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Here We Tell You What's the Correct Order of a Wedding Processional

What's the Correct Order of a Wedding Processional?
It starts with love, then comes the engagement and finally your marriage. Marriage is not just about two people, it comes with a flock of loved ones grinning down the wedding altar. To plan a wedding which runs beautifully, here is a lesson regarding the order of a traditional wedding processional. It starts with the bride's mom and ends with the bride.
Ashmeet Bagga
Last Updated: Jun 7, 2017
Brides generally stand to the left of the groom because in Anglo-Saxen England, grooms often had to fight for their brides. So brides stood on the left so that he could use his sword arm freely.
Wedding is all about having fun and enjoying the day because this day never comes back in a bride and groom's life. To make it all perfect, often people hire wedding planners who take the responsibility to look after everything from scratch.

However, maximum attention and time is spent in planning an extraordinary reception. People tend to overlook that it's the ceremony that matters most. A reception is a reason to celebrate what happened in the ceremony where two people took vows to spend the rest of their lives together. There are plethora of details which go into coordinating a wedding, and a wedding procession is one such major detail. After all nobody wants to do the tango while walking down the aisle.

Watching the bride walk down the aisle towards the love of her life is a major highlight of any wedding ceremony. But the procession is incomplete without her mother, bridal party, groom's family, and the officiant. They all help to prepare the altar before the bride can amaze the people with her grand entrance.

Mostly personal preference or religious traditions guide the correct order of a wedding processional. This is the moment where everybody walks down the aisle and takes their place for the ceremony. As the guests begin to arrive they are greeted by the ushers, who show the guests their seats. Usually the bride's family occupies the seat on the left side of the aisle, while the groom's family on the right side. The processional order can be quite confusing, so in the upcoming sections we will guide you as to who should be walking when to make sure your bridal march runs hassle-free.
Catholic Wedding Processional Order
Bride's Mother
The ceremony commences when the mother of the bride enters the hall. She walks down the aisle and takes her seat to the left of the aisle in the front row. Mother can be escorted by an usher or bride's father, but bride's father has to return to the back of the church, if he is also escorting the bride.
Groomsmen can enter the altar one by one, followed by the Best man. Alternatively, they can accompany the bridesmaids later. If they are escorting the bridesmaids, they need to walk on the right. Many times groomsmen serve as ushers on the D-day and if they do, they need to come early to escort the guests to their seats.
The Best man
Next comes the groom's best man, he follows the groomsmen and stands right besides the groom during the entire ceremony. He can hold the bride's rings or both their rings. He also signs the marriage certificate.
The Groom
Groom enters the aisle, mostly alone. But nowadays many parents accompany their son to the altar and take their respective seats. A groom can also enter through a side door followed by the best man and groomsmen.
He is the most important person in the whole ceremony, he has the legal authority to bind two people for lifetime. This is the reason he is given a prominent place in the procession. He can also enter the altar from the side of the room with the groom.
They walk down the aisle either by themselves or accompanied by the groomsmen. They walk before the Maid or Matron of Honor. When they reach their place, they face the guests and are lined up according to their height (starting from shortest to tallest).
Maid or Matron of Honor
Matron of honor stands for a girl who is married. It is her responsibility to take care of the bride before, during, and after the wedding ceremony. Before the function she helps the bride with her dress, veil, and train to make sure everything is fine. She stands next to the bride on the altar, holding the bride's bouquet and sometimes the groom's ring. She also signs the marriage certificate as a witness.
Flower girl and Ring bearer
They precede the bride down the aisle. Traditionally the ring bearer carries the ring tied to a small pillow. Flower girl carries a small basket of flowers, which she scatters as she walks. After their part is done, they can sit with their parents.
Father of the Bride and the Bride
In a wedding processional, the bride enters last escorted by her father. He stands on the right side and before giving her away, he lifts the veil to kiss her cheek. He sits beside the bride's mother and the ceremony starts.
Jewish Wedding Processional Order
In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the bride's side is on the right and the groom's side is on the left, unlike Christian wedding ceremony. Both the bride and groom's parents stand under the Chuppah during the function. The bride's guests take their seats on the right side and the groom's on the left side facing the altar. Grandparents, siblings cover the first pews. However, if the parents of either bride or groom are divorced and remarried their respective spouses sit in the second and third pews.
Rabbi and Cantor
The ceremony starts with the rabbi and cantor entering the hall and taking their place in the center under the Chuppah. Cantor sings the wedding blessings, if you want you can segregate the service between two rabbis.
Bride's Grandparents
Bride's grandparents enter the hall next. They take their seats in the first pew on the right side.
Groom's Grandparents
Groom's grandparents enter the aisle and are seated in the first pew on the left side.
Then enters the groomsmen, but they are supposed to walk in pairs. Alternatively you can choose to modify the tradition according to your liking. They are supposed to stand under the Chuppah for the entire ceremony.
Best Man
Best man walks down the aisle alone but he is supposed to stand besides the groom all the time.
The Groom
Groom is either escorted by both his parents or the bride and groom's father can escort him. Father walks on the right side and his mother on the left. If there is space under the Chuppah, groom's parents can stand alongside the Rabbi, groom, and the bride.
This marks the starting of the bride's side. Bridesmaids enter the altar starting with the one who will be standing the farthest from the bride. They can walk in pairs or individually.
Maid/Matron of Honor
She comes after all the bridesmaids take their place, she usually walks alone and stands under the Chuppah.
Ring bearer and Flower girl
They follow the maid of honor, holding a small pillow tied with ring. Flower girl walks down the aisle scattering beautiful flowers.
The Bride
Finally the bride makes her grand entrance in an enchanting white gown. She is escorted by her father on the left and mother on the right. Or she could be escorted by her and the groom's mother. They take their places under the Chuppah and the ceremony begins.
Order of Wedding Processional with Divorced Parents
► In a situation like this, you need to carefully plan out the processional order to avoid drama in your wedding. The following rules also apply to the groom's parents.

► Bride's stepfather can escort the bride's mother to the aisle, unless he has taken the responsibility to walk the aisle with the bride. If the bride's biological father remarried and if he won't be escorting the bride, then he and his family can sit in the second or third row. His family is to be ushered in, before the bride's mother.

► If the bride's stepfather and father are close to her, then she can be escorted by both of them. If the bride is close to her grandparents, even they can take her to the altar.
These really small details are to be considered to make your wedding more special and memorable. They say that in a very customary wedding, the bride takes seven rounds around her groom, because in Hebrew scripture it's written, "And when a man takes a wife" seven times. There are many interpretations that explain why circling the groom is an important ritual, one version being - it took God seven days to manifest a universe. Some other traditions have both the bride and the groom circle each another three times to symbolize the intertwining of two lives.