A Detailed Look into the Unity Candle...
Think about performing a unity candle ceremony at your wedding? Then you'd better get a clear understanding of it first. Here you will get all you need to know.
A promise of eternal love and companionship, weddings are meaningful occasions that are meant to be shared to the world. But while you have all the right to take on the center stage, it is also vital to clear your wedding ceremony order of events. Since wedding ceremonies vary, we took the liberty of guiding you on your way to creating your own order of service.
For religious wedding ceremonies, inspirational messages or musical arrangements can be incorporated, but in general, the sequence is as follows:
A recorded or a live musical arrangement is played before the ceremony commences. This can take about 15 minutes.
One of the most awaited events in wedding ceremonies—the moment when the entourage and the bride walk down the aisle while a sweet, mellow song is played on the background.
III. First Part of the Actual Ceremony
a. Greetings and Introductions by the Minister
The minister welcomes everyone in the ceremony and reminds them the purpose of marriage. In many religious weddings, the minister reads a short verse about the sanctity of marriage.
b. The Groom’s Presentation
The minister presents the groom and provides teachings about the husband’s significant role in a marriage.
c. The Bride’s Presentation
The minister presents the bride and provides teachings about the wife’s significant role in a marriage.
d. Prayer Led by the Minister
The minister reminds the bride and the groom the holiness of marriage as he invites the Holy Spirit to bless the marriage.
IV. Exchanges Made by Bride and Groom
a. Exchanges of Vows
The bride and groom exchange their most heart-felt vows.
b. Exchange of Rings
Optional for brides and grooms, this is the part when the couple exchanges rings as a symbol of their eternal love.
V. Marriage Pronouncement
The minister announces that the bride and groom are already one in the eyes of Christ.
a. Unity Candle
b. The Groom and the Bride at the Lord’s Supper
c. Gift Presentation to the Mothers of the Groom and Bride
VII. Message from the Bible
The minister reads and preaches a bible verse chosen by the bride and groom.
The minister invites the guests to take a part in the joyous event prepared by the bride and groom.
IX. Closing Prayer
The minister prays for the bride and groom and blesses their marriage.
X. Introduction of the Newly-Weds
The minister presents the newly-weds and permits the husband to kiss his wife.
The newly-weds exit the gathering to prepare for the reception.
Non-religious weddings, on the other hand, are a bit more flexible as officiants can basically craft the ceremony from scratch. Nonetheless, below is the most common ceremony order of events. You may notice that some phases bear resemblance to the former type of wedding, but there are also major differences.
I. Prelude: Welcoming of the Guests
III. Gathering Words
The officiant welcomes the bride and groom and greets the guests. This is also the part when other optional ceremonies like family rituals, remembrances and thanksgiving can be included.
IV. Marriage Address
Unlike religious weddings, the officiant doesn’t read and preach a bible verse in this part. Instead, the officiant provides a narrative to describe the couple’s love story. During this part, the officiant can also present the message of the bride to the groom and vice versa.
V. Intent Declaration
This is the part when you can witness the bride and groom exchange their ‘I dos’.
VI. Wine Ceremony
The exchange of gifts and wine ceremonies can be incorporated in this phase.
VII. Exchange of Vows
VIII. Exchange of Rings
IX. Unity Ritual
The couple may sign a marriage contract or incorporate a ritual that symbolizes their unity.
X. Closing Remarks
XI. Marriage Declaration
XII. Post-Declaration Ritual
Arranging an interfaith wedding ceremony? You don’t need to sweat because our list got you covered.
I. Opening Remarks and Blessing
II. Remembering Dearly Departed Loved Ones
III. Acknowledgement of the Traditions of the Bride and Groom
IV. Opening Blessing by the Priest
V. Marriage Blessing from the Rabbi
VI. Remarks from the Rabbi
VII. Wine Ceremony (Rabbi’s Blessings)
VIII. Remarks Made by the Priest
IX. Exchange of Rings
X. Lighting of the Unity Candle
XII. Benediction (Blessings from the Rabbi and Priest)
XIII. Glass-Breaking Ceremony
This serves as the final stage of the wedding ceremony. A glass is broken to remind the bride and groom the fragility of wedding and to wish them a marriage that is as difficult to break as putting back the broken pieces of glass together.
The sequence of events in a civil wedding can also vary depending on the bride and groom-to-be’s preferences and the registrar’s flexibility. But to give you an idea on how the ceremony goes, below is a template you can use as a guideline.
About 20 minutes before the wedding, the bride and groom make their final arrangements. They can either pay for wedding costs or provide final instructions.
II. Bridal Entrance
III. Registrar’s Introduction and Welcoming of the Guests
IV. Readings for the Bride and Groom
V. Civil Marriage Declaration
VI. Exchange of Rings and Vows
VIII. Signing of Couples
IX. Exit of the Newly Weds
Each wedding may be unique in content in order, but remember, at the end of the day, it’s always the promise of love that matters.