It is a scene we are all too familiar with, as the Father of the Bride walks his daughter down the aisle. We’ve seen it in TV Shows and Movies, we’ve read it in books. But when it is your turn, do you know the right way of marching in? Who comes first in a wedding ceremony procession? Let us help you get it right!
Marching In or the Procession signifies the start of the wedding ceremony. Who marches in, how they march in varies greatly across religions and cultures. For Civil Weddings (aka non-religious weddings) in Singapore, ceremonies are typically conducted by a Justice of the Peace. He or she will be standing at the front of the aisle, together with the groom and groomsmen. The rest of your family members, i.e. mother of the bride, parents of the groom and both your siblings will be seated before the ceremony commences. They typically take up the first-row seats.
As a general rule, the gentlemen will be positioned on the right while the ladies on the left. Likewise, guests of the Groom will usually occupy the right side of the venue space while guests of the Bride take up the left. Consequently, the Bride will stand to the left of her father.
The march in entourage will usually consist of your Bridesmaids, Page Boy, Ringbearer and Flower Girls and of course the Bride and the Father of the Bride.
If you are intending to have your Bridesmaids march down the aisle, they will be the first to do so. Prepare a small posy for them to hold onto; this simple act of having something to hold helps them feel less awkward and less jittery as they are walking down the aisle. You can sequence their march-in by height and if you have a Maid of Honour, she can be the last among your Bridesmaids to walk in.
The Page Boy, Ringbearer and Flower Girls will come next. In whichever combination you may be lucky to have, they can be holding to a variety of items from signages, to ring pillows to flower baskets and pomander balls. You can get as creative with this as you want!
As a rule, Flower Girls are always marching in right before the Bride (who will have her father next to her on the right). They will toss petals from their baskets as they walk in to “freshen up” the aisle for the bride. Do check with your venue sales manager if tossing of petals is allowed as some venues are strict with this.
Increasingly, some brides have chosen to be walked down the aisle together with both her parents. That’s a sweet tribute and gesture to the two figures who have brought you up in their own ways. Some brides have also chosen to march down the aisle on her own, and that is perfectly fine too!
For emphasis to announce the arrival of the bride, some couples choose to go with two different march-in music: one for the Bridesmaids, Page Boy, Ringbearer and Flower Girls, and one just for the Bride and her father. If you are not sure about the key music you should be preparing for, read our guide to preparing your wedding music!
The Wed Mag Tip!
After the procession, do think about if you want your bridal party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, page boy, ring bearer and flower girls) to stand throughout the ceremony, or to take a seat!
If you’d like them to sit, always remember to reserve seats for them so they can get to it quickly and easily after the march-in.
That’s the typical manner a wedding march-in will take place. As with all culture and tradition, there are always some exception and variations. Here are a few that you may have witnessed before:
Groom to March In
In some cultures and religions, Groom are to march in on their own, or accompanied by their parents. In this case they will be the first to walk in before the bridesmaids, and the rest of the bridal party.
Groomsmen to March In
Instead of having the groomsmen standing up front with the groom, some couples prefer to have their groomsmen marching down the aisle with the bridesmaids in pairs. In this case, it will be nice to have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen so they pair up nicely.
Only Best Man and Maid of Honour March In
Having only the Best Man and Maid of Honour to march in can be due to many reasons such as space constraints or that you prefer a simpler process. In this case, without any page boys, ring bearer or flower girl, you can opt to have your Best Man hold on to your ring as he comes in with your Maid of Honour.
These are only a few ways in which the procession can take place. It is up to you to find your preferred arrangement that works for your ceremony. You can even do without a bridal party entirely! We hope this gives you a better idea and makes you more prepared. And remember, always arrange for a rehearsal! Trust us when we say it is almost essential for a smooth ceremony to take place.
Feature image – Photo courtesy of Canva Pro