In a wedding ceremony two people come together in marriage. The event is a celebration of their love for one another, it is a very happy time and lots of wedding congratulations should be given to the happy couple by the guests.
In a wedding ceremony the groom will usually arrive at the venue before the bride. As the bride enters the room the congregation will stand and admire her dress and the bridesmaids. The traditional colour of the dress is white – this to symbolise the purity and the virginity of the bride. Often at this stage The “Bridal Chorus” from Lohengrin by Richard Wagner, commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride” is played on a piano or organ.
At most wedding ceremonies there is an exchange of vows. Here is an example of a common wedding vow heard at wedding ceremonies:
“I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”
There will be exchange of rings and then a public proclamation of marriage by a registrar or minister. The couple will then have the opportunity to kiss in front of the congregation.
Throughout the service there may be poetry, readings prayers and music. After the service there the congregation will offer the bride and groom their wedding congratulations. They may throw confetti at this stage.
Wedding ceremonies can vary greatly between religions and countries.
Following the ceremony a party is held, known as the reception. It is held as a hospitality for wedding guests and it is believed that this is where the name comes from: the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple. Food is provided, and following this there is some form of entertaining eg a band, DJ or even games.
Before receptions became popular, a wedding breakfast was more typical. The popularity of receptions, rather than breakfasts, began in the 20th century and led to the name reception used to describe any social event after a wedding, whether it is brunch, tea, dinner, or a dance