The Entrance of the Bride
This is the dramatic opening of proceedings; guests may have been waiting some time for the bride's arrival and the sense of expectation is high.
- Before the bride begins to proceed up the aisle, the chief bridesmaid should make final checks and arrange her dress, train and veil.
- The officiant waits for the bride at the entrance to the ceremony venue (for example the church door).
- The bridal party take up their positions, which will have been rehearsed beforehand. It is usual for the chief bridesmaid to walk directly behind the bride, followed by the other bridesmaids.
- If there are baby bridesmaids or pageboys it may be a good idea for the adult bridesmaids to take their hands and guide them up the aisle.a
- The bride takes the right arm of her father (or the person giving her away); the opening music or song begins and the bride and her father start walking. The pace should have been agreed upon and practised by the whole procession; remember that nerves will naturally speed people up.
- The bride should remember to hold herself upright with her shoulders back and her bouquet held at hip height. Once she reaches the groom and best man at the front, the officiant will begin the service.
- It is usual for the bride's veil to be taken back (by her mother or the chief bridesmaid) and her bouquet given to the chief bridesmaid during the first hymn.