THE RECESSIONAL

After the couple has been pronounced husband and wife, to cheering and applause, the maid of honor hands the bride’s bouquet to her, the bride takes the groom’s arm, the music begins and they walk down the aisle together. The maid of honor takes the best man’s arm, they wait until the bridal couple has reached the end of the aisle, and they recess. Each bridesmaid-groomsman couple then follows in the same way.

The flower girls and ring bearers usually have been seated during the ceremony, since they’re too young to be expected to stand quietly during the proceedings. They can recess with the rest of the bridal party or not, as they wish.

If the couple has chosen to have a receiving line, they wait at the back of the church or ceremony area and greet their guests, one by one, as they leave their seats. If it’s a large wedding, just a few words are necessary so that the line keeps moving. If it’s a small wedding, the couple may want to chat longer with each guest.