What Happens in a Wedding Ceremony?

A wedding is filled with many precious moments. And most of the times, these moments are to be found in the wedding ceremony – where you kiss as man and wife, when you say your vows to each other, when the groom sees his bride in her gown (presumably for the first time).

The question is what happens during a wedding ceremony? Oftentimes, when we attend weddings, we get caught up in the romantic moments that we don’t really get into the details of which part goes where, what happens during which part and so on. But when we’re planning our own wedding, it is important for us to know and understand what happens in each part of the wedding ceremony.

There are a lot of variations to a wedding ceremony. You can find many pre-set traditional wedding ceremonies or you may craft your own unique wedding ceremony. Or, you may go for a mixture of traditional with your own personal touch.

To give you an idea of what happens in a wedding ceremony, here are some of the more traditional elements:

The Entrance

–          Seating of the guests. Guests, assisted by ushers, enter the wedding venue and take their seats. The prelude or pre-ceremonial music will be played during this time.

–          Seating of the Parents. The groom’s parents and the bride’s mother are accompanied to their seats. If the bride opts to have her father give her away, the father would enter later with the bride.

–          Entrance of the groom and other attendants. The officiant, the groom and the best man either enter through a side door or also march down the aisle. Then, they take their places in front.

–          Entrance of the rest of the wedding party. This includes the bridesmaids and groom’s men walking in pairs, followed by the ring bearer, the flower girls and the maid of honor. The officiant instructs everyone to rise for the Bridal march. Here, the bride enters the wedding location, usually with her father (or other close relative).

–          Giving away of the bride. This is an optional part of the program, where the officiant asks who gives the bride to be married. The parents of the bride will answer, “We do.” Sometimes, in modern ceremonies, the officiant instead asks, “Who supports the couple in this marriage?” and both sets of parents will answer, “We do.” 

The Address

This is the “meat” of the wedding ceremony.

–          Welcome remarks and statement of purpose. The officiant says welcoming words to the guests and the wedding party and states the purpose of the gathering. In some instances, the bride or the groom may wish to include a loved one or a friend who has passed away or are unable to come. This part is where they can be acknowledged and recognized.

–          Charge to the couple. The officiant gives some advice about marriage and how it is to be founded not just on romantic love, but also on respect, friendship and trust. The officiant will remind the couple of the challenges and joys of married life.

–          Question of Intent. This is where the officiant asks, “Do you, __________, accept ____________ as your lawfully wedded husband/wife?”. This question is asked to the bride and the groom individually and they each should answer, “I do.”

–          Saying of Vows. This is where the bride and groom pledge their vows to each other. The officiant may dictate the words. One of the more common vows go,

I,  _____________,  take you, _____________ , to be my wedded (wife, husband), to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; in joy and in sorrow; to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. I give you this ring as a sign of my promise.

The bride and groom may opt to write their own vows beforehand.

Unity Ceremonies

–          Blessing and exchanging of rings. The officiant briefly explains the meaning of the rings and their significance in the couple’s union. The bride and groom then exchange rings.

–          Optional unity ceremonies. The couple may also add a unity ceremony at this point. The most popular is the lighting of the unity candle. Two smaller candles are each held by the bride and the groom. Other unity ceremonies are the rose ceremony (where the bride and groom exchange roses) and the sand ceremony (where the bride and groom pour different colored sand to symbolize their union).

–          The Pronouncement. The officiant will declare the newlyweds as officially man and wife.

–          The Kiss. Another much-awaited part of the ceremony is when the couple kisses as husband and wife for the first time.

The Closing

–          The Presentation. The officiant presents the bride and groom as Mr. and Mrs. The introduction depends on your preference – would the bride like to take on the groom’s last name or does she want to keep her own last name? Or, would the bride go for a hyphenated name?

–          The Recessional. The newlyweds lead the wedding party down the aisle.

When crafting your own wedding ceremony, it is important to remember that this is a reflection of who you (as a couple are). The ceremony ideally reflects your values, beliefs and intentions. It is best if you and your fiancé feel comfortable with each part of the ceremony. You should also carefully consider your choice of wedding venue or SLC wedding reception center. This will provide an excellent backdrop to the beautiful wedding ceremony you have prepared.

When planning a wedding in Sandy, Utah, check out Western Garden’s The Ivy House. It has all that you need for a dream wedding – a beautifully decorated hall, exquisite chandeliers giving your wedding the extra sparkle, plants, artwork and classic-style furniture. The Ivy House makes a perfect Sandy, Utah wedding venue for your dream wedding!


Utah Celebrations Catering

UTAH CELEBRATIONS CATERING company was begun by a Utah grown culinary master.  Chef Steven Swallow is a remarkable culinary artist who has training and experience from many phenomenal certified executive chefs and pastry chefs worldwide.  After seeing a greater need in Utah for exquisite cuisine at more affordable pricing, he decided to create Utah Celebrations Catering company.  They offer exceptional food at realistic prices displayed in impressive presentations.

Along with Chef Swallow’s Hawaiian hospitality training, you will be pleased with his NO HIDDEN CHARGES guarantee. We are confident you will become one of his many satisfied customers. The motto of Utah Celebrations Catering? We do all the Work; You Enjoy the Wedding!

For a stress-free beautiful day, choose Utah Celebrations Catering.      CLICK HERE to browse their delightful menus.

Ivy House Director of Events will help custom fit your catering needs – Call Jenny at 801.792.0061

Send the Right Message with Your Wedding Invitations and Thank You Cards

So you already have your Utah wedding venue picked out and booked for your fast approaching special day, and now you have to let all of your friends and family know about it. The wedding invitation that you decide to send to your guest often sets the tone for what you ceremony and Salt Lake City, Utah wedding reception will be like, therefore it is important to choose one the truly represents what your nuptials will be all about.

The thank you cards are equally as important as you invitations. These cards let your guests know how much you appreciated their supportive attendance on this momentous day of joy. Ideally these will match your invitations in style, though there is no rule against mixing it up and choosing a different design.


If you have chosen colors for your SLC wedding venue incorporating these into your wedding invitations and Thank You cards will tie everything together nicely and give a sense of cohesiveness. The colors can be portrayed by either using dyed paper or colored ink. Adding a touch of color will make your invitations and cards pop.

Picture or No Picture

Did you have an engagement photo taken of you and your future spouse? If so, consider including this in your wedding invitation to add a personal and sentimental touch. You could have your portrait either printed directly on the invitation or insert individual photographs into each invite.


The font of an invitation can be a good indicator of what type of event your wedding will be. If it is going to a more classic gala, the use of a timeless script font would convey the intended elegance of your wedding. Though, if you are planning a more relaxed wedding affair like a beach wedding; you may consider using a more modern font that is airy.


Of course you invitation should give the typical details of your Salt Lake City wedding venue, but what else would you like it to say? If you are holding a special event that requires guests to dress formally include this in your invites along with any other specific information that is important for guest to be aware of. As for your Thank You cards, decide whether or not you would like to include a special quote printed inside that will convey well with your personalized hand written sentiments of gratitude.

Paper and Envelope Type

Make sure you chose a well constructed paper and envelope that will be both pleasurable to the eye and sturdy. The first thing your guests will notice about your wedding invitations and Thank You cards is the quality of the paper and envelope, selecting those that are an equal combination of aesthetically delightful as well as durable will work out the best.

If you are holding your wedding reception in Salt Lake City, Utah the Ivy House can assist you in making the proper wedding invitation and Thank Card choice for your nuptials. They offer a wide variety of invitations which can be customized to your specifications.

Choosing the Right Venue for Your Reception

Planning a wedding has its own unique set of stressors and considerations, one of which is deciding on the correct Utah wedding venue that fits the majority of your reception qualifications, if not all of them. While reception centers in Salt Lake City abound, there are many that are a mixed bag of questionable quality, limited services, and/or are unreasonably costly. Here is what you should take into consideration before putting down that possibly substantial holding fee on a venue:


Before starting the move towards purchasing wedding supplies and booking your wedding venue in Salt Lake City, you should have a firm grasp of what your total wedding budget is and itemize it. Once this is done you should have an itemized list that dictates how much you have allotted toward each wedding expense such as a wedding dress, floral arrangements, wedding cake, catering, and venue, to name a few. Once you know the maximum amount you are able to spend on a reception location you will be able to narrow down the right Utah reception venue for your big day.


If you haven’t hired a wedding planner you can take a lot out of the guess work  and stress of arranging a wedding if you book a Salt Lake City, Utah reception center that offers you a variety of services such as catering, floral ordering, linens, invitations, hostesses, and musical setups. Venues that present these extra services often provide them at a reduced rate to you due to their ongoing relationship with certain vendors, thus saving you money and the hassle of organizing these wedding services individually.

Type of Venue

Do you want your wedding and reception to take place at the same venue? Would you prefer an indoor or outdoor reception? Are you looking for a location that expresses your uniqueness? These are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself when figuring out which Salt Lake City wedding reception location would work out best for you. Ideally you should not make a venue something that it is not and pick a location that suits your overall personality and style.

After considering all of this, Western Gardens’ the Ivy House has an existing setup that is geared specifically for events like weddings and receptions. Their Salt Lake City, Utah wedding venues present the perfect combination of affordability, extensive services, and an elegant atmosphere that is sure to please both you and your beloved guests.

The Ivy House has an in-house wedding organizer who can assist you in making your wedding and subsequent reception a memorable experience with little fuss. At this Western Gardens venue you are given the opportunity to customize their offered services or employ your own vendors to supply your wedding with the necessary accoutrements.

Hiring a Catering Service for Your Wedding

As you make plans for your big day, the list of things-to-do will seem to go on and on.  You are looking at dress designs, selecting bridesmaids, and cannot decide between white roses or sunflowers.  You also need to find the most ideal of Utah wedding venues for that special combination of service, style and feeling.  You want everything to be perfect and understandably so.  Of all the items on your to-do-list, the food service at your reception is one that will require a lot of management and preparation.  Hiring a catering service may be a good idea.  Wedding caterers have professional experience and industry know-how, and are essentially skilled at balancing all the tasks that will make your vision become a reality.

Having a catering service for your wedding reception is a hassle-free option that will significantly ease your wedding-planning anxieties.  A catering service comes with an immediate availability of resources, supplies, equipment and labor that you would otherwise have to source and manage yourself.  The quality of the food at your Utah wedding reception is another big consideration.  You want your guests to be amply satisfied.  While your dear Aunt Kate might be an excellent chef, there is a comfort in knowing that a catering service can not only guarantee high-quality food, style and presentation but can also manage labor-intensive food preparation for large groups of people. With a catering service, you know that a very major ingredient of your reception’s success is taken care of.  On the arrival of the big day, as the jitters run up and down your spine, your mind can rest at ease with the assurance that the people in the kitchen, unlike you, have done this a hundred and more times before!

There are a few things to think about as you work with the wedding caterers you have chosen for your Utah wedding reception center. Be able to articulate your desires.  It is a good idea to write your thoughts and wishes down as you explore your options.  How will your reception complement your overall wedding theme?  Are you envisioning luxuriously decorated tables and seated meals served by waiters or a formal buffet with waiting servers?  Maybe a self-serve buffet will be more fitting to the warm, relaxed and sociable atmosphere that you desire.  Or if a short, evening reception is on your schedule, perhaps a passed-tray service will do.  Then there are the meals to think about.  What time of day will the reception be held?  At lunch time or dinner?  Do you want a five course meal?  What type of food?  Are you dreaming up an Italian theme with calzone appetizers and a pasta station, or something more suited to the All-American diet?  Maybe you want a more exotic flair with chicken skewers glazed in mango, coconut and basil or ahi tuna sushi rolls.    Be adventurous and creative in your choices but keep in mind your budget, and the people on your guest list with special needs, like your dear Grandpa Joe’s kosher diet.  It may also be a good idea to include standard meals in your menu choices for those guests who prefer the comfort and taste of familiarity.

For your convenience, Ivy House Weddings, Western Gardens’ new Salt Lake City wedding venue, has its own in-house catering service provided exclusively by Heritage Catering.  With a variety of buffet style options and menu items, you can pick and choose to your fancy.  Choose from Garden Buffets, Celebration Buffets, Bow Tie Buffets, Classic Buffets, White Tie Buffets or Dinner Buffets.  Each buffet option is a unique package, and you may select from the diversity of hot and cold hors d’oeuvrs, salads, sandwiches, desserts, pies, cakes, entrees and beverages available.

Your wedding will require a lot of thought, foresight and planning.  Your tasks may at times feel overwhelming, but as you fine-tune the details of this special day, it should also be an exciting experience.  People are here to help you make the journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible!  Selecting the right catering service will offer you a certain peace of mind while you prepare to be transformed by one of the most life-altering occasions in your life and one of the best wedding receptions in Utah!

Why Go with a Professional Company for Your Wedding

Wedding professionals abound. There are wedding coordinators or wedding planners, wedding photographers and videographers, bakeries that specialize on wedding cakes, wedding caterers, wedding reception locations and many more.  There are even wedding reception centers that provide a comprehensive package on a lot of the key elements in a wedding.

The question is, is it really worth spending on these professonials rather than hiring a friend, a cousin or some distant relative to do the work for you?

The answer to that really depends on how well you want each item in your wedding to go. You may find that “taking a risk” with your friend who also dabbles in photography can pay off in terms of savings and the quality of the work. But there are also a lot of horror stories about how badly such an arrangement turned out. You may need to carefully consider what items in your wedding you can entrust to “amateurs” and which ones to assign to professionals. That is not to say that working with professionals always end up the way you want them to, but with professionals you can actually minimize the risk.

Here are some reasons why going with a professional company is well worth the expense:

You hold a contract. With a contract in hand, you can have a reasonable expectation as to how the job will turn out. You also have a legal recourse in case the provider fails to complete the job according to specifications. Remember, your wedding is not something you can have “do overs” for in case something does not turn out the way you want it to. Why risk getting fuzzy and unimaginative pictures by assigning a cousin and his friend to take the wedding photos with his point-and-shoot camera? Why risk having your caterer bail out at the last minute because it turned out that he can’t actually meet the demands of the catering job?

Professionals have extensive experience. You may think that planning is easy. Well, theoretically, it is. However, there may be instances that you have failed to consider just because you lack the experience of organizing an event like a wedding. Professionals, with their extensive experience on weddings, have a strong idea of how to deal with “what ifs” and on-site emergencies. Professionals also know what things can go wrong and may advice you to stay clear of potential pitfalls to avoid the headaches on your part.

Professionals have the necessary equipment. Professional photographers have the necessary photo and video equipment, as well as the lighting equipment and batteries that may be needed, especially for outdoor shoots. Professional caterers have industrial sized ovens and heaters to ensure that food is served hot and on time. They also have enough in terms of chafing dishes, servers and other catering implements. Wedding venues will have the necessary amenities such as a good sound system, decorations, chairs and tables, ample parking space and so on.

Professionals know the latest in the world of weddings. Wedding professionals do keep abreast about the latest innovations, fashions and designs. For instance, what is currently the most innovative wedding favor and where can you find it? What’s the latest technology to be used for wedding photography or videography? What new concept can a bride and groom present during the reception? You will find that you can get valuable advice and input from your professional wedding providers.

Saves time and money. Professionals have an extensive network of wedding-related providers which can save you time and money. For instance, a good wedding coordinator can actually negotiate a good deal from the caterer by virtue of his or her good relationship with the caterer. Also, Utah wedding reception centers such as The Ivy House offers excellent packages not just for the wedding or reception location but also for your wedding invitations, catering, linen, photography and videography, cakes and floral arrangements.

The Ivy House is a SLC, Utah wedding venue that is one good example of how working with a professional company will make it all the more easier for your and your fiance to plan your dream wedding.



Celebrate Life and Love at the Ivy House

Planning your wedding? Is your 50th wedding anniversary drawing near? Would you like to celebrate your birthday in a big way? Come to the Ivy House, a reception center in SLC, Utah and we will be with you as you celebrate life’s precious moments. The Ivy House boasts of premiere reception facilities to ensure that your event is something that you will remember and cherish for years to come.

The Ivy House is your choice for Utah wedding receptions, as well as other special occasions. The indoor reception venue boasts of the following amenities: a romantic spiral staircase with balcony both inside and outside, a fully-functioning fireplace, plants to provide a lush atmosphere, classic-style furniture and artwork. You can also have impromptu concerts and have someone play in the reception venue’s baby grand piano.

The reception area is perfect for dancing the night away with its spacious and elegant dance floor, with quality music piped in from the sound system. There are also dressing rooms for both the bride and the groom. The groom’s changing room can also serve as a playroom to keep the children happy and occupied.

The Ivy House provides the perfect ambiance with high ceilings decked with gorgeous chandeliers, as well as candle-lit centerpieces for your tables. Your guests will enjoy your favorite wedding shots or your specially-produced wedding video through a large screen TV and DVD player provided upon request. The Ivy House is located at a central location (at Western Gardens downtown) with ample parking space for extra convenience for your guests.

To ensure that your wedding or event goes smoothly, you can also book a rehearsal session. There will also be an event coordinator that will be helping you through the planning process as well as arrange all the details during the event itself. We can also provide you with a photographer and videographer to record the special highlights of your events.

Our Offerings

Aside from the Utah wedding venue, you can also avail of the following:

Catering. At our Salt Lake City wedding venue, you can choose from a variety of mouth-watering buffet meals at highly affordable prices. The Ivy House will take care of the setting up, serving your guests and clearing after the party. You can also self-cater or hire your own caterer.

Linens. We also provide you with basic linens and more. This is for the guest tables, buffet tables, chairs, cake tables and food prep room.

Floral Arrangements. Make your wedding or event even more picture perfect with gorgeous floral arrangements. Floral arrangement packages can include the bride’s bouquet, flowers for the bride’s maid, maid of honor and flower girls and boutonnieres for other members of your entourage.

Invitations and announcements. When you book your event at The Ivy House, you can avail of a 20% discount on invitations and other printed materials (such as announcements, inserts and other notes).

The Ivy House has what it takes to make it one of the finest wedding locations in Utah. Enjoy your party and let us worry about the details. The Ivy House is where you can enjoy some of the finest moments in your life.


Wedding Planning Shortcuts for a More Relaxed Bride

Planning a wedding is no simple matter. The moment you said “Yes” to your man, you will have to face a long to-do list complete with timelines to ensure that everything comes out “just right”. To tell the truth, a wedding is one big production that has a lot of elements that you will have to book, decide upon and check up on. You are actually managing a lot of mini-projects within this one big “project” – your wedding.

Often, you will find in wedding planning websites tables, charts, to-do lists and timelines. Yes, you will find these helpful as you plan your wedding – so that you don’t forget a single important item and you keep track of the progress of each element.

Here are some of the important things you have to remember or do to prepare for your wedding:

–          Get out your calendar and select the date of the wedding

–          Inspect the wedding ceremony and reception center

–          Book the church and wedding venue for the desired wedding date

–          Discuss the wedding budget, who contributes for which item and for what amount

–          Choose and order the wedding rings

–          Select motif or theme of the wedding

–          Select and order gowns – for the bride, mothers of the bride and groom and the rest of the entourage. Arrange for fitting and altering of the gown.

–          Arrange for suits or the wardrobe of the male members of the entourage.

–          Announce the engagement

–          Send out wedding invitations

–          Select menu and caterer

–          Select bridal cake (or also groom’s cake) and baker

–          Discuss floral arrangements with selected florist

–          Book musicians and decide on songs and music

–          Book officiant and discuss the wedding ceremony details

–          Process legal documents required for the wedding

–          Decide on decorative elements of the wedding (centerpieces, linens, gazebo, etc.)

–          Book videographer and photographer

–          Have hair and makeup trial and book makeup artist

–          Schedule honeymoon and arrange travel and hotel details

And mind you, this is just a start of that list. And each element of this list has its own considerations and requirements. You may also need to read and sign contracts for the vendors.

As you can see, a wedding will not just make demands of your finances but also your time and effort. Even with the simplest of weddings, you still need to make arrangements to arrange for everything and ensure that the wedding is just as you wanted it to be.

The good news is, you don’t have to go at it alone. One, you can hire a wedding coordinator to take away much of the stress of the planning and implentation from you. Two, you can also consider a Utah wedding reception center that provides much of what is already in your to-do list so that planning becomes easier on your part.

Most wedding venues in Utah provides a lot of help in that it not only gives you the perfect spot for your wedding ceremony and/or reception, it also offers packages that incorporates a lot of the key elements you need for your wedding.

For instance, The Ivy House is a wedding venue in SLC, Utah which provides value-added services such as linens, catering, floral arrangments, contacts with photographers and videographers as well as an experienced baker for the wedding cake.

With the combination of The Ivy House’s unique ambiance, the presence of a host on the day of the wedding and a lot of amenities at one convenient location, you can enjoy your wedding day to the fullest. You can be a radiant and relaxed bride with the peace of mind that everything you wanted in your wedding is in place.


The Challenges of Planning a Backyard Wedding

A wedding at your own backyard has several distinct advantages. First, it saves you a considerable sum of money you would have spent renting a wedding reception location. Secondly, it gives an intimate and personal feel to the wedding, particularly if you’re only inviting a small group of close family members and friends. Also, everything is nearby so you don’t have to rush about to get something you may have forgotten.

Some of the basics in setting your backyard as your wedding location include:

–          Space planning. Even with a spacious backyard, you have to allot spaces to key elements of your wedding. This includes the place where you and the groom will stand during the wedding ceremony, the seating space for guests, and space to set the guest tables and buffet tables. You will also set aside some space in your kitchen (and even your dining room) for the caterer. In addition, you will also need to allot for dressing areas, particularly for the female members of the entourage.

–          Rental of equipment. Please note that there are a lot of items that you will need to create that special ambiance for your wedding. This includes the lighting and sound systems, chairs and tables for the guests, decorations such as potted plants and sparkling lights, and more. If you plan to serve lunch or dinner, you may also need to rent plates and linen.

–          Decorations.Of course you would want to prettify your backyard so that it becomes a great setting as a wedding venue and reception location. You may need to work at adding decorative elements – plants, lighting, decorations for the photo booth and for the overall surroundings. Some of these things you may need to have to build from scratch – for instance, if you’d rather make your own gazebo, then you need to allot time and materials to get this done. You will also need more than an extra pair of hands to set up the seating and floral arrangments on the day itself. Some arrangements should also be made with regards to packing and cleaning up.

–          Alternatives to an outdoor wedding. What happens in case it rains? Will you have enough space indoors to accommodate all the guests? You may have to make provisions for this, otherwise, to have some tents or some kind of shelter built to ensure your guests are happy and comfortable during the ceremony and reception.

–          Kitchen space. Your standard sized kitchen may not provide enough space for your caterer’s requirements so you may have to find an area where they can work more efficiently. They may need to set up a buffet table and also a station to heat and prepare the rest of the food.

–          Parking considerations. Remember that guests may be driving over to your home. Your parking area may not be enough to accommodate all these. You may need to make arrangements with your neighbors for the temporary inconvenient of occupying available parking spaces in your area.

As you can see, having a backyard wedding will take a lot of work for both you and your family and friends. However, if you do get it right, your wedding can be as intimate and personal as you want.

If you want to have less stress and hassle on your wedding, you can also think about having your wedding at the many wedding reception locations in Utah. This can free up a lot of your time with regards to setting up and organizing the items stated above. One such option is The Ivy House, a SLC, Utah wedding venue.

The Ivy House is a Utah wedding location equipped with all you will ever need to have a hassle-free and enjoyable wedding experience. These include dressing areas for the bride and groom, a good sound and lighting system, enough table and chairs for a mid-sized occasion, a romantic staircase with indoor and outdoor balcony, a baby grand piano and more.