The processional begins the wedding ceremony. This is where the guests will first lay their eyes on the beautiful bride. The wedding party is presented first and then the bride herself.
Music, is selected by the couple to play while the wedding party walks down the aisle. Then, the Bridal March or some other appropriate music as chosen by the couple starts and the bride is presented to the groom and the guests while she ascends the aisle. For me, it is always one of the most dramatic and highly emotional parts of the ceremony.
Your wedding processional should be your own. You can have anything from the very traditional to an alternative current trend which, at the time of this writing is a dancing processional. It’s important to note that the processional alone can set the “tone” of your wedding and will help guests to see your wedding in that light. What’s really important though, is to make it your own, make it special and make it memorable for both you and your guests.
Below is the traditional order of the wedding processional.
The guests are seated.
The groom, best man and Officiant enter by using a side door. They all stand facing the guests.
An usher escorts the grandmother(s) of the bride to their seats of honor.
An usher escorts the grandmother(s) of the groom to their seats of honor.
An usher escorts the mother and father of the groom to their seats of honor.
An usher escorts the mother of the bride to her seat of honor. The brides father is also seated, if he is not walking her down the aisle.
Processional music begins.
The bride’s mother (and father) stand(s).
All the guests stand.
The ushers walk down the aisle (or escort the bridesmaids) and stand next the groom and best man and then face the guests.
The bridesmaids walk down the aisle.
The maid and/or matron of honor walk(s) down the aisle.
The ring bearer walks down the aisle.
The flower girl walks down the aisle or the flower girl and ring bearer walk down together.
Processional music changes and/or the volume increases.
The father of the bride escorts the bride down aisle.
The recessional is the processional in reverse, except that the ushers always escort the bridesmaids out. If the number of bridesmaids is uneven, ushers may escort more than one bridesmaid.
For a somewhat less than tradional processional, here are another few ideas. Of course, they may alterered to fit your needs.
Traditionally, the bride walks down the aisle with her father.
both parents may walk down the aisle with the bride. (This is customary in Jewish weddings.) or, the bride walks down the aisle escorted by her son. (Perfect for a second wedding)
Traditionally, the flower girl walks down the aisle, throwing petals as she goes.
Alternatively, the flower girl carries single stems of individual flowers and gives them to people as she goes down the aisle.
Traditionally, the groom and best man wait at the altar/canopy.
Alternatively, the groom, ushers and/or best man enter with the clergy person or officiant or
the groom can walk down the aisle with his parents. For a second wedding, the groom can walk down the aisle escorted by his daughter.
Traditionally, the bridesmaids walk down the aisle single file.
Alternatively, the bridesmaids walk down the aisle two by two or each with an usher.
Traditionally, ring bearers, trainbearers and pages walk in pairs.
Alternatively, one ring bearer can carry two rings, or for a double ring ceremony, you could use two children. Perhaps a male or female, or both together.
Other ideas: In divorced families, Involve grandparents, stepparents and/or godparents
Second Marriage Idea: The bride and groom can enter as a couple, preceded by the wedding party, who enter as couples.
Or… something like this!
Whatever you decide, remember to make it your own whether that means traditional or something else.