I wasn’t nervious at all walking down the aisle with my Dad and it certainly didn’t take the focus off the Mass. Granted, I suppose I can see that with a Catholic Mass in the ordinary form, that could get distracting because you’re coming down the aisle just to meet the groom, but then you go straight to the pew as Mass begins. In the Traditional Latin Mass, the vows are before Mass.
Here’s how it worked for us, and some of these decisions I made last minute. I had the best man (my brother) walk my mom down the aisle. He then took his spot up front. I had my husband walk his mom down the aisle with his dad following and then he took his spot. I had the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down, genuflect and go straight to the pews, followed by the ring bear and flower girl. I then had our lone usher (he was originally a groomsmen, but I lost a bridesmaid) walk my maid of honor down. I also did this as the usher and the maid of honor were getting married two months after my wedding. They genuflected and she went to her place and he went to the pew. Then my dad and I went down.
In the traditional Mass, the bride and the groom then kneel at the altar rail while they wait for the priest and servers. My church didn’t have an altar rail so we had portable kneelers in front. So we knelt and prayed as our maid of honor and best man stood beside us. I wanted only them up front with the priest because I wanted to emphasis that they, with the priest are the official witnesses to the validity of our marriage. The other bridesmaids, groomsmen and even the guests are non-essential, but those three were essential.
While it wasn’t planned, the sunlight from the sky light ended up shinning directly on the back of my veil. I heard the gasp from our guests and people kept commenting about it at the reception asking if I had planned that, but I had no idea what they were talking about till I saw pictures.
Then the priest and the servers came out. We gave our consent to marry while kneeling. The priest thought we were supposed to kneel while saying our vows in the old rite because it didn’t specify anything in the missal, but after some discussion we decided to stand to say our vows and to exchange rings. We then went to the pews and the priest instructed all the guests to pray for us as he prepared for Mass.
So for about 3 minutes (which is a long time for guests), everyone sat in their pews with nothing to do but pray. Then the Latin Mass began and everyone tried to follow me as to when to sit, stand or kneel, but I got confused because I’m used to going to high masses and because while I had started to feel I internally knew when to sit, stand or kneel at a Latin Mass, I wasn’t quite sure. Meanwhile the booklet kept referring to “stand for high mass” and I’m like “This is a low Mass so I guess I ignore this instruction.” So I ended up kneeling forever!
We processed out and the bridal party went straight to the bridal room to not confuse guests as we were not having a receiving line.
The reception began immediately in the community center. No one even had to go outside for it. Ultimately the entire reception was done before the 4pm Mass. I had expected it to go on till 6, but everyone was danced out by 4 and some guests had left by 3:30 which was fine with me because I got the DJ for free. I would have been really upset had I paid for the DJ.