I think one of the most confusing aspects of planning a wedding is the actual wedding day itself. Where does the cake go? How much time do I allot for preparations? When should we arrive at the venue?
How does the wedding processional go?
Today, I’m going to give you a high-level overview of how a *typical* wedding processional is structured. Keep in mind that this is one of many ways a wedding processional goes but one of the easiest to understand.
175 guest wedding + 12 person bridal party = high probability for confusion. Follow along with me as I clear the fog for you.
Wedding rehearsal can take place 2-7 days prior to wedding day, depending on availability of your venue. Usually, you are provided with one hour to conduct the rehearsal. To prevent confusion, would suggest that you only invite your immediate family that will be participating in the wedding, the entire bridal party, the officiant…oh, and don’t forget your fiancé!
- Ushers will arrive between 30 & 45 minutes before wedding ceremony time
- Stand outside and greet guests
- Direct traffic (make sure people don’t run off and sneak a peek at the reception)
- Groomsmen can double as ushers.
Entire bridal party will arrive about 45-60 minutes before ceremony (if they are not getting dressed at the venue)
Each group will head to their respective rooms to freshen up and take a quick moment to eat.
❑ Bride and Groom’s family arrive about 20 minutes before ceremony to allow time to freshen up if they have been taking photographs
❑ Background music should be playing to welcome your guests to your ceremony. Set the tone for comfortable guests!
❑ Prelude music begins about 15 minutes before ceremony time.
**To give your guests an idea of “what is happening when”, music is a very inexpensive resource to set the tone of your wedding. Background music to signify guests arrival; music for family & bridal party; and then processional music to cue the bride’s grand entrance.**
❑ Processional music begins
❑ Ushers begin the processional
- Groom’s parents & family are escorted by usher to first row
- Groom’s close friends are escorted seated in the second row
- Bride’s mother is escorted by usher
- Bride’s parents & family are escorted by usher to second row
*There are cool ways to blend your families on both sides. This is especially helpful if one side doesn’t have a strong turnout and avoid the embarrassment.
- Groomsman walk out and stand next to Groom and Best Man, facing the guests.
- Bridesmaids walk out and take their places next to the officiant, facing the guests.
- Matron/Maid of Honor makes her entrance
- Junior attendants (flower girl & ring bearer)
- Music changes to signify Bride’s entrance. Guests stand and turn to bride and her escort.
- Bride make her grand entrance and ceremony officially begins
Bridal party formation at front
Recessional order after bride and groom are pronounced
Remember, there are so many ways you can structure your wedding day processional. I am a huge advocate of making it your own. Don’t worry about the *rules* and have fun. If you want a sense of tradition, then I would suggest you follow the above suggestions. Otherwise, if you want a unique way to make a wedding entrance, take a peek at this. It’s only had like, 72 MILLION hits.
The world is your oyster and have FUN with your day! I would LOVE to hear how your ceremony went and why it was important to have it that way.