Before the motor car, when weddings were often very local events, walking processions from church to feasting place were common:
‘At first the procession was compact, a single band of colour billowing across the fields, all along the narrow path that wound through the green corn… The fiddler led the way, his violin adorned with rosettes and streamers of ribbon. After him came the bride and bridegroom, then the relatives, then the friends, in any order ….’
Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Chapter 4
We had a wedding procession almost by accident, and it was a really happy part of the day. We’d hired a red London bus to take us all to the reception barn, and it wasn’t allowed to drive down the narrow country lane to the church. So after the ceremony, we all set off down the lane with confetti still swirling around us, and people waved to us and our guests mingled and chatted as they strolled along.
True, an outdoors procession wouldn't be great if it rained. But there’s something so lovely about the whole bridal party walking together from the ceremony to the celebrations. It unifies everyone after the formality of the marriage service, rather than dissipates them into cars, and gives everyone a real sense of joining together for a very special event. And the locals love it - who doesn’t smile when a wedding party passes by? And you can get creative with your procession - this couple even got stilt walkers along for the walk!
Photo credit: Off Beat Bride