If you are like most people, you have been to more than one wedding, whether for a family member or special friend. More than likely, you sat through the songs, the readings, the prayers, and so on, believing that you understand exactly how a wedding works that is until it is time for your own wedding. At that time, everything changes. Now, it is time for the real thing and suddenly, you are filled with questions. Do not feel bad, as this is typical and to be expected.
As you will see from the information provied below, there is an actual structure to most weddings. By learning this structure, when you get ready for your own wedding, you will feel much more confident.
Introduction At this time, the minister speaks to the congregation, announcing the purpose for them gathering on this special day. He will mention the name of the bride and groom, provide a welcome to all the guests, and encourage them to participate in the joining of two people in marriage by presence and/or prayer.
Body This is the main part of the wedding ceremony where the minister will talk about the value and meaning of marriage. He will point out the significance of a woman joining with a man in the union and may share something special about both the bride and groom. During this time, there may be a reading or special prayer offered, if decided by the bride and groom.
You may also hear the body called the Interrogation and Presentation. With the Interrogation, the minister will ask the couple if they have chosen to marry each other of free will. Additionally, the minister turns to the guests, asking if anyone objects to the union. For the Presentation, the bride is presented by the father or other family member. Now keep in mind that the Interrogation and Presentation can be in any order.
Vow Introduction The minister will not talk directly to the couple, explaining the importance and significance of exchanging vows.
Vows Now, the bride and groom will repeat after the minister, offering traditional vows that may also include personally written terms of endearment. To respond to the vows spoken, both bride and groom will respond with either I Do or I Will, as instructed by the minister.
Ring Exchange Following the minister, the bride and groom will repeat words declaring their commitment and love to one another, as signified by the exchanging of the rings.
Closing Finally, the vows are complete and the couple has been announced husband and wife. For the closing, the minister will have the newly married couple face the congregation, and introduce them as Mr. and Mrs. (name).
Once the wedding ceremony is complete, the bride and groom will usually make their way to the foyer where they will wait for the receiving line to come through so guests can offer their individual congratulations.