Traditional Recessional Order for Your Ceremony

Make a grand exit with these recessional tips for you and your wedding party.

Recessional Order

PHOTO BY CHI-CHI ARI PHOTOGRAPHY 

After your officiant pronounces you wed, you and your wedding party will recede down the aisle in a custom (unsurprisingly) called the recessional. Here's a guide to how you, your newly-minted spouse, your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents should leave the ceremony.

What Is the Recessional?

The recessional is the order in which the newlywed couple and wedding party exit the ceremony. Just like the processional, there's a specific order to follow based on the couple's preference.

The recessional begins immediately after the first kiss. The couple leads the way back down the aisle—but not before the maid-of-honor hands back the bouquets and straightens out your gown and its train (should it need to be). Afterward come the flower girl and ring bearer, followed by the maid of honor and best man.

The rest of the recessional will depend on who makes up your wedding party. Bridesmaids and groomsmen can walk back down the aisle in pairs, which is best if you have an even-numbered wedding party, or they can go solo, which, you guessed it, works well when you have an uneven number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. After that, your parents may want to follow, but it's not a must.

Make sure the recessional order is planned and practiced during your rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.

One more important detail to remember is to have the photographer ready in place at the opposite end of the aisle to capture the final moments of your ceremony.

Related Stories