Ceremonies and Traditions
He or she stands facing the guests, with the groom to the left and the best man to his left. A groom enters from the back of the church or through chancel doors near the altar. An officiant may also lead the procession or follow the candle lighter. The candle lighter can be part of the procession, or they can light altar candles at the onset of the prelude.
Groomsmen can stand at the front of the site also facing the guests or start the procession. They walk down the aisle in height order, either singly or in pairs, with the shortest man entering first.
Bridesmaids enter by height (shortest first) after the groomsmen are in place. Or, the groomsmen can escort the maids down the aisle.
Bridesmaids falling between the ages of 9 and 14, if there are any, follow the bridesmaids down the aisle.
A married woman is a matron of honor, while a single woman is maid of honor. She makes her way down the aisle after the last bridesmaid.
He enters the church (often with the flower girl, if there is one) after all of the adults have processed.
Partnered with the ring bearer or alone, she precedes the bride. If there is no flower girl, the maid/matron of honor precedes the bride.
Escorted on the left arm of her father, she walks down the aisle after everyone else is in place (with the exception of pages). These days, the mother of the bride can also walk down the aisle on the other side of the bride.
In very formal ceremonies, pages carry the bride's train down
What to include in your ceremony program
If you choose to print a program be sure to include the following information:
Your names and wedding date
Order of wedding ceremony so guests can follow along, including readings and musical selections
Names of your wedding party and your parents
Names of readers, musicians and officiant
An explanation of ethnic or religious rituals followed, especially if you’re having an interfaith ceremony
Thank-you to family and guests
Choosing your ceremony music
Generally, the breakdown includes the:
Prelude—Choose music that will help set the mood as guests buzz about greeting each other and finding a seat.
Processional—You’ll want a steady beat as family members and your wedding party walk down the aisle.
Interlude—Here is the moment to choose songs that have special meaning for you and reflect your personal style or cultural/religious traditions. Then figure out how the music will be played—a folk guitarist, chamber musicians, vocalists, a flutist, for example. If you’re having a religious ceremony be sure to clear your music choices with your officiant.
Recessional—The moment of joy has arrived. You’re married! Choose music that is festive and upbeat, or fun and clever. Be it traditional or more modern, the key is to celebrate.
Post-wedding—You’ll want to keep the crowds moving so opt for upbeat, energetic and fast-paced music.