A Typical Wedding Procedure
Traditional Christian Ceremony | 'Old' Traditional Ceremony
It is worth remembering that at the
time of booking the church for the wedding ceremony, you should also check with the minister regarding exactly what is and
isn’t allowed in his or her church. This includes entrance and exit music (we have heard of instances where the minister
objected to the couple’s choice of music).
Similarly, before asking someone to
sing at your wedding, check that the minister has no problem with this. Other suggested points to discuss are as follows:
- Is there a ruling regarding
exactly when the marriage may take place (date, hours, etc)?
- Are there any restrictions
to do with flowers on the day you have chosen? (Some churches do not allow flowers during Lent or on certain days in the church
- What is the church policy
with regard to confetti? Today, many churches don’t welcome its use - if so, find out what the other options are.
- Will the church organist
be available to play at the service and how many hymns will be sung?
- If you are planning to write your
own wedding vows (see The Vows), does the minister have any objections?
Find out about the church policy relating
to the taking of photographs and/or videos during the service, and whether there is any objection to this during the exchange
You might wish to ask the minister
whether you may have a Unity Candle. This is a large candle which is lit by the bride and groom at the ceremony to symbolise
their lives becoming one; the candle is then kept by them and relit on each anniversary, to remind them of their vows to each
other. A wonderful way to start a family tradition, and a meaningful reminder of the importance of the marriage vows.
Just ensure that the candle is not
too big, as this will make it difficult to light - and don’t forget the matches on the day!
Finally, remember that it is the best
man’s responsibility to ensure that the minister, choir, all musicians, singers and anyone else involved in the ceremony,
are paid - so make sure that this is sorted out in advance.
Firstly, the music chosen to accompany
the bride’s entrance and walk down the aisle should be long enough to allow her to get to the altar. This may sound
obvious, but I heard a delightful story about a bride who was marrying in a small, quaint chapel. The organist decided that,
as the trip down the aisle would be a short one, she wouldn’t need to take the full piece of music with her - a few
strains of ‘The Wedding March’ would be sufficient.
On the day, the organist started up
as the bridal retinue arrived at the chapel door and was horrified when, instead of proceeding down the aisle, the bride -
who was totally overcome by the occasion - dissolved in tears at the entrance. While she regained her composure, the organist
had to repeat the same bars of ‘The Wedding March’, over and over again!
If you plan to have a singer entertaining
your guests while you sign the register, discuss a suitable piece of music to be sung.
Many couples are today putting their
own stamp on the wedding vows by changing the wording, or adding their own. If you plan to do this, discuss it in advance
with the minister to see if he has any reservations.
Excerpts from the following may provide
you with ideas and inspiration: the ‘Song of Songs’ by Solomon in the Old Testament of The Bible; the widely-known
passage on love in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13; the beautiful poem on marriage from `The Prophet’ by Khalil Gibran.
don’t forget to ask the minister about church policy relating to photographs and videotaping during the service, and
whether there is any objection to this during the exchanging of vows.