One of the most memorable moments of any wedding day is when the bride walks down the aisle. It’s the first time guests—and usually even the soon-to-be spouse—will see the wedding dress, and it marks the start of the marriage journey. Traditionally, fathers walk daughters down the aisle. Once the pair reach the altar, she’s then presented to her partner to be wed.
Meet the Expert
Susan Waggoner is a wedding historian and author.
As you consider integrating the father-bride walk down the aisle into your wedding, questions will likely arise: Do I have to select my father to walk me down the aisle? Can I have both parents? What about a friend or a parent figure? Today, brides are observing this tradition in new and modernized ways, which we'll go into a bit later.
Until then, read on to learn more about this storied tradition. We talk to wedding historian Susan Waggoner and get answers to every walk-down-the-aisle question you can think of.
The History and Meaning of the Walk Down the Aisle
While today the wedding tradition of walking down the aisle with your dad can be a super-special moment, “this custom stems from the days of arranged marriages when a father’s looming presence was a good way to prevent the groom from backing out,” explains wedding historian Susan Waggoner. And why exactly might he back out? Well, in Waggoner’s words, a bride was a “financial liability” who was essentially transferred from the household of her father to that of the groom and, sometimes, that led to hesitation that got the best of grooms at the last minute.
Today, the act of the father walking their daughter down the aisle is seen as a way to show support for this next chapter in life. It's looked at as less of a "giving away" and more of a "letting go."
Walk Down the Aisle FAQs
What if my father is no longer in my life?
Then you can select someone else who you’re close to. This could be a mother, another family member, or just someone who’s been important to you.
Should I stand on the left side or the right side?
In a Christian or non-denominational wedding, the bride typically stands on the left side while in a Jewish wedding the bride typically stands on the right. You can choose depending on your religious affiliation or your personal preference.
What do I do when I get to the end of the aisle?
The father usually passes the bride off to her future spouse and both join together at the altar.
Does he have to "give me away"?
Of course not. If the history behind the tradition turns you off, you can have the officiant skip the part when he asks the question "who gives this woman to be married to this man" and, instead, have your partner simply thank your father when he reaches the altar.
Can I choose an untraditional song to walk down the aisle to?
Absolutely. The go-to song is typically the “here comes the bride” one, or “Canon D” by Johann Pachelbel, but there are plenty of modern tracks to choose from.
While it's perfectly normal to choose to go the traditional route, there are plenty of other options if you'd like to switch things up. Some women are uncomfortable with the symbolism behind their dad walking them down the aisle, so they seek alternative ways to honor their relationships with their parents. In the Jewish tradition, both the bride and groom are accompanied down the aisle by both parents, a custom that many couples have adopted in the spirit of equality.
Other people in this situation have selected meaningful people in their lives to walk with them, like stepparents, college advisers, or even their ring bearers or children. Some have carried memorabilia that reminds them of their late parents. Some walk hand-in-hand with their partner down the aisle while others choose to walk solo. Some have dealt with this discomfort by eliminating the aisle altogether. This is a good option for folks with tense family situations or LGBTQ couples who feel put off by the heteronormativity of the processional.
So, this long walk down the aisle isn’t just another wedding tradition to be accepted or cast aside; it actually carries a lot of weight for the individuals involved. How someone chooses to approach it can symbolize her core values at that moment: independence, support, identity, equality—deeply personal feelings that are tied to this life change. If you are ever asked to accompany someone down the aisle, you should feel deeply honored and privileged to play that part.
When you walk down the aisle on your wedding day, all eyes are on you. Your dress, veil, hair, makeup and accessories have been carefully planned out so that you look absolutely perfect. You’ve chosen the perfect song to set the scene and demonstrate your feelings. To ensure that your walk down the aisle goes smoothly, you’ll want to practice it at least once during the rehearsal. Follow these simple steps to make your walk down the aisle graceful and elegant.
Even if this might feel unnatural at first, holding your bouquet lower will make your arms and torso look better. This will create a slimming effect in photos and guests will also be able to see the beautiful bodice of your wedding dress. To achieve this sophisticated look, hold your bouquet low enough so that your arms are bent in a diamond shape in front of your body.
Some brides tend to walk quickly when they are nervous, while others tend to walk slowly. To make things seem as natural and seamless as possible, a good rule of thumb is to walk at a normal pace for you. However, depending on the song you’ve chosen for your walk, you may want to adjust your pace to match the beat. If the song is set to a moderate or slightly fast beat, it might seem more natural to follow the tempo. If it’s slow, then you’ll want to walk at your normal pace. Figuring out what pace to walk at is definitely something that you’ll learn quickly with a practice run.
It may help to calm your nerves to stare directly forward and avoid all eye contact with your guests, but this creates a stiff, unnatural presence that ultimately looks and feels awkward. Feel free to look around at the crowd at all of the guests who have shown up to support you and your love. You may find that your aunt is beaming back at you, or your uncle is sending you a comforting gaze. If eye contact is something that will cause more fear than reassurance, then glancing around at the tops of guests’ heads in the crowd is a simple trick that will help you achieve this natural presence.
Your dress and bouquet may be heavy, and you might not be used to wearing your wedding heels, but the easiest way to instantly appear more graceful and elegant is to stand up straight. Having good posture while you walk down the aisle will make you look tall, lean and more beautiful. Hunching over will look especially obvious in photos, and something as simple as rolling your shoulders down your back will you help you avoid this unappealing look.
Perhaps the most common fear brides have of their walks down the aisle is tripping over their wedding dresses. These gorgeous gowns are typically floor length, and oftentimes have long trains too. Most brides probably don’t have much experience walking in floor length ball gowns, so a helpful trick to help you glide down the aisle is to be mindful of your dress as you take each step. As you put your foot forward to take a step, your dress will move against the back of your leg. If you wait until the hem of your dress grazes your ankle, you will never step on your dress. This is something that may require a few practice runs, so if you still aren’t comfortable with this process then you can also ask your seamstress to hem your dress slightly shorter.
We know you’re nervous on one of the most important days of your life, but sometimes we let it show in our faces. Remember to smile and try to enjoy yourself as you gracefully float down the aisle. Everyone in that room is there to support you and celebrate your love, and smiling throughout your walk will let your guests know that you’re happy they came and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.
Your wedding rehearsal is the ideal time to have everyone in your wedding party practice their duties at least once before the big day. Walking down the aisle on your wedding day may seem like a huge deal, but remember that all you’re doing is walking! Smile, stand up straight and be mindful of your dress and bouquet. When looking around the room, you can lock eyes with your partner to be reminded of all of the reasons why you’re doing this. In the end, the most important thing is that you’re marrying the love of your life and your friends and family are there for the two of you.
Here are some tips for walking down the aisle and how to walk down the aisle at your wedding, from a wedding photographer who has seen about five hundred brides do it. Walking down the aisle may seem like the easiest thing in the world to do, but you and your bridesmaids will probably be very nervous on the day… so here are some tips from us to help you out.
1. Don’t stress about your page boys & flower girls
Whatever they do, it will be awesome and fun for everyone.
Who doesn’t love kids at weddings? Page Boys and Flower Girls are always a nice touch at a wedding and a great way to get your family directly involved on the day. They are cute, unpredictable and a real crowd-pleaser.
Don’t worry too much if you are not sure if they will walk down without an incident. Have them walk down together so they are more confident. And if they make it halfway down then turn back, just go with it, as everyone will laugh. Alternatively, you can have one of their parents or the Groom crouching down near the front so they have someone to walk to, or get one of the Bridesmaids to help them walk down.
Whatever they do, whether they cry, run away or walk down normally, it will be awesome!
Have them walk together for more confidence.
It’s ok if they turn and run the other way.
Amazing reaction as the Page Boy sees the Groom and runs to him.
2. Have a nice gap between bridesmaids
Bridesmaids are your best friends and believe it or not, most will be very nervous as well. So tell them to take their time but also importantly, they should leave a nice big gap between each other. If they bunch up and walk too close to each other it can be really difficult to get a clear shot of them.
3. Take your time walking down the aisle
Don’t rush it… just walk normally. Not too fast and not too slow 🙂
Soak the moment in. It will give me plenty of time to get capture you and your Grooms expressions as you see each other for the first time.
One other thing I should mention is that you don’t need to do the whole step together, step together walk down the aisle. These days it just looks a bit unusual and is not necessary. Just take your time and soak it all in.
4. Don’t look at the camera.
Some ‘old school’ photographer may want you to look at the camera, but I don’t want you to. I want you to live in the moment and soak it in.
The wedding ceremony is all about the two of you, not the camera. So when you walk down the aisle don’t look at the camera. Concentrate on more important things, like looking at your Groom and all your family & friends smiling at you.
5. Walk down the aisle to the smiles of your family & friends, not a sea of phones & cameras.
Have an unplugged ceremony.
Your guests should be present and watching the ceremony, not trying to film or photograph it. Check out our other article about having an unplugged ceremony here.
6. Your Dad doesn’t have to be the only one to walk you down the aisle.
Most Brides will still get their Father to walk them down the aisle. And I think it’s a lovely tradition where the Dad is symbolically handing his daughter over to the Groom. But in this modern day where couples live together before marriage, and both parents have equally raised their daughter, there is no reason that both parents can’t walk their daughter down the aisle.
I am a father myself to two very young girls. And if or when they ever get married I would never just walk them down without my wife. It is a very old tradition which I personally think is very outdated.
Your Mum and Dad can walk you down the aisle.
For those brides who don’t have both parents, here are some other options that I have seen:
– Mum walks their daughter down the aisle.
– Brother walks his sister down the aisle.
– just the Bride walks herself down the aisle.
– the Bride walks halfway down and the Groom walks up to meet her and walks her the rest of the way.
– Step-Dad walks the Bride halfway down the aisle, shake hands with biological Dad who walks her the rest of the way.
7. Tell your videographer not to walk down with you.
This may seem like a strange point, and for most professional videographers it is fine. But there seems to be a worrying trend lately from a small minority of videographers where they following the Bride down the aisle from the front.
You and your partner deserve to see each other walking down the aisle, not the back of some videographer.
So you have a videographer please request from them that they don’t walk down the aisle with you.
8. Walk down however the hell you want!
It is your wedding! There are no rules.
Some well-meaning people may tell you that you have to do certain things because it’s a ‘wedding’. That is not true.
Be true to yourselves. You don’t have to walk down seriously, with a great posture, holding your flowers at the right high, just in time with the music, with your dress perfectly place behind you.
Dance down the aisle, laugh down the aisle, hug family as you walk, blow kisses, cry, spin, sing!
So I hope these tips for walking down the aisle have been useful for you. Just be yourself, have fun and live in the moment 🙂
Hey, I’m Adam. A wedding photographer who loves to shoot fun, relaxed couples in a natural and candid way.
I shoot weddings all over Australia, so if you are engaged and looking for a photographer, please check out my work. If you can see yourself in these photos, feel free to get in contact to check my availability. Thanks 🙂
Walking down the aisle on your wedding day will be one of the most memorable experiences of your nuptials—and perhaps even your life. Given the importance of that moment, we recommend choosing a great song to walk down the aisle to. Because, even though all eyes will be on you, it won’t hurt to have a gorgeous tune playing in the background. (In fact, it’ll make the experience that much sweeter!)
When it comes to popular walking down the aisle songs, you might think of traditional hymns, like Canon in D or the Wedding March. While you can certainly opt for a classic, we’re all about modernizing wedding traditions. After all, your ceremony should feel like a seamless representation of you. So, if you and your partner are huge country fans or you’ve got a soft spot for Taylor Swift, we encourage you to be thoughtful about your wedding song to walk down the aisle. And if you’re not sure where to start, that’s where we come in.
No matter what your music preferences are, we’ve got the best wedding song suggestions for walking down the aisle right here. Whether you’re looking to walk down the aisle to a song that’s trendy and fun or a bit more traditional, we’ve got you covered. This extensive roundup of songs to walk down the aisle to has everything from country hits to R&B ballads, even under-the-radar song ideas you might not have thought of. Plus, we also share the three things you need to consider when picking your wedding aisle song.
What to Consider When Picking a Wedding Song to Walk Down the Aisle To
When it comes to choosing appropriate “walking down the aisle” songs, personal preference is the utmost important factor. After all, you should make your entrance to a tune that you genuinely love. Of course, there are a few other facts that will help you make the final decision, which we share below.
First, you’ll want to think about the pace of a potential wedding aisle song. When walking to any sort of music, it’s natural to fall into a rhythm that aligns with the beat. This is particularly important to consider when selecting your wedding processional song. A song with a fast pace, for example, might make you feel the need to race down the aisle. Or, a song that’s a bit slower could make your walk feel longer than it actually is. We recommend practicing walking to a few different options to get a feel for what it’ll be like on the big day, as this will help you find a rendition that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
Will you have a live band or a music group performing your wedding song as you walk down the aisle? If so, you’ll need to touch base with them about the style, pace and timing of whatever tune you chose. It’s helpful to understand how they’ll perform the song you select, that way you know exactly what to expect when the moment comes. Or, if you’re planning to have a digital recording of the song play out, you’ll need to learn about how your venue handles A/V tech. (Will someone need to plug their phone into an aux system? Will the venue queue the song through their own sound system? These questions are important to cover well before the wedding day arrives.)
Meghan Markle did it. Many other brides choose to do the same, often because of the sexist origins of the tradition.
By Danielle Braff
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It took just 60 seconds for Meghan Markle to forever alter the trajectory of brides.
Ms. Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, entered her wedding ceremony solo in 2018, walking halfway down the St. George’s Chapel aisle before joining Prince Charles. Then, the prince stepped aside and the duchess completed her journey to Prince Harry, whom she married.
“I was inspired by Meghan Markle,” said April Brown, a marriage and family therapist in Miami, who married in 2019 in the English countryside. “I felt it was empowering and liberating to walk by myself, and I wasn’t also keen on the archaic ideas of your father giving you away.”
It’s been a slow yet steady march toward this evolution.
Brides, traded by their fathers for a dowry, were once formally exchanged at the altar. And yet fathers have continued to walk their daughters down the aisle as an ode to the tradition.
In 2013, 82 percent of people surveyed by YouGov, a British market research and data analytics firm, said the father of the bride should give his daughter away; three years later, that number dropped to 61 percent. (There haven’t been any major surveys done following this.)
When Lauren Nolan, an independent consultant in New York, walked down the aisle for her small pandemic-era wedding in September on the Long Island City waterfront at the Luminescence Art Installation in Hunters Point Park, she did it alone.
“I feel strongly that the longstanding tradition of having one’s father or other prominent male figure walk a woman down the aisle is a tradition worth tossing,” Ms. Nolan said. “This tradition always felt frankly gross to me, deeply rooted in patriarchy, and the notion that a woman must belong to a man.”
Instead, Ms. Nolan said, when she met her fiancé at the altar, she was making a joint decision to combine their lives, rather than participating in a handoff between men.
Marina Gershon, a 36-year-old puppeteer who got married in 2017 on a farm in Freeville, N.Y., had similar sentiments before her wedding. She was looking for a ceremony that truly represented her and her fiancé, so Lily Gershon of LilyPad Puppet Theatre and the bride’s sister, was their giant puppet officiant. They also allowed for costume-optional guest attire and food was served from their farm. They also squashed any traditions they considered to be antiquated.
“A tradition that is based on the father’s ownership of the daughter for financial liability and other similar ideals seems as appropriate as giving my partner a musk ox for a dowry,” Ms. Gershon said. “The idea of ownership, in general, brings up many questions for us, and even though it is romantic to say things that are written on Valentine Day’s candies like ‘Be mine,’ the idea of saying that to someone I love leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”
Ms. Gershon’s friend Marietta Synodis walked her down the aisle in memory of Ms. Synodis’s father who died unexpectedly. “We thought it was a way that Marietta could not only walk down the aisle with me, but also honor the memory of her father, as this would be his role in her wedding if she was to have one,” she said. “Even though I do not follow conventional traditions, I do respect other people who choose to ride those waves if that is what feels right to them.”
The walking down the aisle solo trend comes at a time when couples are stepping away from traditional wedding frameworks in all areas of the celebration, from the color of the gown to the increase in symbolic rites (versus church or civil ones), said Valentina Ring, the founder of the Stars Inside, a wedding planning company based in London. Couples are gaining more control and freedom over the structure and content of the ceremony itself, Ms. Ring said.
“A lot of brides love the idea of honoring their independence and strength by walking down the aisle on their own, or walking down with their fiancé, symbolizing the two of them heading toward their future as equals,” Ms. Ring said.
That’s why Leigh Luerman, a software engineer in Louisville, strolled down the aisle side-by-side with her fiancé during their 2018 wedding at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Ky.
“Part of it was distaste with the concept of being given away, but also, my then-fiance and I already had a life together,” Ms. Luerman said. “We wanted to approach this together.”
During her ceremony in Gloucester, Mass., Gabi Toth didn’t even consider the idea of walking down the aisle without her fiancé. It was their wedding, they didn’t have strong opinions about popular traditions and both sets of parents seemed to be happy to be left out of the ceremony, Ms. Toth, a librarian, said.
One bonus of walking down the aisle with your fiancé? Truly sharing that moment with the person you’re about to marry, said Rocío Catalina Mora, a freelance musician in Vermont.
“Getting to walk each other down the aisle was the most magical feeling in the world,” Ms. Mora said. “I still get shivers down my spine when I think about it. It wasn’t a long walk, but the conversation was literally: ‘I love you, let’s do this.’ Walk a few paces, ‘Oh my god, they’re all here for us,’” Ms. Mora said.
And while many religions dictate the wedding processional, which tends to involve one or both parents walking the bride to her groom — the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have a totally different tradition.
In the Quaker tradition, the couple gives of themselves to each other, said Sara Pearce, a 32-year-old clinical kinesiologist and the owner of Aspire Sports Therapies in Greensboro, N.C. Ms. Pearce, a Quaker, got married in 2016 in North Carolina in the Quaker tradition.
“The bride is not a possession to be given away to her new spouse: walking down the aisle together is the traditional way, and the idea of being given away seemed foreign and contrived,” Ms. Pearce said. “We asked the pastor from my Friends meeting to preside over the order of service, but he did not marry us — we married one another.”
Still, many couples want to recognize the importance of their families (and their fathers) during their wedding ceremonies — with or without the aisle walk.
Rebecca Sloan, a 34-year-old small business owner in Ontario, was married outside on a small Ontario blueberry farm in 2018. To set the tone for their marriage and future together as equals, Ms. Sloan and her fiancé decided to walk into their ceremony and down the aisle together.
“Despite this, we did still want to honor our families and friends, and involve them in the ceremony in a way that would show the important roles they have in our lives,” Ms. Sloan said.
They did this through a handfasting, which is a Celtic tradition where the couple join their hands with ribbons to symbolize the binding of two lives. They had four groups of family members and friends, and each helped tie a ribbon around their hands while the symbolism of the ribbon was read.
“In this way, we were able to design a ceremony which really reflected us as a couple and our values,” Ms. Sloan said.
The opportunities for getting married in the 21 st century have never been so abundant and choice so diverse. The world has shrunk; traditional ‘local ‘ customs have now become global, and we, certainly here in the UK, are allowed to marry the partner of our choice, regardless of race, creed, sexuality or religion. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before people the world over have the same freedoms as we enjoy. Its seems that the world is certainly heading in this direction which makes total sense. Life is about love and more importantly, loving whomever you choose, without judgment and discrimination.
In today’s wedding world, there is no right or wrong way of getting married, having a wedding ceremony or celebrating your love for your significant other can be done in a completely personalised way. We are so very lucky to be able to express our joy and happiness and love in a multifaceted and multicoloured rainbow of yumminess that I like to call a Celebrant led ceremony!
It really is your day, your way and providing you can dream it, there will be a Wedding Celebrant out there that can help you make it become a reality!
So starting with this , I want to take you on a very short journey through history as we debunk some of the traditional myths that surround wedding ceremonies, certainly in western culture.
Let’s begin by looking at one of our oldest traditions, where it came from and why we do it – the tradition of the bride being ‘walked down the aisle!’
I love the person I am about to marry, but what’s all this ‘GIVING AWAY MALARKEY?’
Stripping it right back to the bare bones…it’s a weird one isn’t? The tradition of being walked up the aisle to your future spouse by a man, normally, your father and literally ‘handed over.’
Where does this tradition come from?
Well, this tradition dates back to the time of arranged marriages, and the time that a girl child was the property of her father. When a match was agreed between the elders, and when the groom and/or his family agreed to take on the ‘ownership’ of his new bride, they would also agree with her father the payment of a dowry. This would often be food, animals or financial compensation/reward. To ensure he was given his just rewards, the ‘proud’ father would escort his daughter to her new husband, take his goods in exchange and the deal was done, the contract complete.
Oh be still my beating heart. What girl wouldn’t want to be such chattel on her wedding day?
Is it more than just a tradition these days?
Luckily today, the ‘Giving away of the Bride’ by her proud father is a much more symbolic and sedate affair, and very much a reflection of the love that the two share for each other. Kisses, hugs and tears are the only things exchanged at the front of the aisle. It’s more than just ‘giving away’; it’s showing a deep respect and understanding of each other, and the chance to truly show gratitude and love.
Is there a modern alternative?
Whilst most modern brides still choose to express their love for their father in this way, more and more women are embracing the right to give themselves to their intended in their own unique style and will make the walk up the aisle alone.
It is, as a Celebrant, quite a humbling experience watching two people come together under their own terms, a statement is certainly being made and I personally think of it as the terms of their continuing union being set out in full as an opening statement.
‘I choose you, I am coming to join you in our marriage of my own free will, under my own steam and as an equal partner in this relationship’.
I have been privileged to witness so many variations on this theme as a wedding Celebrant over recent years, all are fabulous, self-declaratory expressions of love and unity, from couples totally committed to one another and determined to have their ceremony their way.
Do you have any examples of personalising the aisle walk?
I have had Grooms dance up the aisle with their Groomsmen and Best Man, and boy could they throw some moves!
I’ve seen every emotion under the sun, as the Bride/Brides/Grooms have been escorted by other significant people in their life; their mum, children, siblings, pets and on one occasion even a whole family! And I can tell you… the love in the room was electric.
Out with the old, in with the new?
This is definitely inconclusive and each way has its place. Traditions here are steeped in history, some good, and some bad, some just meh! Tradition evolves and changes over the years and today we have opportunities like never before to tear up the rulebook and make up our own traditions.
As the use of Celebrants is on the rise, so too is the way we choose to celebrate all the milestones in our lives. So let’s start at the very beginning and make your grand entrance, the very first and one of the most important statements of your married life, exactly how you want it to be. Make it personal and make it special. After all, you deserve it.
Under normal circumstances, the bride can enter church in the way she feels most comfortable and relaxed and there are no legal requirements. She could walk down the aisle with one or two people – they could be her father or someone else like her brother or her son, another relative or a friend, or she can enter by herself. The person or persons who accompany her to the front would then move to their seats when the groom steps out and stands next to the bride.
Just before the couple exchange vows, the contemporary wedding service includes some optional words that allow both sets of parents to affirm that they are happy that the two getting married are making a good decision:
“Do you the parents of n and n entrust them to one another as they come to be married?”
This form of wording allows parents to take part whatever the current complexities of relationships might be and also reflects the realities of a relationship built on equality, trust and choice. Parents stand wherever they are to say these words – which will work well under the current guidelines.
Traditional option of ‘giving away’
Centuries ago, daughters were thought of as their father’s property and giving her away at her marriage ceremony was a moment when ownership of her was transferred to the groom. The father would walk into church with his daughter and give her away at the altar.
Nowadays, the words used at the point of ‘giving away’ are simply a tradition and this part of the service is entirely optional, but some brides like to hear the original words used at this point, which are:
“Who brings this woman to be married to this man?”
Under normal circumstances, the bride’s father (or mother, or another member of the family or a friend representing the family), would then give the bride’s right hand to the vicar who puts it into the bridegroom’s right hand.
The songs you choose for your wedding day create beautiful moments that you know will stay in your memory forever. Your song choices are also a great way to express who you are as a couple: classical traditionalists, vintage music aficionados, or pure romantics.
We would argue that probably the most significant wedding song moment is the bridal entrance. It’s when the wedding becomes truly real and you, your groom, and your guests all become overcome with emotion as time slows down for just a second.
It can be a hard task to select the right wedding song to express so much, so we’ve pulled together a list of 150 of the best wedding songs to walk down the aisle to, known for their beautiful lyrics, to help amplify the romance of your aisle walk with music.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SONG
There’s a lot to think about with all song choices, but the bridal entrance and songs to walk down the aisle to have their own requirements. Here are three insider tips to know about when selecting the chosen song.
The first step is to get clear on the medium you’ll be using for the songs. Will there be instruments, a pianist, a singer, a friend or playlist that you have your heart set on? The medium that you decide on will help make a number of other choices more easily, so it’s important to decide on this upfront.
You’ll remember the music and songs to walk down the aisle to for years to come, so your wedding songs should reflect your personalities as a couple and have meaning for both of you. Meaning can come in a few ways. Your bridal entrance song could express your feelings toward your partner: for example, do you feel like you are marrying your high school sweetheart, or has it taken a long and winding road to finally find true love? Your song could also reflect your life as a couple and even the blending of families, especially if you’ll be walking down the aisle with your father by your side which plays up the emotion. Or do you want to walk down the aisle to “your song”? Discuss the choice together to find the song that really speaks to you.
The actual pace of the wedding songs you select when walking down the aisle is a highly important component. You’ll need something with a slightly slower than normal pace so that you and your bridesmaids can walk comfortably down the aisle. If you have your heart set on a song that has a quick tempo, see if there’s a slower acoustic version available. It’s also worth working out when you want the song to fade so you can time your music to finish as you arrive in front of your partner.
Our lives are sprinkled with magical moments: the first kiss, the first day of school, the moment we graduate. Truth be told though, nothing can compare to the moment you walk down the aisle as a bride. There are so many feelings associated with this beautiful moment that it will definitely be worth all of your attention!
To help create a truly unforgettable moment, we have put together a list of aisle décor ideas. Read on and inspire yourself too.
- Garland “side curtains”. Decorate the sides of the aisle with garlands made of small flowers or white lights (if your wedding ceremony takes place outdoors, in the late evening). This will create a very dreamy atmosphere and it will contribute a lot to the pictures as well.
- Over-sized flower vases. Generally, brides choose small of medium flower vases or bouquets to decorate the sides of the aisle they’ll be walking upon. However, “giant” flower vases/ bouquets with big roses or peonies in them will look really elegant and unique too.
- Flowery aisle runner. Forget about the all-white or all-red aisle runner. Be unique by covering the entire aisle with your favorite flowers. According to your wedding theme, they can be anything from red roses to wild flowers.
- Placing candles on your path to the man who will be your husband can add a lot of romance and beauty to the moment. However, make sure they are placed in a way that does not make them dangerous – not for your veil, not for the flower girl and not for anyone else either!
The wedding vendors at Bride World can be there for you to help you create the perfect “I Do” moment. Take a look at our list of florists and wedding decorations providers and allow your creativity to be free because they will definitely have what you are searching for!
Here comes the bride! One of the most memorable parts of your big day will be the moment the bride enters the room – it’s the first time the groom and the wedding guests will see the bride, so it’s essential to give that moment the impact it deserves!
To make a grand entrance, you’re going to need to pick a suitably grand entrance song to walk down the aisle to. Your choice of processional song will help set the tone for the rest of your wedding ceremony, and you can continue your chosen musical theme for other important moments, such as your first dance song.
You might be a traditional couple who’d prefer a more classic processional song, or you might want to put a more personal twist on your wedding ceremony and choose a more modern song – the choice is yours!
To help you narrow down your search for the perfect wedding entrance song, we’ve listed by genre the most popular tunes that couples are walking down the aisle to today. Our lists cover everything from dance songs to rock anthems to movie soundtracks – nothing is off the table when it comes to choosing the best wedding music for you.
An impressive range of wedding musicians and bands to cover every part of your special day.
Top 10 Most Popular Entrance Songs
The easiest way to choose your bridal entrance music is to look at what everyone else is doing – these entrance songs must be this popular for a reason! Here are 10 of the most frequently chosen wedding songs to walk down the aisle to – modern, classics, modern classics and more:
Canon in D – Pachelbel
When it comes to your wedding ceremony entrance, the last thing you want is to rush down the aisle, even though you may want to. If you walk too slow, you might leave your guests wondering when you'll actually get to the altar. Here, we're sharing a few helpful tips to make sure your walk down the aisle is the perfect pace with the rest of your ceremony.
Listen to the Music
Whichever song you select for your walk down the aisle, make sure you memorize it so you can walk in step with the music. Just step along with the beat, even if it's a slow song. This is when your guests are looking at you and your wedding dress for the very first time, so make sure they can get a good look. Your wedding photographer will appreciate it, too.
The jitters of the day can easily make you walk faster than you think you are. Make sure your bouquet is lowered in front of your bellybutton, rest your shoulders, lift your neck, and take a deep breath before beginning your walk.
This is what a rehearsal is for, so be sure to practice your walk in time with the music you plan to have playing on the big day. It's also a good idea to ask them what the plan will be if you do end up walking too fast; some musicians will fade the music out so that it seems more natural or else will cue you that you're going too fast with some sort of signal.
Whether you feel like being given away is an outdated tradition, or you’re just dreading that slow moving aisle walk with your father, there are plenty of ways to change the walk up the aisle or get rid of it altogether.
There’s no rule that says you have to walk in with your father. If you’re closer with your mother or another relative you can by all means walk down the aisle with them instead. Another alternative if you don’t want to leave your mother out while walking down the aisle with your father, you can take them both.
If you want to walk in the traditional way but don’t like the giving away element, consider walking halfway down with your father (or parents, or brother or whoever else) and allowing them to walk ahead of you to take their seats. Then you can complete the rest of the walk alone to your beloved. It’s like you’re giving yourself to your new husband. You could also do the complete aisle walk solo.
However, if you’re completely dreading the walk and it has nothing to do with who walks you up the aisle, why not skip it altogether? Have you and your partner come in from the sides of the ceremony to avoid the long walk up to the top.
If you’re having an alternative ceremony that you can set up yourself, consider a circle or spiral congregation that you can avoid having an aisle at all. This takes the walk away altogether, you can enter from wherever you like.
If you don’t mind the walk but you don’t want it to be such a big deal, consider first look photos with your groom before the ceremony, followed by walking in to your guests together. First look photos give you and your groom an intimate moment when you see each other for the first time with no one else around. The first look photos will also take some of the nerves out of the walk.
Image credits: Love hearts: Pinterest | Sunflower: Holly Schumacher Photography | First look 1: One Wed | Bride and groom: Sam Hurd Photography | Spiral and Circle: Pinterest | First look: Logan Cole Wedding Co.
You spend all morning getting ready to walk down the aisle and, when the time comes, it takes your breath away…and your ability to think straight! This could cause you to overlook some last-minute tasks that will make for a less nerve wracking and more memorable walk. Keep reading to learn the 8 things to do right before you walk down the aisle.
1. Take a Bathroom Break
It bears reminding to go to the bathroom before you head to the aisle. Under pressure, we often forget to pay attention to the cues our body is sending us – like going to the restroom. Take the extra time to do this, or your mind might be elsewhere during the vow exchange.
2. Touch Up Your Hair & Makeup
If there has been any amount of time between your makeup application and the ceremony, then you’ll want a touch up. Most people take some photographs before the ceremony, so you might be a little wind blow or sweaty. Put stray hair in place with a spray, reapply your lipstick, and use a setting spray.
3. Refresh Your Perfume
A new tradition is to purchase a wedding perfume that will be solely for your wedding day, and on special occasions afterward. If you’re partaking in this trend, be sure to refresh your perfume. Don’t be afraid to be a little heavy-handed, especially if it’s hot or windy.
4. Drink Water
Do yourself a favor and try to stay hydrated on your wedding day. This will not only be important if you plan to drink at the reception, but also will carry you safely through the entire day. Drink at least two 8 ounce glasses before your ceremony, but back off before you walk down the aisle. That way you won’t have to spring to the restroom during photos!
5. Snag a Tissue
You might have some idea whether or not you will cry during the ceremony. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have a tissue or handkerchief on hand not only to handle your tears, but also to blot sweat and catch any runaway make up. And who know, your fiancé may need an extra!
6. Position Your Bouquet
A common mistake brides make is leaving their bouquet to the side until the last minute. Before you walk down the aisle, you need to make sure it is in the right position. That is, with the stems angled toward you and the blooms tilted forward. This way guests, and the photographer, will see the flowers rather than your hands.
7. Lock Arms
Unless you plan on walking down the aisle by yourself, then you should find your guide. Hopefully you have practiced your walk and know a comfortable way to hang on. Most brides will lock arms with their guides, for extra stability, to avoid a slip. But do whatever is most comfortable for you.
We get it, you’re nervous! It’s completely normal to have butterflies before you walk down the aisle, but don’t forget to smile. You’ll get much better photos, and it also will give you the confidence to look your soon-to-be spouse in the eyes when you turn the corner onto the aisle. You want to see his first reaction to seeing you, not the ground!
I love that ceremonies are evolving to include the couple’s personalities as much as traditions, starting from the get-go—the processional! Don’t be afraid to coordinate your trot down the aisle in a way that best represents you as a couple whether it’s in a traditional sense or totally together. Be inspired with our five ways to walk the walk before you talk the vow talk.
Traditional: That moment when your partner first locks eyes with you from down the aisle is one that every bride or groom always remembers. It’s a moment when worries and fears are swept away with a simple glance and you know you’re taking the first step toward forever. Traditionally speaking, one partner comes in from the side by the altar, prior to the processional, and the other walks down the aisle following the wedding party in a dramatic entrance scene. Full disclosure, while everyone is looking at the person entering, I like to glance at the altar to see the other person’s expression when they see their beloved enter.
One After the Other: A twist on tradition, this aisle walk gives both parties a grand entrance but still allows for that unforgettable across-the-aisle exchange when the second party enters.
Two Aisles: If space allows, having two aisles is a great way to showcase both parties, equally, with a dramatic meeting at the altar. If you go this route, be sure you have multiple photographers to capture both entrances.
Wedding Planner vs. Designer vs. Coordinator: What’s the Difference?
Together: A great way to display your unity, walking down the aisle together is becoming more popular with modern brides and grooms.
Meet Half-Way: If you’re torn between traditional and together, you can have your cake and eat it, too! Have your beloved do a traditional entrance either from the side or aisle and then meet you halfway during your entrance to make a symbolic statement.
Photo credit: David Todd McCarty; Drew Newman Photography; Bridal Expo Chicago; One Love Photo as seen on Snippet and Ink; Jessica Claire Photo
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One of the most emotionally intense moments for any bride is when she makes her way down the aisle. Also the most photographed moment. From the groom who beams with a smile waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle, to the father who holds his daughter’s hand as he walks her down the aisle. From the brothers who walk their beloved sister down the aisle under the floral chaadar, to the couples who walk down the aisle together. We are sharing some of our favorite” walking down the aisle” moments from weddings around the world.
1. Priyanka Shekhawat walked down the aisle with her parents in a Sabyasachi Lehenga at Westin Nusa Dua Bali. Photo courtesy- Sharik Verma
2. Mitali of House of Misu walked down the aisle looking pretty in an ivory Sabyasachi lehenga. Photo courtesy- The Photo Diary
3. Tanvi made a boat entry to her mandap at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa. Photo courtesy- Picture Perfect India
4. Rachana Navale walked down the aisle in a navari saree by Manish Malhotra under a traditional floral chaadar by her brothers at the Sinhagad Institute grounds, Pune. Photo courtesy- Anoop Padalkar
5. Trisha walked down the aisle with her parents in a pretty ivory and pink lehenga towards the wedding mandap overlooking the beach at Holiday Inn Goa. Photo courtesy- Isha Shukla Photography
6. Disha Shah made a traditional Thai wedding entry on a Phra Wo in a Sabyasachi lehenga at Sofitel Phokeethra Golf Resort & Spa Krabi. Photo courtesy- Reels and Frames
7. Sunaina walked down the aisle with her brothers under a stunning umbrella and floral chaadar for her Anand Karaj at Alila Diwa Goa. Photo courtesy- Romesh Dhamija Productions
8. Akanksha Goel walked down the aisle with her father in a heavily embroidered red and pink lehenga at The Cove Rotana in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Photo courtesy- Ramit Batra
9. Priya made a fairytale entry at her big fat Indian wedding in a gorgeous orchid studded throne. Photo courtesy- Hitched & Clicked
10. Mahima made a royal entry in a chariot making way through Lake Pichola to the Jagmandir Island, Udaipur for her pheras. Photo courtesy- PK Suri
11. Nisha walked down the aisle in a mint green and magenta lehenga by Tarun Tahiliani on the beach of Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa under the floral chaadar held by her brothers. Photo Courtesy- Mili Ghosh Photography
12. Swetha walked down the aisle in a classic red Kanjeevaram saree and temple jewellery towards WelcomHotel Raviz Kollam, Kerala, along with a 10 piece traditional instrument players called the ‘panchavadyam’. Photos courtesy- Morvi Images
13. Nishka Lulla walked the aisle in the most breathtaking setting on a boat from across the river at Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort with a 30 feet fuchsia trail behind her. Photo courtesy- WeddingNama
14. Pretty in Pink Neetu walked down the aisle decorated with rose petals and in a beautiful creation by Neeta Lulla along with her sister at The Leela Kovalam. Photo courtesy- Navdeep Soni
15. Shweta walked down the aisle in an understated tulle and lace gown with her bridesmaids leading her to her parents for her wedding vows at Vivanta by Taj-Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai. Photo courtesy- Coffeestains
A handy guide to help you figure out who walks down the aisle and when.
- CHRISTIAN (U.K.)
By Heather Lee | Last Updated: April 23, 2020
Once you’ve figured out the order of events for your wedding ceremony, it’s time to start thinking about how everyone will enter the ceremony and take their places up front. The processional (a.k.a. the entrance of the wedding party) marks the start of the ceremony and is a highly anticipated moment, so it’s important to get the wedding processional order down.
Some couples choose to have an intimate processional and walk down the aisle, just the two of them, hand in hand. Others, depending on the size of their wedding party, might have an entire posse of people coming down the aisle. There are many ways to go about the wedding processional. Below, we outline the most common processional orders: for a Christian ceremony, a Jewish ceremony, a Catholic ceremony, and a same-sex ceremony. We also go over the traditional ceremony processional order in the United Kingdom, which is different from processionals in the United States, if you’re thinking of a destination wedding in the U.K.
But, it’s important to note that you do not have to follow any of these processional orders exactly. Use them as a starting point and then customize and personalize your wedding processional order however you like so that it’s meaningful to you. We’ve also outlined some creative and unique ways to adapt the entry formation.
TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN CEREMONY
The wedding party should enter the ceremony venue in the order listed below, with men on the right and women on the left when walking down the aisle together. At the altar, the groom and groomsmen stand on the right side while the bride and her bridesmaids stand on the left, with the officiant positioned in the center.
Right before the ceremony is about to begin, the parents of the groom and the mother of the bride should take their seats. The groom’s parents can take their seats in the first row, on the right side. The mother of the bride, escorted by an usher or family member, can take her seat in the first row, on the left side. Her entrance officially marks the start of the processional.
The officiant is traditionally honored with the opening spot in the processional. However, some couples prefer a more subtle approach with the officiant entering the ceremony from the side of the venue, leading the groom and groomsmen, to take his/her place at the altar.
Traditionally, he walks down the aisle solo but some grooms prefer walking down the aisle escorted by both parents. Other grooms prefer a more subtle approach by entering the ceremony from the side of the venue (following the officiant and followed by the groomsmen) to take his place at the altar.
He walks down the aisle solo, following the groom, and stands to the right of the groom during the ceremony. He may also hold the couples’ rings.
They follow the Best Man and walk down the aisle solo or in pairs. They take their places up front, on the right side, with the first groomsman taking his place farthest from the groom. The groomsmen might form a diagonal line so they all get a good view of the couple.
They walk down the aisle solo or in pairs. They take their places up front, on the left side, with the first bridesmaid taking her place farthest from the bride. The bridesmaids might form a diagonal line so they all get a good view of the couple.
Maid of Honor/Matron of Honor
Before she walks down the aisle, she should do a final check to make sure the bride’s veil, dress, and train look perfect. Then she walks down the aisle solo, following the rest of the bridesmaids, and stands at the bride’s side during the ceremony. She might hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony and then return it to the bride after the kiss. Read through our complete lists of maid of honor duties.
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
The littlest attendants signal that the bride is about to walk down the aisle. The children can walk together or the ring bearer can enter before the flower girl. Traditionally, the ring bearer carries the wedding rings tied to a pillow (or decoys, if he’s too little to be trusted with the real things; then the best man would hold the actual rings). The flower girl might carry a basket of flower petals, which she scatters as she walks, or a small bouquet of flowers. The children may then be seated with their parents.
Bride and Father of the Bride
The bride is escorted down the aisle by her father, who stands on her right side. Traditionally, after he gives her away, he lifts her veil, gives her a kiss, then takes his seat in the first row next to the bride’s mother. The bride can give her bouquet to the maid/matron of honor once the ceremony proceedings begin (this way, she’ll have both hands free for the exchange of rings and reading of the vows).
For some women, walking down the aisle with their father is a moment they’ve dreamed of their whole lives. But for many modern couples, this antiquated tradition is problematic. Perhaps you weren’t raised by a father, your father has passed, or you have a complicated family dynamic where someone could get offended or left out. Maybe you’re a couple without a bride in the mix or both of you are brides. Maybe the whole idea of the bride being ‘given away’ by her father rubs you the wrong way. Whatever the reason, many couples are choosing to mix up the aisle walk a little or even abandon the aisle altogether (think circular ceremony setups).
Even Meghan Markle had to tackle this problem at her royal wedding when her father couldn’t attend. She found an elegant solution that was appropriate for her and so can you! Modern weddings are all about keeping the traditions that feel right and ditching those that don’t. So here are seven creative alternatives to having your father walk you down the aisle.
Walk down the aisle with both your parents. Don’t want to leave mom out? Have both your parents walk with you. You could also split the walk so one of them walks half way with you before the other takes over. This also works well with a dad and stepdad, for example.
Walk down the aisle with another family member. Ask a grandparent, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, even your pooch! Or, if you have children, having them walk you down the aisle can be especially meaningful.
Go it alone. You’re a strong, independent person, so don’t hesitate to walk down the aisle solo. If the Duchess of Sussex can do it, so can you!
Walk down the aisle together. Many couples now choose to meet at the top of the aisle and walk it together. It’s a lovely way to signify that you are taking this journey together as equals.
Meet at the altar: A fun twist on walking the aisle together is to walk it separately but at the same time. You could enter at either side of the altar or set up your ceremony space with two aisles.
Lead a procession: A procession is a really fun way to make your guests feel like a community. Have them gather away from the ceremony area and then follow the wedding party. You could have ribbons and banners or a musical accompaniment for an extra festive feel.
Have guests enter last: Flip the traditional aisle walk on its head by keeping the ceremony space closed off. You and your partner enter first and wait at the altar. Guests can then enter and find their seats. For a more relaxed feel, you could mingle with them as they arrive.
Jay Bloomfield “hates” surprises, as his wife, Chelsie Hill, told Insider.
But that didn’t stop her from planning a major surprise for him on their wedding day. Hill, who uses a wheelchair, planned to walk down the aisle.
Hill knew she wanted to walk down the aisle at her wedding
Hill, 29, has been paralyzed from the waist down since 2010, as she shared in an Instagram post in January.
Since then, she became the CEO and founder of the Rollettes, a wheelchair dance team in Los Angeles. She is also an advocate for wheelchair users and has more than 167,000 Instagram followers.
She has been with Bloomfield, 34, since 2014.
The couple’s wedding was at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and was planned by The Wife of the Party.
Hill told Insider she’d always dreamed of walking down the aisle on her wedding day.
“I want to stress that there’s nothing wrong with sitting down in your chair,” Hill said. “But for me growing up, I always imagined myself walking down the aisle.”
“And I just wanted to feel that — not that my disability has taken anything away from me — but I just wanted to feel that heart to heart and stand up there eye to eye with him,” she added. “That was just really something really important to me personally.”
She used leg braces and a walker to make her dream a reality.
Her custom Galia Lahav wedding dress had a removable skirt that made transitioning from standing to sitting easier.
She paired the dress with a coordinating veil from Galia Lahav and rented jewelry from Verstolo. Taylor Livesley did her hair, and Landyn Alexa was her makeup artist.
Hill said Bloomfield’s jaw dropped when he saw her walking
Hill arranged it so that Bloomfield had his back turned to the aisle before she entered the ceremony.
He turned around to see his bride-to-be walking with her father.
“As soon as I saw Jay, his jaw dropped,” Hill said.
“He was just in shock that I was walking because he had no idea,” she added.
Their wedding photographer, Asha Bailey, made a TikTok that captured Bloomfield’s reaction.
she said she dreamed of the day she’d look her husband in the eye on their wedding day, and she did that ?
♬ In This Shirt – The Irrepressibles
Hill told Insider that walking down the aisle was one of her favorite moments of the day.
“I just felt like that whole time our souls were locked in on each other,” Hill said. “I didn’t see anybody else around me. I just saw him.”
“After my accident, I wasn’t sure if I would ever find someone who truly loved all of me. You have accepted me fully, honored me, and adored all the parts of me,” Hill told Bloomfield in her vows, as she shared on Instagram.
“For this moment today, I wanted to do something I had always dreamed of. Stand eye to eye with you as we promise our lives to each other,” she went on to say.
Hill’s surprises didn’t stop at the altar
Hill decided to incorporate surprise, choreographed dances into her wedding day too.
She and her dad shocked guests with a dance choreographed by Phil Wright, and Hill and other professional dancers performed a number choreographed by Brinn Nicole for Bloomfield.
She also used her leg braces during her first dance with Bloomfield, which she said was “special” for the couple.
“That was so amazing,” Hill said of the dance.
“I love that no matter how hectic my life can feel, Jay will always make me feel like I have time to still stop and smell the flowers,” she added.
When planning your wedding ceremony, you’ll want to know how to time the processional with your music and find out how long it takes to walk down the aisle.
So, how long does it take to walk down the aisle? It should take no longer than 3-4 minutes for the entire wedding party to walk down the aisle with the bride taking approximately 30-45 seconds. Of course, the length of the aisle and how you want to time the processional with your music will make a difference in how long it takes to walk down the aisle.
Here is a breakdown of how long it takes for the members of the wedding party and the bride to walk down the aisle.
Table of Contents
How Long Does the Bride Walk Down the Aisle?
There are a few different variables that will determine how long it takes the bride to walk down the aisle. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact time frame for walking down the aisle because every venue and personal preference is different.
Length of the aisle. This goes without saying, but the longer the aisle the longer it will take to walk down it. The shorter the aisle, the shorter the walk. You should ask your venue if you can stop by ahead of time and time yourself walking down the aisle.
Personal pace. When you test out walking down the aisle, go multiple times and try different paces and speeds. Use the timer on your phone to keep track of the time as you walk down the aisle. Maybe bring a friend or family member to help you determine how fast or slow you should walk.
Length of your song choice. If you’ve decided to have a meaningful song played (especially one with lyrics), you may want to time your walk down the aisle just right so that the words align just right. If you choose an instrumental song, the song choice will have less of an effect on the walk down the aisle.
All of this could be determined at your rehearsal or you can ask your venue if you can stop in for an hour or so to work on it beforehand. This way you’ll already have the processional timing figured out for the rehearsal.
In the end, you’ll want to slow down the moment as much as possible so that you will remember it forever. It’s better to go slower than feel (and look) rushed.
How Long Does it Take a Wedding Party to Walk Down the Aisle?
The wedding party should take no longer than 2-3 minutes to walk down the aisle. There are various ways that you can have your wedding party walk down the aisle and each way will take a different length of time. Additionally, the size of your wedding party will make a difference in timing.
Individual walk. This could be a good option for small wedding parties with only two or three attendants on each side. Have each person walk the aisle alone. Also, you could have the Groom, best man, and groomsmen walk in from the side and then have the maid of honor and bridesmaids walk down alone.
Couple walk. This is a great option for larger wedding parties with four or more attendants on each side. You could have the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle together and the maid of honor and best man walk together.
Group walk. Another option is the have groups of two walk down the aisle together. For example, all of the groom’s side could walk in from the side and then have bridesmaids walk down the aisle in groups of two. The maid of honor can walk in alone.
You should try out each method with your music to see what makes the most sense and also so that your wedding party can practice how fast they should walk and so forth. This can be done at your rehearsal as well.
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