The Bridal Entrance Music – Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To

By vaughan • 31st March 2013 • Posted in: Wedding String Quartet Useful Info

In many traditional weddings (both church weddings and civil ceremonies) the most favoured pieces of music for the bride to enter to (the processional) are either Pachelbel’s Canon in D or Wagner’s Bridal Chorus (from ‘Lohengrin’). But what about brides who do not wish to use the traditional wedding march? What alternative bridal entrance music do people choose for something a little fresh and different? After all, your wedding service will most likely be one of the most personal experiences of your life, so many people want an original alternative to ‘here comes the bride’. . .

Every wedding string quartet probably have their own ideas about the ideal piece of music for a bride to enter to and since playing at over 700 weddings, we have experienced many unique requests as well as original ideas for the bridal entrance music. Many of these are modern rock and pop songs played by the string quartet which have particular significance for the bridal couple involved. I remember a particularly memorable wedding which took place in Essex, where the bride entered to the Guns ‘n’ Roses classic, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’. The whole event was a real party with everyone getting involved in the celebrations. Although certain pop songs may not be appropriate for that special moment (Abba’s ‘Take a Chance on Me’, the Eurythmics ‘Thorn in My Side’ or ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ might not be ideal), string arrangements of songs such as The Beatles’s ‘All You Need Is Love’ or Madness ‘It Must Be Love’ do often say it all and raise a few smiles in the assembled guests.

In fact, as an alternative to the Wedding March (which we’ll refer to as the ‘Bridal Chorus’ to avoid any confusion!), couples increasingly choose more modern songs for their bridal processional music. And with many string quartets offering an arrangement service, the options are now very wide indeed. On a cautionary note, do check whether your string quartet arranges their songs from sheet music publications or direct from the track. If music has been arranged from sheet music originally intended from a piano, although it is quicker to do, the end result will lack a lot of the detail contained in the track and may end up sounding a little drab. As ever, the quality of string quartet wedding music can vary a lot between groups, so always listen carefully to string quartet sound samples provided on websites or demo CDs.

Not all couples want to have rock and pop music in their ceremony. Many still feel that classical music offers more atmosphere  and elegance for the more formal proceedings of the day. Yet they still do not necessarily want to opt for the standard wedding processional songs that string quartets frequently play. For the entrance music, pieces such as Verdi’s ‘Grand March’ (from ‘Aida’) and the Mascagni’s haunting ‘Intermezzo’ (from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’) are regular favourites.

One thing to be aware of is to avoid any pieces which may have a religious connotation in a civil ceremony (or one which will take place at a non religious). Always check with your registrars, as pieces such as ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’ may unfortunately not be allowed.

Here is what we have found to be the top ten classical and modern favourites for the bridal entrance

 Classical

 Wagner  Bridal Chorus (from ‘Lohengrin’)

Pachelbel  Canon in D

Charpentier  Prelude (from ‘Te Deum’)

Clarke  Prince of Denmark’s March (Trumpet Voluntary)

Mascagni  Intermezzo (from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’)

Bach  Air in D

Purcell Trumpet Tune

Vivaldi  Allegro from ‘Spring’ (‘The Four Seasons’)

Verdi  Grand March (from ‘Aida’)

Handel  Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

Modern Songs for the Bridal Entrance

 Beach Boys:  God Only Knows

Des’ree:  Kissing You

Snow Patrol:  Chasing Cars

Beatles:  All You Need Is Love

Elbow:  One Day Like This

Sigur Ros:  Hoppipolla

Adele/Bob Dylan:  Make You Feel My Love

Ben E King:  Stand By Me

James Blunt: You’re Beautiful

Foo Fighters: Everlong

Of course, this list is from 2016 and the favourite pieces of popular music are bound to change as new songs are released and become fashionable. But really – as far as weddings go, anything goes and choosing string quartet wedding music can be as personalised as any other aspect of planning the big day!

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10 responses to “The Bridal Entrance Music – Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To”

  1. […] see our article on bridal entrance music and the top ten lists for that, as many can be appropriate for signing the register as […]

  2. […] our previous two articles (entitled The Bridal Entrance Music – Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To and Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Signing the Register Music. . .), we explored ways of making the […]

  3. […] to the front of the ceremony room (just behind the registrar’s desk) and got ready for the bridal entrance music. For this, the bride had chosen one of the most popular wedding songs of the moment, Christina […]

  4. […] can really create the perfect atmosphere, making the beginning of the ceremony even more special. The bridal entrance music was the much-loved Canon in D by Pachelbel, a piece of music perfectly appropriate as music to the […]

  5. […] playing music as guests arrive into the church, followed by the ceremony itself (often providing the bridal entrance music, signing the register music, the bridal exit music and occasionally the hymns as well!). We then […]

  6. […] inspiration from many composers of English string music and provided atmospheric music for the bridal entrance music. The bride (Sarah) and her sister (Lauren) are both accomplished singers and it fell to Lauren to […]

  7. […] On Friday the 8th August, we returned once again to one of our most regular and favourite local venues – Notley Abbey, just outside Haddenham in Buckinghamshire. It’s a venue where we know the staff and layout well. The ceremony itself took place outdoors in the garden at the rear of the building. Here, beneath the shade of a gazebo, our string duo played at various points during the ceremony itself, including a special request – a string arrangement of the Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love’ for the bridal entrance. It’s amazing how many different pieces of music can be used as an alternative to the ‘Bridal Chorus’ and if you’re interested in what we can play, feel free to read our blog entitled ‘The Bridal Entrance Music – Songs To Walk Down The Aisle To.’ […]

  8. […] ‘Bridal Chorus’ for string duo. You can read all about this in our article ‘The Bridal Entrance – Songs To Walk Down The Aisle To’. As we were positioned in the gallery overlooking the wedding party, we had the benefit of the […]

  9. […] In most cases when a couple book a wedding string quartet, we are asked to play a well loved piece of music as the bride walks up the aisle. This can be anything from a traditional bridal processional piece such as the ‘Wedding March’ or Pachelbel’s Canon (see our performance of this below), to an arrangement of a favourite modern rock or pop song for string quartet song to a piece of music from a film or musical. If you’d like some wedding songs ideas, you can see our informative blog entitled ‘The Bridal Entrance Music – Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To’. […]

  10. […] the ceremony itself, usually the quartet will provide The Bridal Entrance Music, Signing the Register Music, accompany any Hymns for String Quartet and provide the Bridal Exit […]

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Manor House Music is a wedding string quartet and duo consisting of some of the UK’s finest musicians. Founded in 2005, and based on the borders of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, we’ve now performed for over 800 weddings, corporate events and private functions. We combine a high quality of musical performance with a large repertoire of dynamic arrangements and a desire to work closely with clients to ensure that every detail is just right for your event.

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