Left or right? Who marches first? Here are some guides on church ceremony places and processional and recessional order.
Facing the altar, the bride stays at the left side of the church while the groom is on the right. This comes from a belief that in the olden times, the bride has to stay at the groom’s left side to enable him to draw his sword on his right side and thwart jealous suitors trying to steal his beloved.
The female entourage members are seated behind the bride or in the left side of the church as the male entourage members stay at the right side.
The bride’s family and friends ideally are seated at the left side of the church with the groom’s kin on the right side.
In the Philippines, the entourage traditionally enter in this order:
- Best Man
- Groom with his parents
- Principal Sponsors
- Secondary Sponsors
- Ring Bearer
- Coin Bearer
- Bible Bearer
- Flower Girls
- Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
- Maid/Matron of Honor
- Bride with her parents (The bride stays at the left of her father.)
This order could vary, the groom and his parents may not march and wait instead at the altar. Nowadays, the parents of the bride wait for her halfway down the aisle as she makes her solo entrance up to the center and then they march altogether.
After the ceremony, the procession is reversed:
- Bride and groom (The bride is at the groom’s right side.)
- Flower girls, ring bearer, coin bearer and bible bearer (optional)
- Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen