How To Pick the Perfect Aisle Song – 6 tips (plus a couple extra!)

This is it – your big entrance! A part of the day befitting an appropriate soundtrack. But it can be rather daunting choosing something relevant and representative of your tastes. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you and your fiancee may already have a song in mind – something that clicked with you both, that you always knew was going to be important to you. Here’s a few tips to help in choosing the right song for you if that’s not the case.

1. It doesn’t have to be a ‘classic’ love song

It’s most important to me that your entrance song has some significance to you both. This needn’t be a soppy, lovey-dovey ballad. Maybe it’s a pop-punk tune from the early 2000’s that you consider ‘your song’? There are countless acoustic interpretations of most songs you can find on Spotify or other streaming platforms, maybe even a Youtube cover? This opens up the possibility of songs you might think are too intense, rocky, heavy or inappropriate in their usual form.

I love reinterpreting songs for an entrance you would otherwise write off as too intense, loud, fast or somehow inappropriate. You’d be surprised how a good song, regardless of production or treatment can metamorphose into the perfect song for this moment of your big day.

This approach also applies to any lyrics that might not quite fit the bill – many times I’ll adjust words slightly to fit the occasion, or swap out verses entirely to make it the perfect fit. It’s worth discussing this with your singer – and don’t be afraid to make your own lyrical suggestions!

2. It doesn’t have to dictate your speed

You’re not tied to walking at exactly the tempo of the music, though it is a good rule of thumb to keep the intensity of the song fairly low, with gentle instrumentation. You often see in films the classic traditional ‘aisle-step’ walk in time to the music – but if that’s not the mood you’re going for, you can walk at a pace that suits you (I’d err on the side of graceful for my money; however, if you want to make a splash and run down the aisle to your future spouse to an uptempo banger, that’s entirely your prerogative!)

3. It doesn’t have to be a pop (or rock/indie/rnb/singer-songwriter) song

Although I’d say from my experience lyrical music is the most popular choice for entrance songs, perhaps a classical or neo-classical piece might fit the bill for you? Think anything from Ludovico Einaudi to film soundtracks or pastoral Romantic era piano.

It’s a good exercise to play the piece on a speaker, close your eyes and envision yourself making your entrance and walking down the aisle to your beau – does it sit right? Does it feel right? If the answer is yes, then congratulations, you’ve found a contender! Don’t rule out classical music if you’re not an avid listener – here’s a playlist that might surprise you with its suggestions.

4. It doesn’t have to start at the beginning

Song intros are generally great for setting the mood, and introducing the ambience of what is to follow. However, if there’s a particular part of the song that’s most relevant – say the chorus – that takes a little while to get to, you may want to consider an edit, or starting the song from a point beyond the intro.

The beauty of performing in ceremonies live is that I’m able to edit ‘on the fly’. I can extend an intro to allow all your bridesmaids to enter before the poignant peak of the chorus where you want to make your entrance, or I can skip the bits that allow us to get there without too much fuss. As a bonus, I can keep an eye on the top of the aisle to judge the best time and way to gently bring the song to a close, allowing the ceremony to flow without a jarring stop.

A good wedding singer will be able to guide and control the music this way – definitely talk to whoever is going to be singing for you about their usual approach.

5. You need less music than you think

Often, in smaller weddings as well as large congregations, we only need around 30-40 seconds of music before you’ve made your way up and everyone is assembled at the top of the aisle. Consider this when choosing the part of the song that resonates most with you. Perhaps you want to make sure a certain lyric signals your journey down the aisle?

As a live performer, I can juggle around verses and choruses quite happily – maybe it’s the middle 8 that you love so much about your chosen song? I can make sure I arrive there within the first 20 seconds by bringing it forward in the arrangement, ensuring that the soundtrack accompanies your entrance perfectly. Again, this is something to discuss with your performer, most good wedding singers will be happy to accommodate this.

6. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

Perhaps through the process of listening and considering, you keep landing on a song that although you like it feels a little ‘done’. There’s nothing wrong about about choosing a classic – there’s a reason there are certain songs that fit the bill so well, and that’s why they’re recognised at titans of the genre! If you want to put your own twist or stamp on it, you might want to try finding a recording of a nice cover version, or reinterpretation. Spotify and Youtube are great for this.

Better yet, if you have a live performer leading you down the aisle (musically speaking!) then you will have a by default be getting a totally unique version of the ‘well known song’ that makes it fresh and specific to your special day. I love delivering my versions of these types of songs; it’s a satisfying challenge bringing something new to established classics. Extra Tips!

Extra tip 1 – whether its a pre-recorded song playing or a live performer, try to ensure a gentle fade out when you reach the top of the aisle and are ready to commence the ceremony. There’s nothing more jarring than music abruptly stopping; this should be a time for calm and serenity while you exchange your vows in front of your family and friends.

Extra tip 2 – Also – don’t forget to pick a short selection of songs to set the mood whilst your guests assemble in the ceremony space. You can either compile a playlist, or ask your live performer to provide either soft or even instrumental music for this part of the ceremony.

One of the pleasures of being involved in a ceremony is being able to create what I call a ‘live soundtrack’ – ie I’ll improvise some nice acoustic guitar music on the spur of the moment to suit the ambience of the space we’re in, waiting for the celebrant to give me the nod that we’re ready for the entrance of the Bride or Groom.

As always, if any of the above has struck a chord with you and you’d like to discuss how I can provide the soundtrack to this super-important part of your celebrations, don’t hesitate to get in touch!


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