Brides, this is your moment!
For some of us, it’s one of the most nerve wracking moments of life with all eyes on the bride, for others, it’s a moment of lime-lit, glorious celebration! One thing is for sure, the entrance of the bride is the a much awaited, spine tingling pause that you don’t want to waste, rush or be afraid of.
I knew what song I wanted to walk in to two or three years before I met my husband. Being a musician, it was always going to be on my radar, especially as I sing at weddings for a living. I kept it a secret from everyone, waited for about 90 seconds into the song before sending down my bridesmaids and then made my entrance as the beat kicked in. The words were so special to me and said everything I wanted to say to my husband. We printed them in the order of service, so that people who hadn’t heard the song before (probably 98% of them!) could be involved in the moment too. The only thing I wish I had done – and stupidly is something I always recommend everyone else to do – was practise the procession with my bridesmaids and the vicar. I actually didn’t know the vicar would be walking down the aisle with us! It was possibly the only thing I didn’t think of before the day. So yes, the walk in is special and worth thinking about to the max.
We often get couples asking us for ideas of music to walk in to, so I thought I’d compile our top entrance songs from the last few years, along with some ideas and advice (scroll to the bottom). It’s much easier to find songs to walk out to than in to. Walking out is easy – it’s a celebration and that’s pretty much it! But the processional can be many more emotions; you may want a serene atmosphere, or a stately entrance, something fun or something serious, something religious or something humorous and light hearted. I was bridesmaid at a wedding where we danced down the aisle at the beginning! Most people save that until the end, but not in this case – maybe you’re the same. The main thing for you to decide is what atmosphere and feel you want to create, and what you want to say.
Here are our top 10 processional songs from the last 5 years, click on the link to watch us perform them:
1.) At Last by Etta James
2.) Kissing You by Des’ree
3.) Feel the Love / Lovely Day by Rudimental and Bill Withers
4.) All You Need Is Love by The Beatles
5.) A Thousand years by Cristina Perri
6.) Blinded By Your Grace by Stormzy
7.) Songbird by Eva Cassidy
8.) Hallelujah by Alexandra Burke
9.) Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
10.) All Of Me by John Legend
Here are some that have been commissioned especially for the entrance:
1.) Ave Maria by Schubert
2.) Ave Maria by Beyonce
3.) Weathered by Jack Garrett
4.) Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
5.) I Swear by All 4 One
6.) The Promise by Tracy Chapman
7.) Greatest Day by Take That
8.) Will You Be There by Michael Jackson
9.) Fields of Gold by Sting / Eva Cassidy
10.) Wings by Birdy
And finally, some other less requested tunes that have been special to some couples!
1.) From This Moment by Shania Twain
2.) Lean On Me by Bill Withers
3.) Lovely Day by Bill Withers
4.) I Will Follow Him from Sister Act
5.) Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk
6.) Joyful Joyful from Sister Act
7.) If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys
8.) Feeling Good by Nina Simone
9.) Love by Musiq Soulchild
10.) Everybody’s Free from Romeo and Juliet
Sometimes a solo is enough. Here are more ideas that we have performed as solos:
1.) Wherever You Will Go by Charlene Soraia
2.) Amazed by Lone Star
3.) You and I by Stevie Wonder
Fashions change with time, and each year we get asked to arrange something new from current hits. This list may inspire you to commission us with a new song that is special to you. We love it when couples put time and effort in to their wedding to make it totally personal to them. It’s not something you do every day and may be one of very few times all your friends and family are in the same place. Celebrate your personalities and your love and make it a wedding day people remember.
Some tips for the entrance:
Tip 1: Consider how large the bridal party is and how long the aisle is. We recommend 1.5 to 2 minutes for the processional. This can feel fairly long, but much shorter than this feels rushed and often isn’t enough time to do justice to the piece of music. It will mean waiting a little while before the bridal party sets off down the aisle and everyone taking a leisurely pace. You may need to coach your bridal party to do this, and usually the children run! A little time at the altar / celebrant’s table is great for a chance to pass your bouquet over, fix your dress, say hello to your fiancé and take a few deep breaths. One of my bug bears is when the music stops immediately as the bride reaches her destination. There is no rush!
Tip 2: However, always chat to the music team about your processional (and we always make sure we are on the same page as the bride!). You may want even longer, you may want the entire song. If you have an outdoor wedding, your walk may be especially long. Everyone is different, and that’s what makes singing at weddings such a fun job.
Tip 3: Here’s something to be very careful of: you or your venue may have placed candles in jars at the end of each row of chairs. They look beautiful and are a fairly cheap way of sprucing up a bland room. Unfortunately, we have seen a number of dresses catch alight from these candles. The jars can get knocked over, usually by the train of the dress, and then catch fire. Usually a guest quickly spots the danger and stamps it out, in one case we saw, quite a bit of the dress was ruined (thankfully she had another wedding dress to change in to – who has two wedding dresses on the day?! Incredible!). Either way, it’s not the best beginning to your ceremony so our recommendation is to not have those candles unless it is a wide aisle and you don’t have a big dress.
Tip 4: This may sound hideous, but we have also seen an aisle so small and a dress so big that two people can’t fit down the aisle together, whether it be bride and father, or bride and groom. It’s something worth checking before you get your dress!
Tip 5: Let your registrar, vicar or celebrant know how long your entrance song will be and that you are happy for it to finish before the ceremony starts. Some celebrants are very eager to get going and make signal after signal for the music to stop. This also happens in the signing of the register. Those signals can be quite awkward for the guests and the couple to see, and there is really no need, as there is usually only another 15 to 30 seconds left of the song.
Do you have more tips you would like to share? What have you seen and experienced that would be helpful for others to know? Do you have a song you think should be on our list? Let us know! And thanks for reading. Good luck!