Post # 1
Here’s how I’m thinking our ceremony will begin:
His parents enter and take their seats
My mom and brother take their seats
Officiant (my uncle) enters and stands at the front
3 pairs of bridesmaids & groomsmen enter and stand at the front
Groom enters and stands at the front
My dad and I enter. I stand at the front and he takes his seat after shaking groom’s hand.
First question: I’m trying to figure out how we get across to the guests that the ceremony is starting now. If the guests are chatting and standing in the aisles, probably some announcement will need to be made, but who makes the announcement and what should they say specifically?
Second question: Is it typical for the officiant walk down the aisle? What about the groom? My fiance says he thinks he and the officiant should already be standing at the front before anyone else enters. But that doesn’t make sense to me because they have to get to the front somehow, unless they stand there for like 30 mins while all the other guests are arriving and taking their seats, right? Could someone with more wedding experience please help me out on how the officiant and groom entrance is typically done?
Post # 3
@beeconomist: Good question. Of the weddings I’ve been to, I knew they were about to start when the officiant and groom got to the front. I’ve also heard a break in the music and then the next song, prosessional, will come on louder than the background music they had ahead of time.
Post # 4
My Groom and officiant literally stood at the front of the church for the HOUR before the wedding started!
Then there was a LONG (10 second?) pause in the music, and the processional started.
Post # 5
There is no need for the groom and the officient to stand an inordinately long time at the front.
Most churches have a side entrance at the front of the church through which, historically, the officient, groom and groomsmen entered. They stood in a row at the front and watched the bridal party and bride enter.
Many couples are changing everything traditional about weddings, so if you want the groom to be part of the processional, have at it.
Regarding the subject f how the guests know when the processional is beginning, having the parents escorted down the aisle is a good clue. Then the organist or whomever is in charge of the music, changes from quiet listening music to something more dramatic that is also louder.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2014 - Waldorf Astoria, Chicago
I’m never been to a wedding that had an announcement that the wedding was about to begin, the music is the only cue. And I’ve also never been to a weding that the groom and groomsmen walk down the aisle, or the officiant. They are always up front, whether it’s been a church wedding or at another venue. But you can do it however you see fit. I like the idea of the men and officiant already up front waiting for the bride 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Our MC made an announcement that the ceremony was starting and to please find your seats (we had a pre-ceremony cocktail hour at our outdoor venue – highly recommended!!). Then, once people were seated, our officiant walked down the aisle and made a short announcment. Then the groom walked in with his parents, our sibs walked down the aisle and sat, our flower girls and ring bearer walked down and sat, and then me and my parents.
I think the MC announcmenent + officiant walking + officiant announcement was a solid heads up that things were happening…
Post # 8
@beeconomist: There are a few ways to indicate the ceremony is about to start.
If you don’t have music playing beforehand, music coming on is a cue to sit down and get ready.
If you do wnat music playing in the background beforehand, some people put on the program “when you hear BLAH BLAH SONG, please take a seat- the wedding is about to start!” Not everyone will read it, but enough will that they will get everyone else in order.
Or… have the music silenced for several seconds.
Or… have your groom and officiant walk in (from the side or whatever works). People seeing them will get their attention.
Or… have your officiant say “Hey everyone. Sit down and shut up.” or, you know, whatever.