Whether you are having a Church wedding or a Civil Ceremony you will want to let your guests know what to expect from the day. Remember, even if you are having a very traditional wedding, chances are that someone will not be familiar with the ceremony.



For a Church Wedding you will need to arrange an Order of Service.

This will include:

Entrance of the Bride

(title and composer of music)

Welcome and Introduction

Hymn 1

All words included or cross-reference to hymn book

Reading 1

(Title, author and reader)

The Marriage Ceremony

Hymn 2

(as for hymn 1)


(all words if for full congregation)

Exchange of rings

Signing of the Register

Exit of Bride and Groom

(title and composer of music)

You may also wish to include a credit page, thanking the person leading the ceremony, the organist, choir, bell-ringers and listing the bridal party.


For a Civil Ceremony you may wish to have an Order of The Day.


This will include the names and titles of any music and readings you are including at the actual marriage ceremony – remember you are not allowed anything religious at a Civil Ceremony.


You can then list the times for the celebrations: eg reception drinks, wedding breakfast, bar opening time, evening entertainment and time for evening buffet. You could also include a menu and the seating plan for the wedding breakfast.


An Order of The Day is more informal and has the main function of letting guests know what to expect.


Things to remember


When preparing your Order of Ceremony/Order of the Day here are a few things to remember:


  1. Discuss the order of either service with whoever will be conducting the ceremony – they can guide you on choice, running order and time limitations
  2. Don’t leave it until last minute – as a stationer we know that the Order of Service is one of the last things to be planned
  3. Don’t make it too long – 4 pages is perfectly adequate
  4. Make sure guests can read it, consider the size, style and colour of the font and how easy it is for older people to read it – ask your Gran to check the proof!
  5. Don’t be stingy with numbers - although couples can share, you will need more than 1 per couple; some people will be single, members of the bridal party will not be sitting with their other half, the person conducting the ceremony and any assistants and musicians will need a copy so they know when they are expected to perform.
  6. Use the expertise of your stationer and ask their advice on wording and numbers.