The Protestant Wedding Ceremony

Planning a Protestant wedding? Here's a basic ceremony breakdown.

While most Protestant churches have similar ceremonies, some details vary, so be sure to talk to your minister or pastor before you start planning. In any case, here's a description of the ceremony to give you a general idea.

The processional: Traditionally, the groom and best man stand at the front of the church with the clergy, and the wedding party enters in the following order:

Groomsmen
Bridesmaids
Maid of Honor
Flower Girl
Ring Bearer
and last, but certainly not least, the Bride and her father.

The introduction: The officiant begins the ceremony by greeting the congregation.

The readings: In most ceremonies, a friend or family member of the couple reads a passage from the Old and New Testament.

The vows and ring exchange: Most Protestant churches allow personalized vows and adaptations as long as they don't contradict Christian principles.

The final blessing and recessional: After the pastor gives a final blessing, the wedding party exits the church in the following order: bride and groom, flower girl and ring bearer, groomsmen and bridesmaids, parents of the bride, and finally the parents of the groom.

Remember, this is merely a general outline. There are various denominations of the Protestant faith, including Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and many more. Some churches offer Holy Communion, others don't, some are happy to perform weddings outside of the church, some aren't. So before you book that amphitheater, check with your clergy.

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