Jewish Ceremony Processionals, Recessionals and Seating

Everything you need to know about who sits where and who walks down the aisle at a Jewish wedding
by Robin Beth Schaer
Jewish wedding processional
photo by Roey Yohai Photography

Here's the nitty-gritty on who sits where and who walks when at a Jewish wedding. But remember, these are just guidelines -- feel free to adapt these rules or make up your own.

Taking Sides

The age-old tradition of bride's side and groom's side of the sanctuary still stands, but the usher need not ask guests whose "side" they are on. For Jewish services, the groom's side makes up the left and the bride's side fills the right when looking from back to front. However, should someone express a preference for one side or the other (many guests will just say off the bat that they are friends or relatives of the bride or groom), they should be seated where they choose (makes sense, yes?). If one side of the family will have many more guests than the other, ushers should even out the sides; they can explain that everyone will be sitting together, and that guests will have the best possible view this way.

The Jewish Procession

For Jewish services, the wedding party enters in this order:

  • Rabbi and/or cantor
  • Grandparents of the bride
  • Grandparents of the groom(The grandparents are seated in the first rows; groom's family on the left, bride's family on the right)

Next to come down the aisle and remain standing under the huppah:

  • Groomsmen (in pairs)
  • Best man
  • The groom, escorted by his parents (father on his right, mother on his left)
  • Bridesmaids (starting with she who will stand farthest from the bride under the huppah)
  • Honor attendant(s)
  • Ring bearer and/or flower girl (child attendants can be seated with their parents once they reach the front)
  • The bride, escorted by her parents (father on her right, mother on her left)

The Jewish Recessional

After the ceremony, the procession is reversed, and the men in the wedding party escort the women:

  • Bride and groom
  • Bride's parents
  • Groom's parents
  • Brides grandparents
  • Grooms grandparents
  • Ring bearer and flower girl (optional)
  • Honor attendants (maid/matron of honor and best man)
  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • Rabbi and/or Cantor
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