We could list plenty of reasons for you to hire a wedding planner; from handling the hundreds of hours of communication with vendors, and aligning your expectations and budget, down to the details like lighting candles before the ceremony to corralling wedding guests at the end of cocktail hour. But have you ever realized that figuring out wedding processional order could be one of them? It’s one of the top questions we answer leading up to your big day. While we don’t want to put ourselves out of a job, we do want to make things easier for you. So, here’s a general breakdown for the typical lineup.
To start with – the bride’s side is traditionally the left side when looking forward & facing the ceremony site with the groom’s side on the right.
The grandparents of the groom are the first to enter & are seated on the right side in the first or second row, if seats have been reserved for them. Ushers can escort a grandmother if so desired. Grandparents of the bride would follow immediately after & are seated on the left side. If grandparents are not in the condition to walk down the aisle, we recommend pre-seating them prior to the processional.
Parents of the groom would follow either together as a couple or escorted separately by an usher, son, or other option, & are seated on the right side.
The mother of the bride is the last parent to be escorted in. Typically, by an usher, partner of parent, a son, or other family member. She is traditionally seated on the left front row.
Next, the officiant & groom will enter – sometimes from a side entrance if they don’t want to come down the same aisle as everyone else. We prefer them to enter down the center aisle. Also, if desired the groomsman can come out with them, all as a lined-up group.
The bridesmaids enter after the groomsmen. The maid of honor will enter last in this case, taking her place closest to where the bride will eventually stand. The bridesmaids will enter the ceremony with the farthest from the bride going first, and file in line.
An optional way for the bridal party to enter is in pairs. In this case, the couple that is standing farthest from the couple will go first and split at front of the ceremony or stand in pairs and alternate from the left to right.
(Optional) Ring bearers & flower girls are not required in a wedding processional, but if you decide to add little ones to your order then the ring bearer would walk down before the flower girl.
Lastly, the bride traditionally walks down with her father (or father figure) with the bride being on the left & father on the right to end the wedding processional order.
Now, this by no means covers every option for a wedding processional, so if you have questions about intricate situations or what might work for your wedding day, contact us & we’d be happy to talk about how things could work for you!
Wrennwood Design, based in Atlanta, GA plans destination weddings all over the world from intimate gatherings to million-dollar, multi-day extravaganzas, led by Amberly Odom. To learn more about our services, click here.