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What are the parts and events of a wedding?

There really is no 'standard' way to do a wedding, traditions and events will vary depending on your culture, religious affiliation, and family. That being said, here is a list of events we see a lot at weddings!


Before The Ceremony:

  • Couple's First Look - Couples sometimes choose to see each other before the wedding as a way to make their first look at each other more intimate

  • First Look with Bride and Father


  • Holding hands, but not seeing each other before - Some couples will just take a moment to talk to each other before the ceremony, others exchange vows, and others sometimes will pray

During the Ceremony:

  • Exchanging of Vows - A classic way to express your love for each other!

  • Tying the Knot - Literally! Usually 3 cords of various colors are braided together by the couple to symbolize their families coming together and being stronger when working as one

  • Sand Ceremony - The couple pours sand of multiple colors into a jar to mix the colors, symbolizing their lives coming together and becoming inseparable like the various colors of sand that are now mixed

During the Reception:


  • Grand Entrance - we can't recommend this one enough! Bringing in the wedding party (or even just the couple) with an announcer and some music really sets the mood for fun!

  • Welcome Speech - Can be given by the newlyweds, parents of the newlyweds, or both!

  • Toasts, First Dances - Although common, they are a must- have. Typical first dances are the couple, then Father/Daughter, followed by Mother/Son

  • Cake Cutting

  • Garter Throw/Bouquet Toss

  • Some fun additions that are more cultural and specific to New Mexico are La Marcha, which is a group dance that is typically led by family members with experience doing this (there are a lot of specific parts to it!), and the Dollar Dance, which is a great opportunity for guests to donate money to the couple by 'paying' a dollar or more to dance with them. Make sure you have someone designated to help you collect money from guests such as a Best Man and Maid of Honor!

  • Grand Exit - Sparkler exits are the way to go, but check with your venue ahead of time to make sure it is allowed. If not, bubble exits are a blast as well!