Who walks in what order?!
The Wedding Processional Order
Depending on the type of wedding ceremony you are having will have an influence on the order of your wedding processional order. There are three main types of wedding: religious, civil or military, and they each have their own processional traditions.
Church Wedding Ceremony
In a Catholic wedding ceremony the bride’s father escorts her to the altar but does not give her away before taking his seat. Christian Church wedding processionals are a little different:
A officiant (vicar, priest or minister) stands at the altar.
The Groom and best man enter the venue via a side door and stand at the altar.
Bridesmaids and ushers are to walk in pairs together. Alternatively if there are uneven numbers then people can walk alone or in threes.
The maid of honor is to walk down the aisle alone, unless a flower girl needs to be accompanied.
The ring bearer walks alone and then followed by the flower girl. These two can walk down the aisle together if they would be more comfortable.
The bride and the father of the bride then proceed down the aisle with the bride’s father on her left arm.
Once at the altar, the bride stands on the left hand side, the groom on the right both facing the officiant. The best man stands on the right hand side of the groom. With the ring bearer an ushers to his right.
The maid of honor stands on the left side of the bride, with the flower girl and bridesmaids to her left. If the ring bearer, flower girls or bridesmaids are too young to stand quietly throughout the wedding then have a parent waiting for them at the top of the aisle. And let them sit down with the rest of the guests.
Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Jewish wedding processionals and recessionals will vary with religious sects and local practices. However they still follow this basic order.
Rabbi and cantor stand at the altar
Bride’s grandparents proceed
Groom’s grandparents proceed
Ushers proceed in pairs
Best man walks alone, after the ushers
The groom proceeds with his parents (father on his left arm, mother on his right)
Bridesmaids proceed in pairs
Maid or matron of honor walks alone, after the bridesmaids
Ring bearer walks
Flower girl walks
The bride finally walks down the aisle with both her parents. Her father on her left hand side and her mother on her right hand side.
The Jewish wedding ceremony takes place around a wedding canopy, called a chuppah. The bride, groom, best man and maid of honor stand all stand under it together. If there’s enough room, the couple’s parents can also stand beneath the chuppah during the wedding ceremony.
While there is no set order for a civil ceremony, a couple might borrow procedures from a religious ceremony, or create their own. What’s most important is that the ceremony feels right to the bride and groom.
Since military weddings can be civil or religious ceremonies, their orders will vary. The only other difference will be during the recessional, when the just-married couple retreats under the majestic arch of drawn swords.