Post # 1
I’m trying to figure out how the processional goes in a traditional Christian ceremony. From what I can find, this is what usually happens and how Fiance and I plan to do ours:
1) The officiant, the groom, the best man, and (maybe???) the groomsmen enter from the side of the church.
2) The grandparents are seated. (Anyone know what the order normally is? Which set goes first and which last?)
3) The mothers are seated (the groom’s mom first and then the bride’s mom).
4) The bridesmaids walk down the aisle (maybe accompanied by the groomsmen?).
5) The Maid/Matron of Honor walks down the aisle (possibly with the best man?).
6) The ring bearer walks down the aisle.
7) The flower girl walks down the aisle.
8) The bride walks down the aisle with her father or escort. After delivering her to the altar, the escort takes his seat.
I’m confused about two main things. First of all, in what order are the grandparents seated?
Second of all, how do the groomsmen work? What is the most common? I’ve seen a few sources that say they can either wait at the front or accompany the bridesmaids, which is fine. However, every source I’ve seen says that the best man enters from the side with the groom at the beginning. If the groomsmen accompany the bridesmaids, but the best man stays at the front, then does the Maid/Matron of Honor just walk alone? How does it work? What are you doing?
Post # 3
Every wedding I’ve been to GMs are waiting at the front with the Groom.
In my wedding, GMs will walk down the right aisle (there’s 2 aisles) at the same time BMs will walk down the aisle. The Best Man will be at the front with the groom.
Post # 4
My groomsmen seated the grandparents and the moms, and then joined my husband/then-fiance and the best man at the front of the church. The bridesmaids and maid of honor walked down the aisle on their own.
Post # 5
Thank you both for your responses!
New question: What made you decide to have the groomsmen accompany the bridesmaids (or not, as the case may be)?
Post # 6
Mine went like this:
Groom seated both my and is moms (super cute)
Bridesmaids were escorted by groomsmen
Dad walked me
Post # 7
I have been a musician in more weddings than I can count. And I live in the South. Here is what is customary in my neck of the woods: (if you are standing at the rear of the sanctuary and looking toward the pulpit, the bride’s side is the left and groom’s side is the right.)
Groom’s grandparents seated – one row behind the parents – second row
Bride’s grandparents seated – one row behind the parents – second row
Groom’s parents seated – front row
Bride’s mother seated – front row
Offician, groom enter from side or rear
Here is where there is some variation:
Either all groomsmen enter with officiant/groom, or all, including best man escort Bridesmaid or Best Man, or alternate with Bridesmaid or Best Man walking alone, or best man enters with groom and Maid/Matron of Honor walks alone.
Flower girl and ring bearer can walk together, or separately, with ring bearer first, then flower girl.
Then mother of the bride stands, giving the cue for the audience to stand for the entrance of the bride. Bride is on the father’s left arm, so he is between the bride and groom at the front. Then he gives her away and sits with the mother of the bride.
Post # 8
Well my groomsmen aren’t accompanying the bridesmaids, they’re walking on separate aisles at the same time.
I think it would look best for the bridesmaids to accompany themselves so they can hold their flowers right. On the way back they’ll be accompanied.
Post # 9
My processional was exactly as you described except the groomsmen, groom and officiant didn’t enter from the side until after the mothers and grandparents were seated.
I’ve always seen the groom’s grandparents sat before the bride’s (just like the groom’s mother is seated before the bride’s).
Our groomsmen were up front with the groom and officiant. I just prefer that “look” I guess to them walking down the aisle with the bridesmaids. Neither is wrong – simply a personal preference thing.
Post # 10
Our processional went as follows…
Darling Husband, Best Man and officiant waiting at the end of the aisle
My aunt and uncle
DH’s grandmother escorted by an usher
My grandmother escorted by an usher
My mom escorted by both ushers
Bridesmaid or Best Man & Groomsmen #2
Bridesmaid or Best Man & Groomsmen #1
Maid/Matron of Honor
My step-dad and I
I’ve seen the Groomsmen done both ways but I personally like it better when they escort the BM’s. The Maid/Matron of Honor is fine to walk alone since she’s slightly more important than the other BM’s and can be featured by herself. As for grandmothers, I’ve always seen the grooms side go first followed by the brides so that’s how we did it.
Post # 11
Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate the help.
I understand now that the groom’s grandparents come before the bride’s, but do the maternal or paternal grandparents in each set come first?
Post # 13
I don’t think it matters. Also, remember that after the ceremony anyone that is escorted at the beginning should also be escorted out as part of the recessional in reverse order they went in. I can remember many weddings where the parents and grandparents were forgotten and the usher half-runs back up the aisle to escort them out.
Post # 14
@echopkb: Good point. I’ll make sure we remember that. Thanks!