You have one opportunity to take your vows in an unforgettable ceremony, surrounded by your loving family and friends. Getting married will change your lives dramatically.
Change can be a good thing, but amidst all the excitement, you will need to feel emotionally calm and safe to be good to one another and to continue to love one another. Be one another’s soft place to fall, protect, encourage and look after one another.
A church is the ideal place to get married: there is a solemn atmosphere; it creates a dignified backdrop with heavenly organ music. You dedicate your lives to one another and to God, the strongest ally in all the world.
This is different from a birthday party or a reunion or an office party. This is the real thing! The contrast between the solemnity of a church ceremony and the jollity of the reception will add a special sparkle to the event.
Ask the minister to discuss the exact order of events during the ceremony with you. Remember to pay him and to invite him and his wife to the reception.
The minister will probably advise you to attend a premarital adjustment course. Invest in such a course it really is worth the effort!
Inform the minister in writing about who will provide any musical items, as well as the name of the composition and the composer.
The verger (a church official who acts as a caretaker and attendant and looks after the inside of a church, usually including the furnishings and the vestments) Book and discuss the day, date and time of your wedding with the verger well ahead of time. Ask him for information about all fees that have to be paid (the verger, organist, minister, etc.). Arrange a time for the rehearsal.
Arrange a day before the wedding when the bridal group, verger, minister and, if possible, the choir can rehearse at the church. Make sure that everyone concerned knows exactly what will happen when.
Order of service
Include the names of the minister/officiant /priest, organist, choir, other soloists, composers and even the bridal retinue (if there is room) on the printed order of service. References to the readings, music and the words of the hymns that are to be sung should also be inserted.
Who sits where?
The bride’s family and friends sit on the left in the front of the church, the groom’s family and friends sit to the right.
When everyone has taken his/her place about five minutes or so before
the bride enters the bride’s mother enters and sits down in the first or second pew from the front. She keeps a place open next to her for the bride’s father along the aisle.
The order of events
The bride and her father drive to the church together she sits in the back of the car at the right, with her father to her left. He brings her into the church walking to his right: this is the place of honour. Her left hand rests on his right forearm, but she can tuck her hand into his arm if she needs a little more support.
The bride’s entrance is a dramatic moment: the guests rise, the organ music rings out joyously in a wedding march or another classical piece.
The groom and the best man wait in the front of the church. The bride’s father gives her to the groom at the end of the aisle. The bride stands in the centre, her father kisses her on her forehead or cheek, he and the groom shake hands (he tells the groom to treat his new wife well) and the bridal couple walk forward to the centre, right in front of the marriage officer.
The bride and groom do not touch. Once the minister (who must be a licensed marriage officer) has said ‘Take each other’s right hand’, they exchange rings and hold each other’s right hands. Only then should she take his arm (unless either of them needs more support before that moment!). After the blessing, the bridal couple, the minister and the witnesses sign the register. Then the bridal group leaves the church.
The bridal group leaves the church in the following order:
The bridal couple in front, followed by the bride’s mother walking out with the groom’s father to her right, then the groom’s mother with the bride’s father to her right, then the retinue.
The flower girls leave the church before the guests do so that they can be ready to distribute the confetti at the doors.
The photographer and videographer
A video and wedding photographs of the ceremony are precious mementoes. However, you need to agree with the minister and photographers about when the pictures are to be taken and how many will be taken.
Arrange a meeting between the videographer and the photographer sometimes they can get in each other’s way unless they have made some
prior arrangements. So, for example, the one can take the lead once, then the other