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The Ceremony

The parents and close relatives of the bride and groom arrive a few minutes before the bride. The bridegroom and his best man should be in their places at least ten minutes before the service starts. The bridesmaids and pages wait in the church porch with whoever is to arrange the bride's veil before she goes up the aisle.

The bride, by tradition, arrives a couple of minutes late but this should not be exaggerated. She arrives with whoever is giving her away. The verger signals to the organist to start playing, and the bride moves up the aisle with her veil over her face (although many brides do not follow this custom). She goes in on her father's right arm, and the bridesmaids follow her according to the plan at the rehearsal the day before. The bridesmaids and ushers go to their places in the front pews during the ceremony, except for the chief bridesmaid who usually stands behind the bride and holds her bouquet.

After the ceremony the couple go into the vestry to sign the register with their parents, best man, bridesmaids and perhaps a close relation such as a grandmother. The bride throws back her veil or removes the front piece (if it is removable), the verger gives a signal to the organist and the bride and groom walk down the aisle followed by their parents and those who have signed the register. The bride's mother walks down the aisle on the left arm of the bridegroom's father and the bridegroom's mother walks down on the left arm of the bride's father (or whoever has given the bride away). Guests wait until the wedding procession has passed them before leaving to go on to the reception.

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