Creating an order of events for a wedding ceremony depends on the personal preferences of the bride and groom, and any applicable government regulations, but it usually includes the entrance, the exchange of vows and rings, closing remarks, an introduction of the newlyweds and their exit. Many couples include an order of events in their marriage programs. The outline may be as detailed or as general as the couple desires.
There are no set rules to creating an order of events for a wedding ceremony, although some state and local governments require couples to include certain elements, such as the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings and signing of the marriage certificate. In a traditional ceremony, the bridal party usually enters after the guests and mothers are seated, and then the bride walks down the aisle. The officiant often welcomes the guests and makes opening remarks, and then delivers the charge to the couple, reminding the bride and the groom of the commitments they are about to make.
Some couples incorporate traditional, contemporary or custom readings before the exchange of the vows and/or the exchange of rings. Unity rituals, such as lighting candles, pouring sand or foot washing, are also added before and after these exchanges in many wedding ceremonies. Newlyweds may also choose to include other unique elements in their order of events, such as vows as parents or rituals to honor their own parents. The officiant generally makes a few closing remarks before the couple share their first kiss and are introduced as husband and wife. The recessional typically closes the order of events.