Arguably, one of the most iconic moments of a wedding, is when the bride or groom first walks down the aisle. Tradition dictates that it the father of the bride that walks her down the aisle towards wedded bliss. However, it is just as common these days for the bride and groom to make the decision together based on their particular family set up. I was wondering about this myself and it got me thinking about my own mother, and who she will walk down the aisle with on my big day.
So, who walks the mother of the bride down the aisle? It may surprise you to learn that there are several different options for this. It may be that a groomsman walks the mother of the bride down the aisle, just before the bride and her father. It is also quite common for the mother of the bride to be walked down the aisle by her son (the bride’s brother) or her own brother (the uncle of the bride). It could be that the mother of the bride is happy to walk down the aisle unaccompanied or it even has been known for the mother of the bride to walk with their daughter and the father of the bride (if the aisle is wide enough!). Ultimately, it is the decision of the bride and groom as to who walks the mother of the bride down the aisle, as this tradition has been left open to interpretation.
It may be that your family set-up indicates a specific person who is perfect for this role. In blended families, it is not uncommon for the bride’s step-father to walk the mother of the bride down the aisle.
We have also attended more than one wedding whereby the mother of the bride has chosen to not walk down the aisle.
There is no hard and fast rule about whether or not the mother of the bride should walk down the aisle, or in fact who should walk with her.
We would recommend discussing your vision for your ceremony as bride and groom first before extending the discussion to the wider family.
If you – as the bride and groom – have particularly strong ideas or opinions as to who will walk the mother of the bride down the aisle – then that is what you should do!
Remember, it is your wedding day so if you have your heart set on something, make provision for it.
If you are open to suggestion from friends or family as to who should walk the mother of the bride down the aisle, make time to talk this over well in advance of the ceremony.
In discussing things like who will walk the mother of the bride down the aisle with family, it may be that there are traditions or suggestions within your family that will provide an answer to who walks the mother of the bride down the aisle.
If not, chances are the best person for the honor will be someone they have a meaningful relationship with. Perhaps a relative or a groomsman they have formed a friendship with?
Let us now take a closer look at the mother of the brides role in the ceremony; starting with whether they walk first. We will then look at what they should wear and if they should get ready with the bride.
Does The Mother Of The Bride Walk Down The Aisle First?
When it has been decided who is going to walk the mother of the bride down the aisle, it is a good idea to consider the order in which the bridal party will make their entrance to the ceremony.
Again, there are several different options when it comes to this and a few things to consider. A traditional wedding processional begins with the entrance of the mother of the bride – signalling the start of marital proceedings.
She would then take her seat and be followed by the groom, groomsmen and then the bridal party, finally followed by the entrance of the bride with her father.
Couples who may decide upon this traditional wedding processional may ask the mother of the bride to walk down the aisle alone, or accompanied by someone who maybe will be sat near to her during the ceremony.
Christian or Jewish ceremonies may dictate specific traditions to do with the order of the wedding processional.
It is not uncommon in a Christian Ceremony, for the bride’s mother to be seated, rather than processing down the aisle.
Whereas, in a Jewish Ceremony, it is traditional for both parents to walk their daughter – the bride – down the aisle, meaning that the mother of the bride is one of the last people to enter the ceremony.
A recent trend in Weddings is for the mother of the bride to be one of the last people to enter the ceremony, just before the bride herself.
The order of processional in this case may be: flower girls, followed by bridesmaids, followed by the maid of honor, followed by the mother of the bride and then finally the bride herself and her father.
Where each family’s circumstance is different, the order and combination of wedding procession is likely to also differ.
If the mother of the bride is walking the bride down the aisle, then she too will be last to enter the ceremony.
Relationships will also have a part to play in when the bride’s mother enters the ceremony. Chances are you will have a gut feeling – as the bride – about when you would like your mother to enter.
Personally, I would love nothing more than for my mother to be able to watch me walking down the aisle, I may ask her to be first in the procession or already be seated, I don’t think I’ve quite made my mind up yet.
What Color Should The Mother Of The Bride Wear?
Tradition dictates that there is no specific color the mother of the bride should wear, although it is generally advised that she avoids white, ivory or champagne tones and hues to avoid detracting from the bride herself.
Ensuring your mother of the bride outfit compliments and goes with the dress color of the bridesmaids is traditional however.
Most bridal boutiques that stock bridesmaid dresses will also carry a range of mother of the bride outfits, so ensuring that the choice of outfits complement one another can be relatively easy.
The mother of the bride’s outfit should stand out – rather than blend in – with those of the bridesmaids and extended bridal party.
Perhaps a similar color but slightly deeper shade or introducing pattern or lace to the mother of the bride outfit is an appropriate way of doing this?
That being said, the mother of the brides outfit does not necessarily need to match the bridesmaid dresses, only compliment them.
Consider the colours in your wedding photos and whether or not the outfits complementing one another is something that is important to you.
If not, then arguably it doesn’t matter whether or not outfits go.
If this is important to you however, ensure that as the bride, you give opinions and guidance about color selection for the mother of the bride outfit, as it is likely that you will have chosen the colours for the bridesmaid dresses.
Does The Mother Of The Bride Get Ready With The Bride?
On the wedding day morning, it is common for the mother of the bride to get ready with the bride herself and bridal party.
Hair stylists will offer packages that often include the mother of the bride’s hairstyling too! The morning of any wedding day is a special time, filled with special memories.
That being said, it is totally up to the bride who is there as she prepares for her wedding.
Ultimately, the mother of the bride will get ready with the bride is the bride wants her there.
It can be stressful on the morning of your wedding day, and anything you can do to minimise feelings of stress are recommended. This means choose who you get ready with carefully!
For some brides, their mother will be the first person they think of in this instance, for others their mother will be the last person.
It is down to you as a bride to make that decision.
Photographers will often offer pre-ceremony photos as part of the wedding package. A bride may wish to capture some photos of her and her mother prior to the ceremony.
A special moment that will become a memory to last a lifetime.
There is no specific person within a wedding party who traditionally walks the mother of the bride down the aisle. It could be a groomsmen, relative or even the bride herself who accompanies the mother of the bride down the aisle during the processional.
It is even quite common for the mother of the bride to be seated prior to the ceremony.
Whatever you choose for your big day, know that your mother will likely be proud and honored to be involved in any way she can.