If you’re worried about your wedding processional order, relax. Your clergyman will most likely guide you through it during the rehearsal. If you have a planner, he or she will also help you with the drill. However, we’ve listed a few tips to get you started on the road to wedded bliss.
For a Christian ceremony, the Best Man, Groom, and Minister enter from the side, then stand at the altar. The Groomsmen enter the house of worship next, either alone or accompanying the Bridesmaids. Should you have an uneven amount of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, two guys can escort one woman. In some cases, the Groomsmen walk down first, followed by the Bridesmaids, in pairs.
Once the Groomsmen and Bridesmaids are at the altar, any other attendants, such as ring bearer or flower child, walk down the aisle. After they take their place at the altar, the bride is escorted down the aisle by her father, or another escort of choice. The bride should be on the left. Once at the altar, the father leaves his bride and takes a seat.
In many Protestant wedding ceremonies, the bride’s escort waits at the front of the altar until the minister says “Who gives this woman in marriage?” Many people do not use this tradition anymore, finding it out of date or even sexist. Once everyone is together, tradition calls for the bride to be on the left side of the groom. The custom dates back to medieval times, when the groom had to keep his sword hand free in case he needed to defend his betrothed’s honor.
In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the Groomsmen walk down the aisle first, in pairs. They are followed by the Best Man. The Groom and his parents are next, and then the Bridesmaids. The bride is escorted by both sets of parents.
If you are having a secular wedding, you can change the order as much as you’d like, but clear it with the minister. Many couples like to have both sets of parents walk them down the aisle, no matter their faith, and some brides like to walk down by themselves. It’s your big day, so live out your dream.
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