Wedding Order of Service

When you meet with your minister he will discuss with you the different options for your order of service. He/she will explain the meaning behind the vows and go through the service with you and probably arrange a rehearsal. On the day the ushers should arrive at the church first to give out orders of service and to show people to their seats. The bride’s family and guests sit on the left of the nave, and the groom’s on the right. The groom and his best man should arrive in plenty of time to allow for their photos to be taken before the service. The mother of the bride should be shown to the front pew. The bridesmaids should wait outside for the bride. The bride and her father should arrive a few minutes before the service is supposed to begin, this is to allow for her to have photographs taken and for the chief bridesmaid to have a chance to fix her veil if she has one. In the procession down the aisle it should be minister, bride on her fathers right arm and attendants. When they reach the front the groom and best man should take their places on the bride’s right. The bride should then hand her bouquet to her chief bridesmaid to her left or if she has no attendants then to her father who can then hand it to her mother.

After the entrance of the bride, there is often a hymn, followed by readings, possibly another hymn or psalm and an address from the minister. The marriage itself then follows. The father takes the brides right hand and gives it to the minister, who then gives it to the groom. The vows are taken and then the best man passes the rings to the groom or he can give them to the minister on the face of the prayer book and he will offer them to the bride and groom.

Then the bride’s father and the best man take their seats on the front pews. The minister may then say a prayer and then the congregation may sing a hymn, followed by a final blessing. The bride and groom then follow the minister to go and sign the register, usually followed by their parents and the bridesmaids and best man.. While the register is being signed and witnessed by two adults, a choir may sing or the organist may play some music. When all these formalities are finished, the bridal procession leaves the church as follows: bride and groom, small attendants, chief bridesmaid and best man, bride’s mother with groom’s father and then groom’s mother with bride’s father.