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Charleston Wedding Planning | The Wedding Processional Order

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Today our guest Wedding Professional is Kathy Baxley, owner of The Charleston Bridal Show, The Charleston Baby Show and producer of My Charleston Wedding. Here she gives her tips on the Order of the Wedding Processional.


Wedding Historic Rice Mill

Photo by Juliet Elizabeth Photography


The Wedding Procession Order

When the mother of the bride stands – and the rest of the crowd follows her cue – the organist begins playing the wedding procession music a little louder, and the procession begins.
By this time, everyone should be in position, thus:
1. The clergyman or justice is standing in front of the seated guests, facing the back of the church (or the rows of chairs) where the procession will enter.
2. The bridegroom is standing to the minister’s left, a little forward of where he and the bride will be standing.
3. The best man is standing to the bridegroom’s left, a little behind him.
And now the procession begins:
1. The ushers enter first, walking in pairs.
2. The bridesmaids follow, walking in pairs if there are six or more. If there are fewer, or if there’s an odd number, it’s better to have them walk in single file.
3. Next, the maid of honor enters, waiting until a distinct space has opened up after the last bridesmaid.
4. After that, the ring-bearer enters, carrying a cushion with the ring sewn to it. It is best to use a fake ring rather than the real one, to prevent embarrassment if it’s dropped. The actual ring should be carried by the best man and by the maid of honor, if it is a double ring ceremony.
5. Now the flower girl enters, closely following the ring-bearer. You might have these children walk in side by side if they are particularly young or nervous.
6. At this point, the organist begins playing the wedding march at full volume. And then the bride starts down the aisle, her father on her left.
7. Meanwhile, the bridesmaids and ushers have arrived or are about to arrive at the altar where the ceremony will take place. They may have filed into the front row or pew, in which case the mother of the bride and the bridegroom’s family will occupy the second row on both sides. If you want them seated in the front row, the bridesmaids should be on the left and the ushers on the right. If the bridal attendants and ushers are going to stand with the wedding couple during the ceremony, they can arrange themselves in one of two ways:
(A) As they arrive, the ushers form a semicircle, leaving enough room between them so the bridesmaids can position themselves next to the usher they’ll be paired with for the recessional. Or…
(B) The bridesmaids line up on the left-hand side and the ushers on the right. If you choose this arrangement, the first bridesmaid to arrive at the altar should move to the farthest left, with others lining up to her right. The object here is to leave room for the maid of honor to stand next to the bride during the ceremony.
8. The bride and her father arrive at the front of the seating section or the altar. Now the bride takes the bridegroom’s left arm.
After a moment or two, the clergyman or justice should begin the ceremony. The usual practice is for both parents to then take seats in the front pew, although some authorities hold that the father should remain at the altar. At this point, you should relax, take a deep breath, and immerse yourself in the experience. After all, it is something you will probably remember, in detail, for the rest of your life.


Getting Married?
Please join us for The Charleston Bridal Show this January 22nd at the beautiful Charleston Marriott's Crystal Ballroom. Over 70 of Charleston's most professional wedding vendors will be there to help you plan your special day.
Venues, florists, musicians, caterers, wedding dresses and tuxedos, wedding cake samples, fashion show and more.
You won't want to miss this unique Charleston Event!
Date: January 22, 2012
Place: Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Blvd.
Time: Noon till 5: p.m.
See you there...

Purchase a ticket here.

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