Walking down the aisle is a momentous occasion in any wedding ceremony. It’s a symbolic journey that marks the beginning of a new chapter with the love of your life. Whether you’re walking with your parents, spouse, or best friend, there are lots of factors to consider to ensure that your entrance goes smoothly. From nailing the timing to focusing on your posture to giving yourself a moment to take a breath before the big moment, here are some tips for walking down the aisle, along with some different ways to walk down.
What is the Order of Walking Down the Aisle
The wedding processional is going to look a little different depending on how you set things up (which we will discuss shortly). However, traditionally, you will find that it typically goes mothers of the newlyweds, grandparents (if they are willing and able), the groom/first partner, wedding parties, best man and maid of honor, ring bearer and flower girl, and finally the bride/second partner. As we said, this order is not set in stone, so if you feel like mixing it up, go for it!
Five Tips for Walking Down the Aisle
Timing is Everything
Timing is one of the most crucial aspects of walking down the aisle. Your entrance sets the tone for the entire ceremony, so it’s essential to plan accordingly. Before you can even walk down the aisle, it’s important to coordinate with your wedding planner to determine a start time for your ceremony. Of course, we’ll be the first to tell you that things may come up, and if your ceremony starts a few minutes late, that’s okay. It happens more often than you realize.
Timing is also impacted by the music you choose for your wedding processional. Once you have your song picked out, don’t be afraid to practice in the comfort of your living room to ensure you nail the timing. The wedding processional typically takes about three to five minutes, with your walk taking anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds max. This gives you ample time to soak in the moment and take in your surroundings while your photographer snaps a few pics. The more time you practice at home, the more prepared you’ll feel.
Coordinating with the Wedding Party
Walking down the aisle involves more than just the couple tying the knot. There’s also the entire wedding party. The more people you have in your wedding parties, the more on top of timing you’ll have to be. This is why rehearsal dinners are so important for those who are in the wedding. Here, you’ll discuss the entrance order, practice the timing, and ensure the pace is comfortable for everyone involved. If you’re having a flower girl and/or ring bearer, this rehearsal can also be extremely helpful in getting them comfortable with their roles.
Posture and Presence
We understand that you may be in attire that you’re not entirely used to. It’s not every day that you’re wearing wedding gowns or tuxes, after all. That’s why we recommend choosing attire you’re comfortable in–but that’s a whole different conversation. While you still may be adjusting to your clothing or shoes, maintaining the right posture goes a long way in exuding confidence and grace during your walk down the aisle.
Many of us spend a lot of time looking down at computer or phone screens, so the idea of lifting your chin can feel somewhat foreign. Just like with the pacing, don’t be afraid to practice this posture at home. Imagine a string pulling you from the top of your head, with your shoulders back and down. As you walk, don’t be afraid to make eye contact with your loved ones in attendance. If this makes you too nervous, lock eyes with your spouse-to-be and use them as your anchor.
Lastly, when it comes to your hands, keep them as relaxed and natural as possible. Luckily, if you’re holding a bouquet or the arm of a loved one, you have something to hold onto. Just be sure to avoid clenching anything you’re gripping too tightly, as it can make your hands appear tense in photos. If you’re locking elbows with anyone (such as your father, mother, or other family member/friend), use this to your advantage. It will ensure you start on the same foot and remind you to hold your bouquet low.
Watch Your Step
If you need to take it a little slower to prevent yourself from tripping over yourself, take that time. No one wants to trip in front of all of their guests. Just be mindful of every step that you take, and ensure that steps are taken before the wedding day (like proper alterations to your attire and breaking in your shoes), and you will have zero issues.
Enjoy a Slow Morning
A lot is going on the morning of your wedding. Between getting hair and makeup done, taking photos, getting dressed, and the nerves, it’s easy to skip over taking care of yourself. Slow down as much as possible to eat a hearty breakfast, drink plenty of water, and avoid too much alcohol. If you can, we recommend taking it a step further and enjoying some quiet time right before you walk down the aisle. Whether it’s to meditate, enjoy a moment of silence, run to the restroom, or soak up a moment with your parents, it can help you unwind a bit and keep you steady on your feet.
Different Ways to Walk Down the Aisle
Depending on your relationship with the people accompanying you, there are various ways to approach your journey down the aisle.
Walking Down the Aisle with Family
Walking down the aisle with family members can be a touching and sentimental experience. It’s a way to honor and involve your loved ones in the ceremony. One tip for walking down the aisle with family is to choose the order carefully. Traditionally, the bride’s father walks her down the aisle, but there are no hard and fast rules. You can have both parents, a sibling, or a grandparent accompany you. It is important to communicate your wishes with your family members beforehand to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Walking Down the Aisle with Your Future Spouse
Walking down the aisle with your future spouse is a modern and increasingly popular choice. It symbolizes the equal partnership and shared journey that marriage represents. If you decide to walk down the aisle together, one tip is to synchronize your steps and pace. Practice walking together beforehand to ensure you are in sync. Consider adding a personal touch, such as holding hands or exchanging a few words as you approach the altar. This can create a beautiful and intimate moment between the two of you.
Walking Down the Aisle Solo
Walking down the aisle alone can be a powerful statement of independence and self-confidence. If you choose to walk alone, one tip is to practice your walk beforehand. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident on the big day. Another tip is to embrace the moment and enjoy the experience. Walking down the aisle solo allows you to fully take in the atmosphere and reflect on the significance of the occasion. Remember, this is your moment to shine, and you should walk proudly.
Walking down the aisle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that deserves careful planning and consideration. While we know it can be stressful, keep these tips in mind, and you will be a-okay. If you’re still on the fence about what song to walk down the aisle to, fret not. We’ve rounded up 40 wedding songs to walk down the aisle to that will make your moment that much more unforgettable.