The order of service: explained

You've chosen the music and the readings, now it's time to write the order of service with a little help from these templates.

What is a wedding order of service?

The order of service is a step-by-step account of what your guests can expect throughout the ceremony. Whether you're having a civil or religious ceremony, giving an order of service to your guests as they arrive will ensure everyone knows what to expect and doesn't sneak off at a crucial moment (ie - when you're exchanging your vows!).

Before you create your order of service, read our guide to wedding day timings, so you know how long everything will take.

Some people like to include the complete breakdown of the service, including the words of the minister and response of the couple, whereas others use it only as a guide with the basic details of the service and perhaps printed words to the hymns or songs too. You'll need to choose your wedding music in enough time to make sure your celebrant is happy with your choices.

Here's how to set out your order of service. 

Wedding order of service for a religious ceremony 

Front page

  • Name of place of marriage
  • The marriage of ....... (bride and groom's names)
  • Date and time

Inside

  • Entrance music for bride. Not sure what to play? Here are our suggestions for processional songs
  • Hymn/song (words)
  • The marriage
  • Prayers (optional)
  • Reading (optional)
    Text name and author
    Read by …
  • Blessing (optional)
  • Hymn/song (words)
  • Reading/blessing (optional)
    Text name and author
    Read by …
  • Signing of the register
  • Exit music for bride and groom

READ MORE: The ultimate wedding playlists for your ceremony

Photo | Lisa Dawn Photography
Photo | Lisa Dawn Photography

Wedding order of service for a civil ceremony 

Front page

  • Name of place of marriage
  • The marriage of ....... (bride and groom's names)
  • Date and time

Inside

  • Entrance of the bride - you'll need to decide which order to walk down the aisle in, too

  • Welcome and introductions

  • Reading (optional)
    Text name and author
    Read by …

  • The marriage ceremony

  • Reading (optional)
    Text name and author
    Read by …

  • Signing of the register

  • Exit of the bridal couple

READ MORE: Readings and poems for a civil ceremony

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