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Ceremony 101: Who walks when in the procession?

081015-processionorder-01Like most aspects of a wedding, there are traditions guiding when certain players walk down the aisle. Of course, rules are meant to be broken, so don’t feel like these are hard-and-fast rules. But, if you’re not sure how to organize your ceremony, these lists are a good place to begin.

Christian Ceremony

In most Christian ceremonies, the signal that things are about to begin is when the officiant takes his or her place on the altar, facing the guests. Often, the officiant is joined by the groom – either with or without his best man and groomsmen. The procession order then goes like this:

Bridesmaids – with ushers in pairs or two-by-two down the aisle

Maid/matron of honor, alone

Ring bearer

Flower girl

Bride and her father and/or mother

If you opt to have the men walk down the aisle, send them down at the beginning of the procession. Send groomsmen in pairs and the best man and groom alone. Some couples have the officiant join the procession, too. He or she would walk after the men but before the bridesmaids.

Jewish Ceremony

The officiant and cantor stand at the altar, facing the guests. The order then proceeds like this:

Bride’s grandparents

Groom’s grandparents

Groomsmen in pairs

Best man

Groom, alone or with parents

Bridesmaids in pairs

Maid/matron of honor

Ring bearer

Flower girl

Bride with parents