groom to the wedding venue, accompanied by a procession of his friends and family.
  • Mahr
    The groom gives the bride the mahr, which is a part of the contract. “And give the women (upon marriage) their mahr as a (nikah) free gift.” (Quran 4:4).
  • Nikahnama
    Consent and signing of the contract, and the announcement of the Agd-Nikah (the written marriage contract)

Page 2

  • Sermon
  • The marriage sermon, given by the Muslim officiant conducting the nikah.
    Relevant Quranic verses and prayers.
  • Blessing the Groom
    He is blessed by the older women, and he offers his greetings (salaam).
  • Reception
    Dinner, after which the couple sit together for the first time.

Post Wedding Rituals

  • Rukhsat
    The bride is bid farewell by her friends and family and transported to her husband’s house.
  • Welcoming the Bride
    The bride enters her new home as her mother-in-law holds the Quran over her head.
  • Chauthi
    The bride visits the home of her parents on the fourth day after the wedding. She is given a joyous welcome.
  • The Marriage Banquet (Walima)
    A banquet hosted by the groom’s family after the wedding, attended by both families, as well as friends and well-wishers.

Hindu Wedding Program

Although Hinduism can seem drastically different from the Abrahamic religions, the sentiment remains the same. The items found in Hindu wedding programs show respect to family, honor the past, and are considered a Rite. Under Hindu tradition, a man is not considered “complete” until he is married.

The main difference non-Hindus will notice is the participation of god. Hindus believe in a pantheon of gods. Lord Ganesh – the god of wisdom and salvation – is invoked during weddings. In addition, their Sacred Fire” serves as a parallel to God. The fire deity (Agni) serves as a witness to a “sacred oneness”, satisfying cosmic law.

The marriage rites are as follows:

  • Gowri Puja
  • Arrival of the Groom and Ganesha Puja
  • Rakshaabandhanam (Bond of Protection)
  • Arrival of the Bride
  • Kanyaadaanam (giving the bride away)
  • Sumuhurtham (Auspicious time of marriage)
  • Maangalyadhaarana
  • Thalambralu
  • Paanigrahanam
  • Brahmamudi
  • Agnihomam
  • Saptapadi

The couple takes seven steps around the fire, symbolic of the seven steps of life. With each step, the couple takes a vow.
Together we shall:

  1. cherish each other in sickness and in health, in happiness and in sorrow
  2. be life-long friends
  3. share each other’s ideals
  4. nourish each other’s strengths, powers, and fortune
  5. make each other happy
  6. provide and care for our children
  7. look forward to the mysteries of the future with awe and spiritual unity
  • Asirvachanam
  • Mangala Harathi
  • Nakshatradarsanam



If tradition is important to you, you’ll want to follow these religious wedding programs as closely as possible. As you’ve no-doubt noticed, every denomination has their own unique ways to do things. If you’re in doubt, consult with religious leaders so that your religious program is as accurate as possible