Bridal Processionals

As we consider music for the bride, let’s think first about the music that the bridesmaids will be walking to – will it flow naturally into the bridal processional? For example, if the bride decides that she would like to walk to a contemporary song such as “Bless The Broken Road”, it may not be best to have the bridesmaids entering to a serious classical piece such as “The King Of Denmark’s March.” On the other hand, if the bridesmaid’s music is “Pachelbel’s Canon in D”, using “From This Moment” for a much gentler processional for the bride might be perfect.

In the past,  the bridal processional had been louder than the preceding music, one of the indications that we have arrived at the first important moment in the wedding. This also gives more room for the music to be in contrast to the bridesmaid music! So we’re saying it might be nice if bridesmaids music stylistically flows smoothly into the bridal processional… but it doesn’t have to, as we expect the music announcing the bride to somehow be different from the preceding music.

I can remember playing for weddings many decades ago where the bridesmaids walked down to the traditional Bridal Chorus, except at a much lower volume than when the bride entered; when it was the proper time, the organ or piano and organ together would ramp up the volume as a cue to everyone to stand and prepare for the bride’s entrance. So in this case, there was perfect continuity between the two entrance music choices.

Having started with the idea that the music should not change drastically from bridesmaids to bride, there are many exceptions to this general idea. Probably the best way to decide is to play the end of the music that the bridesmaids will be walking to, and then play the beginning of the bridal processional, and see if it sounds distractingly unnatural. If the two pieces sound rather different but it’s not annoying or strikingly odd, then you’re probably good to go.

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