Ceremony Order Demystified!  Here’s the Scoop. / by Kristen Bradley

There are many different ways to organize a processional, and it can be influenced by culture, religious background, or simply personal preference.  If you are currently in the planning stages, we’re here to help!  Check out some simple guidelines below to help you pull off a superb ceremony.   

Seating

Wedding Planner Arizona Grandparents

1.  Start by seating the grandparents.  Paternal grandparents are seated first, followed by maternal grandparents.

2.  Next up, seat the parents.  The groom’s parents seated first, and the bride’s parents second.  The seating of the mother of the bride signals the end of the seating and the beginning of the processional.

Processional

3.  The processional traditionally starts with the officiant and the groom making their way to the altar.  The groom can accompany the officiant, or walk alone, or even walk with the best man.  He can also choose to accompany his mother to her seat, and then head up to take his place at the altar.  

Wedding Planner Arizona Groom
Wedding Planner Arizona Flowergirl

4.  Next up, the bridesmaids make their way down the aisle, and you can choose to have them walk solo, or paired with a groomsman.  Following the wedding party, your maid, (or matron), of honor will make her way towards the altar, and similarly, she can walk with the best man, or they can walk down solo.  Once she arrives at the altar, she will stand immediately next to you so that she can hold your bouquet during the ceremony and make adjustments to your train and dress.  

5.  Your adorable ring bearers and flower girls are up next.  Traditionally the flower girl is the last person to walk down the aisle before the bride, as the bride is the only person meant to walk on the flower petals, if this is something you are planning on doing.  

6.  Finally, it is time for you to make you debut!  The bride walks down the aisle last, and is traditionally escorted by her father.  The bride’s mother may choose to accompany her as well.  Your guests will rise as you make your way to your partner, and will be seated once you are settled in your place at the altar.  

Wedding Planner Arizona Bride and Parents

A few final notes and considerations:

If you are getting married in a church or a synagogue, there may be a preferred order of the processional that can vary from the above.  Check with your ceremony venue if you choose to respect these traditions.  

Next, we are mindful of the fact that some couples will help us as a society redefine how we view the processional with same sex marriages and gender identification flexibility.  We are at an exciting time in our industry's history where we have the opportunity to create new traditions and perceptions about how the processional is carried out.

Finally, nothing is set in stone!  It’s your day, and you can get as creative as you like.  Want to dance down the aisle instead?  Go for it!  Ultimately, it is up to you and your partner to decide. 

If you are recently engaged, we'd love to hear from you!  Reach us at info@sipandtwirl.com or 480-648-0663, and let us demystify this and other aspects of your wedding planning.