Step by Step Guide to a Humanist Wedding no. 1 – Making An Entrance

Over the six years I’ve conducted weddings, I’ve come to realise that there’s no such thing as ‘the traditional way’ to do anything. In truth there are lots of traditions, and you should feel free to draw on any or none of them! This is certainly true of the entrance of the wedding party.

In England, the bride comes in, followed by her bridesmaids, holding the train of her dress, as seen in many a royal wedding, whereas in the USA, the bridesmaids come in first as the warm-up act, followed by the bride, who’s the star.
In Scotland, apparently the piper should come first, then the celebrant, followed by the bride and groom arm-in-arm. They’re followed by their parents and then come all of the wedding guests. (I’ve yet to see this happens, but it’s a nice idea!)

In Australia it seems that the flower girls come first, followed by the groomsmen and bridesmaids in pairs, with the bride and groom bringing up the rear.
In some parts of Europe, the bride and groom enter together, as they do in Buddhist ceremonies, while in a Catholic wedding, the groom waits at the altar while his friends escort the bride up the aisle.

So there’s no right way, other than the right way for you. But here are some suggestions.

You might decide to come in together, like Virginia and Camille.

Or you could come in with your mum and dad, like Woody and Keren

Or you might decide you don’t want to make an entrance at all. Instead, you might just want to mingle with your guests for half an hour before the start of the ceremony, and start whenever it feels right. That’s how Laura and David did it, and it created a really relaxed atmosphere.

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