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Procession and Recession Wedding Ceremony Lines
Whether your are a traditionalist or not, who walks down the wedding aisle in what order is one tradition you might like to keep. Here is the ultimate guide to wedding ceremony processions and recessions and who goes where!
Firstly, the officiant should take his place. The groom should stand to the left of the officiant, with his best man to the left of him. There may be other attendants who stand to the left of the best man, often in height order. All of these participants should face the guests and watch as other attendants walk down the aisle.
Secondly, the ushers start the procession and walk in pairs to their seats. If they are escorting family members, they take the grandparents first, then the mother of the groom (followed by the father of the groom without an usher) and finally, the mother of the bride. Read our wedding ceremony seating guide for how to seat your guests correctly.
Next, the bridesmaids start entering and walk down the aisle singly. The bridesmaids stand to the right of the officiant with the first bridesmaid at the very end, and each bridesmaid filling towards the officiant. Often this is in height for formality.
The Maid or Matron of Honour will be the final bridesmaid to walk the aisle and will take the place next to where the bride will stand to the right of the officiant.
If there are ring bearers, page boys or flower girls participating, they will be the final attendants to walk down the ailse before the bride. They take the place slightly in front of the best man (for the page boys or ring bearers) and slightly in front of the Maid or Matron of Honour for the flower girls.
The final person to walk down the aisle is the bride, traditionally with her father on his left arm. Many brides now are walked down the aisle by both parents, so the mother would be on the other arm of the bride.
So in place, the officiant is in the centre, with the bride on the left and the groom on the right. When the bride reaches the front, the Maid/ Matron of Honour, Groom and Best Man along with the Bride all turn to face the officiant, with the other attendants facing one another across the room.
Once the couple are married and the music begins for the wedding recession, it is traditional for the bride and groom to link arms and start the recessional walk down the aisle. They should be followed by the wedding party who also link arms and follow the bride and groom to the end of the ceremony site. The flower girl and ring bearer should follow the bride first if you have them, but otherwise it is the Maid/ Matron of Honour and the Best Man who directly follow the bride and groom.
Many couples forgo this tradition, but it is an easy way to ensure that the bride and groom greet all of their guests. You can have your receiving line directly following the ceremony or at the cocktail reception, whichever suits you best. If you do decide to have one, the etiquette is to have the order as follows: mother of the bride, mother of the groom, bride, groom, Maid/ Matron of Honour, Best Man. Most couples don't include the other attendants in the line as it can be too much and take too long for guests to move through. The idea is for a quick congratulations to be said by each guest - keep it short and sweet!
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