Engagement party, bridal party, bachelorette party, bachelor party . . . now it’s time for the wedding. But wait, there is one more event to go to before the big day, and that is the rehearsal dinner!
If you haven’t already, read our article on “Tips for Planning the Rehearsal Dinner.” We let you know who customarily pays for the rehearsal dinner, who attends, where it is held, and additional tips.
Our big piece of advice is don’t stress about the rehearsal dinner! This is an opportunity for you to kick off the wedding festivities and ramp up the excitement. Relax and enjoy the food, family, friends, and conversations!
However, you may have some questions on the rehearsal part, such as the wedding processional order, where each person stands, what you do with your hands, etc. Well, we are here to help!
Wedding Processional Order and Where to Stand
The processional can be customized to you, so don’t feel you are stuck to a specific order. However, here is an option of a traditional processional order:
- Groom’s Parents: “It’s optional to honor the groom’s parents by having them walk down the aisle. They can be seated after all of the guests and before the mother of the bride” (Wedding Wire).
- Mother of the Bride: Next up is the mother of the bride. If the bride has brothers, you can have them escort her down. She will be sat on the family of the bride’s side. This is the left side for traditional Christian weddings or the right side for Jewish weddings.
- Officiant: The officiant walking down will signal that the wedding party will begin entering.
- Groom and Best Man: The groom and best man will enter, and if following a traditional wedding, will stand to the right of the officiant.
- Bridesmaids & Groomsmen: The bridesmaids and groomsmen will enter down the aisle in pairs—bridesmaids on the left and the groomsmen on the right.
- Maid of Honor & Best Man: Next, the maid of honor will enter. An alternative option is to have the maid of honor and best man join together.
- Flower Girl & Ring Bearer: The two can enter as a pair, or the ring bearer can proceed before the flower girl. Depending on the child, they can either stand up with the wedding party or go and sit with their parents.
- Father of the Bride & the Bride: Last and most important, the father of the bride and bride will enter. For a traditional wedding, the father will stand on the right and the bride on the left.
From there, the officiant will take over the rest. They will guide you on the father giving away the bride, when to step forward as a couple, when to turn towards each other, and when the best man presents the rings.
Bride and Groom: What to Do with Your Hands
What to do with your hands is a common question for a bride or groom. The common answer is to do whatever feels natural for you, but a traditional option is holding clasped hands. The bride’s father can put his arm around the couple’s shoulders and clasp their hands together. This gesture shows uniting of the families and honor towards the bride’s father.
Wedding Party: What to Do with Your Hands
For the wedding party, bridesmaids will hold their bouquets in front of them during the ceremony. TIP: Have the bridesmaids hold the bouquets at belly button height to not hide their dresses. Groomsmen can stand will their thumbs in their pockets. If the flower girl and ring bearer are standing with the wedding party, ring bearers can hold their hands around their ring bearer pillow, and flower girls can keep their hands around the flower basket.
We hope this helps clear some of your questions. If you have questions, feel free to comment down below we would be happy to help.