Wedding Ceremony: Recessional

This is the end of a 7 part series of blog posts. Click to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

The Recessional signals the end of the ceremony. Its the opposite of the Processional. Everything is done in reverse except that the couple walks out together first. They are followed usually by the bridal party in the reverse order in which they entered. This is also where any attendees would follow the last instructions of the Officiant by throwing rice, confetti or blowing bubbles at the departing couple. After the bridal party leaves everyone else can also either all at once or in a more orderly row by row fashion if there are a lot of attendees.

Just after the recessional it is best to sign the marriage license with your Officiant and witness if your plan is to make the marriage legal that same day. Doing it at this point is best since it does not interrupt the ceremony and you also make sure it gets done before the pictures and partying start. Its easier to forget after this point.


Some alternatives include one last ritual, usually of a religious or cultural kind before the recessional. Jumping the broom or breaking the glass are two of the more well-known. However, there are many more so do not hesitate to ask your Officiant to include any that are personally important to you in your ceremony.

Another alternative is to not have a recessional at all. Just like you don’t need to have a processional there is no need for a recessional. Once the marriage has been pronounced official you can just go out and party or turn and accept well wishes right there and then. Its whatever you want.

So how will you end your wedding ceremony? Let us know in the comments.

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