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Easy Breakdown of the Traditional Wedding Ceremony Order

Wedding Ceremony Order – Miami, FL

Every wedding ceremony is unique and special to the bride & groom.

Before you start planning your ceremony order, know that you can personalize it. It doesn’t have to follow the norm.

Below, I will give you a general outline of the typical wedding ceremony order of events, but don’t feel like you need to include every step or stick to a specific time frame.

And if you’d like to learn more about my services to use me as your wedding officiant for a South Florida Destination Wedding, click here.

The Procession

The procession is where the bride and groom make their way down the aisle and take their places for the ceremony. You can enter the room separately to symbolize coming from different backgrounds.

In a traditional christian wedding the groom will enter first and take his stance by the alter. Then the bride will be escorted by her father down the aisle.

In a Jewish procession, both the bride and the groom are escorted down the aisle by each’s parents.

This is a great time to have your wedding photographer capture the moment with some amazing photos. Here is a list of recommended wedding photographers in Miami, FL.

The Officiant’s Opening Remarks

After the bride and groom have made their way to the alter, the officiant will begin the wedding ceremony with some opening remarks like “Dear friends and family, we gather here today to celebrate…”

The officiant may thank your guests for bearing witness to your union and welcome everyone to your wedding venue & celebration.

Addressing the Couple

This is a moment where the officiant may recount the love story of the couple as well as some thoughts on marriage and what it means to you.


If you plan to have scripture readings or a poem reading, this is the time that readers will be invited up to share a few words.

The officiant could introduce each reader or have things flow naturally with each reader coming up after the previous and self-introducing themselves.

It’s common for the mother’s to participate as readers but you can select whomever you’d like to handle this special moment during the wedding ceremony.

The Exchange of Vows

Your officiant may take this moment to emphasize the significance of the vows you’re about to exchange. This may also include a reminder of your duties and roles in marriage.

Wedding vows are very special and serve as promises you are making to each other. The officiant will help lead you by having you repeat after him/her.

It’s a quick few minutes so make sure you soak it all in, standing their smiling at your soon to be husband/wife while exchanging vows in front of all your friends and family.

The Ring Exchange

In a traditional wedding the ring exchange comes after the wedding vows. During the exchanging of rings, you might say the typical phrase “With this ring, I thee wed.” or personalize it with your own message.

Some couples will have special sayings engraved on the inside of their rings as well.

The Pronouncement of Marriage

The officiant makes it official (“I now pronounce you husband and wife”).

The Kiss

And now the moment everyone’s been waiting for, you get to seal your marriage with the first official kiss as a married couple. Have the photographer in position to capture the moment! (:

Unity Ceremony

If you plan to include a unity ceremony, now would be a good time after the kiss to symbolize your unity as a newly married couple.

Examples include the lighting of a single candle, or the binding your hands together with ribbon.

The Closing Remarks

Your officiant wraps things up with a few last words and for a religious wedding, a blessing & prayer to commence the wedding ceremony.

The Recessional

Basically the reverse of the processional. The bride and groom exit the room first, followed by the family, and then all of the friends.

Some newly wed couples exit the room first and then return to escort each row of guests out of the room with hugs and thank yous for attending.

As the guests exit their seating rows, they get the opportunity to say a few words quickly as well as the hug or hand shake.

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