Processional Considerations

In order for your wedding ceremony to begin with a sence of fluidity, it is important not to overlook the relevance of how the processional will unfold. There is no right or wronge way for it to be executed. In many of today’s weddings, creative approaches can be carried out. With that being said, below is an example of a traditional procession, to be utilized or modified to your liking!

Before the Ceremony

  1. The groom waits in the back of the church with the clergy member for the ceremony to begin.
  2. The bride waits out of site in the back of the church.
  3. The groomsmen seat guests as they arrive.
  4. The groomsmen seat the immediate family members of the bride and groom last.
  5. Once the mothers of the bride and groom are seated, the bridesmaids and groomsmen gather in the back of the church.

Once the Ceremony Begins

  1. Processional music signals the start of the wedding.
  2. As the processional music begins, the church official and groom take their places on the altar.
  3. The groomsmen and bridesmaids walk down the aisle, one pair at a time.
  4. Upon reaching the altar, groomsmen and bridesmaids part and take their places on the appropriate side of the altar.
  5. If the wedding party includes a miniature bride and groom, they follow the last bridesmaid and groomsman down the aisle.

Here Comes the Bride!

  1. The guests stand and turn to the back of the church.
  2. The bride enters the doorway and is greeted by her father, who walks her down the aisle to "give her away."
  3. Once the bride and her father reach the altar, the groom approaches the pair and takes the bride's hand
  4. The bride's father is seated next to her mother, and the ceremony begins.


  1. Once the wedding ceremony has been completed, the bride and groom are introduced to the guests as man and wife.
  2. The bridesmaids and groomsmen meet at the center of the altar, then turn and walk arm and arm out of the church.
  3. Once the members of the wedding party have exited, the family members follow.
  4. After the family has exited, the guests leave the church.
  5. Everyone proceeds to the location of the wedding reception.


  • The traditional church wedding processional structure can easily be adapted for outdoor weddings and those that take place in other types of facilities.
  • It is acceptable to have all the groomsmen line up at the front of the church (or other facility) with the groom at the beginning of the ceremony. In such processionals, the bridesmaids walk down the aisle alone.
  • In some weddings, the bridesmaids and groomsmen line up in a boy, girl, boy, girl pattern instead of dividing into gender specific groups on either side of the bride and groom.
  • In many cases, the bride walks down the aisle alone or with someone other than her father.


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