Wedding Planning: Grand Entrance

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(Originally published in August of 2012)

We are going to start a new blog series called “Wedding Planning,” where we focus on different aspects of a wedding from your DJ’s perspective. We will cover topics from audio at ceremonies, to formalities such as the Grand Entrance, First Dance and Open Dancing. The intent is to inform brides or reception planners, and to give some helpful tips based on our experiences.

Our first post will focus on that instant that will define your wedding reception. It’s that incredible moment when you are introduced to your wedding guests as Mr. and Mrs (insert last name here)! You would not think this is rocket science, but this might be one of the most important events to happen during your reception. Execution of the Grand Entrance can ensure that your reception will get off to a great start and set the mood for the rest of the evening.

Pre-Plan

The Grand Entrance is going to relay a lot of information to your guests. Are we here to party? Are we here to relax? Is this event going to be awkward (we hope not!)? Is this reception going to be mellow, chill, or rowdy? Before filling out that planner for your DJ, you need to decide how you want your reception to look and feel. It’s always a good idea to stay within your personality and feel completely comfortable with your event. Some people are party people, and others aren’t. Don’t make this day about what you aren’t… make it a reflection of who you are!

Themed Grand Entrances

If you are the type of couple that likes to have fun and want your guests to know it, then by all means have fun with your Grand Entrance. Making sure you have the right DJ is crucial to pulling off a themed grand entrance. At Cutmaster Music, we have done everything from ‘Mission Impossible’ themes, where James Bond music is playing and the wedding party has secret agent glasses and even code-names, to the ‘Price-Is-Right’… where I had to do my best imitation of Bob Barker yelling for each member of the wedding party to “COME ON DOWN!”

Here’s a few themes we have had the privilege to emcee:

  • Mission Impossible
  • The Price Is Right
  • Chicago Bulls Basketball Theme (with wedding party members giving hi-fives to everyone in the crowd)
  • Basketball Theme Intro- “Get Ready For This”
  • Monday Night Football
  • Star Wars (with light sabres of course!)

How to be introduced?

Something that seems to stump many of our younger couples is how they would like to be introduced. Traditionally, couples would be introduced with the Groom’s last name… Mr. and Mrs. (Groom’s last name). We are finding more and more wedding receptions moving away from tradition as many feel it empowers the Groom over the Bride and is possessional (so 1950’s…). We more commonly see our couples wanting to acknowledge both parties, such as “Mr. and Mrs. Barker, Matt and Jane.” Or, just “Mr. & Mrs. Barker.” Last week we performed a grand entrance and introduced the couple as “Mr. & Mrs. Awesome.” (It was an inside joke within the family…)

Whether you choose to go traditional or contemporary, always make sure you clearly let your DJ know how to present you to your guests.

Hype Songs

Many people choose to use a hype song for the wedding party to be introduced. This really makes a statement and tells your guests that we are here to have a good time tonight! It is also very important that your DJ provides the right atmosphere with their lighting and effects (fog, lasers, etc…). This helps to pull off that ‘party-feel’ or those ‘spotlights on the basketball court.’

**TIP** Sometimes couples think it’s a good idea to do a different song for each individual person in the wedding party. In our experience, this doesn’t usually tend to work very well, as the actual introduction lasts only a few seconds.  This is usually not enough time to play a good portion of the song and also makes the intros very broken up and choppy. We tend to recommend that your wedding party come into one song, and maybe a second song for the bride and groom (with the hype part of the song cued up to be played after announcing the name).

**UPDATE 5-13-15** As you can see above, we used to recommend you don’t use different songs for your introductions. Even though it is easier and might flow a little more seamless if you only choose one song, we have now found ways to incorporate multiple tracks and also make it work nicely. It does tend to work better if there is a nice gap between the entrance door and the dance floor, allowing for more of the snippet to play. Here’s an example of a recent event using multiple tracks for the wedding party:

https://youtu.be/PTEcFARv7a0

Here’s a list of some of the recent common Grand Entrance hype songs:

  • I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas
  • The Time – Black Eyed Peas
  • Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO
  • Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
  • White Wedding – Billy Idol
  • Yeah – Usher
  • Glad You Came – The Wanted
  • Feel So Close – Calvin Harris
  • Get Ready For This – 2 Unlimited
  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • We Will Rock You – Queen
  • Get The Party Started – Pink
  • Forever – Chris Brown
  • Thunderstruck – AC/DC

What about a low-key entrance?

So, you’re not throwing a rager for your wedding reception? No problem! We’ve done many Grand Entrances that consist of a basic introduction of the Bride and Groom. Either way you choose, your entrance should be a mood setter and should always be an uplifting moment for your guests, as it is typically their first chance to see the newly married couple. This is you (the bride and groom) and your guests first highlight of the night and it is definitely your DJ’s job to make sure the moment is heartfelt and joyous. Sometimes music is involved to add to the mood and other times there’s no background audio, with total focus on the Bride and Groom. It all depends on what mood you want to set.

Make it your day…

Ultimately, how you choose to be introduced to your guests should be up to you.  Whether it’s an arena announcer introducing the wedding party starting line-up or just a casual announcement that the Bride and Groom have arrived, use your Grand Entrance to put a stamp on your reception and make it your day from the get-go!

**UPDATE** Click here for our new post to give you a larger list of songs for your Grand Entrance.

Article written by Chris Romero of Cutmaster Music

Check out Chris’s Google+ profile.