Wedding couple walking up aisle

What Happens During the Wedding Ceremony?

The wedding ceremony is an important event that marks the start of the wedding day. However, if you’ve never attended a wedding before, or you’re not familiar with the process, it can be daunting to think about what happens during the ceremony. But don’t worry, in this blog post, I’ll take you through some general things that usually happen during the wedding ceremony, whether it is church, civil or celebrant led.

Church Ceremonies

If your wedding ceremony is taking place in a church, you will likely be given the opportunity to rehearse the day before. During the rehearsal, the priest or minister will explain to the wedding party what is expected of them. The wedding coordinator will also be on hand to explain the details of the ceremony.

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On your wedding day, guests will be asked to take their seats by the ushers as they arrive. The family and friends of each bride and groom are usually seated on opposite sides. The organist or musician in charge of playing the music should be seated in sight of the wedding coordinator. Once all the guests are seated, the music begins and the bridal party are led down the aisle to the altar. The priest or minister will then lead the wedding ceremony, which usually lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Once the ceremony has ended the newlyweds will walk back up the aisle and your guests will follow out row by row starting from the front. This is often then lead into the confetti toss before the drinks reception begins.

Civil Ceremonies

If you’re having a civil ceremony, there won’t be a rehearsal beforehand. The registrars who are responsible for conducting the ceremony will arrive about 30 minutes before to meet with the bride and groom and go through the details of the ceremony. I recommend the groom is seen first so following the meeting, they can signal to the ushers to begin seating guests. The registrars will then take their place at the front of the room, ready to begin the ceremony.

Once all guests are seated, the wedding coordinator will bring the bridal party to the entrance and will signal the start to the Registrar and person responsible for the music. Prompted by the wedding coordinator, the bridal party will then make their way down the aisle and take a seat as required. The registrar will guide the couple through the ceremony, which usually lasts around 30 minutes.

Celebrant Led Ceremonies

For those who opt for a celebrant led ceremony, there will be no rehearsal beforehand. However, the couple will meet with the celebrant beforehand to confirm the details of the ceremony. On the day of the wedding, the celebrant will arrive early to meet with the couple and go over the details once more.

The guests are seated as they arrive and guided by the ushers. Similarly to civil and church ceremonies, the bridal party make their way down the aisle to music and the celebrant will guide the couple through the ceremony. The main difference is that the wedding ceremony is tailored to their specific preferences.


As you can see, there are some differences between the different types of wedding ceremonies, but the general outline remains the same. While the wedding ceremony can sometimes feel overwhelming, it is an important part of the day which your wedding coordinator can help guide you through. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the day and make sure that it reflects you and your partner’s values and personality.

If you need someone to help coordinate your bridal party walking down the aisle, get in touch today. A wedding coordinator can be a valuable asset at this time as they will help direct the registrars, the ushers, the person(s) playing the music and the bridal party to ensure everything runs smoothly. Having that extra pair of hands can be helpful for opening the doors. Signaling the start of the ceremony and ensuring the day begins without a ‘hitch’ – excuse the pun!

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