Weddings 101: The Ceremony

Exchange of Vows - Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony is defined as the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed.  As such, it’s the most important part of the wedding day.  In fact, this portion of the event is the only component that matters legally.  The single requirement for a marriage ceremony is the “exchange of vows” which needs to meet religious or governmental requirements.  For example, the ceremony needs to be conducted by a clergyman, or officiant (someone who can be considered a formal witness to the exchange of vows).  This person also needs to be qualified, by law, to sign the marriage license.

Typical components of a ceremony are the prelude, processional, exchange of vows, and recessional.  The prelude is the time frame before the exchange of vows begins (typically 30 minutes beforehand).  Guests begin to arrive, ushers assist them to their seats, and soft background music is played.

Processional Infographic - Wedding Ceremony

Following the prelude is the processional.  The processional kicks off the exchange of vows.  During this time, the wedding party slowly walks down the aisle to the wedding alter.  A traditional processional line up is as follows:

  • Ushers
  • Junior Ushers
  • Junior Bridesmaids
  • Bridesmaids
  • Matron of Honor
  • Maid of Honor
  • Ring Bearer
  • Flower Girl
  • Bride & Her Father
  • Train Bearers
  • Pages

This procession line up can be modified as you wish.  Many couples are having the groomsmen escort the bridesmaids during the processional, or the groomsmen stand at the alter beside the groom.  Another processional trend is the bride having both parents walk her down the aisle.

The recessional is the conclusion of the wedding ceremony.  After the officiant announces the newlyweds, the bride and groom lead the exit followed by the processional line up (but in the reverse order).  As a sweet gesture, it is courteous for the bride to give each mother a flower from her bouquet and for the groom to kiss each mother on the cheek.  The groom should also shake hands with each father.

Now that the ceremony has ended, the cocktail hour typically commences for the guests and formal photos are taken of the family and wedding party. Simple as that!

Depending on the type of ceremony and religious backgrounds of the couple, the above components can have many modifications.  The ceremony could last much longer, be much shorter, include more people, include only two people–the options are endless.  Most importantly, the ceremony should be the most memorable part of your occasion.  Feel free to customize it as you please and really make it yours!

 

Photo Credit: blesseddayweddings.com, withanido.com

Real Wedding Rehash: A Night at The Boathouse

Richmond Real Wedding

Have you ever wondered what really goes into the planning process and wanted to hear an account from someone who has been through it before? Well now you can! We’re back with our 2nd Real Wedding Rehash from my clients, Keon and LaKeyia Piper, who got married this past September. Let’s see what the Pipers had to say about their wedding planning experience. Continue reading

How to Create Your Wedding Binder

One of the very first steps you should take in the wedding planning process is putting together a binder that will house all of your inspiration, brochures, plans, and receipts.  In just a few simple steps, you can be completely organized and set up for wedding planning success!

Wedding Binder_weddingbycolor.com Continue reading

Engagement Party 101

Engagement Party Photo

Getting engaged is a cause for celebration, a time for two families to celebrate becoming one. To do so, many families are throwing engagement parties shortly after the groom pops the question. Contrary to popular belief, an engagement party is not actually a traditional event. As such, it is not considered a requirement — but why pass up a chance to celebrate and have fun with your family and friends? Continue reading

Real Wedding Rehash: A Romantic Affair in Virginia’s Capital

Photo by Seth Roberts Photography

Photo by Seth Roberts Photography

Have you ever wondered what really goes into the planning process and wanted to hear an account from someone whose been through it before?  Well now you can!  Today we have a Real Wedding Rehash from a good friend of mine, Catherine Soucie, who got married this past May.   Let’s see what Catherine had to say about her experience planning a wedding. Continue reading

Hidden Gems UnVEILED #2: Tin Cans

I find that there’s nothing better than an impactful decor element that’s created from an everyday product — especially when said everyday product is extremely affordable and/or reusable.  The next featured item in this series is the always reliable tin can.  Tin cans can be purchased in grocery stores, craft stores, hardware stores, or even rented from a multitude of event rental companies.  Better yet, your tin cans can simply be old soup or vegetable cans that were used for this week’s meals.  Tin cans are an essential base for a multitude of decor items — chandeliers, mobiles, centerpieces, decorative votives, lanterns, you name it! Continue reading

Hidden Gems UnVEILED #1: Ribbon

I find that there’s nothing better than an impactful decor element that’s created from an everyday product — especially when said everyday product is extremely affordable.  To start off this series, I will highlight one of my favorite hidden decor gems…ribbon.  Yes, ordinary ribbon that can be purchased in grocery stores and craft stores the like.  Ribbon is a trim that is associated with a multitude of mood descriptors. Continue reading

Why, and How, I Do What I Do

waringis.com-wedding couple
Photo from waringis.com.

Creating an event is like creating a piece of art.

Each one is unique. Each one has its own personality and vibe. They can be rigid and structured, or dynamic and ever evolving.

I was first attracted to event planning because I can incorporate all of my artistic hobbies into one single moment in time. They aren’t just tables and chairs and “I do’s” and gift giving. Events combine fashion, interior design, cosmetology, photography, music, the culinary arts—the possibilities for self-expression are endless. Continue reading