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Friday, May 24, 2013

Wedding Ceremony


In all the excitement of planning your wedding; finding a dress, finding a location, and so on, sometimes the details of the ceremony itself gets lost in the shuffle or forgotten totally until the last minute.  When this happens decisions are often made on the spot by the officiant, parents, friends or others.  This blog will be things you need to consider beforehand, to ensure your ceremony reflects what you really want and goes off without any problems. 

Wedding Planners are experienced in coordinating and directing the ceremony. As wedding planners, we are able to take your ideas and wishes and pull it all together to bring your vision for your dream wedding. We take a lot of the stress of the wedding day off of the couple and their family members.  As wedding directors, we will take care of all the details of the correct sequence of events etc. during the rehearsal and the day of the wedding. 

Processional


Decide ahead of time the order in which the wedding party will proceed down the aisle, as well as who will be escorted, and by whom.  The order and escort choices for the processional are many.  Discuss with your wedding planner your choices before hand.  For example, while it has been tradition for the father of the bride to escort her down the aisle, it is perfectly acceptable to have both parents escort the bride.  If the bride and/or groom have children, their children sometimes escort them down the aisle.  It is also acceptable for the bride to walk down the aisle unaccompanied.  If the father of the bride is deceased, her mother, brother, uncle or special friend may escort the bride.

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bride walking down the aisle with her mom
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Before the procession begins, the officiant takes his or her place, with the groom to the left, and the best man to the groom's left. The ushers may stand at the front, or they may start the procession as shown here. The bridesmaids follow, with the maid or matron of honor next. The ushers and bridesmaids may enter together, in pairs, with the best man and the honor attendant. The ring bearer and flower girl are last before the bride, who is escorted by her father, on his left or right depending on where he would like to stand at the front.
You also do not want the parents and grandparents to get lost in the shuffle.  They are all escorted and seated prior to the attendants and bride walking down the aisle.  The order for them to be seated; the groom's grandparents, bride's grandparents, groom's mother and/or father, bride's mother and/or father.  You may want to choose family members who are groomsmen to escort them.  We have also done weddings where the groom escorted his mother to her seat. Ushers/Groomsmen should escort all guests to their seat on their right arm. The mothers usually sit on the first row with the grandparents directly behind them. All of this needs to be decided prior to the rehearsal and wedding. The mother of the bride is the last person to be escorted to their seat.  This signals that the ceremony is about to begin. No guests should be escorted after the mother has been seated.  Late comers should quietly take their seat at the rear of the venue. As  wedding directors, it is our job to handle any late comers. 
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Ken Seating Bride's Grandparents
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Seating at a Christian Ceremony
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Row 1. Bride's Parents
Row 2. Groom's Parents
Row 3. Bride's Grandparents and Siblings
Row 4. Groom's Grandparents and Siblings
Row 5. Bride's Special Guests
Row 6. Groom's Special Guests


Make sure your ceremony starts on time.  While you may want to wait for latecomers, a delay will throw off everything else and be disrespectful to people who arrived on time.  Some guests will always be late so do not base your timing on them.  This will be a part of the job of the wedding director.  We always have a timeline for every wedding we direct  to assure that everything runs smoothly and on time on the day of the wedding. 
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The processional can begin several different ways.  It is the bride's preference. The mother's may be seated at the ceremony time, the attendants may begin at that time or the bride may enter at the wedding ceremony time. This should definitely be decided before the day of the wedding.

Order of the processional,  the officiant, groom and bestman will enter and take their place at the front of the site prior to the attendants walking down the aisle. 
Groom waiting
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There are several different ways that the processional of the attendants may take place.   The  groomsmen may enter one at time from the rear. They proceed down the aisle and take their place beside the groom. 
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Followed by the bridesmaid and maid/matron of honor who stand on the bride's side. 
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Or they may proceed down the aisle in couples and either stand to gather in pairs or men on grooms' side and ladies on bride's side. 
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You may also alternate the groomsmen and bridal attendants taking their place.

Pause for a moment, then the ring bearer enters after the maid/matron of honor.
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The flower girl enters right before the bride.  
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The groomsmen should stand with their hands same way...front looks best or hold hands behind them. The bride, bridesmaids and maid of honor should carry their flowers at waist height.

You and the wedding planner may decide how you would like the wedding party to enter and stand according to your own preferences and what looks the best for the ceremony location.  As wedding coordinators, It's Your Party has directed weddings with different styles for the processional. All turned out beautiful.
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If the location has 2 aisles, the wedding party proceed down left side aisle and leave up the right aisle.  You could also have the groomsmen enter on the right side and the bridesmaids enter of the left side.  The ring bearer, flower girl and the bride would  enter on the left side and she and the groom would exit up the right side.  After the flower girl goes down the aisle when possible, we close the doors before the bride enters. 

The music for the bride begins to play and we open the doors with the bride and her father standing. Her father then escorts the bride down the aisle on his left arm to her future life! This is one of our favorite moments of the ceremony.
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 Guests may stand or remain seated during the bride's entrance.  Either way is appropriate. Proper etiquette is for the guests to go by the mother of the bride's lead.  If she stands, the guests also stand. If she remains seated, the guests should also.

Recessional

For the recessional, the wedding party always exits in the reverse order which they entered.  The bride and groom lead, followed by the flower girl and ring bearer, honor attendants, bridesmaids and groomsmen walking in pairs.  The parents and grandparents are also escorted out in the opposite order in which they entered. Then the other guests are then released by the officiant.  At larger weddings, it is appropriate for groomsmen to stand and release the guests by rows beginning with the rows at the front of the venue.
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If you have children from a previous relationship, or have other young family members, you might consider making them a part of the ceremony.  There are many meaningful ways for a child to be included.  But since they can be unpredictable, you will want to make sure they are playing an appropriate part for their age.

Older Children
Junior Bridesmaids/Groomsmen will wear similar to the other members of the bridal party and fulfill many of the same roles as they do. 
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Younger Children
Flower Girl and Ring bearer
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For a child whose parent is getting married, be sure to include them in the ceremony.  This may mean asking the officiant to mention their names, participating in a unity ceremony or ring ceremony, or including them in the wedding party. Having a part to play in the wedding ceremony can often make a child feel less anxious about the marriage.
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This blog has only highlighted a part of your wedding ceremony. 
The next blog will deal with the vows, unity ceremonies, wedding music and more!

I hope you have found some useful information that may help you in planning your wedding ceremony. Please share any comments or questions that may help others in planning their ceremony.




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