Here it is! The moment everyone has been waiting for! The music is playing and the guests have been seated. Ushers make their way to the back of the church and the coordinator is lining up the bridesmaids while giving the musicians a 5 minute warning. The bride is about to walk down the aisle to the love of her life….. and if she’s like most girls, she’s dreamed about this moment for a long time! Vows will be shared and promises will be made… this is what it’s all about!! In a world full of wedding blogs, Pinterest and bridal magazines, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and consumed by the “prettiness” of the event. While details do matter and planning is necessary, it’s important to never lose sight of the real purpose of this amazing day!
Ceremony lighting is really important. If you get married outdoors at 12pm, the lighting will be extremely harsh and not only will there be harsh lines of light on your faces, you will also be squinting. I suggest planning an outdoor ceremony 3 hours before sunset to ensure that you will have plenty of time for all of your portraits afterwards. The lower the sun, the more romantic the lighting. If you are having an indoor ceremony, it is always best to have EVEN lighting at the altar. If there are two spotlights on the bride and groom, I will not be able to expose the rest of the bridal party. It is better to have soft, even light acorss the whole altar.
ORDER OF SERVICE
I have seen so many couples do so many AMAZING things during their ceremony. I’ve photographed couples washing each other’s feet, symbolizing that they want to serve each other for the rest of their life. Some couples share in communion while some light a unity candle. I’ve seen sand ceremonies, rope ceremonies and the signing of the family Bible. The options are limitless!! As you plan your ceremony, make sure you design it to be exactly what the two of you envision it to be. This is your day!! If you have the freedom to be creative, then by all means, be creative!!
Hiring either a full event planner or just a day-of coordinator is SO important!! Brides realize very quickly that if they do not have someone in charge of the coordination of the day, that responsibility will automatically fall on the mother of the bride, the photographer or the BRIDE! When a photographer is in charge of the timeline and the coordinaiton of the day, the images will suffer. It’s so important to make this a priority. If you need any recommendations on wedding coordination services I would love to share some of my favorite vendors with you!
A Traditional Wedding Ceremony Order of Events
This is the part where the wedding party walks down the aisle and takes their places for the ceremony. In a Christian procession, the bride is escorted by her father, while the groom waits for her at the altar. In a Jewish procession, the groom’s parents escort him down the aisle, and then the bride’s parents escort her down the aisle.
The Officiant’s Opening Remarks
You’ve heard it a hundred times: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…” Or some start by saying, “Friends and family…”
The Officiant Addresses the Couple
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.
The Exchange of Vows
Your vows are your promises to each other. You may repeat the familiar “to have and to hold, for better or for worse” vows, or recite ones you’ve written yourselves.
The Ring Exchange
As you exchange rings, you typically say, “With this ring, I thee wed.”
The Pronouncement of Marriage
The officiant makes it official (“I now pronounce you husband and wife”).
And now the moment everyone’s been waiting for: your first kiss as a married couple.
The Closing Remarks
Your officiant wraps things up with a few last words and, for a religious wedding, a blessing.
Basically the reverse of the processional, you exit the ceremony together as newlyweds, followed by the wedding party.