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14 Traditional Wedding Ceremony Steps


Every couple while planning a wedding ceremony wonders what it will be like. Usually, all weddings follow some kind of general order. Here you are going to have lots of things on your mind, but don’t panic. Just use our simple wedding checklist to make sure you do not to forget anything important.

Out wedding ceremony outline will give you an idea of what lies ahead – but don’t be afraid to experiment! Make your wedding ceremony of one of the most memorable moments in your life!

On The Wedding Day

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Wedding Ushers

No doubt, wedding ushers are quite important for wedding order of service. Usually, they arrive in advance – about half an hour before the ceremony. In particular, their task is to greet the guests and show them their places, hand out the programs of service etc. Sometimes they also offer boutonnieres for guests.

Groom, Best Man & Groomsmen

It is traditional that the next party to arrive is the groom with his best man and groomsmen. However, sometimes the groomsmen are the same people as wedding ushers. The groomsmen wait for the bride and her bridesmaids outside, while the best man settles all money matters. Generally speaking, it is his task to handle all church fees before taking his seat next to the groom. The groom and his best man wait for the bride to arrive on the right-hand pew. By the way, don’t forget that apart from the church wedding ceremony you need to get marriage licenses to make everything official!

Prelude Music

Prelude music is very important in the order of wedding ceremony, so choose wisely. Pay attention that if you have a church wedding. It is possible that your house of worship has strict rules about music. In that case, they have a list of wedding music to choose from. But even if the rules are not that strict, you might ask for the list to get inspired

Parents & Close Family

Parents and close family are the next to arrive. As they take their seats, ushers help them to find their places. The left side of the aisle is usually reserved for the bride’s immediate family and the right side for the groom’s relatives. The parents, except for the father of the bride, take the first pew. And the rest of the family takes pews starting from the second in accordance with their relation to the bride and groom. Father of the bride is waiting at the doors to take his daughter down the aisle.


Here Comes The Bride

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The Bride’s Arrival

The bride’s arrival is one of the most important parts of the wedding order of events. The future ms vs mrs arrives just before the ceremony and takes a moment at the entrance. This is the moment the bridesmaids and groomsmen pair up for the entrance. Bridesmaids also help the bride with the last-minute improvements – they check her hair, gown etc.

Flower Girls

The music starts playing, marking the beginning of the ceremony. Here don’t forget to check the wedding day itinerary to guarantee you haven’t forgotten anything. In general, the procession starts with flower girls walking down the aisle, throwing petals and flowers. This is one of the sweetest parts of a wedding, symbolizing the fertility of the union.

Bridesmaids And Groomsmen Walk Down The Aisle

Bridesmaids and groomsmen follow the flower girls down the aisle. They should walk arm in arm, so the even number is preferable – if the number is odd you will have to think about the order. Moreover, they might make the ceremony a bit more light-heartened with a little dance as they walk – if the church rules allow it.

Groom & Best Man

After everyone takes up their positions, the groom and best man are getting ready. They stand at the altar and turn to watch the bride’s entrance.

The Bride & Her Father

In a traditional wedding ceremony, the father walks his daughter down the aisle. However, it might change depending on your family situation.

Bride & Groom

When the bride and the groom meet, she gives her bouquet to one of the bridesmaids. She can lift the veil now, or leave it as it is until the first kiss as a husband and wife.


The Wedding Ceremony Begins

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The Service Begins

It is traditional for the officiant to say a few words of welcome, thank the guests and welcome them. And it is also important to follow the wedding ceremony timeline as the officiant offers some thoughts on marriage, the ceremony itself and its meaning.

Wedding Vows

One of the things on your wedding to do list might be writing your own marriage vows. Alternatively, you might follow the traditional lines in your wedding ceremony order of service and go for good old ‘for better, for worse’

Ring Exchange

As the couple exchanges rings, they become husband and wife. It is typical to say ‘With this ring, I thee wed.’ Don’t forget that from now on you need a name change after marriage.

Leaving The Church

The wedding ceremony finishes with everyone leaving the church. The happy couple leads the way, followed by their nearest and dearest. As a rule, the order of recession is the opposite of processional order.

It’s time to have fun and enjoy the party! And open the presents – don’t forget to check out our best wedding registry beforehand for some wedding gifts inspiration!

Check our infographic!