Basic Outline of a Wedding Ceremony

Are you trying to figure out the basic outline of a wedding ceremony? No matter how you personalize your wedding, we have organized the key factors that make up a ceremony and a few extra ideas to add some uniqueness to it as well.


Processional is your wedding party lineup and whom you will have to walk out down the aisle to begin the wedding ceremony. Based on your preferences or religious background this will look different for every couple. From your minister beginning the processional to perhaps seating of parents and grandparents being the beginning. You then have to decide who will walk down with whom or if you will even have a bridal party at all! This part is more rehearsed than you think, and is the part that all members usually under estimate so rehearsing this and informing everyone of their spacing and timing and even music changes that may happen are all part of a well rehearsed orchestration.

Opening Remarks-

The first words spoken are your “opening remarks” for the ceremony. Do you have a religious passage to open and start the ceremony or will you have parents present to give this man or women to their significant other? Or will both parents be present for a union of giving their blessing + child away? Or will you forgo this altogether and go a different direction with it?

Exchanging of Vows

As a couple discuss what makes you feel most comfortable for your exchanging of vows together. Will you go more traditional and repeat after your minister/priest/officiant that you “Take each other for richer, for poorer, through sickness and health” and respond with your “I Do’s”? Or will you write your own vows to each other, in your own unique ways?

Ring Exchange

Following your vows or during your vows you will traditionally exchange rings as you say your I do’s. This is the symbolic meaning of dedication and devotion to each other. Rings are the most traditional but some alternatives are another form of jewelry or simply a gift to each other. Some couples include a unity ceremony as well with uniting candles, planting plants with different soil, mixing of wine and sealing it for some examples. Your basic layout of a wedding ceremony may look different than someone else’s, but make sure you stay true to you!

Pronouncement of Marriage-

The words and statements you have been waiting for! By the power invested by your officiant, state + wherever their licensing is from, will pronounce you, “Married!” Depending on your preference of words used or your gender identity, a simple, “I now pronounce you married”, is sweet and simple without gender identifying being any part of the ceremony.

The Kiss-

“You may now Kiss!” and this kiss is your official way of sealing the deal! Pro Tip- talk about this if you are nervous about it, or just enjoy the moment but be sure to hold that kiss for a few extra seconds if you can for your photo + video team!

Closing Remarks-

Any bit of information that you need to relay to your guests, will need to be spoken at this time. From announcing, for immediate family to remain for photos or if you want to let guests know to head to a specified location (on premises or off) to begin the cocktail or Hors D’oeuvres hour.


The conclusion of the ceremony and walking down the aisle now officially as a married couple and now the festivities begin! Starting with the married couple, to a wedding party if you have one and the officiant / minister as the finale to the event. Then with seats dismissed, starting from the front row to back row. Unless immediate family is needed to stay behind, make sure the 2nd or 3rd row then begins to file out.

Other Items You Might Include-

  • Unity Ceremony- Some couples include a unity ceremony as well with uniting candles, planting plants with different soil, mixing of wine and sealing it for some examples.
  • Readings/ Speakers- Will you have a religious passage, a poem spoken or a song that will be played or sung musically? Decide if you want this and if there is someone special, a friend family member you want to be involved in this moment with.
  • Traditional Elements based on Cultural or Religious backgrounds- will you have a hand-tying ceremony, a full service, both wear crowns of unity, have a smudging or fire ceremony? Enhance and specialize your ceremony by fusing any sentimental, heritage or cultural traditions to share with your family and guests and honor your traditions. These will play a huge factor in any basic outline of a wedding ceremony for you.
  • Receiving Line- Decide ahead of time if you want one! Do you want to greet or thank all of your guests immediately following your ceremony? Do you have enough time to do this? Est 30-60 sec per guest for a thank you, hug and sometimes small talk. You need to communicate if you want this before your wedding week and ensure to allocate time for this.
  • Another Pro Tip- Don’t forget about pictures that are to follow! Allow for enough time and communicate to family who is to stay present. Be conscious of time, many churches have a very select time frame for you so you need to be conscious of that.

Now that you have read all the basic outline of a wedding ceremony, take some time with your significant other and decide together what you would like to do for your wedding ceremony. You can also check out articles like this from to find more information! Additionally, have a further conversation with your officiant, minister, priest or pastor and together plan a lovely ceremony that is meant just for you!

If you ever want to learn more about The Lux Bride, click here! Or ask us a question in the comments below!

March 10, 2021

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