Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by Kimberlee Johnson
If you’ve ever attended a wedding and marveled at the elegant procession that kicks off the reception, chances are you witnessed the grand march.
As someone fortunate enough to attend numerous weddings, I can tell you that the grand march is much more than a fancy entrance.
So, what is a grand march at a wedding? In this brief introduction, I’ll explain this captivating ritual and its purpose and significance in a way anyone can understand.
What Does A Grand March Mean At A Wedding?
At a wedding, the Grand March is a happy and well-choreographed procession. The DJ starts by introducing the wedding party into the venue to sit at the head table.
Before they settle in, the bride and groom join the guests on the dance floor. Many in western areas like Kansas and Texas love this unique reception dance.
Although the format and steps for the Grand March may vary per tradition, it usually includes a special march or dance with upbeat music.
This exciting procession serves as a way to rejoice in the new union and bring everyone present together. It’s a great way to start the party and festivities positively.
Who Leads The Wedding “Grand March”?
The newly married couple typically initiates the Wedding Grand March, but sometimes the honor is given to the longest-married guests.
Then, it is followed by the bridal party, which usually includes the best man, maid or matron of honor, bridesmaids, groomsmen , and the happy couple’s parents or close family members.
Depending on the geographical or cultural traditions, the order may differ.
“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”– Andre Marois, French Author
Furthermore, to add an element of entertainment to the march, it is customary for an emcee or dance master to oversee the procession and guarantee its smooth progression.
How Is The Wedding Grand March Performed?
The Grand March often begins with the announcement of the newly married couple by the DJ  or emcee, who then leads the couple onto the dance floor.
Following the couple, the bridal party is introduced in a specific order, often starting with the best man and the maid/matron of honor, then the remaining bridesmaids and groomsmen, and finally, the parents or close family members.
3. Path & Timing
Once everyone is assembled, the Grand March commences with a specific, predetermined song.
The march usually involves choreographed steps, following a pattern that could be a simple promenade around the dance floor, a more complex figure-eight pattern, or any other culturally relevant design.
4. Stylish Moves
As they progress, the participants can incorporate various dance moves, spins, or gestures to add flair and entertainment value.
Throughout the march, the couple engages with their guests, exchanging greetings, handshakes, or even brief dances as they pass by.
This interaction enhances the celebratory atmosphere.
6. Seating at the Head Table
Once the grand march concludes, the wedding party takes their designated seats at the head table, ready to continue the festivities.
Is The Grand March Performed Before Or After Dinner?
In many cases, the grand march takes place before dinner as a lively introduction to the reception.
It’s a fun way to kick off the celebration and get everyone excited for the evening ahead.
The grand march showcases the newlyweds and their bridal party, allowing guests to cheer them on and set a happy mood.
“As the grand march begins, the dance floor becomes a stage, and the newlyweds become the stars, shining brightly as they take their first steps into a lifetime of happiness.”– Howkapow Gift Site
Doing it before dinner also allows guests to find seats and prepare for the meal. But how long does a Catholic wedding ceremony typically last?
Do’s & Don’ts During Wedding Grand March
The Do’s When Joining A Wedding Grand March
- Follow the Leaders: Pay attention to the couple leading the Grand March or the dance master/emcee, if there is one. They set the pace and the steps for the procession.
- Participate Fully: If you’re part of the bridal party, be ready to participate fully. Your energy and enthusiasm can help set the tone for the rest of the event.
- Respect the Order: Stick to the pre-arranged order of the march, as it’s often symbolic and carefully planned.
- Enjoy Yourself: The Grand March is a celebration, so let loose and enjoy the moment. A smile and a joyful attitude can be infectious.
The Don’ts When Joining A Wedding Grand March
- Don’t Overdo It: While having fun is important, be relaxed to the point of overshadowing the couple or making others uncomfortable.
- Avoid Improvising: Avoid adding steps or breaking the established choreography unless specifically encouraged.
- Don’t Rush: The Grand March is not a race. Maintain the rhythm and pace set by the leaders.
How long should a grand wedding entrance last?
A grand wedding entrance should last about 5-10 minutes. This allows the couple to take their time and enjoy walking in with their guests cheering and applauding them.
How can the bride and groom’s grand entrance be announced?
The bride and groom’s grand entrance can be announced with a short introduction, such as “Introducing the bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Vasquez!”
Another way to grandly announce the bridal and groom entrances is to make them stand out with unique lighting or special effects.
The grand march at a wedding is a joyous and meticulously orchestrated procession that marks the beginning of the reception.
From my personal experiences attending weddings across the globe, I’ve witnessed the sheer delight and infectious energy that fills the room during this enchanting moment.
The DJ takes the lead, introducing the wedding party as they go to the head table while the newlyweds join their guests on the dance floor.
This distinctive reception dance, particularly cherished in western regions like Kansas and Texas, adds a layer of festivity to the celebration.
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