It is really important to me that I have both my stepparents and parents walk down the aisle at my wedding. How do I arrange the order of the procession without offending anyone?
This is indeed a very tricky issue. These days, wedding parties have all kinds of different approaches to marching down the aisle (or what some call the “nave”). Some take the dancing flash mob route, while others leave the procession to just the bride and groom and entirely cut out the bridal party. First and foremost, we always recommend that you do you. Your wedding is an extension of you and your partner, and should always reflect your personal values. In the weddings we’ve worked on, we typically suggest a traditional procession that includes the couple, parents, siblings, grandparents, wedding party, flower girl, and/or ring bearer. This, of course, doesn’t have to be a cookie-cutter formula. We’re big supporters of all sorts of modern families and defer to a “the more the merrier” attitude.
After deciding whom you feel should accompany you and yours in the procession, the next important step is to consider the feelings of those involved. For an event as personal as your wedding, we propose looking to the relationships that your parents and stepparents have with one another. This event can feel nearly as personal for them as it is to you. Unfortunately, not all divorced parents are as amicable as Bruce and Demi (or age as beautifully — I mean, come on), but if your parents still maintain a nice relationship and your stepparents all get along, see if your stepparents would be okay with walking down the aisle together. Then, both of your parents can escort you (or your partner) down the aisle. By doing it this way, no one has to walk down the aisle more than once, or by him or herself. We know this is a little unconventional, but we’ve seen it work beautifully for many of the weddings that we have planned. If the couple prefers to walk in alone, have your parents walk with their current respective partners. If the father of the bride is in fact escorting the bride, he can come around to walk her down the aisle after his first round (if your venue can accommodate that option).
The ultimate goal of your wedding is to celebrate you and your partner’s love for one another, all while surrounding yourselves with the people you care about most. With this in mind, it is imperative to remain flexible and open-minded to possibilities — even if they might seem a little off the beaten path — while remaining true to your own values.
Ali & Maya
We’d love to hear your questions! Drop us a line at DearAlimay@AlimayEvents.com.
Alimay Events — an NYC-based event production company founded by two former glossy-vets, Ali Schajer and and Maya Katz — specializes in organizing pure chaos. So, who better to call upon with our most challenging wedding etiquette queries?