HELP! WHERE ARE THE BRIDESMAIDS IN THE WALK DOWN THE AISLE?
In preparing for a ceremony I am often asked whether bridesmaids should walk down the aisle in front of or behind the Bride.
In front of or behind the bride?
Traditionally in the UK the bridesmaids have walked behind the bride in order to sort out the train of the wedding dress. (Remember those photos of Pippa helping Kate Middleton with herr dress at her wedding to Prince William!) In the USA the bridesmaids walk in first. Most couples these days don’t feel that they have to stick slavishly to tradition and more and more brides in the UK are choosing to have their bridal party walk down the aisle before them. It is totally up to you!
What to think about.
If the bride comes in before the rest of the bridal party then she has to stand at the front waiting for the others to walk down the aisle. Some brides feel awkward about this. It can be lovely to have the smallest members of the bridal party (flower girls, page boys) walk in first so that they can be seen the the guests and the photographer. However it can be hard for nervous youngsters to walk in first followed by the rest of the bridal party, with everyone staring.
When the bridal party walks in first it can begin a state of anticipation in the guests who take time to look at them before focusing on the bride when she appears. If the bride does have a long train then it can be useful for the bridesmaids to help to straighten that out before the bride starts down the aisle. Some religious celebrants (such as priests) may have a particular way that they insist on. It is best to check with them in advance.
Who walks with who?
Usually the bridal party walk in pairs. The smallest ones will go at the front so that they can be seen but if that is going to be too much for them then often an older bridesmaid will walk with each of the flower girls or page boys. If there are only one or two bridesmaids they will usually walk down the aisle in single file. The bride is often accompanied down the aisle, traditionally by her father or another male relative. In recent years brides choose who will accompany them – sometimes both parents, a friend or relative who they are particularly close to. Many brides choose to walk down the aisle on their own, figuring that, as they aren’t owned by anyone, they cant be given away. Some couples walk into the ceremony together. The choice is yours.
In same sex weddings couples usually decide either to have one waiting at the front, both walking down the aisle (especially if there can be two aisles, or arrive in the ceremony together. They can, of course, be accompanied by a parent or other family member in the traditional way, or not.
Ready to begin!
So, you have arrived!! However you decided to arrive beside your officiant for the ceremony to begin, ensure that you are comfortable with it as you prepare to make promises to your loved one, that you intend to last a lifetime.