Christian Wedding

From “yes” to “I do” and beyond, Catholic wedding can be a beautiful experience. Wedding is one the biggest reason for your joy and celebration and most cherished moment for lifetime. There are relatively less ceremonies compared to other Hindu weddings. They start from engagement and continue till reception like other weddings, but are simpler. The ceremonies are as follows:

Engagement:

From years this tradition has been prevailing amongst Catholic christians. According to this tradition, engagement party is organised by bride’s side usually. It can be big or just between families where groom and his family visit bride’s home and where they exchange rings and take blessings.After engagement, it's important for bride and groom to contact priest of Church where they wanna get married that whether its available on the day they wanna get married. It is important for them to request priest to lock dates and commence their wedding that day.

Preparatory Course:

Usually bride and groom take 6 months to 1 year after engagement in getting married. Its one of the most awaited moment of their lifetime and they want to make it memorable. They have to undergo a Preparatory course before wedding. The preparatory course can be of either one day or three, depends on couple which one they pick. The couple getting married have to fill a form declaring details of their lives. They have to take an oath on Holy Bible that they have not concealed information from each other. They have to even give their Baptism certificates. The couple can only marry after culmination of 3 weeks and priest declares his consent for approval for their marriage.

Bridal Shower:

Bridal Shower is one of the major pre-wedding customs of a Catholic Wedding. This is a fun-filled and entertaining informal hen party, which is hosted by the bride's female friends. It is mainly a female get-together that is enlivened by songs, dance and joyful game sessions. Friends and relatives present gifts to the bride-to-be from her wedding registry and give blessings for a blissful and happy married life. A tradition has been following from years that the bride serves a pink cake to all present over there. Uniqueness of the cake is that there is a thimble hidden inside this cake. It is believed that a girl who receives the piece of cake with a thimble will be the next to get married.

Bachelor Party:

Bachelor Party is usually organised by groom’s best man or his friends for him. the groom. It is essentially a stag party organized on the eve of the wedding or a couple of days before the wedding where a groom is expected to enjoy his last evening as a bachelor and probably do everything, he won’t be able to do after marriage. A Bachelor's Party typically begins by raising a toast before the drinking begins in earnest. It is to have fun and enjoyment with close friends. Nowadays, the bride-to-be also celebrate Bachelorette party where she celebrates with her female friends in the same way. It depends on her if she wants to skip bridal shower or have both(bridal shower and bachelorette party).

Wedding Ceremony:

The bride and groom reach church and wedding ceremony begins.

The Processional:

Firstly, the groom enters with his best man from the side of the church. Then the bridesmaids and groomsmen escort one another up the aisle, followed by the maid of honor, who enters alone. And last but certainly not least, the bride and her father (or another male family member) make their grand entrance.

Hymn:

The priest invites the wedding guests to join in an opening hymn (or song).

Greeting or Opening Prayer:

After the hymn, the priest begins the mass with a greeting to the guests or an opening prayer.

Old Testament Read:

A friend or family member is asked to read a passage from the Old Testament. Often, couples choose a reading from the book of Genesis, which contains the story of the creation of Adam and Eve.

Psalm

You can either have the church soloist or the entire congregation sings the Psalm. Some choices include "Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord," "Sing a New Song," and "On Eagle's Wings."

New Testament Reading

Here's another chance to include a loved one. Choose a friend or family member to read a passage of your choosing from the New Testament.

Gospel

The priest will read a passage from one of the first four books of the New Testament, written by the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Homil

After the Gospel, the priest will expound or reflect upon what he has just read.

Vows and Ring Ceremony

You have at least three choices. You can memorize and recite the vows to one another, read the vows from the book, or have the priest read them and respond with "I do." Some priests might allow you to write your own vows or add a couple lines to the traditional ones. After you exchange vows, you'll exchange rings and the priest will bless them as symbols of your love and fidelity.

The Kiss

You can probably figure this one out on your own. Instead of "You may now kiss the bride," you might ask the priest to say, "You may now exchange a kiss."

Nuptial Blessing

The priest blesses your new union with a prayer.

Sign of Peace

The guests and wedding party exchange a sign of peace, by shaking hands and saying, "Peace be with you."

Communion

The priest offers communion to the members of the church. Generally, at the rehearsal he'll ask which members of the wedding party plan to take communion. Then at the ceremony, your non-Catholic attendants can walk through the line and give him an inconspicuous nod.

Lord's Prayer

The entire congregation says the Lord's Prayer in unison.

Blessing and Dismissal of Congregation

One more blessing, and then the priest will dismiss the congregation by saying, "This mass has ended. You may now go in peace."

Wedding Reception:

A reception is organised to celebrate the wedding. Friends, relatives and colleagues are invited to the reception. The newlywed cut their wedding cake and feed each other a bite from the first slice. The toastmaster proposes a toast in honour of the newly weds. He/She speaks a couple of lines in their honor. The bride and the groom get the evening going with their "first dance". Their first dance is followed by the bride with her father/ groom and the bride’s mother,the best man/ groom and the maid of honour. After dinner is over, the couple leaves from the reception. At this junction, the bride must throw her posy of flowers behind her. The girl who catches it, will be the first to marry according to popular belief.