Unless you’ve been to a ton of weddings you probably have no idea of the ceremony order. The vows are the center of most wedding ceremonies. Religious and cultural rituals differ, of course, but if you were to outline a standard service, the ceremony order would look something like this.
Processional – The couple and wedding party enter the ceremony room or sanctuary, usually with accompanying music
Opening remarks – The officiant announces that everyone is there to celebrate the joining of the two of you in marriage; if it’s a religious event he or she may offer a blessing to the congregation.
The “giving away” – If you will have your parents or friends “support you” in your marriage, or if you opt for the tradition of the bride’s father giving her away, that happens now. This is also a time for your officiant and you to acknowledge your friends and family and the importance of their presence.
Statement of purpose/declaration of consent – The officiant asks the two of you whether you are each coming of your own free will to marry each other, and if you are prepared to do so. This is yoru public announcement – to the congregation gathered – of the vows you’re about to take.
Exchange of vows – you promise to love each other as long as you both shall live! These are your personal words to each other.
Reading and rituals – These, as well as additional musical selections, may be incorporated throughout the service. Talk to your officiant and determine the order together, if possible.
Ring presentation/blessing/exchange – You give each other your wedding bands. The officiant may bless the rings as you do so.
Blessing/closing remarks from the officiant
Declaration of marriage – You are pronounced husband and wife! You kiss gathered friends and family may applaud, and the recessional music begins.
Recessional – you leave the sanctuary as a married couple