When planning your big day, you may want to plan everything down to the precise minute. This means that you’ll need to know how long each facet of your wedding will be. In some cases, these means timing your wedding down to the minute. One detail to consider: how long does it take to walk down the aisle?
The most memorable and important part of the guest’s experience is usually the bride’s entrance. There’s a reason why it’s the part of the wedding shown in every movie– it’s a moment for family and friends to remember.
If you’re trying to plan out your processional, read more to learn how long it takes to walk down the aisle.
Planning Your Ceremony Order
The first element of timing your processional is planning the order. What you may choose to do for this depends on several factors.
A religious wedding service is often different from nondenominational wedding processionals, so this will impact your ceremony’s length as well.
You also want to think about the order in which the bridal party will enter and what times you may send them out. This infographic shows the traditional order the processional goes in. Once you’ve decided on an order, like the example above, it’ll be easier to account for length.
How Long Does it Take to Walk Down the Aisle?
How long it takes to walk down the aisle depends on a few factors, like the size of your bridal party, the type of music you choose, and the fit of each individual dress. Therefore, the answer of how long it takes to walk down the aisle has several answers based on your specific planning.
However, once you take all of these factors into account, it’ll be easier to plan your day out by the minute. It should be noted though, that most people don’t expect a wedding procession, especially the bride’s entrance, to be longer than a few minutes. Some brides even glide down the aisle in less than a minute.
Size of Wedding Party
The length of the entire ceremony pre-vows is obviously dependent on the size of your entire wedding party, particularly how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you have and if you have children or the elderly participating in the ceremony.
Obviously, a party with 10 bridesmaids is going to take longer to reach the altar than one with 2. Further, the younger the flower girls and ring bearers, the more likely they are to dawdle and hold up the bride.
Older parents or grandparents may take longer as well, especially if they need walking assistance like a cane, so it’s important to take different paces into account.
Order of Wedding Party
Once you’ve settled on the order, it’ll be easier to plan when the bride’s entrance is made. For example, bridesmaids and groomsmen are sent out in different ways.
Some couples have each of their friends come out individually, while some have the entire party come out as a group. Some even couple the bridesmaids and groomsmen off to hit the aisle in pairs.
These little things will make a difference in how long the entire procession takes. Each person walking down the aisle individually is going to be quite a few minutes longer than a group procession, affecting the times of each other.
Since you know your party, take their preferences and tendencies into account. Grandparents will take longer, but there are many things that can take your party away from a normal pace.
Size of the Ceremony Venue
The length also depends on the venue. If your venue is a large, looming church, walking to the altar will take longer than a short stretch of beach, for example. This also depends on the number of guests, as that may affect the number of chairs.
The other thing to keep in mind about an outdoor ceremony is that the party will want to be hidden before the attendants see them, so account for what might be long walks from the nearest building to the ceremony space.
If you are concerned about the size of your ceremony space, either for shoe reasons or timing reasons, ask the venue if they know the length of your aisle or if you can go and measure it yourself. You can then practice the walk at home or with precision during your rehearsal.
Who Walks Bride Down the Aisle
While most think of the bride being walked down the aisle by her father, many families and couples do not follow this traditional structure, altering how long it may take to get to the vows.
Some brides may choose for a sibling, another family member, or even a friend to do the honors. Other couples may choose to walk down the aisle together– this is growing more common for same-sex couples and for unconventional ceremony spaces where the groom and the bride reach the altar at the same time.
If you are walking to your partner with dad by your side, also take that into account– is your father a slow walker? Some brides with older fathers may be able to walk faster than those with more spry pops. There are also small things to consider, like you may need to hold the bouquet differently if your father needs your support to walk.
Pace of Processional Music
One of the other most obvious factors in the speed of your ceremony in the piece of music you pick. Very traditional or classical picks like “Here Comes the Bride” will cater to a slower walk, which is expected of the usual wedding march. A more modern or alternative choice might give the party a bit of pep in its step.
At the ceremony rehearsal, be sure to practice with the correct music playing in the background a few times, even if it’s just from someone’s cell phone. This will give your party an idea of how they might want to walk based on the song’s beat.
How To Adjust the Length of Your Processional
If you would like to lengthen or shorten your time walking down the aisle, try to tweak any of these factors. For a longer walk to showcase the bride’s beauty and wow your guests, pick a slower song or change your walking pace. Other factors like a heavier wedding dress may also make a difference.
If you’re on a time crunch, you can shorten your processional by scheduling the party to come out in close succession or by picking a more upbeat song. Whatever you choose, be sure to practice to build your walk-out confidence.
More on Your Wedding Ceremony
Here at Yeah Weddings, we want to give you everything you need for your entire wedding planning journey. If you want to know how the length of your processional fits into the length of your wedding ceremony, be sure to read this article and more.
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