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JK Wedding Entrance Dance refers to a homemade movie of the then-newlyweds Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz dancing down the aisle with ushers, groomsmen and bridesmaids during their wedding ceremony in July 2009. The video went viral almost immediately after it was uploaded onto YouTube and gained over 16 million views in the first month, as well as inspiring many other choreographed wedding entrance videos.
The wedding ceremony of Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz took place at Christ Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota on June 2nd, 2009. The video opens with ushers closing the church door to mark the beginning of the ceremony, then Chris Brown’s 2009 single “Forever” suddenly begins to play. To the pleasant surprise of the audience, what follows is a charming parade of the ushers, groomsmen and bridesmaid dancing down the aisle, which gradually builds up to the entrance and union of the groom Kevin Heinz and the bride Jill Peterson.
According to the bride, the group practiced the choreography for an hour and a half before the wedding. The video was recorded by Tommy Alsop and uploaded via YouTube more than a month later on July 19th, at the request of the bride’s father who wanted to share the video with relatives who couldn’t come to the wedding. Within the first 48 hours of upload, the video accrued more than 3.5 million views and quickly spread across the blogosphere and mainstream news outlets. As of July 2012, the video has accumulated more than 76 million views.
The JK Wedding Entrance Dance video--including its 100 duplicate uploads--amassed more than 10 million views in its first week and the news of the latest mega-viral video quickly spread across the blogosphere, as well as mainstream news outlets. In the following week, the couple made guest appearances on morning time network programs NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss the viral fame of their wedding video.
On July 30th, the couple launched the official website for their viral wedding video at JKWeddingDance.com. That same day, YouTube’s Technical Account Manager Chris LaRosa released an analysis report of the wedding video on Google’s official blog, which explained how the video’s popularity has influenced the records sale and YouTube channel views of the R&B artist Chris Brown, whose song “Forever” was used for the choreography.
The click-through rate (CTR) on the “JK Wedding Entrance” video is 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. And this newfound interest in downloading “Forever” goes beyond the viral video itself: “JK Wedding Entrance” also appears to have influenced the official “Forever” music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x in the last week.
In addition, LaRosa also noted the significance of Chris Brown’s 2008 single “Forever” soaring up to #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list nearly a year after its release. The monetization of JK Wedding Dance video’s viral success was subsequently covered by various tech news blogs like BoingBoing and Wired, as well as business news sites Wall Street Journal and International Business Times. In 2010, TIME magazine ranked the video at number fifteen on its list of the fifty greatest YouTube videos.
The JK Wedding Entrance dance has since inspired dozens of parody videos, some of the most notable examples being JK Divorce Entrance Dance (shown below, top left) and T-Mobile’s re-enactment of the original entrance dance (shown below, top right) with look-a-likes of the British royal family to commemorate the marriage of Prince William and Princess Kate in April 2011.
Although the original video has continued to accrue tens of millions of views, search query volume for the terms “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” and “Wedding Entrance Dance” have largely subsided.
Good Morning America – Dancing Down the Aisle: Jill and Kevin Heinz Wedding Dance Video an Internet Hit
Wall Street Journal – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success