First things first - if you are getting married in a church, make sure that you understand what songs are allowed or not allowed to be played. Too often we think that “safe” songs to be played in a church are universal when this can be on a case by case basis, depending on the priest or presider of the ceremony.
For example, YEARS ago I was told that the famous (or infamous now?) Bridal Chorus by Wagner was not allowed in a specific church because it (allegedly) was the piece that was played for a) when prostitutes used to enter a brothel or b) when the man and wife used to descend to their bedchamber to consummate their marriage or c) about a bride and groom that had a marriage be doomed for life. Whichever the correct theory, none of them seemed appealing to the church.
Nevertheless, when preparing for you and your bridal party to walk down the aisle, the most important things to make note is as follows:
1. How many songs would be played during the processional? Typically, there is 1 song that precedes the bride, who gets her own song with the person walking her down, so that there is more of a grand entrance. Some couples have also opted for a separate song for the groom/groomsmen, one for the bridesmaids/flower girls/ringbearers, and then the bride’s song. Regardless, I suggest not picking pieces that have a long lead up time, as the introduction may not even be over by the time people finish walking.
2. Are parents part of this processional? If so, are they being escorted? These days, the groom has often walked down with one or both parents (either escorting his mother, or both parents escorting him), and usually, he and his parent(s) are first in line. Are both parents also walking down the bride, and if not, is someone else escorting the bride’s mother down the aisle as well?
3. Are bridesmaids and groomsmen walking singularly or in pairs? If the former, then usually the groomsmen follow the groom, starting with the last groomsmen first, and then last is the best man, who ends up right next to the groom up front. If in pairs, then the pairs would begin after parents have processed, still starting with the last bridesmaid/groomsman, and then last is the best man and maid of honour.
4. Are there flower girls/ringbearers? If so, we would position the little ones right before the bride. If they are generally younger and can’t walk down by themselves, then I would have the parents standing at the top and bottom of the aisle, so they can be there to guide their little ones.
5. Any additional players that should be noted? Furry friends as ringbearers, Filipino sponsors, and other family members not noted above are definitely points to consider. And all should be at the rehearsal!