Embrace Cultural Traditions
In India, it's customary for the groom to make a grand entrance called the baraat, where he arrives with live music and dancing while riding a horse (or elephant). While you may not be able to ride in on an elephant stateside, you can embrace the spirit of the baraat with a vibrant street parade.
Brooke Avishay of Orange Blossom Special Events recalls one of her favorite elements from a recent wedding: a giant countdown clock was projected on the wall to drive up anticipation for the ceremony. "As the clock ticked, the crowd's energy level rose exponentially. By the time we reached the final seconds, the cheering was deafening, and the moment the clock hit 00:00, the processional music started, and the wedding party entered to a wildly cheering crowd," says Avishay. "It was a moment I will never forget."
Light the Way
Utilize special lighting to signal your grand entrance. “An incredible entrance was made as the bride walked down the aisle and all of the chandeliers lit up as she walked under them progressively down the aisle,” says Valarie Falvey of Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design. At another wedding, the couple made their entrance to the song “Purple Rain” as the lighting in the room changed dramatically to purple.
Finding the perfect song for your entrance can be a challenge – which is why some couples just create their own! “Our couples have changed the lyrics from songs like 'Epic' to MacArthur Park' to reflect their wedding day and their guests – how far they have traveled, the areas they represent, and how they expect to see them on the dance floor,” says AJ Williams of AJ Events. “The main objective is to add an element of surprise and thank their guests for being with them on this important day.”
Roll Out the Red Carpet
It's a classic for a reason – having that red carpet moment will make you feel like a million bucks! “One of our all-time favorite grand entrances was when one of our brides arrived at the outdoor wedding ceremony in a Rolls Royce and stepped out of the car to have the red carpet rolled out by her father,” reflects Marshecka Rodgers of Chique Weddings & Events.
Photo: Yani De Marie Photography / Event Planner: Chique Weddings & Events
Find Your Venue's Secret Passage
Look around your venue for the unexpected way to make your entrance. “At Vanderwende Acres, our brides often walk down from the balcony located at the top of the barn, which adds a subtle but dramatic effect as the audience gets to witness the bride taking a glimpse at her groom for the first time while the music begins to play and the emotions begin to flow,” shares Sarah Silicato and Will Vanderwende of Vanderwende Acres.
Have Your Fairy Tale Moment
“There's something so romantic and sweet about couples arriving by horse-drawn carriage,” shares Inspired By This. “Plus, it makes for some pretty stunning photo moments!”
Don't Forget the After Party
Keep the celebratory mood going with a grand entrance to your after party, too. At a recent wedding, Angela Margolis of Sterling Social lined the walkway between the reception and the after-party space with cold sparklers, and everyone walked the runway. “The moment kept the energy up, and guests were ready to continue partying with the bride and groom,” says Margolis. “It was the perfect transition for our bride to change into her after-party dress, too.”