Wedding Processional: What's the Traditional Order?

The Knot
Updated Jul 20, 2020

If you're in the midst of planning your wedding, we know we don't have to remind you of all the little details and wedding etiquette you're expected to keep track of leading up to your special day. While there's a lot to keep straight, it's ok to ask questions. In fact, many couples ask us questions about the correct wedding procession order. Who goes where and when? While others ask, what is the processional in a wedding?

For starters, the wedding processional refers to the specific people who walk down the aisle at a wedding ceremony. Aside from the couple, other members of the ceremony take to the aisle, from the parents and grandparents to the officiant and wedding party.

While some wedding procession orders may differ depending on your religion or tradition, below, we have outlined a suggested order. Of course, at the end of the day, it's your wedding and you can ultimately create your own wedding procession order if you choose.

Suggested Wedding Procession Order

1. Officiant

Your officiant is generally the first person to walk toward the altar, signifying the ceremony is about to commence.

2. Grandparents

Typically the grandparents of the couple are next to walk down the aisle and find their seats in the front row.

3. Parents

Next, the parents of the couple follow the grandparents down the aisle, sitting in the first two seats in the front row, next to the grandparents. Depending on your wedding preferences, you may ask the family of the groom to sit on the right side and the family of the bride on the left side.

4. Mother of the Bride

If there is a mother of the bride, she will be next in the wedding procession. Usually, she will have someone ushering her down the aisle.

5. Groom

Now it's time for the groom to make his way toward the altar. He often walks alone, but he can march down with his groomsmen in tow if he prefers.

6. Wedding Party

The bridesmaids and groomsmen will follow. Oftentimes, they will partner up and usher themselves down the aisle together. The best man and maid/matron of honor will be the last in the wedding party procession as they will take their places closest to the altar.

7. Ring Bearer

The ring bearer is the next member in the wedding procession to walk down the aisle. Depending on his age, he can either stand with the groomsmen or take a seat with his family members.

8. Flower Girl

The flower girl rounds out the wedding procession right before the bride enters. She will scatter flower petals and make her way to either the wedding party at the altar or her family in the crowd.

9. Bride

Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for. The bride, and a chosen escort, will march toward the altar. Traditionally, the father of the bride will walk her down the aisle, but it's entirely up to the bride who she chooses. Some ask a brother, grandfather or even son or daughter to do the honors.

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