Wedding ceremony etiquette can vary by religion and the level of formality of the wedding. To keep things simple for you (one of the few things that can be kept simple in wedding planning!) below is a step by step guide to a traditional process.
Wedding Etiquette Processional
• The ushers take their seats.
• The parents of the bride take their seats at the front of the ceremony venue.
• The parents of the groom take their seats at the front of the ceremony venue.
• The priest and groom enter from a side door at the front of the room and stand near the altar.
• The bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle; if the bridesmaids are walking down alone, the groomsmen will enter the room with the priest and groom. Whomever enters first stands the furthest away from the altar, with the women going to the left and the men to the right (this dates back to ancient times so a man would have his right hand available to fight, if needed – ah, the days of chivalry; they were always prepared!).
• The maid of honor and best man walk down the aisle. Again, if the women are walking down alone, the best man will enter when the groom does. The best man and maid of honor will be the closest to the groom and bride.
• The flower girl walks down the aisle.
• The ring bearer walks down the aisle.
• “Here Comes the Bride” begins playing. The guests should stand at this time.
• The bride and her father (or whomever is giving her away; this can include both parents) walk down the aisle.
• The bride’s father stands with her until the priest asks who is giving the bride away. The usual response is, “Her mother and I.” This is still the norm even in divorced families.
• The father will take his seat at the front of the ceremony. The guests will sit at this time, too.
• The maid of honor takes the bride’s bouquet, the bride and groom clasp hands, the guests pull out their hankies and the ceremony begins!