Wedding Ceremony Music for Harp | Entrance Song Ideas and Tips

Choosing harp music for walking down the aisle with your bridesmaids is one of the many decisions you’ll make in your wedding planning journey, and arguably a very important one.

As the bride’s first appearance of the day the entrance to your wedding ceremony needs the right soundtrack. Even if you’ve dreamt of the moment since childhood you might not immediately know where to start with your wedding music.

wedding harp music

Slow and serene

There’s a certain type of atmosphere to aim for with your entrance music in order to create a beautiful, graceful and highly emotional moment. When your bridal party get to the aisle and see all those faces staring at them it can take some willpower not to jog all the way down! However with a little help from steadily paced music they can glide gently to the top of the aisle in movie style slow motion while your friends and family wipe tears from their eyes. It’s a good idea to pick something calm even though you might be feeling anything but relaxed when the wedding day finally comes. 

Where to begin

Canon in D is a good song to listen to get a feel for the ideal walking down the aisle sound, then maybe have a listen to more contemporary choices such as A Thousand Years and How Long Will I Love You which set the right pace and are also full of feeling. You don’t necessarily need to dismiss your ideal song if it’s a little on the quick side as with a harpist it’s possible to completely change the tone of a song to make it beautifully gentle.

Canon in D – Pachelbel
Bride walking down the aisle with father

Suggestions

Wedding Harpist at the West Mill Derby

Traditional or modern?

Classical music is often associated with wedding ceremonies and it’s what people often expect from a harpist. There are some beautiful options to give an elegant and timeless feel to your trip down the aisle such as the Flower Duet or the classic Bridal Chorus.

However if classical music doesn’t resonate with you or feature in your day to day lives then there is no obligation to include it in your most precious memories. My playlist is largely centred around well-loved contemporary songs.

Mix it up

Many people don’t realise what an amazingly versatile instrument the harp is and any modern music played on this magical instrument can take on the same elegance and grace as a classical piece. You might want to mix modern and traditional in your ceremony or make a clean break from classical to modern at a certain point of the ceremony.

For example your harpist could play classical music as your guests take their seats and wait excitedly for the ceremony to begin and for the bride’s entrance. Then once your official vows have been made the harpist could break into modern music. Not only is this a nice surprise for everyone but it signals that the ceremonial and serious part of the day is now over and it’s time to relax and celebrate. 

Wedding rings

Modern day classics

There are some fantastic present day classical pieces such as River Flows in You – Yiruma and I Giorni – Einaudi which have a romantic film score feel.  My modern arrangement of Here Comes the Bride in the style of A Thousand Years is a great way to get the best of both worlds for walking down the aisle!

Test trial the music

If you like a song but you aren’t quite sure if it’s right for the moment then there’s a fun way to try it out. Find a video of a bride walking down the aisle on Youtube, hit mute and play your song instead. 

Less common choices

No one really wants an off the shelf wedding which is identical to every other so you might be thinking of ways to make this moment truly bespoke.  I have some lovely examples off the beaten track options on my list which couples have requested in the past.

Just Like Heaven – The Cure
Lovin’ You – Minnie Ripperton
First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
She’s a Rainbow – The Rolling Stones
Feels Like Home – Edwina Hayes
Zelda’s Lullaby (Legend of Zelda Soundtrack)

Does it need to be personal and unique?

There have been times when a bride and groom are held back from the wedding music they truly want out of concerns of being unoriginal. If your sister in law had the same song then you might feel like you’re stepping on some toes.

However there are some songs like A Thousand Years which no one can really claim ownership of. Because it’s such a popular choice for the bridal party, it would be like having Happy Birthday sung at your party and accusing everyone else of copying. 

outdoor wedding

The aisle and a harpist at Donnington Park Farmhouse

Don’t worry too much about being different

If you’re put off a song by it’s popularity then it’s worth reconsidering your doubts. Having a harp played in your ceremony is already a special and creative touch! 

If a piece of music makes you feel exactly the way you want to feel in this once in a lifetime moment then go for it. After all some wedding songs are popular for a very good reason and there’s plenty of opportunities throughout the wedding day to add personal touches.

The power of the familiar

There’s something about music which makes us like it more after the 5th listen than the first. We form attachments to songs as time goes on and no matter how good a song is love at first listen is actually quite rare.

This makes choosing a song which the whole room is already familiar with a safe bet, especially if you want everyone to experience the feelings which you’re trying to invoke with your wedding music. This is by no means a rule but it’s worth bearing in mind.

bride and groom
Swancar Farm Wedding Aisle

How do I know if a song will sound good on harp?

Ask! Even I am not always sure what will make a good harp song until I give it a go, sometimes with surprising results. Putting a song on harp can go either way. Is the song easy to whistle? The main thing to look for is a clear melody line that will still be recognisable without a singer and lyrics. Whistling can give you a basic idea of how the music will translate into an instrumental piece.

If it’s really not suited to the harp then it might sound unfamiliar and a bit awkward. However a lot of the time I can come up with a creative way to give the song a new life of it’s own as a harp piece.

When I was asked to learn Baby Boy by Big Brovas for the bridal party’s journey down the aisle I was initially unsure how this upbeat R&B song would sound on harp. However the bride was right and it worked beautifully in a gentle and romantic harp version.

Baby Boy – Big Brovas (Harp)

Resolving disagreements

Well you are individuals! I have to say though that this one often goes to the bride. It’s her big moment after all.  However if your partner simply can’t stand a song it might not be the best idea to have it prequel your marriage vows.

How will your friends and family react?

This is a moment the whole room will share so it can be nice to include the reaction of your loved ones in your considerations. Perhaps if you’re stuck for ideas you could think about songs that will get your relatives teary eyed. Maybe Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love will spark some happy, nostalgic memories for grandparents for example.

You could ask parents which wedding music they used or consider songs you and your friends loved growing up. Tale as Old as Time will always receive a collective ‘aaaaah’ and get everyone looking lovingly back at their younger years.  

Wedding family
Colwick Hall Aisle

Don’t worry about timings

An upside to hiring a harpist to play your wedding music is that you don’t need to worry about the length of the intro or how long your entrance song takes to get to the chorus. The journey down the aisle isn’t a long one and even with lots of bridesmaids you will rarely hear an entire song played before the bridal party arrives at the front.

Because of this a wedding harpist will cut out any slow and vague moments and include the best parts of the music. If you have a certain part in mind for your arrival this can be arranged with some careful timing. The harp music will come to a natural end when you meet your betrothed and get settled at the front.

Sheet Music

YouTube is your friend, and foe!

YouTube might be your first stop when looking for a stripped back version of a song for the bridal party’s walk down the aisle. If you’re able to find an acoustic or instrumental version that you love then there’s a strong chance it will work on harp too! However, bear in mind that there are a million ways in which to interpret a song.

I create harp wedding covers by listening to a song but many harpists will rely on finding sheet music. This isn’t always easy to come by and the quality of the arrangements can vary from good to just completely the wrong notes! The same song could sound worlds apart from one harpist’s version to the next.

Harps sound better in real life

Another thing to look out for is sound quality. The harp sounds fantastic in real life but after being recorded and played back through your phone harp music can lose it’s magic. If you have any concerns try to book a meeting in real life with your harpist to experience the wonderful sound you will actually hear on the day. 

And finally… go with your gut

I’ve listed lots of considerations to get you started with the music for the bridal party but this is definitely one of those things that you can overthink. Trust your instincts and let your emotions guide you. With a little luck the first song you thought of will be the one!

Wedding Harpist Christine Palethorpe

Harpist Christine Palethorpe

Christine is an award winning wedding harpist with 5 years of experience and over 120 wedding bookings each year. She loves turning modern music into beautiful and instantly recognisable harp arrangements.

Enquire Now        Check Availability

Choosing harp music for walking down the aisle with your bridesmaids is one of the many decisions you’ll make in your wedding planning journey, and arguably a very important one.

As the bride’s first appearance of the day the entrance to your wedding ceremony needs the right soundtrack. Even if you’ve dreamt of the moment since childhood you might not immediately know where to start with your wedding music.

Slow and serene

There’s a certain type of atmosphere to aim for with your entrance music in order to create a beautiful, graceful and highly emotional moment. When your bridal party get to the aisle and see all those faces staring at them it can take some willpower not to jog all the way down!

However with a little help from steadily paced music they can glide gently to the top of the aisle in movie style slow motion while your friends and family wipe tears from their eyes. It’s a good idea to pick something calm even though you might be feeling anything but relaxed when the wedding day finally comes. 

wedding harp music

Where to begin

Canon in D is a good song to to listen to get a feel for the ideal walking down the aisle sound, then maybe have a listen to more contemporary choices such as A Thousand Years and How Long Will I Love You which set the right pace and are also full of feeling. You don’t necessarily need to dismiss your ideal song if it’s a little on the quick side as with a harpist it’s possible to completely change the tone of a song to make it beautifully gentle.

Canon in D – Pachelbel
Bride walking down the aisle with father

Suggestions

A Thousand Years – Christine Perri
Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
Canon in D – Pachelbel
All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo
River Flows in You – Yiruma

Halo – Beyoncé
Perfect – Ed Sheeran
Bridal Chorus – Wagner
How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast
I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi
Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
From This Moment On – Shania Twain
Lovin’ You – Minnie Riperton
Flower Duet – Lakmé
Can You Feel the Love Tonight – The Lion King
Kissing You – Des’ree

Wedding Harpist at the West Mill Derby

Traditional or modern?

Classical music is often associated with wedding ceremonies and it’s what people often expect from a harpist. There are some beautiful options to give an elegant and timeless feel to your trip down the aisle such as the Flower Duet or the classic Bridal Chorus.

However if classical music doesn’t resonate with you or feature in your day to day lives then there is no obligation to include it in your most precious memories. My playlist is largely centred around well-loved contemporary songs.

Mix it up

Many people don’t realise what an amazingly versatile instrument the harp is and any modern music played on this magical instrument can take on the same elegance and grace as a classical piece. You might want to mix modern and traditional in your ceremony or make a clean break from classical to modern at a certain point of the ceremony.

Wedding rings

For example your harpist could play classical music as your guests take their seats and wait excitedly for the ceremony to begin and for the bride’s entrance. Then once your official vows have been made the harpist could break into modern music. Not only is this a nice surprise for everyone but it signals that the ceremonial and serious part of the day is now over and it’s time to relax and celebrate. 

Modern day classics

There are some fantastic present day classical pieces such as River Flows in You – Yiruma and I Giorni – Einaudi which have a romantic film score feel.  My modern arrangement of Here Comes the Bride in the style of A Thousand Years is a great way to get the best of both worlds for walking down the aisle!

Test trial the music

If you like a song but you aren’t quite sure if it’s right for the moment then there’s a fun way to try it out. Find a video of a bride walking down the aisle on Youtube, hit mute and play your song instead. 

Less common choices

No one really wants an off the shelf wedding which is identical to every other so you might be thinking of ways to make this moment truly bespoke.  I have some lovely examples off the beaten track options on my list which couples have requested in the past.

Just Like Heaven – The Cure
Lovin’ You – Minnie Ripperton
First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
She’s a Rainbow – The Rolling Stones
Feels Like Home – Edwina Hayes
Zelda’s Lullaby (Legend of Zelda Soundtrack)

Does it need to be personal and unique?

There have been times when a bride and groom are held back from the wedding music they truly want out of concerns of being unoriginal. If your sister in law had the same song then you might feel like you’re stepping on some toes.

outdoor wedding

However there are some songs like A Thousand Years which no one can really claim ownership of. Because it’s such a popular choice for the bridal party, it would be like having Happy Birthday sung at your party and accusing everyone else of copying. 

Don’t worry too much about being different

If you’re put off a song by it’s popularity then it’s worth reconsidering your doubts. Having a harp played in your ceremony is already a special and creative touch! 

If a piece of music makes you feel exactly the way you want to feel in this once in a lifetime moment then go for it. After all some wedding songs are popular for a very good reason and there’s plenty of opportunities throughout the wedding day to add personal touches.

The aisle and a harpist at Donnington Park Farmhouse

So if you’ve already come up with a unique, personal song that also fits the moment perfectly and hasn’t been allocated to your first dance then great. If not then it’s not worth straining your brain to avoid a perfectly good albeit popular song choice. 

The power of the familiar

There’s something about music which makes us like it more after the 5th listen than the first. We form attachments to songs as time goes on and no matter how good a song is love at first listen is actually quite rare.

This makes choosing a song which the whole room is already familiar with a safe bet, especially if you want everyone to experience the feelings which you’re trying to invoke with your wedding music. This is by no means a rule but it’s worth bearing in mind.

bride and groom

How do I know if a song will sound good on harp?

Ask! Even I’m not always sure what will make a good harp song until I give it a go, sometimes with surprising results. Putting a song on harp can go either way. Is the song easy to whistle? The main thing to look for is a clear melody line that will still be recognisable without a singer and lyrics. Whistling can give you a basic idea of how the music will translate into an instrumental piece.

If it’s really not suited to the harp then it might sound unfamiliar and a bit awkward. However a lot of the time I can come up with a creative way to give the song a new life of it’s own as a harp piece.

Swancar Farm Wedding Aisle

When I was asked to learn Baby Boy by Big Brovas for the bridal party’s journey down the aisle I was initially unsure how this upbeat R&B song would sound on harp. However the bride was right and it worked beautifully in a gentle and romantic harp version.

Baby Boy – Big Brovas (Harp)

Resolving disagreements

Well you are individuals! I have to say though that this one often goes to the bride. It’s her big moment after all.  However if your partner simply can’t stand a song it might not be the best idea to have it prequel your marriage vows.

How will your friends and family react?

This is a moment the whole room will share so it can be nice to include the reaction of your loved ones in your considerations. Perhaps if you’re stuck for ideas you could think about songs that will get your relatives teary eyed. Maybe Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love will spark some happy, nostalgic memories for grandparents for example.

Wedding family

You could ask parents what wedding music they used and consider songs you and your friends loved growing up. Tale as Old as Time will always receive a collective ‘aaaaah’ and get everyone looking lovingly back at their younger years.  

Don’t worry about timings

An upside to hiring a harpist to play your wedding music is that you don’t need to worry about the length of the intro or how long your entrance song takes to get to the chorus. The journey down the aisle isn’t a long one and even with lots of bridesmaids you will rarely hear an entire song played before the bridal party arrives at the front.

Colwick Hall Aisle

Because of this a wedding harpist will cut out any slow and vague moments and include the best parts of the music. If you have a certain part in mind for your arrival this can be arranged with some careful timing. The harp music will come to a natural end when you meet your betrothed and get settled at the front.

YouTube is your friend, and foe!

YouTube might be your first stop when looking for a stripped back version of a song for the bridal party’s walk down the aisle. If you’re able to find an acoustic or instrumental version that you love then there’s a strong chance it will work on harp too! However, bear in mind that there are a million ways in which to interpret a song.

Sheet Music

I create harp wedding covers by listening to a song but many harpists will rely on finding sheet music. This isn’t always easy to come by and the quality of the arrangements can vary from good to just completely the wrong notes! The same song could sound worlds apart from one harpist’s version to the next.

Harps sound better in real life

Another thing to look out for is sound quality. The harp sounds fantastic in real life but after being recorded and played back through your phone harp music can lose it’s magic. If you have any concerns try to book a meeting in real life with your harpist to experience the wonderful sound you will actually hear on the day. 

And finally… go with your gut

I’ve listed lots of considerations to get you started with the music for the bridal party but this is definitely one of those things that you can overthink. Trust your instincts and let your emotions guide you. With a little luck the first song you thought of will be the one!

Wedding Harpist Christine Palethorpe

Harpist Christine Palethorpe

Christine is an award winning wedding harpist with 5 years of experience and over 120 wedding bookings each year. She loves turning modern music into beautiful and instantly recognisable harp arrangements.

Enquire Now        Check Availability