One of the grandest parts of any wedding ceremony is when the bridal party makes its entrance. But do you know what order the bridal party should walk in? And who escorts the mother of the bride? Here is an example of a traditional processional:


i.        The guests are seated

ii.        The groom, best man and officiant enter. They all stand facing the guests. If the groomsman are not acting as ushers than they will enter as well.

iii.        An usher escorts the grandmother(s) of the bride to their seats.

iv.        An usher escorts the grandmother(s) of the groom to their seats.

v.        An usher escorts the mother and father of the groom to their seats.

vi.        An usher escorts the mother of the bride to her seat. Her father is also seated, if he is not walking her down the aisle.

vii.        Processional music begins.

viii.        The bride’s mother (and father) stand(s).

ix.        All the guests stand.

x.        The ushers (if groomsman) walk down the aisle (or escort the bridesmaids) and stand next to the groom and best man and then face the guests.

xi.        The bridesmaids walk down the aisle.

xii.        The maid and/or matron of honor walk(s) down the aisle.

xiii.        The ring bearer walks down the aisle.

xiv.        The flower girl walks down the aisle or the flower girl and ring bearer walk down together.

xv.        Processional music changes and/or the volume increases.

xvi.        The father of the bride (or other close male family member or friend) escorts the bride down aisle.


The bride and her escort stand at the front of the aisle and remain standing together until the officiant asks “Who gives this woman in marriage?” to which the officiant responds “I do,” or “Her mother and I do.”  The brides escort then walks the bride to the front of the aisle, and then takes his seat in the front row.


The bride traditionally stands on the left, and the groom on the right.



People tackle the problem of two aisles in a variety of ways. You can choose to only use one aisle, but this means that many of your guests will feel far from the action. I often advise couples to do the processional up one aisle, and the recessional down the other. Another alternative is to have bridesmaids walk up one aisle, and groomsmen up the other. The bride and groom can then choose an aisle to enter through.



If you only have a few people in your bridal party, it’s a good idea to send them up one by one. For example if you had a best man, maid of honor, flower girl, and ring bearer this should be the order:

Groom takes his place up front

Best man enters

Maid of Honor walks up the aisle

Ring Bearer

Flower girl

Bride, with escort if she has one



The recessional is the processional in reverse, except that the ushers always escort the bridesmaids out. It the number of bridesmaids is uneven, ushers may escort more than one bridesmaid. The flower girl is escorted by the ring bearer.

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