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Which Side Does the Father of the Bride Traditionally Stand on During the Processional?

It all depends on the type of ceremony.

Contributing Writer
father of the bride walking bride down the wedding aisle
Photography by: Photogen Inc.

It's safe to say that the father of the bride has a very important job during the wedding ceremony, as he's often the person that walks the bride down the aisle. "Etiquette wise, the father of the bride typically separates the bride from the person whom he is giving her away to," says Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events. So, what side does that mean he should stand on? If you aren't sure, we're here to help. We spoke to Helmstetter and Kara Jones, an event planner at Michelle Leo Events, about the father of the bride's position during this special moment. should stand during this special moment.


"In a Christian or non-denominational wedding, the bride typically stands on the left hand side for the ceremony," Helmstetter says. In that instance, she suggests that the father would walk on her right hand side, separating her from her soon-to-be until the actual giving of the bride happens.


Related: Father of the Bride Speeches That Knocked It Out of the Park


As it turns out, this tradition didn't begin with Christian weddings. "The father of the bride typically walks down the right side of the aisle, having the bride on his left arm (facing the altar)," Jones explains. Traditionally, this is because in older times, men were supposed to have their fighting hand or sword side free to protect the woman, she explains, so the woman always stands to the left.


But that's not the only option. "In a Jewish wedding, the bride typically stands on the right hand side of the chuppah," Helmstetter adds. In this scenario, she says that the father of the bride walks on her left to separate her from the lucky person she's marrying.


Ultimately, you should think about which side of the aisle you plan to stand on, then go from there. Whether you choose to follow religious tradition is entirely up to you.