Putting together your wedding order of service is a chance to get really creative. While the order of service is similar for many ceremonies, how you present it is completely up to you.
Top tip: before designing and creating your order of service, make sure you practise each stage's timings and logistics to ensure smooth running on the day. Check out our run down on a traditional wedding ceremony order so you don’t miss a beat.
What is an order of service?
Your wedding order of service will guide your guests through the ceremony, letting them know what’s happening and when. If you’re holding a civil or other non-religious ceremony, you have more flexibility with readings and music you can include. We've rounded up our favourite church, civil and non-religious readings to get you inspired.
At most traditional weddings, the order of service is printed onto a booklet for each guest. Many couples match this to the rest of their wedding stationery, or use it as an opportunity to get creative (check out the newspaper order of service in the gallery below!).
Do I need an order of service?
For those having a micro-wedding, a short ceremony, an eco-conscious affair or have a smaller budget, you may be hesitant to have a traditional order of service booklet. However, there are plenty of fun ways to present your order of service that can be adapted for all of these purposes.
For example, many couples opt for one large sign with the order of service displayed, similar to an order of the day sign. This minimises waste and is cost effective! Another nifty sustainable trick could be to print your wedding order of service on seeded paper for your guests to take home and plant. Creating a lovely memento enjoyed long after your wedding.
What should I include?
First thing’s first: it’s custom to include your names, wedding date and ceremony location. For each part of the wedding ceremony, you usually include the time, what’s happening, who is performing it or what music will be accompanying. For example, 1;30pm, Reading, Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare read by [guest name]. Or, 10:30am, Aisle Entrance, All of Me by John Legend. Check out our playlist of romantic songs to walk down the aisle to for some inspiration. For a church wedding, it’s common practise to include the words to any Hymns for your guests to sing along.
Many couples also include the names of the wedding party and family members. You could also add a special thanks at the end of the order of service for those who have helped organise the wedding, or note that you want an unplugged ceremony. For an extra special touch, some couples also include packets of confetti for after the service.