Music for the entrance of the Bride
(These or similar words may be said)
Friends, welcome to St George's . We have been invited here today to share with ______ and ______ a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife. They have come to seek God's blessing ...
LIGHTING OF UNITY CANDLE OR OTHER UNITY CEREMONY (optional)
Some couples are choosing to add a unity ceremony. They, or their parents, light two candles to represent their individual lives and all they bring into their relationship and then later they light a single candle to represent the unity of their marriage.
AN OPENING PRAYER
Typically, it says something about love, relationships, or marriages and recognizing/seeking God's blessing.
DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE (Preface)
Here the Officiant says some words about marriage in general and a Christian understanding of marriage.
You, followed by the congregation, are invited to declare any reasons why you should not be married. Then you agree to take each other as husband and wife and your family and friends agree to support you in your marriage.
A suitable reading or readings which say something about love, relationship and the meaning of marriage. There is usually a short Bible reading but other readings may be included.
Sometimes the Officiant may offer a reflection for this special day.
B. THE MARRIAGE
THE GIVING IN MARRIAGE (optional)
The traditional wording is "Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man" but as it is the 21st century, many couples opt for something such as "Who supports this couple in their marriage?" or "Who supports this woman/man in her/his marriage to this man/woman?" or choose to leave it out altogether.
You each make your marriage vows.
I, N , take you, N , to be my wife/husband,
to have and to hold, from this day forward;
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,
till death us do part; according to God's holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The bride and groom say something like "I (name) give you (name) this ring as a sign of our marriage..."
DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE
The celebrant declares that ____ and ____ are husband and wife and says the marriage blessing.
C. THE REGISTRATION
The registers (X2) are signed and the marriage certificate is signed and presented.
The Officiant (or a friend or family member) leads appropriate prayers for the couple and their life together, usually including the Lord's Prayer, followed by the final blessing.
E. INTRODUCTION OF NEWLYWEDS
The Officiant may say "I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ________" if they are changing their names or "I present to you the newly married couple, Jane and John" if they are not. The guests stand and applaud, as the couple then lead the recessional out of the Church.
Music as the bride and groom leave
MUSIC & HYMNS
There are different points in the service where you may choose to have music (by the organist, on CD or played by a friend) - the entrance of the bride, during the registration, as the bride and groom process out of church or at another suitable point.
If you choose to sing hymns they are usually placed between the different sections of the service (Sections A-E outlined above).
What happens in the service - pdf version
A sample order of service - with 3 hymns and Unity Candle (pdf file)