Wedding Ceremony Order of Events Traditional

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Wedding ceremony order of events represents the most common traditional elements of the processional, bridal party positions during the service, and the recessional.

"Even though we have been to many weddings, your suggestions for the ceremony made it just who we are as partners in life! We can't think of a way to have made it better. Thank you for sharing our day." Pat and Alex, L'Escargot, NY

Programs for the ceremony are not only a keepsake for the scrapbook, but also an easy and gracious way for your guests to follow along.

One of my wedding ceremony couples did a fun twist on a cream and milk chocolate themed nuptial program.

Wedding ceremony order of events one of my couples used a tattoo they both have as the icon to print on the program, invitations, candle wraps, and so on.

In the photo you see the image of the tattoo they printed on the nuptial program. Both partners have the octopus tattoo. It became the icon for all wedding ceremony and nuptial programs, invitations, gift wrap, candle wraps, and so on.

Processional ...

In a traditional wedding ceremony order of events, the processional follows this pattern:

  • Guests are ushered to their seats.
  • Mother of the Groom is seated in the Front Row right [when facing the altar or ceremonial space]
  • Mother of the Bride is seated in the Front Row left [when facing the altar or ceremonial space]
  • Interfaith Minister/Officiant [may also be at the altar and not in the procession]
  • Groom [may also be at the altar or ceremonial space and not in the procession]
  • Best Man [unless escorting the Maid of Honor; may also be at the altar or ceremonial space and not in the procession]
  • Groomsmen, either alone or paired with Bridesmaids
  • Bridesmaids, either alone or paired with Groomsmen
  • Maid of Honor, either alone or paired with Best Man
  • Ring Bearer
  • Flower Girl
  • Bride [with or without escort]


Bridal Party Positions ...

Here is the traditional position of members of the bridal party in a wedding ceremony order of events.

  • Interfaith Minister/Officiant, front and center facing the guests
  • Groom, on the Officiant/Minister's left, facing guests
  • Best Man, stands to the Groom's left
  • Groomsmen, the first to enter stands the farthest away from the Groom. The last to enter is the closest to the Best Man.
  • Bridesmaids, the first to enter stands the farthest away from where the Bride will stand. The last to enter is the closest to where the Maid of Honor will stand.
  • Maid of Honor stands closest to the Bride.
  • Ring Bearer can take a seat with a relative, or if older can stand between the Best Man and the closest Groomsman.
  • Flower Girl can take a seat with a relative, or if older can stand between the Maid of Honor and the closest Bridesmaid.
  • Bride If with an escort, will stand facing the Officiant/Minister until her escort is acknowledged. Then the Bride stands to the left of the Officiant/Minister facing her Groom.
  • Bride's Escort, if there is one and after being acknowledged, will either take a seat, or stand where agreed upon at the rehearsal.


Recessional ...

Traditionally in a wedding ceremony order of events, everyone including the guests walks out down the central aisle in the following order. In ceremonial locations where there are two central aisles, one aisle is used for the processional and the other for the recessional.

  • Bride and Groom together.
  • Ring Bearer and Flower Girl together; they can leave separately; or they can leave with the rest of the guests.
  • Maid of Honor and Best Man together or separately.
  • Bridesmaids and Groomsmen together or separately. If there is an unpaired member, then have that person walk in the midst of the recessional rather than appearing like the odd person out at the end of the recession.
  • Parents of the Bride unpaired or escorted by ushers.
  • Parents of the Groom unpaired or escorted by ushers.
  • Interfaith Minister/Officiant, or can exit from the altar or ceremonial space.
  • Remaining guests complete the recessional.



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