Wedding Procession

Everything is set for the procession. Now what?


In Protestant services, the congregation stands as soon as the wedding march begins; the Marriage Officiant enters and takes his place at the front of the ceremony site. The groom and the best man follow him to a position just in front of the first, right-hand row, and all turn to watch the procession.

The ushers enter from the back of the ceremony site in pairs according to height, followed by the bridesmaids. If there is an odd usher or bridesmaid, the smallest leads off first. The maid or matron of honor comes next, followed by the ring bearer, if there is one, and the flower girl. The pages, if any, follow the bride, carrying her train. Catholic brides and grooms may follow the same procedure. Jewish processions vary according to local traditions, whether Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform and according to the preference of the families.

In the simplest Reform service, the ushers lead the procession in pairs, followed by the bridesmaids in pairs. The groom comes down the aisle next, with his best man followed by the maid of honor, the flower girl, if there is one, and the bride on her father’s right. The groom’s parents and the bride’s mother may join in the procession and remain standing under the chupa or canopy during the service. The rabbi and cantor, followed by the couples’ grandparents, the ushers, the bridesmaids, the best man, the groom and his parents, the bride’s honor attendants, her flower girl(s), and the bride with her parents, may lead an elaborate procession. Ask your rabbi how he prefers to organize the procession, and take into account the amount of space available for the wedding party to stand in.

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