Line Them Up
About 5-10 minutes before the official start time, the wedding party lines up in the order of the processional. If possible, they should be out of the view of the wedding guests. But that’s not always possible.
The order of your processional is of course up to you, but there are some traditional etiquette rules that you can draw from.
Men on the Right, Women on the Left
Men are on the right side, women on the left. Except in the case of the bride and her father. The father is on the left and the bride is on the right.
Here’s the Order
If this is a non-church wedding, the officiant walks up first.
Followed by the groom who may walk up a side aisle
The best man walks with or slightly behind him.
Then groomsmen either process alone, or head to the beginning of the aisle to escort bridesmaids.
Seating of the Parents
Once the officiant, groom, and groomsmen are in place, the seating of parents begins. There is often a song specifically for this procession.
Tradition says that those closest to the bride should be closest to her in the line-up. This means that the groom’s family walks up first.
We begin with the Paternal Grandparents of the Groom, then Maternal Grandparents of the Groom.
Next are the Paternal Grandparents of the Bride followed by her Maternal Grandparents of the Bride.
The Parents of the Groom follow. Many grooms choose to escort their mothers, in that case, he’d process here instead of after the officiant.
The last parent to process is the Mother of the Bride and her escort. Her escort can be a son, an usher, her husband, or any person she chooses.
Wedding Party Processional
Once all the way up the aisle, the music changes for the wedding party processional.
Junior Bridesmaids process first.
Next are the Bridesmaids (& Groomsmen if they are escorted).
The Maid of Honor is the last adult attendant to process.
Then ring bearers and flower girls.
Once the flower girl enters the space, and if there are doors, they shut for the bride to prepare to process.
When the child attendants have reached the front, the music changes to the Bride’s processional song.
After just a few measures of the song, the doors open, and the Father and Bride or both Parents enter. Sometimes you wait for the end of the trumpet fanfare.
Spacing and Bowing
For spacing, attendants should wait for the couple before them to reach a ½ way point. In some sanctuaries, all should bow at the front, at the first row. It’s a 45-degree bow.
How to Hold the Bouquet
Bouquets should be held at the belly button, which usually feels a little low, but definitely looks better in pictures. Check out this fun TikTok on how to hold it!
Still Do You
There are variations for processionals for every couple and situation, if you want specific answers, email us for free advice ♥ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading and happy wedding planning.