Editorial Category: 
Date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wedding Processional Order Non-Traditional

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How to arrange your ceremony processional (For non-traditional families, step-parents, same-sex weddings, etc.)

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Traditional ceremony processional:

This processional is the most traditional way to get your family members and bridal party down the aisle on your big day.

  • Officiant. Officiants are typically the first to come down the aisle or to stand up at the altar. This signals that the processional or ceremony is about to begin.

  • Grandparents of the Groom. The groom’s family walks down the aisle first because he comes out before the bride does. Sometimes grandparents may need an escort and they will walk them down the aisle if needed.

  • Grandparents of the Bride. Next comes the grandparents of the bride. You will notice a trend that everything is grouped. So grooms grandparents first then the bride's grandparents and so on.

  • Parents of the Groom. Parents of the groom will follow the grandparents of the bride. This will also include any other family members the groom wants to include in his VIP or in the first row. 

  • Mother of the Bride. Following the parents of the groom will come to the mother of the bride. She will typically be escorted by an usher or family member. This is also the time for any additional family of the bride that is a VIP to walk down. 

  • Groomsmen/Bridesmaids. Now is time for the bridal party to walk down the aisle. They can either walk down in pairs or one-by-one depending on preference. If you choose one-by-one the groomsmen usually enter from the side along with the groom.

  • Groom. Most of the time the groom will just make a subtle entrance from the side or back entrance. The groom doesn’t usually enjoy walking down the aisle by himself. If you decide to have your groomsmen/bridesmaids walk one-by-one the groom will usually enter after the best man has entered. 

  • Flower Girl/Ring Bearer. After the maid of honor has walked down the aisle the ring bearer and flower girl usually makes their appearance together. If not, the ring bearer will enter first then the flower girl. The flower girl is typically always before the bride makes her entrance. 

  • Bride and Father of the Bride. After the flower girl has gone down the aisle the bride and father of the bride make their way down the aisle. The bride will be on her dads left side while walking down to the altar. 

 When at the altar the groomsmen will align themselves on the right side and the bridesmaids will align themselves on the left side. The bride will always be on the left and the groom always on the right at a traditional ceremony with the officiant in the middle. 

 

Same sex ceremony processional:

With same-sex marriages, there are a thousand ways you can set up your processional. Here’s just one example of what you could do for your processional.

  • Officiant. This could be a friend who got ordained to be a part of your special day or someone who specializes in same-sex marriages.

  • Groomswoman/Bridesmen. Next depending if you have both or just one of your bridal parties will walk in. If you only have Groomswoman/Groomsmen or Bridesmen/Bridesmaids you could have them one-by-one down the aisle. If you have both you can pair them together have them walk down the aisle that way. 

  • Flower girl/ Ringbearer. If you plan on having a flower girl/boy or ring bearer you can have them walk right after the bridal party. Or if you like the idea they can always walk down first before anyone. You could always replace this with something fun and new!

  • Grooms/Brides. Now comes the fun part, the couple! You have a couple of different ways you could come down the aisle. You could both walk-in separately or decide if one of you wants to wait at the altar. You could have a family member walk each one of you guys down and rock, paper, scissors on who gets to go first. Or you could walk each other down the aisle and embrace the moment together!

 

Step parents or divorced parents processional:

This processional will include how to get your step-parents or divorced parents down the aisle on your wedding day. 

  • Officiant. This is very similar to a traditional processional the officiant usually enters first to signal the start of the ceremony/processional. 

  • Grandparents of the Groom. The groom’s family walks down the aisle first because he comes out before the bride does. Sometimes grandparents may need an escort and they will walk them down the aisle if needed.

  • Grandparents of the Bride. Next comes the grandparents of the bride. You will notice a trend that everything is grouped. So grooms grandparents first then the bride's grandparents and so on.

  • Parents of the Groom. If the groom's parents are divorced or have step-parents they will enter separately. This will also include any other family members the groom wants to include in his VIP or in the first row. 

  • Mom and Stepdad would enter.

  •  Following them, Dad and Stepmom would enter. 

  • Parents of the Bride. This would exclude the bride's dad because he would still walk her down the aisle. The order for divorced/step parents would be as follows:

  • Brides stepmom would walk in escorted by an usher or family member.

  • Brides mom and stepdad would follow down the aisle together.

 

Everything following will remain the same as a traditional processional

  • Groomsmen/Bridesmaids. Now is time for the bridal party to walk down the aisle. They can either walk down in pairs or one-by-one depending on preference. If you choose one-by-one the groomsmen usually enter from the side along with the groom.

  • Groom. Most of the time the groom will just make a subtle entrance from the side or back entrance. The groom doesn’t usually enjoy walking down the aisle by himself. If you decide to have your groomsmen/bridesmaids walk one-by-one the groom will usually enter after the best man has entered. 

  • Flower Girl/Ring Bearer. After the maid of honor has walked down the aisle the ring bearer and flower girl usually make their appearance together. If not, the ring bearer will enter first then the flower girl. The flower girl is typically always before the bride makes her entrance. 

  • Bride and Father of the Bride. After the flower girl has gone down the aisle the bride and father of the bride make their way down the aisle. The bride will be on her dads left side while walking down to the altar. 

  • When at the altar the groomsmen will align themselves on the right side and the bridesmaids will align themselves on the left side. The bride will always be on the left and the groom always on the right at a traditional ceremony with the officiant in the middle. 

 

Non-Traditional Family Processional Order:

I’m going to include different scenarios for a non-traditional family processional such as dad deceased/not involved, mother deceased/not involved, no bridal party, etc.

  • Officiant. Officiant will either walk down the aisle or already be there at the altar. 

  • Grandparents of Groom/Bride. Next would be the grandparents of the groom/bride. Now if the grandparents are deceased or not able to make it you can always set up a memory chair/table in honor of them.

  • Parents of the Groom. If one of them has passed away or is not involved in the family you can have an escort walk down whichever family member. Example: if the father is not involved or deceased you could have a family member or escort walk groom's mom down the aisle. 

  • Mother of the Bride. If the mom is not involved or has passed away, you can always skip this step or have someone who is a mother figure walk down in her place!

  • Groomsmen. Would follow and either enter with bridesmaids paired up or one-by-one on the side. Depending on personal preference on if you choose one-by-one or paired up.

  • Bridesmaids. Following the groomsmen, if you chose one-by-one your bridesmaids would enter. If not, they would walk down in pairs. If you chose not to have a bridal party you would skip the groomsmen and bridesmaids step.

  • Groom. If you choose not to have a bridal party the groom would enter after the mother of the bride or whoever is walking in place of mom. If you do have a bridal party the groom would walk in right after the bridal party.

  • Flower girl/ Ringbearer. Depending on if you have a little one to fill each role next would be your flower girl and ring bearer. If not, you could fill this position with a furry pet or just not have any, it's completely up to you.

Bride and Father of the Bride. Now if the father has passed away or just isn’t involved you could have a close family member or father figure walk the bride down the aisle. Good examples are her little brother could walk her down, uncle or even the mother of the bride could take his place.

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