An Order of Service…some considerations

An Order of Service…some considerations

The Bride Addict on “You & Your Wedding” wrote …

I am having an order of service, I asked the question to my nearest and dearest and they said although no hymns, there are readings and they would all like to take it away with them as a reminder of the day. xxx

For some reason the Order of Service can cause a bride (and groom) the greatest headache … probably because it includes so many people and so many things that MUST be done on that special day and of course, not to forget it is the most important part of the Wedding — after all you are getting married.   To ease the stress a little, I have put together a list of items that can be included, the essential and the optional.

Sample selection of some Order of Service Stationery

Sample selection of some Order of Service Stationery

Let us start by defining what an Order of Service is and what its purpose is.   An Order of Service is a step-by-step account of what your guests can expect throughout the ceremony, whether it is a civil service or a religious ceremony.   Giving an order of service to your guests as they arrive will ensure everyone knows what to expect.

So there are some items to consider inserting into your Order of Service:

Name of place of marriage

A fold out Order of Service

Concertina style Order of Service

      1. The marriage of the bride’s name and groom’s names
      2. Date and time

If you are having more than one page, the above would be typeset onto the front page.   However, should you only have a single page (single or double sided), the following items can follow on from the above details.

Entrance music for the bride

      1. Hymn/song (words optional)
      2. The marriage
      3. Prayers (optional)
      4. Reading (optional)
      5. Blessing (optional)
      6. Hymn/song (words options)
      7. Reading/blessing (optional)
      8. Signing of the Register
      9. Exit music for bride and groom


You can also include items like:

An Order of Proceedings

An Order of Proceedings

  • Love poems
  • Thanks to family and friends
  • Map and Directions to the venue
  • Photographs — if you want guests to be part of the photographs

There are many schools of thought on this matter and if you are going to be following a very formal traditional ceremony, the wedding etiquette would be to include the complete breakdown of the service, including the words of the Minister, the response of the couple as well as the response of the Congregation (if required).

A little less formal, buy still traditional would be use it only as a guide with the basic details of the Service and perhaps printed words to the hymns or songs that the Congregation will be singing.

I often have bridal couples come to me to ask me for advice on putting their Order of Service together.

My advice is that you keep the look and feel of the wedding stationery and keep it as simple or as detailed as you as a couple feel the need.

It is at this point that you can introduce the fan (for those warm days!), the confetti bag or box, etc.

Multipage Order of Service which can be attached to a wooden fan

Multipage Order of Service which can be attached to a wooden fan

You also need to consider the parents, very often they have a major role to play in this part of the wedding day and the wedding stationery and the bridal couple may feel the need to include the parents on both sides for the input of the family.

Your religious conviction may also play a very important role in this process.   In some religions there is very strict order in which a marriage ceremony is performed and all this needs to be taken into consideration when preparing an Order of Service.

Remember that you will more than likely have to include your Minister if you are planning a religious ceremony.


Some further considerations when deciding on the length of the Order of Service:

Hymns and Songs:

If you do not want to include the words of the hymns and songs, make reference to the page numbers on which they can be found in the hymn book.   This can also cut the cost dramatically if you are budget conscious.


Traditional A5 folded Order of Service

Traditional A5 folded Order of Service

There are a number of more frequently used formats.   The booklet style is the most popular and an A4 can be folded to an A5 to give you effectively four pages.

A very popular style is now the DL size printed on both sides with an optional ribbon which gives you three Orders of Service from an A4 sheet.

Once again, it looks great and is cost effective.


Can also double up as a fan for those hot days

Can also double up as a fan for those hot days







At Little Works we are masters at debossing and embossing, so for a further touch of elegance we can add debossing and embossing to your stationery.