What goes in an order of service for a wedding? It’s probably one of the common questions I have from my couples when they are planning their church wedding. And, as with most other questions to do with weddings, there is no definitive answer. I’ve put together this blog to highlight some of the information that most commonly goes in an order or service. The exact details to include and the order it all goes in can vary quite a lot from church to church, it’s always best to check with whomever is conducting your marriage service as they may have a standard template for you to follow. But as a general guideline and starting point, here is what goes in an order of service for a wedding.
Couple’s names, wedding date, ceremony time & church
Start your wedding order of service with the basic details. This information is usually printed either on the front cover or the very first page of the order of service.
Music for the entrance of the bride
If music will be played as the Bride enters the church it’s a good idea to note it in the order of service for a wedding. Include what the piece is called and who it will be played by (organist, string quartet etc). Entrance music is sometimes also called ‘Entrance of the Bride’ or the ‘Processional’.
The hymns that you and your guests will sing
So that your guests can sing along at the appropriate times, have the words for any hymns printed in your order of service. Don’t forget to ensure that copyright permission is obtained for any lyrics that are reproduced.
Include readings in your wedding order of service
If you are having readings then it’s nice to include the title of the reading and the name of whomever is reading it. I usually advise against having the full text of any readings printed as it will tempt your guests to look down into their booklet to follow along rather than taking in the ceremony happening around them.
Details of any music/musicians played during the signing of the registers
As with the entrance of the Bride, if you are having a musical interlude while you sign the register you can include the name of the piece or pieces and the musician or soloist.
Include prayers in your wedding order of service
Prayers will often be lead by whomever is conducting your service and it’s not usually required to have the words in full in the order os service. However, if responses are expected from the congregation then it can be a good idea to include these.
As the newlyweds exit the church after the service, again more often than not music will be played. Include the title of the piece and credit the musician(s)
And at the end of your order of service
Details of the Bridal Party
If you have room at the end of your order of service it is becoming increasingly popular to include the names of the bridal party in particular the brides and grooms attendants.
A thank you note
And finally, again space permitting, many couples choose to add a personal thank you message to their order of service.
And that’s it, that’s my very quick and simply template for what to include in your order of service. As I mentioned at the beginning, use this just as a guide and as a starting point to start collecting together the information. Always check with your minister or church first as they often have a standard template for you to follow. They may also need you to include details that I haven’t mentioned here. Of course, if you have any questions when you are working out what to include in your order of service you can always get in touch and I will do my very best to help.