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Ceremony Order of Service

14th May 2014

Today we have a guest blog post from Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant, Natalie Banner – From This Moment Ceremonies, who has done us the very kind favour of explaining exactly what a typical wedding ceremony involves. With a lot of flexibility in her own ceremonies, today Natalie gives us the basics as a starting point for what to expect when you embark on planning your own once-in-a-lifetime moment. 

When I look to meet a couple for the very first time, and begin the journey of planning their personalised wedding ceremony, the first question most couples tend to ask about, leads into the general order of a ceremony. What does a general order of a ceremony usual entail? Because most couples are new at the wedding game, and how to plan a wonderful day, they are left perplexed with the layout of the ceremony. What are the rules; where are readings to be placed; when is the kiss; and how do we perform the ring ceremony? 
All of the answers can usually be found in this General Order of Ceremony. 


1 Processional (or Bridal march)

The Bridesmaids enter, followed by the Bride

2 Welcoming

The celebrant welcomes family and friends, and introduces herself.
(1/2 Monitum/legal requirement)

3 Giving away

Giving away of the Bride and the Groom can be done in many ways.
Giving away of the Bride by her father/brother/mum/sister/or other family member.
Giving away of the Bride and groom by their parents.
Giving away of the bride by her own parents.
Giving yourselves to one another / Guests giving you away

4 Introduction

The celebrant speaks about the couple’s commitment to each other and what marriage means to
the couple and anything else about them.

5 Readings/Poems/Speeches/Affirmations/Funny Stories (optional)

This is your area of the ceremony where being creative counts. Consider having a 1 or 2 close
friends or family members perform a reading or story.

6 Monitum/legal

The legal wording from the Marriage Act, appropriated by the Celebrant. (required by law)

7 Declaration of intention to Marry (also required by law)

This is often called the Declaration of Marriage which is a public declaration to everyone.

8 The Asking “I do”

9 Vows

There is a legal mandatory vow you must state first, followed by your personal vows

10 Ring Ceremony

Most couples give rings to each other however, some couples might give gifts or some other
form of ceremonial symbol depending on their race/religion/cultural beliefs).
11 Inclusion of any ritual/ symbolism / or another reading/poem

12 Conclusion

A short Conclusion is said by the Celebrant and acknowledgement of the other parties.

13 The Declaration

The celebrant announces the couple Man and Wife.

14 Kiss

This can be directly after the ring ceremony or the declaration.

15 Signing of the register

Alternatively, this can be placed at the end of the ceremony if there is no music or perhaps an elopement style ceremony.) The couple and two witnesses sign the marriage Register, Certificate of marriage and the marriage Certificate, followed by conclusion of the ceremony.

16 Congratulations & presentation to family and friends

The Celebrant congratulates the couple and introduces them in an agreed way. For example
“introducing Mr & Mrs”

17 The Recessional

The couple leave the ceremony area, followed by the bridal party, generally to some music.
Closing speech – example: drinks are now being served in the garden followed by family
I hope the above layout will help many up and coming brides to have a greater understanding and control over their own ceremony, allowing more creative, unique and modern concepts to be incorporated. And don’t forget
to have some fun with it all…
Keep smiling and enjoy the wedding planning buzz!
To find out more about what to expect for your own wedding ceremony, why not get in contact with Natalie and arrange a consultation? Her wonderful personality and wealth of knowledge would be a great asset to any bride and groom planning their Sunshine Coast wedding.