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Wedding Reception VS Ceremony

Wedding Reception VS Ceremony

Wedding is one of the exciting things we can have in our whole life. Every girl dreams about it once in a while. Some of them have even planned it since they were a child. Thinking about what kind of cake, theme, motif, decorations, flowers, and gown they will have. Imagining of saying “I do” in front of all their friends and family, wishing to have a great and wonderful wedding someday.

Wedding Reception VS Ceremony What Is The Difference?

Most of the time, a wedding has a lot of programs that are handled and organized by the wedding planner. Here you will be able to know the difference between a wedding reception vs ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony

Wedding ceremonies are usually traditional. It may differ from one country to another, but they mostly follow the generic order of every wedding ceremony. In addition to that, some countries actually have superstitious beliefs that the couple (Bride and Groom) is not allowed to see each other the day before the wedding until the moment that the bride will finally walk down the aisle, because some people say that it is bad luck. Well, might as well do this and go with the odds, you don’t want anything to spoil your wedding, right? Moreover, every wedding has its own unique touch by the couple, and if you want to have some ideas, here are the traditional orders for a wedding ceremony.

Processional March

The processional march is where everyone will walk down the aisle. It usually begins with the bridesmaids and groomsmen, followed by the maid of honor and the best man. Then once they are done, next will be the ring bearer and flower girls. In Christian weddings, bridesmaids and groomsmen will be paired-up, and they will be assigned to different symbols such as wedding candle, wedding veil, and wedding cord. Aside from that, in traditional Christian weddings, the groom will be the first one to walk down the aisle with his parents, to be followed by the rest of the participants. Then finally, the bride will walk down the aisle with her parents while the groom waits at the altar.

Opening Remarks

Once done with the processional, the officiant or the minister will now start the ceremony by welcoming the bride and the groom. The minister will share some lessons or advice about love and the significance of marriage.


This is when the minister will share or preach some religious readings. Then the minister will address the bride and the groom of the responsibilities they are about to take. This is where you can hear the minister say, “Do you take (name) as your lawfully wedded wife?…”. A promise to cherish every moment with each other, in sickness and in health, and for better and for worse.

Exchange of Wedding Vows

The couple will now give their wedding vows to each other. Mostly, they will make their own wedding vows based on the moment they first met, the moment when they fell in love, and every journey they have gone through. Some people start with how their life has changed since they met each other, and all of the things they have learned and realized in their relationship. This is actually the most exciting part of the ceremony because you will see how much love they have for each other, and how wonderful and perfect they are together.

Exchange of Rings

Next will be the ring exchange. The minister will ask the ring bearer to present the rings. While placing the rings, the couple usually says, “I give you this ring as a sign of my love…”. The ring will be placed on the left hand, and the bride’s ring will be on the same finger as her engagement ring.

Declaration of Marriage

This is what everyone is waiting for! The minister will now officially pronounce the couple as husband and wife. Then after that, the minister will say, “You will now kiss the bride.”. The moment has finally come, the newlywed will officially seal the marriage with a kiss and everyone will applaud.

Closing Remarks

The minister will give a closing speech and usually give blessings for them to have a long and happy marriage.

Now, most of the time, the married couple will stay at the altar and they will have a photoshoot with their family and friends right before having a recessional march. Everyone will be asked to stay inside while the newlywed will have their walk along the aisle to the entrance. Afterward, the couple will ride in their bridal car and proceed to the wedding reception.

Wedding Reception

The wedding reception has different programs depending on the request of the newlywed and the organizers. This is where all of the guests will have lunch or dinner, play games, and party. Normally, after the wedding ceremony, all the guests will be the first ones to arrive at the wedding reception. Everyone will have a sitting arrangement according to the organized plan. Once everyone has settled, the host will welcome the newlywed.

For some people, they will eat first before having a program because let’s admit it, it’s kind of tiring and starving to be at a wedding ceremony. If the couple has a lot of guests, the organizers or servers will give out food while other guests will be given a chance to have a picture with the bride and the groom. And to make it more organized, each table will have to take turns in getting food and taking a picture.

Moreover, while everyone is eating, the best man will have his toast for the couple and give his blessings and wishes for their marriage. Organizers will also present the video and pictures they have prepared and give the guests a glimpse of how the married couple met, loved, and cared for each other.

This is the part when the party starts! The host has prepared games for the guests and everyone should participate. The most common game at a wedding reception is the host will ask some things about the bride and the groom and each of them will have to answer whether who’s more like it. For example, the question is, who is the most annoying among the two of you? Then the bride or the groom will answer (me or him/her).

Another thing that is so exciting in a wedding reception is when the bride will finally throw the bouquet of flowers and whoever catches the bouquet will be the next bride. Then, the groom will take out the wedding garter underneath the bride’s gown, and he will throw it to the crowd and whoever catches the garter is believed to be the next groom.

The bride will also have her dance with her father, and the groom will be dancing with his mother and vice versa. Some people have prepared some dance numbers or intermission numbers to entertain the guests. Most of the time, the couple will have their first dance together in the middle and everyone who wants to participate will have to put money on the back of the couple’s clothes.

Wedding ceremony and wedding reception are both important to the newlyweds. Whatever order they want it to be, it will always be a perfect wedding for those couples who truly love each other. A wedding is one of the most important events or experiences in a person’s life. And if you will be given a chance to attend your friend’s or family’s wedding, you are so lucky because of all people who they know, you are one of the people who they want to celebrate their wedding with.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the wedding ceremony and reception

Is it okay to go to the wedding reception but not the ceremony? It is okay to only go to the wedding reception especially if you are not one of the wedding participants (bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, best man, ring bearer, or flower girls). Actually, some people are asking their friends who were not at the wedding to just go to the reception if they want to.

Do the newlyweds change clothes between the ceremony and the reception? Most of the time, the newlyweds don’t change clothes between the ceremony and the wedding receptions. The couples prefer to have the same clothes on because they will still have a photoshoot with their friends and family. However, if they want to change to a comfortable dress or gown, they can definitely do that as well.

How long should a wedding ceremony and reception last? Normally, the wedding ceremony will take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the order of the wedding. And for a wedding reception, it would usually run about 4 to 5 hours depending on the program that has been prepared. Because there will be a lot of talking, dancing, playing games, singing, eating, or even taking a bunch of photos with the newlyweds.

Is it rude to leave a wedding reception early? It is okay to leave a wedding reception earlier than the other people. It’s just like participating in the games, it is really up to you if you want to participate or not. Everyone will respect that. Just talk to the newlyweds and tell them that you need to leave earlier than expected and say your goodbye formally. The important thing is you spared your time with them and witnessed the love that they have for each other.

What do brides wear for the reception? The bride normally wears the same gown they wore at the ceremony. However, some people prefer to change their clothes so that they will be comfortable enough to celebrate with their friends and family.

What is the order for a wedding reception? The order for a wedding reception depends on the organizers of the event. However, most of the time, at the wedding reception, the guests will eat first, then they will take a picture with the newlyweds, then the best man will give his toast, the host will make them play a game, dancing, etc. The program will be organized by the coordinator and of course, it should be approved by the couple.

Do the bride and groom stay until the end of the reception? The groom and the bride should stay until the end of their wedding reception because they still need to interact with other people who went to their wedding. Unless some of their friends chose to stay at the reception and drink some alcoholic drinks. Well, ordinarily, the couple will stay until all of the guests went home because aside from saying goodbye to the guests formally, they still need to talk to the coordinators of the event and finish the transaction. 

Do you open wedding gifts at the reception? The wedding gifts should be opened at home so that they will have their own personal time together. Actually, opening gifts is one of the most anticipated parts of the newlyweds. Opening gifts is like bonding to them, checking what other people give them, and just like checking the wedding pictures, it is kind of exciting!

Is it okay to have a wedding ceremony without a reception? It is better to ask the guests to go only to the reception than to have a wedding with only a ceremony. The wedding ceremony is more important because this is where the couple will share their vows.

However, having a wedding reception is important as well, because this is where you will celebrate your love for each other together with those people who supported both of you along the way. Because whatever happens, those people will always be there for you and you will never be in the same place you are today if it weren’t for the people who believed in you. And just like what I’ve said earlier, you can have a private wedding ceremony and a big reception wherein the guests were asked to go straight to the reception. The only people who will be at the wedding ceremony are the parents, maid of honor, and the best man.

This is the greatest experience a person could ever have in his/her lifetime. Always remember to be happy whatever path you may choose. You can have the dream wedding that you want since you were a kid. But always make sure that you will only get married to the person you love the most.

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