Once the details are picked, the décor is set, and the guests are seated, it's time to head down the aisle to begin the wedding ceremony! While we've covered all the options you have to get the bride down the aisle, the groom has to get there, too—but how? Who walks the groom down the aisle? Our experts have the details on the many ways the groom can get down the aisle at his wedding ceremony.
How the groom walks down the aisle (and with whom) often depends on the type of ceremony the couple is having, including both any religious affiliations and the formality.
For a Jewish Wedding
In a traditional Jewish ceremony, the first person to walk down the aisle is the officiant. He or she is immediately followed by the groom, who is escorted by both his mother and his father. Once at the chuppah, the groom waits outside of the chuppah to greet his bride, while his parents take their traditional place beneath the chuppah.
For a Christian Wedding
There are a few options for Christian weddings. The most common is for the grandparents to be seated first, followed by the groom’s parents and the bride’s mother. Then, the officiant leads the groom, best man, and groomsmen to the altar, often from the side instead of down the aisle. If the groomsmen and bridesmaids will be walking together, the officiant will lead the groom in from the side, and then the groomsmen will escort the bridesmaids down the aisle. Alternatively, the officiant can lead the groom and groomsmen to the altar before anyone else processes (followed immediately by the seating of the grandparents), allowing the groom to watch the entire processional.
For a Hindu Wedding
In a Hindu wedding, the groom makes a grand entrance during the baraat, where he arrives on a highly-decorated horse accompanied by his family. Guests are often involved in this procession, along with musicians playing as the groom dances from atop the horse. Once the groom and his family arrives at the ceremony, they are welcomed by the bride’s parents, sometimes with sweets and garlands of flowers. Then, the bride’s parents take the groom’s arms and escort him to the mandap, where the ceremony takes place.
For a Muslim Wedding
The primary ritual at an Islamic wedding is the signing of the Nikah, or marriage contract, meaning a processional doesn’t always occur. However, depending on the couple’s culture and where the wedding is taking place, the ceremony may be preceded by a baraat, similar to the one practiced by Hindus, with the groom arriving on a decorated horse.
For a Non-Denominational or Secular Wedding
If you aren’t having a religious ceremony, there are a number of options to consider. The groom might opt to escort his mother down the aisle and to her seat in the front row, followed closely behind by the groom’s father. This gives the groom an opportunity to give his parents a hug before taking his place at the altar. The groom's parents can also walk down the aisle together, followed by the groom as he walks alone. Or the groom might opt to use one of the above options, such as walking down the aisle with both of his parents. If the groom and groomsmen were greeting guests upon arrival, they may choose to simply take their place at the altar before the processional begins, instead of formally making an entrance. And of course, you can create your own tradition! You might want to both enter the ceremony alone, or could walk down the aisle together, symbolizing the beginning of your journey as a couple.