Although many couples today are opting for more casual wedding ceremonies, old-fashioned and traditional church weddings are still a favorite among brides and grooms. There is something wonderfully special about gathering together to celebrate your love and your faith with your family and friends.
One way to make that special day even more special for your guests is to create an Order of Service (also known as a Wedding Program).
Depending on your religion, your ceremony is likely to include different elements. For example, most Christian weddings include Biblical readings, prayers, blessings, etc. In some churches, you might even be allowed to light a unity candle. Some religious wedding ceremonies also include the Eucharist, or celebration of the Mass.
To make sure you understand what elements will be included in your ceremony, talk to your church official and your minister/priest in advance. They should outline the ceremony for you so that you can put together a time line of ceremony events. This would also be a good time to ask about elements you can add, such as soloists or poetry readings.
Reasons to Use an Order of Service
Once you have the list of ceremony events, you can put together the Order of Service. Of course, this is completely optional, but there are some great reasons to spend the money and time creating a wedding program for your guests.
For one, the order of service is a great keepsake for your guests. It provides them with a concrete reminder of your wedding. It can also be a helpful keepsake for you which can serve as a guide when you look back at your wedding videos and photographs.
Second, the order of service can be very helpful for guests, especially guests who may be unfamiliar with the specific elements of your religious ceremony or of the extra elements you have chosen to include. Just like the program for a play or school production, the Order of Service gives guests an idea of what to expect and also tells them who is involved in each portion of the ceremony.
Ideas on What to Include in Your Order of Service
There are many basic pieces of information your Order of Service should include. For example, the names of the bride and groom, date and location of the wedding, and names of the all the attendants and ceremony participants should all be included. Generally, you would also include references to the Biblical passages, prayers, or songs that are included in the ceremony. You should also list the musical pieces that are to be played during each portion of the ceremony, such as when the bride walks down the aisle.
If you want to make a more detailed Order of Service, you could even include the lyrics and words for the songs and prayers so guests can follow along. Additionally, you can include a note of thanks to your guests for attending at the end of the wedding program.
Just remember to order your programs around the same time you order the rest of your wedding stationery so it will be ready to distribute on your special day.