15 Bold Non-Traditional Wedding Processional Order Ideas

A wedding processional is the starting point of a ceremony, wherein the bridal party walks down the aisle. Because it is the beginning of a meaningful celebration, it is often your guests’ first impression of the entire day. How you plan the order of the processional will set the tone for the rest of the ceremony.

There are plenty of non-traditional wedding processional order ideas you can explore to make your ceremony more unique and personalized. Some include starting with the groom and his parents or having your bridesmaids go first. 

Below are options for unique wedding processional orders that can make your special day more memorable for your guests. Afterward, some tips for planning the processional order are also provided.

Non-Traditional Wedding Processional Order: Standing Out

bride and groom wearing colorful clothes

Order #1

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride escorted by the groom

Order #2

→ Groom

→ Groomsman

→ Groomsman

→ Groomsmate

→ Bridesmaid

→ Bridesmaid

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride escorted by her father

Order #3

bride and groom standing at an altar

→ Before the processional starts, have the groom and his groomsmen enter from the side

→ Bridesmaid

→ Bridesmaid

→ Bridesmaid

→ Junior bridesmaid

→ Ring bearer

→ Bride and her escort

Order #4

→ Groom enters through the side before the processional formally starts

→ Parents of the groom

→ Bride’s mother and her escort

→ Groomsman and bridesmaid

→ Groomsman and bridesmaid

→ Groomsman and bridesmaid

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower pet

→ Bride and her father

Order #5

→ Groom and groomsmates get into formation before the processional starts

→ Parents of the groom

→ Bride’s mother and stepfather

→ Bridesmaid

→ Bridesmaid

→ Bridesmaid

→ Maid of honor

→ Bell ringers

→ Bride

Order #6

bride and groom holding hands up

→ Groom

→ Groom’s grandparents

→ Bride’s grandparents

→ Groom’s parents

→ Bride’s mother and brother

Bridesmate

→ Groomsmate

→ Bride’s attendant

→ Groom’s attendant

→ Ring bearer

→ Baby in a carriage holding flowers

→ Bride and her escort

Order #7

→ Groom

→ Groom’s parents

→ Bride’s mother and her escort

→ Groomsmen and groomsmates enter in one line

→ Bridesmaids and bridesmates enter in one line

→ Flower boy

→ Pet ring bearer

→ Bride and her stepfather

Order #8

→ Groom

→ Groom’s parents

→ Bride’s mother accompanied by the best man

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Bride’s father accompanied by the maid of honor

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride

Order #9

→ Groom accompanied by his mother

→ Groom’s father and maid of honor

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Groom’s grandparents

→ Bride’s grandparents

→ Bride accompanied by her parents

Order #10

→ Groom accompanied by his parents

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Best man and maid of honor

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girls

→ Parents of the bride enter first

→ Bride enters, meets her parents halfway through the aisle

Order #11

bride and bridesmaids holding plant bouquet

→ Groom

→ Groom’s parents

→ Bridesmaid

→ Groomsman

→ Bridesmaid

→ Groomsman

→ Bridesmaid

→ Groomsman

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Groom’s and bride’s grandparents

→ Maid of honor

→ Best man

→ Bride and her parents

Order #12

→ Groomsmen

→ Bridesmaids

→ Groom, escorted by his parents

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride, escorted by her parents

Order #13

→ Groom and his parents

→ Mother of the bride and an escort

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Best man

→ Maid of honor

→ Ring bearer

→ Bible bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride and her parents

Order #14

bride and father entering church

→ Officiant

→ Groom’s parents and grandparents

→ Bride’s grandparents

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Best man

→ Maid of honor

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride and her parents

Order #15

→ Groom’s grandparents

→ Bride’s grandparents

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ A pair of bridesmaid and groomsman

→ Best man

→ Maid of honor

→ Groom’s parents

→ Bride’s parents

→ Bible bearer

→ Ring bearer

→ Flower girl

→ Bride and groom enter together

Tips for Planning a Non-Traditional Wedding Processional Order

bride and father walking down the aisle

Know the Traditional Order

Before you can create something non-traditional, you have to know what the tradition is in the first place. Here is the typical order for a Christian wedding processional:

  • Officiant enters and stands at the altar before the processional starts
  • Grandparents of the groom (if included)
  • Grandparents of the bride (if included)
  • Groom’s parents
  • Mother of the bride with an escort
  • Groom
  • Best man
  • Groomsmen
  • Bridesmaids
  • Maid of honor
  • Ring bearer
  • Flower girl
  • Bride with her escort

As for a Jewish wedding processional, the traditional order goes something like this:

  • Rabbi and cantor
  • Groom’s grandparents
  • Bride’s grandparents
  • Ushers
  • Groomsmen
  • Best man
  • Groom with his parents
  • Maid of honor
  • Bridesmaids
  • Ring bearer
  • Flower girl
  • Bride with her escort

Add a Variation to Tradition

bride and dog

You might find it challenging to plan a completely non-traditional wedding processional order and worry that you are going too far from tradition.

An easy workaround to this worry is keeping mostly to the traditional order but introducing a fun variation. For example, you can replace a flower girl with a flower pet or a baby in a carriage holding the flowers.

Likewise, instead of simply letting your bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle in a line, you can have them proceed in formation.

Be Creative with How You Walk Down the Aisle

bride and her father

If you cannot figure out a non-traditional wedding processional order that works for you and your venue, try coming up with a creative alternative to how you walk down the aisle.

If your wedding venue has no center aisle, utilize the aisle along the sides. Have one-half of your attendants or crew walk down the left aisle, with the remaining attendants walking down the right aisle.

If your venue has a small entrance near the altar or ceremony space, consider entering through that entrance. In this case, the time it will take for you to walk down the aisle will be significantly shorter.

Some couples have also opted to replace the traditional processional by having the guests come to the couple instead of having them stand as the bride walks down the aisle. The guests will surround the couple in a circle, creating a sense of community and unity among everyone at the wedding.

Other ideas include walking arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand, or creating groups that will walk down the aisle together.

Include Other People

Do not feel as if your wedding processional is restricted to your bridal crew. One way to create a non-traditional wedding processional order is by including different relatives and escorts.

For instance, the mother of the bride is typically accompanied by a close male relative or a stepparent. You can make it more personalized by having a niece, nephew, or grandchild escort her down the aisle.

You Can Skip the Processional if You Want

lightbulbs and newlyweds

You might feel intimidated by the prospect of having all the attention on you as you walk down the aisle, which can take at least one minute. In some cases, you have very limited time at your venue, and you need to find ways to trim your timeline.

Do not feel obligated to have a wedding processional at your ceremony. As with any tradition or part of a ceremony, you can remove it from your timeline if that is best for you and your circumstances.

You can simply enter through a different door, one that is nearer to the ceremony space. As mentioned above, you can also find a more creative alternative to a wedding processional, such as letting your guests surround you in a circle.

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