Wedding Processional


Hi -

I am getting married in a few weeks and after talking with our priest my fiance and I decided to both process down the aisle with our parents. So the processional order would be something like: lectors, priests, maid of honor/best man, groom with his parents, and bride with her parents. I’m not sure if I have put the priests in the correct order. Has anyone done this type of procession or seen it done? Our priest is on a pilgrimage so is unavailable for questions. I’m trying to figure out the music – would this be one song or two? I’m having a really hard time finding anyone who has processed in any other way than the bride with her father last. Thank you!


I don’t recall ever seeing a priest process in with the wedding procession. He is usually up front in the sanctuary ready to greet the couple. Maybe I just don’t remember.

I have seen the bride and groom process in together.


Thanks. In the Together for Life booklet the priest gave us one of the entrance procession options is both bride and groom accompanied by parents, preceded by bridesmaids, groomsmen, and presiding clergy. So I assume that means the priests are in the entrance procession.


The priest processed in with the altar boys at our wedding, just like any other Mass. There aren’t any “rules” for the procession, other than it needs to be respectful of the dignity of the occasion. You can chose one or two songs if you like. Alot of people chose to have one piece for the wedding party and a seperate one for the bride. For our wedding, we had the altar boys and priest go in first, followed by the bridesmaids, the flower girl, and myself, escorted by my father and stepfather. The groomsmen and my husband met us at the altar.


The two times I’ve seen processing the order was:

Altar servers, lectors, deacon, priest, best man w/ maid of honor, groom, bride (couple w/ or w/o parents)

Depending on the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen I would avoid having them in the procession. I’ve seen weddings with 6+ of each and the procession should not become so long that the head of the procession reaches the foot of the altar before the bride enters the nave. Unless it’s a fairly large church processing with more that 18 or 20 people can become a traffic jam at the foot of the altar.


I assume the priest will be greeting you at the back, the same way we do with a Baptism and the way it’s written in the Rite.

In the Entrance Procession you are after the priest.

You really only need one Entrance Hymn.


the processional is the same as at Mass. The priest enters last. The processional would be cross bearer and servers (if you have them), readers (if you want to have them process), attendants (in whatever order you decide, but usually maid of honor/best man last), groom, bride, priest and/or deacon. Our attendants processed in pairs. My husband’s parents escorted him, and then mine escorted me. The priest celebrant is always the last to process and to recess.

We processed to one song.

We also greeted our guests before Mass, which is also recommended.


The priest processes last, just like at other Masses.


Yes, the bride and groom process after the priest. The rubrics don’t mention multiple songs but it’s common.


At our parish, the priest processes in after the Cross bearer, and is followed by all the grooms men. Then all the women, and the ring bearer and then the flower girl(s). After they are all in place, there is a small pause, and then the Bride processes in either alone, with one or both parents to her own music.
The priest has never entered last.
When I married 4 years ago in a different parish the same Archdiocese, the men were waiting down front with the priest and only the women processed in. I had my own music and my daughters walked me down the aisle.
Congratulations on your marriage!


1ke, I would normally agree with you so I actually looked it up in my copy of the Rite of Marriage and in the Entrance Rite after the priest greats the couple, section #20 say:

If there is a procession to the altar, the ministers go first, followed by the priest, and then the bride and bridegroom. According to local custom, they may be escorted by at least their parents and the two witnesses. Meanwhile, the entrance song is sung.



My wedding procession was different from the traditional bride and the father. My groom and I entered together and the priest walked right in front of us. It was cross bearer altar servers then the best man who was my brother in law walked in with my mother in law, then my cousin walked my grandmother then the children the maid of honor then the priest and then us together. Actually the priest was the one who suggested us entering together behind him. We loved it. We played cannon D for the entire procession


It really depends on your parish. I’ve freelanced in so many parishes (almost 200), mostly for weddings. For a couple of the parishes I work in, they often have guest priests, so they always want something a slightly different. The two most common processions that I see in all of these parishes is that the grandparents, mothers and father of the groom will process in first. After that the priest will walk out with the groom and best man and groomsmen from the front. They don’t process down the aisle. After that the bridesmaids will process in. Then the music will change and the bride and her father comes in.

The other processional is that the groomsmen will walk in with the bridesmaids. And I have also seen both parents walk their daughter down the aisle. I did that for my wedding. I have rarely, if ever, seen it done they way it is described in the book, although it makes total sense to do it like that.

I would say to the OP that it’s perfectly fine to use just one piece of music for the entire processional. It’s actually an option we give to bridal couples and I think something that can work very well and beautifully. Most brides, though, want their own entrance music, which is why you usually have two or three different processional pieces.


In my present parish, I’ve only ever known one couple do it the way it is in the book. She was the diocesan catechetical coordinator.

But back in '75 in my home parish, although not a Nuptial Mass, the priest greeted us at the door of the church and we processed up behind him. First my maid of honor, then groom with best man, then I with my dad.

Two years later, when brother got married it WAS a Nuptial Mass. Again the couple was greeted at the door of the church, processed in behind the priest with maid of honor & best man walking in together first and then bride and groom bringing up the rear accompanied by their parents.


If the bride doesn’t want the groom to see her until she is walking down the aisle, can the groom and groomsman come in from the side and already be waiting up front when everyone else processes in?


I’ve never understood that one. Smacks of superstition.

That said, it’s often the way it’s done.


that isn’t what the rote calls for, but I’m sure many priests allow it.


Yes. In my area this is the custom at just about every wedding I’ve attended, and the priest is up front with the groom. I think how wedding processionals are done is highly governed by custom. As I said before, I don’t recall ever seeing the priest in the procession, but others see it regularly.

In fact, this is how it was done when I got married.


Absolutely. That is what they mean when they say that the priest and the men are waiting at the altar. The groom and men wait in the sacristy before Mass.


That should say rite not rote.

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