How Long Should Your Wedding Processional Song Be? A Comprehensive Guide

A bride walking down the aisle is one of the highlights of a wedding ceremony, but how long should a wedding processional song be? How many songs can you play for the wedding processional, and what songs can you add to your wedding playlist?

Should it cover the whole entourage, or should the song be just for the bride?

How can the choice of wedding music [1] make your bride walk down that aisle with confidence?

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Factors to consider when picking out a wedding song

Every couple wants their special day to reflect their relationship, and selecting the right song is one of the most important elements in conveying that message.

Aside from the length of the processional, here are 3 important factors to consider before you cue your wedding song.

Lyrical significance

Picture this: You hear a song, it’s catchy, it’s got a good beat, and it stirs some tingly emotion in you. Perfect for your wedding procession, right? Well, that’s not always the case.

You see, music is art, meaning that it is not always as it seems. What you think might be the meaning behind the song might not actually be.

A prime example of this is the famous “Every Breath You Take,” by the Police. While the song seems sweet, the lyrics are inappropriate for a wedding song. In fact, the composer, Sting, insists that the song is about jealousy and obsession geared at a lost lover – not a message for someone you intend on spending the rest of your life with.

When considering what song to have for a wedding, the most important factor is to find one whose lyrics convey the love that you have for each other so that everyone in attendance feels it.

It speaks to your relationship, reflects both of you, and conveys all of the joyous feelings you have on your special day.

Another option is to go for a popular tune that shows off your individual styles. Better still, try to pick a song that has meaning to you both so that it carries a personal significance.

The tone of the event

It’s best to match the tone of the music with that of your celebration; if it’s a more formal affair, then something classic or timeless like a string quartet, Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” or Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” could work perfectly.

Likewise, if what you are aiming for is a more relaxed experience, then something more modern or upbeat like acoustic guitar or piano could really set the mood. You can even settle for a favorite pop tune if the both of you share one.

Regardless, you must pick something with meaning such as a song associated with your relationship’s history or even one that has personal significance in your own life.

Type of Venue

The type of venue matters greatly when choosing a processional song, both in terms of how it affects the acoustics of the space and the overall ambiance of the event. Some venues (churches) may place restrictions on the type of music played.

Outdoor weddings may call for a grand entrance with uplifting music. This allows the bridal party to make its way down the aisle slowly and gracefully. Indoor venues, where space can be tight, might require a more intimate piece of music.

Likewise, a grand ballroom with high ceilings may require a more powerful instrumental arrangement to fill the space, while a small outdoor garden may require a more intimate and delicate instrumental arrangement.

Additionally, different types of venues may evoke different moods or feelings, and a processional song that complements the venue can help to enhance the overall atmosphere of the wedding.

For example, a song with a more modern or contemporary feel may be more fitting for a loft or industrial-style venue, while a more traditional or classical song may be more fitting for a church or historic mansion.

How Long Should a Wedding Processional Song Be?

The wedding processional song is an important detail that must be well thought out when planning a wedding.

On average, ceremony music should last around 3-4 minutes to allow the whole wedding entourage to participate in the processional.

That should include everyone from the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring-bearers, and flower girls.

There are, of course, things to consider when thinking about how long the songs should be.

For one, the length of the aisle is a vital thing to consider when deciding on a song since this will dictate the time needed for everyone to complete the procession.

Consider the participants, too, especially if there are participants who will need assistance due to limited mobility.

They may need extra time to complete the procession as well, so you may have to choose a longer wedding processional song.

In an interview for Martha Stewart’s website, (2) pros from Apple Music stressed the importance of getting a rough estimate of how long the procession is expected to take before deciding how long a wedding processional song should be. 

“Processionals can vary in length based on several factors, so the music should match the timing,” they explain. “For smaller weddings, one or two songs could cover a processional.” 

You can divide your wedding processional song into three parts, including the pre-processional music.

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Pre-processional Music

This is also known as “prelude music in a classical wedding ceremony.”

It is usually played for around 15 minutes to allow guests to take their seats before the actual processional.  

It also gives time for the groom and the celebrant to walk to the front to position themselves before starting the actual processional properly.

Check out these great wedding processional songs.

Prelude music is considered optional and is meant to set the atmosphere for the wedding ceremony itself. 

You may want to hire a band to play an instrumental version or any popular or any acoustic song to your liking for this part. 

Playing processional music ends once the groom and celebrant are in their proper places.

CHECK: How to Ask for Song Requests on Wedding Invite?

Music for the Bridal Party

The music for the bridal party should start playing a few seconds before the first member of the bridal entourage prompts to enter.

During rehearsals, timing should be observed enough for editing to be done so that the music starts to fade a few seconds before the bride’s entrance. 

Although engaged couples often pick traditional songs for the bridal party, non-traditional wedding processional songs may be used.

Country wedding processional songs are an excellent option to replace the usual all-time favorite tunes.

Music for the Bride

Classical wedding songs are usually the songs of choice for the bride as she walks down the aisle.

The music for the bride’s entrance should be played for a few seconds before the bride walks down the aisle.

It should continue playing until the bride reaches the place where the groom and celebrant are. 

The music should stop playing only when everyone is comfortable in their positions, most especially the bride.

Check out these top 3 bridal entrance songs.

About the Bride and Bridesmaids 

The length of time in which aisle songs are played depends on how long it takes for the bride and bridesmaids to walk down the aisle.


How Long Does the Bride Walk Down the Aisle?

Although the bride’s walk depends on factors such as the length of the entire aisle, and even the pace at which the bride can walk, on average, it should take only around 30 seconds to one minute for the bride to walk down the aisle without incident.

How Long Does it Take for Bridesmaids to Walk Down the Aisle?

This depends on the number of bridesmaids you may have. Bridesmaids walk down the aisle in pairs with the groomsman.
Each pair should take around 30 seconds to complete her walk down the aisle during the procession.


The procession is one of the most important parts of a wedding, whether it’s a traditional wedding or a modern wedding. The procession introduces to everyone the star of the wedding day — the bride.

Each step that the entourage and the bride take down the aisle should be timed in order to build a sense of climax to a highly celebrated occasion.

The timing dictates how long should a wedding processional song be. It is important to be mindful of this so you can build a dramatic atmosphere during the procession without boring your guests. 

This is why the choice of wedding love songs and the timing are essential to set the perfect atmosphere on your wedding day to have the ultimate wedding ceremony.

wedding party dressed in pink under title how long should a wedding processional be


  • 1. Naroditskaya I. Music in the American Diasporic Wedding [Internet]. Project MUSE. Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 2019 [cited 2022 Mar 7]. Available from:
  • 2. Schreiber S. The Best Processional Songs for You and Your Wedding Party [Internet]. Martha Stewart. [cited 2022 Mar 7]. Available from:

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