The beginning of a marital bond is the most precious moment after birth. A new journey in our life is set through marriage. As you prepare yourself for the big day, having an idea on the order of the events at the wedding and after-party can help prepare you for a hassle-free marriage and reception ceremony.

Everyday over 100,000 couples start their new life journey together? A wedding is one of the ceremonies that is common in almost every society and culture. Though the order and outline of the events in a wedding vary, there is generally a common order of the events that people use as a guide.

Below are the general order of events for a marriage and reception at a traditional western wedding ceremony.

Order of events for the marriage ceremony mainly include:

* Prelude

* Processional

* Reading

* Exchanging Vows and Rings

* Announce of Marriage

* The Recessional

Order of Events for the Marriage Ceremony


This is the beginning of the event that everyone dreams of.

Ushers will help the guests to take a seats, then the groom and officiate will enter the ceremony hall and walk down to the altar. After that, the grandparents and the parents of bride and groom will enter the hall. Ushers are there to guide them to their seats.


This starts with Bridesmaids and Groomsmen walking down the aisle. After all the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the maid of honor and the best man make their entry, the ring bearer conveys the ring towards the altar, followed by the flower girls.

When everyone takes their place, the officiant starts the ceremony with opening remarks. The officiant greets every party in the function conveying the feelings he has for the Bride and Groom.


Special persons, close friends or relatives of bride and groom, will come on the stage. They will exchange some lines of their favorite romance novel, thoughts on religion and also can give a compliment speech for the would-be-couple.

Before the Vow

By addressing the couple, the officiant will describe the significance and responsibilities of the vow they are going to take shortly.

Exchange of Vows

This is the best and the perfect moment for bride and groom to express their feelings for each other. This brings a different touch to the ceremony.

The couple gets to write their vows describing their love for each other, they can make special promises to show their love or the officiant can guide them with the traditional phrases.

Ring Exchange

After exchanging vows comes the ring exchange part where the officiant urges the ring bearer to put forward the ring.

While placing the ring in your partner’s left ring finger typically you will say, “With this ring, I thee wed…” or any suitable speech.

Pronouncement of Marriage

Once the ring is placed on each partner’s hand the officiant will say the most desired phrase, “I now pronounce you as husband and wife”.

The Kiss

Ahh… The sweetest of all events! I kid you not, in my marriage ceremony I was excited only about this part and made the moment memorable with almost 5-minute long kiss.

Jokes apart, when the pronouncement is done the most anticipated moment arrives the officiant says, “You may kiss the bride”. The couple is now officially husband and wife.

Unity Ceremony

In addition to the kiss some couples choose to have a unity ceremony, this ceremony symbolizes their love on the wedding day.

Closing Remarks

The officiant will now end the ceremony with closing remarks with a speech. Traditionally, this speech is based on blessings for the newly married couple.

The Recessional

It’s the closing part of the marriage ceremony. First, the couple will make their exit. Then the ring bearer and flower girl followed by the maid of honor and the best man. Shortly after that, all the bridesmaids and groomsmen will depart. Couples parents and grandparents will exit the ceremony center altogether. The guests are the last to leave the function and will join the reception.

Order of the Events for the Reception

Thus, your wedding just finished without any hitch; it’s time to celebrate with your friends, family, and relatives.

Though there is no hard and fast wedding ceremony outline and you can always get creative t make the event memorable. With that said, here’s a general order of the events for the reception ceremony.


At the beginning of the reception, the newly-wedded couple should be introduced, as husband and wife for the first time, to the guests and two parties can exchange greetings.


Since the ceremony started, a long time has gone by. The guests are quite hungry at this moment. This is the right time to serve the dinner at the dinner table.


The Best Man and Maid of Honor starts this section with a speech and eventually the couple, their parents, and who are interested will make their toasts.

First dance

At first, it is going to be only the couple on the dance floor. The audience won’t start dancing until you do. When the song starts, it is the responsibility of bridesmaids and groomsmen to give life to the dance party. Then it is going to be very easy to get everyone on the floor.

Bouquets and Garter Tosses

Some people tend to skip the garter tossing parts, it feels kind of creepy but keeps the bouquets toss event in their list. You can do both if it seems okay with you.


Right before the moment of leaving and everyone needs to boost them up. It is the perfect moment for cake-cutting.

Final Departure

And, last but not least, the moment of the ultimate farewell. The guests will be there to see you off, capture great memories while you are leaving the ceremony. You are the heart of the function, feel the spark.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is in charge of the wedding reception timeline?

It is the couple, who should create the proper planning for the reception timeline as their preference. In this article I have discussed the wedding order of the event, both marriage and reception ceremony, so that you can have ideas on basic outline. Besides, guardians and friends are always there to help.

Do the bride and groom have to personally greet each guest?

In normal terms, the couple does not need to greet every single guest personally. They can have a chit chat with their friends at the reception. But interested guests can have a dialogue with the bride and the groom at the reception.

How Should the Bridal Party Stand?

The bridal party is chosen by the bride and groom. Generally, the maid of honor, the best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers are included in the bridal party stand. The maid of honor and the best man beside the couple and others should stand beside them as their importance.

That’s it, guys. Here you’ve got a general idea on wedding order of the events and how to arrange them in a punchy manner. But, be sure to be creative and there is always room for making your wedding memorable one!

Your thoughts? Comment them down below and let us know.

And wish you happy planning days ahead. Stay awesome.