First: what is a Wedding Reception “Grand Entrance?” Your Grand Entrance is traditionally when you and your fiancé (perhaps as well as your bridal party, parents, grandparents, etc.) return from the typical Cocktail-Hour-Photo-Marathon to rejoin your guests. Our Disc Jockeys like to make sure you stay “fashionably late” by entering in style. Typically, your DJ/MC will spend a couple minutes to get your guests excited about your arrival and then will make a series of announcements as each family/bridal party member enters, counting down to — last but certainly not least — the bride and groom! Your DJ/MC and Assistant DJ will work in tandem to ensure that you and your bridal party are prepared, that the MC has the pronunciation of each member of the bridal party’s name correct, and that the music is queued and ready to go.
Of all the different traditional special events you have the option to include in your wedding reception, I think that this one is one of the most important, and even though you might feel a little bit nervous, consider this as you make your decision whether to include a Grand Entrance: your guests may range in age from 2 to 92, including family, friends, and co-workers from around the country and around the globe, and they have one thing in common: they all love you, they all want to be with you! Your reappearance at the party is what they’ve been waiting all of cocktail hour for — yes, the shrimp appetizers were very nice, and they appreciate having food and drink while they were waiting, but still, they didn’t get all dressed up and travel across town or from another state for some shellfish! Every minute, every person in that room is thinking “I wonder when Bride and Groom will get here?” and that hour of anticipation is what makes your Grand Entrance such a big deal to your guests. Your entrance is typically followed by a blessing, toasts, and dinner.
Your “grand entrance” to the wedding reception with is the perfect opportunity to give your guests an upbeat preview of the type of music they might expect for the dancing portion of the evening, in contrast to your Cocktail Hour and Dinner music, which is typically of the down-tempo, non-rhythmic type (simply because this is the best type of music to talk over and to eat to — try to eat with a fork while listening to hip-hop or electronica sometime; it’s really hard). Depending on your and your fiancé’s musical tastes, you might choose anything between a top 40 pop hit with a great beat to a swinging Frank Sinatra hit for your Grand Entrance. Both are great to dance to and consequently easy to walk to.
There are two really great ways to approach this song-choice. First, you could think of it as sort of picking “your song,” a song that describes some aspect of your relationship (maybe the have-fun part!) only instead of choosing a slow-dance song, you’re looking for a party song. Second, you could think of choosing a song that announces with music and with lyric “we’re here; let’s party!” Regardless of whether you go largely with one of these approaches or combine the two, choose a song that has a happy beat and a fun and/or loving lyrical message to which you can easily picture yourself strutting down the “runway” in a ballgown.
Each couple is different, and of course what works for another couple may not be right for you and your fiancé, but here are some great examples of songs we’ve seen work well in the past that might be a little bit outside-the-box. Check these out, and see if they get you thinking about which of your favorite songs would work well for your Grand Entrance to your Wedding Reception. These are in no particular order:
Classic: Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra and others: this song works well for a couple that doesn’t enjoy current popular music but favors a more classical, elegant style and still wants to have an easy-to-walk-to track for their Grand Entrance. This song works especially well if queued and actuated just after the Master of Ceremonies announces the couple’s names. The first few measures of this song provide an elegant little fanfare as they actually enter the room. This song lends the glitz and glamor of days gone by and will undoubtedly be enjoyed and appreciated by your guests of all ages.
Pop: Tik Tock by Ke$ha: another excellent, upbeat, current top 40 hit, Tik Tok also works great as a combined bridal party and newlyweds entrance song, especially if timed craftily. Again, this track provides a little bit of musical and lyrical suspense in the bridge at about 2:18 (DJ, you build me up, you break me down, my heart, it pounds, yeah, you got me) providing an excellent opportunity for your Master of Ceremonies to psych your crowd up a little building to 2:44 with an appeal to your guests to put their hands in the air (With my hands up, get your hands up, put your hands up), and allowing the guests of honor to enter just in time for their appropriate lyric at 2:49 (No, the party don’t start until I walk in). Nice.
Old School: We Are the Champions by Queen: well, the most nerve-wracking part of the day is over, and guess what; YOU WON! To commemorate your win, you are the proud recipient of a shiny new ring, and guess what; it fits perfectly! This song is a great way to express the victory of your love, plus, it’s a classic sing-along that might get your guests involved, too! This is another song that will have a fairly broad range of appeal among your guests. This song works especially well if queued to about 0:25 and actuated just after the Master of Ceremonies announces the couple’s names. Again, the first few seconds after this beginning will provide an energetic rock fanfare just as the couple enters the room. This queue also eliminates the first verse, which is very solemn and not as fun as the chorus.
Hip-hop: I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas: this song has been teased for it’s repetitive nature, but, trust me, with its simple statement and its lively beat, it will provide an excellent summary of how you and all your guests will be feeling at the moment of your Grand Entrance! This song is great to use if you have a smaller bridal party and you’re planning to use a single song for both the entrance of the bridal party and the newlyweds, because its energy builds throughout the track, creating more and more hype for the bride and groom’s entrance. Depending on the size of your bridal party, and subject to a solid plan on the timing of entrances throughout the song, two great spots for the bride and groom enter are at 1:30 and 3:46, where the song transitions from the more subdued and suspenseful beat and drops the dance beat.
Ok, I think you’ve got the idea, so I’ll leave you with some more fun starter ideas: Let’s Get It Started by the Black Eyed Peas, Let’s Get The Party Started, I’m Here for the Party by Gretchen Wilson, Starry-Eyed Surprise by Paul Oakenfold (ft. Shifty), (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) by the Beastie Boys, Joy to the World by Three Dog Night, the Theme to 2001; A Space Odyssey, the Theme to the Newlywed Game, Sexyback by Justin Timberlake, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered by Stevie Wonder, White Wedding by Billy Idol, Let’s Get Married by Jagged Edge, Bust A Move by Young MC, etc., etc. Remember that not all of these are appropriate for all audiences — review the lyrics to make sure there are no surprises; what some groups would find funny or charming, others might not — you know yourself and your guests best.
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