Separate, together, and in between: alternative processional ideas from readers

Alternative processional ideas from readers as seen on @offbeatbride #wedding #processional
Photo by Wild About You Photography

We've got a few posts that lay out some ways to craft your customized processional including how to lay out the order, how to choose the music, where to seat honored guests, etc. It's totally worth a read if you're at that stage of planning. But we also received some great ideas in the comments that I want to share with you today. Here are a few of our favorite alternative processional ideas from readers. Let's dish on ways to rock the processional.

We don't have any wedding party, so we're doing it this way:

Grandparents
Siblings/Niece
Parents
Him alone
Me alone

No one will be standing up near us so it's really just people in their honored seats, and I like that we'll both get a moment walking down the aisle, instead of him sneaking in and waiting up there for me like I've seen at so many weddings. – Jaya

I'm totally stealing this. It suits our situation perfectly. We're having a small outdoor ceremony at a state park, immediate family only, so that will be 11 adults (plus us and our officiant), 6 kids over the age of 10, and 5 kids under the age of 10. We're gathering at a picnic area that we've reserved, and then moving as a group to a beautiful overlook that's maybe 100 feet away for the actual ceremony (we cannot reserve the overlook, so we're just going to take it by storm when we see a chance). This is pretty much like a processional by default, so why not formalize it, just for fun, and let everyone feel like they're really part of it? Thanks for the idea! – cleveandkat

Alternative processional ideas from readers as seen on @offbeatbride #wedding #processional
Photo by By Asa Photography

We've known this whole time that I would be walking myself down the aisle since no one is giving me away and I'm making the decision to get married myself. But we couldn't figure out what to do with my fiance. It seemed still too rooted in tradition to have him waiting up there for me like he's a destination or goal I'm reaching. We also didn't want to walk down together because we wanted to show our individuality coming into the marriage and exiting as a joined pair. – Laura

We haven't decided whether or not we're having attendants, but we've firmly decided to walk in together.

I read somewhere about someone having both sets of (still-together) parents walk in together, as a way of symbolizing that your parents go before you as examples of love and marriage. I really like that and we will probably do it that way. – Lucychi

Alternative processional ideas from readers as seen on @offbeatbride #wedding #processional
Photo by Susan Helgeson Photography

I'm particularly happy that entering together is your favorite. Since we're having the ceremony outside, Partner and I plan to come to the space from separate directions, join hands, and come to the officiant together. – Lichtstrom

Ooh, I heart this general tip from one of our faves, Dootsie:

I went to a wedding once that began with the officiant saying a few words, then finishing with "Let's begin: please remain seated during the entire procession." This would also be a good time for other instructions, like "no cameras, y'all."
I thought it was a really nice start to the wedding. I always felt like the music striking up and the wedding party entering was an abrupt start–at some weddings, people are still just sitting down at that point and even still talking. – Dootsiebug

Want to see the original alternative processional ideas posts?

How will you be processing into the ceremony? Together, groom first, coming in from the sides? What's your style?

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  1. In Judaism, it's traditional for the groom to be escorted in by his parents, and the bride to be escorted in by her parents. I like this much better than the Christian tradition of having the father of the bride "give her away" to a groom who's slipped into the front when no one's looking. I mean, why *shouldn't* the groom get a chance to walk down the aisle?

    5 agree
  2. We're going to have:
    My parents to their seats
    His parents to their seats
    pair 1 of bridesmaid and groomsman
    repeat for next two pairs
    him with our officiant (female friend from high school)
    me with my brother

    This way we make sure everyone gets where the need to go and we've included everybody special to us. I haven't even really realized that this was an "alternative" way to do it until this post, we just decided to do it!

  3. I hadn't actually thought about this yet but now I think we will have it as below:

    Officiant
    Ringbearer (a nephew) and flower girl (our dog!)
    Wedding party individually – not paired up – alternating boy/girl
    Groom's parents, together
    Bride's parents, together
    Us, together

    It is very important to me not to have my bridesmaids "escorted" down the aisle by my fiance's groomsmen. Not only because I have one bridesmaid who isn't heterosexual, but also because the whole thing just seems creepy to me – and awkward, since many of them do not know one another.

    2 agree
    • Oh my glob, yes on the bridal party entrance! I was a bridesmaid for my cousin, and on top of the fact i knew no one else in the bridal and groom's parties, i ended up being asked to walk down the aisle with a groomsman who'd just gotten engaged to another bridesmaid because we were of similar heights! It felt sooo awkward.

      I'm trying to figure out what way to best do our own bridal procession, which is already going to be weird, since i have two bridesmaids and he has four groomsladies.

      • Since we had only men in our wedding party (4 groomsmen and 3 bridesmen), we just had them all process in by themselves, one at a time.

  4. We had my brother and mom walk together to their seats, my dad walked slightly behind them (they're seperated). Then the bridal party came down in pairs, but I was adamant that they not link arms, etc, just walk side by side. Then my husband, then me, both alone. My officiant was sweet, but could not wrap her head around the fact that my husband was walking down the aisle, and not just… standing already rhere. she kept trying to change it at meetings. We were like um no, it's his wedding too, were both getting married, were both entering into this as willing adults, and he wants his own special walking down the aisle song!

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