How to Perform a Wedding

The wedding should be one of the most significant services in a person’s life. For believers, the wedding is a time to commit the family to God. As a pastor, you must do all you can to make the wedding service beautiful and meaningful for the couple and their friends and families. Here are a few principles.

Pave the way by preaching on God’s ideal for marriage. Nowhere else in society will your children and youth encounter the biblical standard for dating, marriage, and the Christian home. Preach the truth consistently and help prepare your people for marriage.
Set up a time for counseling before the wedding. Consider such matters as the commitment and responsibility of marriage, finances, planning for children, and the important relationship of the home and church.
Discuss choices of music with the couple. The wedding is a Christian service, and music should be appropriate.
Carefully plan the wedding ceremony and carry it out with joy and dignity.
As pastor, take the lead in this celebration of God’s establishment of the home.
On the day of the wedding, the wedding party should arrive at least one hour before the ceremony is to begin. Pictures will be made, clothing changed, and many last-minute details cared for. The organist or pianist should begin playing 15 minutes before the ceremony begins.
The parents of the groom will be seated by an usher about two minutes prior to the wedding time. They are seated in the first pew at the right facing the pulpit.
The mother of the bride will be seated about one minute prior to the wedding time. She will be seated in the first pew at the left.

If candle lighters are used, they may now light the candles.
A song may he sung prior to the processional.

The wedding party may now enter to appropriate music. The following order is traditional.
The minister enters from the right side when facing the pulpit.
The groom and the groomsmen follow the minister.
Bridesmaids enter the aisle singly. Each bridesmaid should wait until the other bridesmaid is halfway down the aisle before beginning.
The maid of honor will enter, followed by the flower girl and ring bearer (if any).
The bride and her father (or whoever gives her away) will enter, he walking on her right. When they approach the altar, the father will stand between the bride and groom for a brief time. When the minister asks, “Who gives this woman to be the wife of this man?” the father will answer, “Her mother and I,” before taking his seat beside the mother of the bride.

The ceremony should include the following:
Opening comments and prayer about marriage.
Promises the couple make to each other. These are usually stated by the minister and answered with “I do.”
A statement by the minister about the significance of the rings and a ring vow.
A pronouncement by the minister that the couple is now husband and wife.
A prayer for the couple and their marriage.