When Is It Time to Play the Wedding March?

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Emily Post decrees that the wedding march is one of the most important details of the wedding. The wedding party, including ushers, bridesmaids and the bride herself, can use the music to perfectly time their walk down the aisle. By walking in time with the music, the members of the wedding will look elegantly unified as they walk past the guests.

The Music Begins

Start the music as the first member of the wedding party prepares to walk down the aisle. Emily Post recommends that the shortest usher accompanied by the shortest bridesmaid should be the first to walk out. After all other members of the wedding party have walked down the aisle, the bride should wait eight beats before she steps out.

End of the Music

The music should come to an end as soon as the bride and groom are in proper position for the ceremony to begin. Emily Post says that the music's end is most effective if it occurs just as the bride takes the groom's hand and takes one final step into position.

Alternative Music

Although Richard Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (also known as "Here Comes the Bride") is one of the best-known processionals, the bride and groom are free to choose any song they would like for this part of the ceremony. Popular alternatives include "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel, "Spring" (from The Four Seasons) by Antonio Vivaldi and "Sunrise, Sunset", from "Fiddler on the Roof" by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock.