Ceremony Flow

Not getting married in a religious institution? Is a family member or friend going to facilitate your wedding? Whomever is planning to officiate your wedding, you will need to plan out the ceremony flow, readings, songs, etc.

 If being married by a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, pandit etc., they will be able to assist in the ceremony flow.

 Below is information to help you plan your ceremony.


Step Number 1: Make sure it’s legal!

Check with your state, country, municipality to confirm what is needed to get married.

In the United States, most states require a marriage license, followed by the wedding itself, after which you receive your marriage certificate. In every state the laws may differ, so be sure to double check

 In other countries, there may be certain rules or laws that you need to consider, especially if you are not from there!

PRO TIP: Look up and CONFIRM this information IN ADVANCE, for there not to be any surprises the month or even week of your wedding.


Ceremony Flow Overview

There are many ways to organize your ceremony but there are typically a few key aspects:


  • Entrance into the ceremony location of the officiant, couple, family, flower girls or ring bearers etc.

PRO TIP: You can have the officiant enter first, make a few announcements (everyone take your seats, turn off phones, no photos etc.) and then cue the music for the rest of the processional.

 Opening Words/Welcome

PRO TIP: If it’s the first time your officiant is doing a wedding, have him/her put in the notes to instruct people to sit down. It can and does get awkward if they forget that cue!


  • This can be music, a reading, poem, someone signing, etc. Or the officiant may share a bit about the couple.
  • It can be multiple “interjections”
    • Aunt Clara can read a poem
    • Uncle Harry can sing a song
    • Friend can read a scripture
    • Officiant can talk about the couple
    • Etc.

Expression of Intent

Exchange of Vows

  • Can be traditional, repeated after the officiant
  • Can be your own, repeated after the officiant
  • Can be your own, read by you and your fiancé

 Unity Ceremony

  • You may have seen the lighting of a candle, pouring sand into the same vase/vessel, or combining two items to become one.
  • These symbolic actions can also happen after the exchange of rings.

 Exchange of Rings

  •  Your officiant, someone from your wedding party or a family member can be holding the rings. 

Closing Words


PRO TIP: Ask your officiant to step to the side for this moment, so their head is not behind you two kissing! 

Pronounce the newlyweds

  • Here is where the couple is announced! 
  • At times, this is removed and after the kiss, the couple immediately starts to recess down the aisle. 


  • If you wanted to have guests throw confetti, flower petals, etc. this would be the time!
  • Usually this song is more upbeat and kicks off the reception!


There are numerous ways to make it meaningful to you and your fiancé. Think about your relationship and those who have impacted it to help guide those who may speak, sing, or participate in the ceremony.