The Wedding Ceremony

A rehearsal for the wedding ceremony ensures smoothness and grace. Schedule the rehearsal at the actual scene, preferably the day before the wedding and all participants should attend. If you decide to have a rehearsal party, hold the party after the rehearsal.

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THIRTY MINUTES BEFORE CEREMONY

  • Prelude music begins; ushers escort guests to their seats

Guidelines for Ushers

  • Left side of the church is reserved for friends and family of the bride
  • Right side of the church is reserved for friends and family of the groom
  • The ushers stand at inner doorways and ask guests if they are “Friends of the bride or groom?’- and then offers female guests his right arm and escorts her to the appropriate side
  • The ushers also unroll the white aisle runner if one is being used

TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE

  • The groom and best man meet the officiant, who checks the marriage license and is given the fee

TEN MINUTES BEFORE

  • The attendants, bride’s mother, groom’s parents and other immediate family members arrive
  • Relatives, except for the parents of the bride and groom are now seated
  • Grandparents are escorted in

FIVE MINUTES BEFORE

  • Groom’s parents are seated
  • Bride’s mother is seated-the solo begins
  • Two ushers unroll the white floor cover
  • The clergy, groom and best man take their place
  • Processional music begins
  • The wedding party enters
  • The groomsmen enter first, followed by the bridesmaids
  • The flower girl and/or ring-bearer come in just before the bride and her father
  • The bride and groom then join the officiant(s) for the ceremony
  • The best man stands to the groom’s right holding the brides ring
  • The other attendants and groomsmen may be seated in the front row of the church or synagogue

THE RECESSIONAL

  • When the marriage ceremony is completed, the bride turns first to her honour attendant for her bouquet
  • The bride then takes the groom’s right arm and together they lead the recessional down the aisle with the attendants
  • The attendants may double up or walk single file, depending on which looks best

THE JEWISH CEREMONY

  • Parents of both families take part in the processional and remain at the alter during the ceremony
  • The order of the processional is ushers, bridesmaids, rabbi, best man, groom between his parents, the maid of honor, the flower girl and last, the bride with her parents
  • There is no formal giving away of the bride
  • The maid of honor stands to the bride’s right; the best man stands to the groom’s left
  • Other attendants stand outside the canopy in the usual grouping

THE RECEIVING LINE

Couples today often forgo this tradition, but it is the one way to greet each guest. Usually the mothers of the bride and groom stand in the receiving line, while the fathers circulate among the room (An ideal solution to the problem of “who stands where” in families with divorced and remarried parents).