Wedding 101: All About The Processional Order

Photo by  Annie-Beth Photo

The processional is a very important of your ceremony that shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only does it set the tone for the ceremony and readies your guests for the moment, it plays a role in honoring key loved ones in your lives (i.e., your parents, grandparents, wedding party, etc.). Just like any part of your wedding ceremony, it’s your to do what you wish with it. Which can be both liberating and daunting. While the options for the order of your processional are seemingly endless, it might help to take a look at the traditional processional orders as a starting point for crafting a more personal processional.

A Traditional Christian Wedding Processional

Women on the left. Men on the right.

  1. Grandparents of the Groom

  2. Grandparents of the Bride 

  3. Parents of the Groom

  4. Mother of the Bride (Escorted by an usher, friend, groomsman, etc.)

  5. Priest, Groom, Best Man & Groomsmen (Typically from behind the altar.)

  6. Bridesmaids (Starting with the one standing furthest from the Bride. Another variation is to have the Groomsmen meet each Bridesmaid half way own the aisle and escort them to the altar.)

  7. Maid or Matron of Honor

  8. Ring Bearer

  9. Flower Girl (Can be after or with the Ring Bearer.)

  10. Bride and Father (Guests will be prompted to stand.)

A Traditional Jewish Wedding Processional

Women on the right. Men on the left.

  1. Rabbi or Cantor

  2. Grandparents of the Groom

  3. Grandparents of the Bride 

  4. Groomsmen (One-by-one or in pairs.)

  5. Best Man

  6. Groom and Both Parents

  7. Bridesmaids (Starting with the one standing furthest from the Bride.)

  8. Maid or Matron of Honor

  9. Ring Bearer

  10. Flower Girl (Can be after or with the Ring Bearer.)

  11. Bride and Both Parents

A Non-Traditional, Non-Hetero Wedding Processional - Variation #1

  1. Officiant (Makes announcements if needed.)

  2. Grandparents of Partner #1

  3. Grandparents of Partner #2

  4. Parents of Partner #1

  5. Parents of Partner #2   

  6. Attendants of Partner #1*

  7. Attendants of Partner #2*

  8. Honor Attendant of Partner #1*

  9. Honor Attendant of Partner #2*

  10. Partner #1

  11. Partner #2

* If you have a larger wedding party, you could have the attendants walk down the aisle in pairs, one from Partner #1’s side and one from Partner #2’s side.

A Non-Traditional, Non-Hetero Wedding Processional - Variation #2

  1. Officiant (Makes announcements if needed.)

  2. Partners #1 & #2 (Either one at a time, together, or from opposite ends up front, meeting at the altar.)

Yes, it can be this simple!!

a final thought

Like I said, the possibilities are endless and should reflect your personal story. Don’t be afraid to modify the order or to do do something “out of the box” to honor the people in your life who are important. On the reverse end, don’t feel pressured to honor someone who you might not have a strong or healthy relationship with. Either way, be sure to have an open conversation with your partner about your choices and their significance.

 
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