There are numerous ways to have the bridal party walk down the aisle, the following are the most common processional and recessional, also known as entrances and exits, to the wedding ceremony.
Procession / Entrance to Wedding
When we assist brides during their rehearsal, we generally ask a few questions when planning the line up of the bridal party. Key questions to address are: What order would you like the wedding party to enter the wedding site?, Where would you like the officiant, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ringerbeares to stand?, and in what order would you like them to leave? Initally we may come off as question over load coordinators but we want to fulfill your ceremony visions and we want to place members of the bridal party the way you want them to. It is your wedding after all and that is what the rehearsal is for to practice it and get it just right. Listed below is basic line up to get you started:
The “traditional” order
– Mother of the groom is escorted down the aisle and seated in the front row of the right side, traditionally the groom’s side.
– Mother of the bride is escorted down the aisle and seated in the front row on left side, traditionally the bride’s side.
– Minister is the first to take their place at the altar site
– Groom, typically follows behind the minister
– Best man may walk to the altar site with the groom or he may escort the Maid of Honor
– Groomsmen walk in a single file line with the rest of the party or are paired with Bridesmaids
– Maid of honor may walk alone or with Best Man
– Ring bearer
– Flower girl
– Bride with or without an escort
We also want to note that traditionally the ladies stand to the left if being escorted down the aisle. From the Mothers to the bridesmaids and the bride all the ladies should be on the left if escorted down the aisle. A good way to remember this is “you want to keep her on your left side close to your heart.”
This leads to the next series of questions to address, once the bridal party walks down the aisle where do they stand? The answer should be any where you want them to.
The Traditional Positions
-Minister- Center normally facing the guests
– Groom-On the Ministers left, facing guests (right side when guests are looking at him)
– Best Man-Stands to the Groom’s left
– Groomsmen-First to enter stands furthest away from the Groom, last to enter is the closest to Best Man
– Bridesmaids-First to enter stands the furthest away from Bride, last to enter is the closest to Maid of Honor
– Maid of Honor-Will stand closest to the Bride
– Ring Bearer-Will either stand between the Best Man and the closest Groomsman, or can take a seat
– Flower Girl-Will either stand between the Maid of Honor and the closest Bridesmaid, or can take a seat
– Bride-If being escorted will stand facing Minister until her escort is acknowledged, then to the left of the Minister facing her Groom
– Bride’s Escort-After being acknowledged, will either take a seat or stand were agreed upon prior to wedding
Below is a diagram of guests seating arrangements
|Bride’s Parents||A||Groom’s Parents|
|Bride’s Family||S||Groom’s Family|
|and friends||L||and friends|
|sit on the left||E||sit on the right|
|side of the aisle||side of the aisle|
Now the final conclusion of the ceremony, in what order do people leave? The answer should be any way you want them to. Below is the traditional way.
Everyone walks out by going down the central aisle.
Bride and Groom together
Ring Bearer and Flower Girl together or separately (if still standing)
Followed by the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen exciting as couples
Parents of the Bride
Parents of the Groom
The remaining guests either walk out on their own, or are released one row at a time by an usher
Have fun placing your bridal party!