Church wedding ceremony procedures

The Wedding Service

In a conventional church wedding, the bride’s family and her friends are on the church’s left side while the groom’s family and his friends are on the church’s right side. The bride’s mother is escorted to a seat by the ushers at the church’s front.

Usually, the groom arrives in advance and sits at the church’s front with his chosen Best Man. But the groom may also request in entering the church together with the bride. While walking along the aisle, the bride usually enters behind the officiating priest, on the arms of her father or relative or friend of any sex, followed by the entourage. It is also alright to let the bride walk alone if she wishes to.

While the bride is walking, she is supported on her left arm. And when she reaches the altar, one of her hands is presented to the groom who will be standing by her right side.

The Welcoming

The officiating priest or minister opens the ceremony by means of welcoming the gathering and emphasizing the significance of the couple’s families and friends who are there to witness and share the moment.

With that, the priest reads a passage taking up a Christian’s marriage belief and at this point, the priest carries out legal obligations and asking if anyone has any legal objections to the marriage.

The Declaration

The groom and the bride are requested to share their marriage vows in God’s presence with their families and their friends to honor, protect and comfort each other. Most of all, being faithful to one another for as long they shall both live.

The Vow

While facing one another, the groom and the bride takes one another’s right hand then makes their vows.

The Ring

The groom and bride exchange rings as their marriage sign and reminds each other’s vows.

The Prayer

The prayer usually happens after the ring exchange. The groom and bride could write their version or help in choosing one.

The Lighting of the Candles of Unity

The groom and bride stands at each candle holder’s side. Two tapered candles that represent the groom and bride as separate persons are put on each side of a large candle pillar or candle of unity. The couple lights the middle candle and together, blow it out with their tapered ones indicating their separate lives’ end.

The Reading/Talk/Sermon

This is followed with one, two or more sermon topics. The priest will generally give a small talk.

The Signing of Register

The marriage certificate signing happens after the reading. It is done by a solemniser at the side with two people as witnesses. Solemn music is played in this part of the ceremony.

The Closing

The wedded couple takes their place by the altar again and the tradition to walk the aisle, followed by their bridesmaids, best man with a maid-of-honor, groom’s father and bride’s mother and the groom’s mother with bride’s father is done.

The bride performs the tossing of bouquet outside of the church.