It is easy to get these two confused if you aren’t really concentrating or if you are distracted (perhaps by watching Daredevil, eating cake, or eating cake while watching Daredevil*).
However, the difference is fairly simple to understand:
- To precede is to ‘go before’ (such as in time or order)
- To proceed is to ‘go forward’ (or to ‘go ahead’)
If it helps, only proceed can be followed by to and another verb: He proceeded to eat my cake.
*I would never be distracted by this. I am a professional.
- Oxford Dictionaries Online