PLANNING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY MUSIC

When designing your wedding ceremony, there are five important musical choices to consider.
1. Pre-Ceremony/Prelude Music
2. Processional Music for Parents  (optional)
3. Processional  for the Bridal Party, or Wedding Party
4. Processional for the Bride
5. Recessional; end of the ceremony

Pre-Ceremony/Prelude Music sets the mood, usually quiet, magical, preparing everyone for the beautiful vows.

Choices—
The music can be classical, love songs, religious, folk, or any combination of the music you love.  Tell the musician if you have any favorites, and if you prefer certain styles of music.  Often it is simply left to the musicians to select appropriate, beautiful music.

Entrance of the Parents/Grandparents. Just before the ceremony begins the family will enter, either to a continuation of the pre-ceremony music or to a specially chosen song.  The mothers are the last to enter before the wedding party.

Some good possible choices for the above—
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – J. S. Bach
Ave Maria – Schubert

Processional Music for your Wedding Party begins when the groom and officiant come to the altar.  They may enter to the same music as the parents, or with silence.  The groomsmen may come in at this time, or with the bridesmaids.  The processional music is traditionally majestic, grand, and stately.  The entire wedding party can enter to the same music, or there can be separate songs for parents and bridesmaids.

Examples of some lovely choices for entrance of the Wedding Party
Canon in D – Pachelbel
Air from Water Music – Handel
Trumpet Voluntary – Clarke

The Bride’s Entrance is announced by a fanfare and everyone standing.  Brides often enjoy entering to the “Bridal Chorus” (Here Comes the Bride) or  they may choose other pieces.

Some Possible Choices for the Entrance of the Bride
Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride) – Wagner
Canon in D – Pachelbel
18th Variation (Romanze) – Rachmaninoff

Recessional Music is played at the end of the ceremony, usually after the kiss or after the officiant introduces or presents the couple to the wedding attendees.

Some nice choices for your Recessional—
Wedding March (Traditional) – Mendelssohn
Ode To Joy – Beethoven
Spring from “Four Seasons” – Vivaldi
Trumpet Voluntary – Clarke

These are only a few examples of music played during a wedding, and the songs can be interchanged between parts of the processional music.

Samples of all these selections and more can be heard at  https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/heavenlyharp

I hope these tips and my music samples add to your enjoyment in designing this wonderful aspect of your beautiful wedding.

3 comments.

  1. Great music choice, I real like how you separate the music to this different choice according to situation, this can help to make the day even more spatial:) x

  2. A clear description of the parts of the wedding that you need to think about music for. You have provided some great classic choices of songs to get people started.

  3. Yes, it really helps to make the wedding ceremony go smoothly if everyone knows what’s happening with the music – coordinator, family, bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride/groom, officiant, and harpist (or other musician).