It used to be that all brides walked down the aisle to the traditional “Here comes the Bride.” Wagner’s classic wedding music, is a piece of music most people have heard at least once in their lives. Many brides are choosing different music not only for the wedding ceremony, but for the traditional bridal walk down the aisle as well.
What Should You Choose?
If you are a bride, your unique personality can be reflected in the music you choose for your service. Music is powerful when it comes to setting the mood or eliciting emotions and what you decide to play at your wedding ceremony can begin the ambience of the whole event.
Traditional favorites might include Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” Another popular wedding ceremony selection is “Guitar Concerto in D Major” by Vivaldi, and Handel’s “Air” is something you will often hear at wedding ceremonies.
Classical music selections for your wedding ceremony can include Mozart pieces such as “Romance from String Quartet,” or “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major.” Johann Sebastian Bach is well known for his lullabies, but he has beautiful wedding ceremony music too such as “Sinfonia,” “Cantata No. 29” or “Prelude and Fugue in C.” Choosing classical music for your wedding reception will have the elegance and sophistication start as soon as the guests enter.
Songs that are appropriate for a wedding ceremony that are considered contemporary are Nat King Cole’s classic tune, “Unforgettable,” “The Look of Love” sung by Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach, and “Storybook Love” from the film the “The Princess Bride.” You can find many selections that will bring about the ideal mood for your special day.
Do your research and listen to some samples of songs and instrumental music that you may be interested in playing at your wedding ceremony to help you choose the perfect music for your perfect day.
The Four Categories
There are generally four categories of music at wedding ceremonies:
The pre-wedding or “Prelude” music sets the theme for the actual ceremony. This usually begins approximately thirty minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin while guests are being seated. The music selections are often light and lively, and played in a low volume allowing guests to converse.
Music for the entrance of the Bridesmaids is usually more formal, and presented at a higher volume than the pre-ceremony music. Although marches are popular, other beautiful classical selections such as Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and Pachabel’s “Canon In D” are often selected.
The first notes of the “Processional” music announce the arrival of the Bride and inform the guests to stand! Because of this, processional music should be joyful and triumphant. Wagner’s “Here Comes The Bride” is the overwhelming choice of Brides to enter their wedding ceremony area.
During the ceremony, a soloist may sing or play a musical instrument just before the actual wedding vows begin. This is called the “Interlude” Music. Sometimes a reading by a guest may substitute for music. This activity allows the Bride and Groom time to pause, catch their breath, and more fully enjoy the moment!
The “Recessional” music usually begins immediately after the officiant introduces the new couple to the guests as husband and wife. Like the processional, this music is generally joyful and triumphant. It is often accompanied with the ringing of church bells or chimes. Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” is the music selection chosen by most newlyweds at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony.
We are including a short selection of song suggestions with this newsletter just to get you started. However there are a ton of great websites where you can also listen to a preview of your music selections and a great deal more with suggestions. Choose the music to suit your personality to ensure your day is “YOU”.
Some of our recommended & favorite websites for Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Music Central: The Finest Wedding Music
T.Carter: offering the finest in New Wedding Music
The ONeil Brothers: Perfect Wedding Music
The Knot – Wedding Ceremony Music Basics
WEDDING CEREMONY MUSIC SUGGESTIONS
Top 10 Prelude Ceremony Songs
The prelude is the thirty to forty-five minutes before the bride arrives for the ceremony.
This allows the guests to be seated, and it gives them a chance to relax and reflect.
Many couples choose to play soothing, unobtrusive selections that set a peaceful tone.
|Adagio from Santana in E-Flat||Mozart|
|Air from Water Music||Handel|
|Air on the G String(from orchestral suite #3)||Bach|
|Allegro from Brandenburg Concerto #4 in G||J.S. Bach|
|Courante from Three Lute Dances|
|Nocturne in E Flat, Op.9 No. 2||Chopin|
|Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun||Debussy|
|So this is Love Instrumental “Cinderella”||David, Hoffman,
|Waltz (From Sleeping Beauty, Act 1)||Tchaikovsky|
|Spring – Four Seasons||Vivaldi|
Top 10 Processional Ceremony Songs
The Processional begins when the mother of the bride is seated
and the bride starts her walk down the aisle.
This calls for dramatic or uplifting music that draws attention to the beautiful bride!
|Traditional Wedding March||Mendelssohn or Wagner|
|Ave Maria||Harry Conick, Jr.|
|Canon in D||Pachelbel|
|Dodi Li||Steven Sher|
|Erev Ba||Shoshana Damari|
|Sleeper’s awake||Bach, Johann Sebastian|
|Processional to Tedeum||Charpentier|
|Romance from String Quartet||Mozart|
Top 10 Interlude Songs
During a wedding ceremony there are some pauses. Many couples fill those pauses with music that maintains a joyous and solemn mood,
reflecting on the excitement and sacredness of the vows they are about to take.
Make sure you check with your Officiant about the music you choose to make sure it’s acceptable.
Some even have lists of what music is appropriate for all parts of the ceremony.
|Air-Sheep May Safely Graze||Bach|
|Amen! Praise and Glory||Peacock|
|Ave Maria||Schubert and Gounod|
|Let there be Peace on Earth|
|Spring – Four Seasons||Vivaldi|
|O Mio Babbino Caro (Gianna Schicchi)||Puccini|
|The Call From Five Mystical Songs||Vaughan Williams|
|Cavalleria Rusticana||Intermezzo Mascagni|
|Sinfonia||Johann Sebastian Bach|
Top 10 Recessional Songs
Finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The bride and groom have kissed; they are now husband and wife.
They start their lives together with a walk up the aisle.
This calls for lively and festive music to enhance the excitement of the newly married couple.
|Traditional Wedding March (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)||Mendelssohn|
|Autumn – Four Seasons||Vivaldi|
|Ode to Joy||Beethoven|
|Love me Tender||Phillharmonic Wedding Ensemble|
|Sonata in G||Tartini|
|Air – On the G String (from Orchestral suite No. 3)||Bach|
|Hornpipe – Water Music||Handel|
|First Movement from Brandenburg Concerto #1 in F||Johann Sebastian Bach|