Weddings

How to Plan a Christian Wedding

The Christian tradition offers a clear outline for a wedding day cermeony

By Jonathan Croswell

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One of the most popular locales for a Christian wedding ceremony is a church. These weddings are often led by an officiant recognized by both the state where the wedding takes place and a religious group, such as a type or denomination of church. Christian weddings feature long-standing traditions that have been used for many years. Be sure to understand the various aspects of a Christian wedding when you begin planning your ceremony and reception.

  • What You Need to Know
  • First, select a church. The pastor may have input on how the ceremony should proceed.
  • Figure out what elements you would like to include in your ceremony, such as lighting a unity candle or requesting a friend read a poem.

Step 1:

Choose a church or non-church venue. You don't have to hold your ceremony in a church, although many do, and you usually don't have to regularly attend a specific church to get married there. Find the church you like the most and rent it out, like any other venue.

Step 2:

Select a pastor or church leader to conduct the wedding ceremony. Ask about any conditions he or she might have -- some require you to go through counseling before marriage.

Step 3:

Select one or two Bible verses for reading at the ceremony. This is usually done by a bridal party member, family member or close friend. A popular verse is Colossians 3:12. In addition, sometimes couples select a person to read a poem that's either religious or nondenominational or request the person reading the poem select a poem of their choice.

Step 4:

Decide if you want to light a unity candle at the ceremony. This is common in many Christian wedding ceremonies; music often plays in the background as the couple lights the candle.

Step 5:

Write your own vows, or recite the traditional wedding vows.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Determine if you would like to include the pastor or church figure conducting the ceremony as a guest at your reception.
  • Consult with the officiant about the length and type of sermon that will be delivered. You may want to indicate if you prefer a sermon that is very religious or more focused on a general concept, such as love.
  • Catholic weddings contain a full mass as part of the cermony and often last for an hour or more. Some couples do not include all elements of a traditional mass to shorten the length of the wedding.

About the Author

Jonathan Croswell is a freelance writer who has worked on regional wedding publications.

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