Wedding Music

You will probably have music before, during and after the wedding; selecting the appropriate music will enhance your ceremony. Before selecting any musical pieces, please check with the officiant in charge of the ceremony because some religions have strict guidelines concerning secular music. Contact the music director or organist of the ceremony site; they may have information and ideas that you may not have considered. Wedding music is usually segmented into four different parts: prelude, processional, ceremony and recessional.

The prelude begins from the time the first guest arrives until everyone is seated and the mother of the bride is preparing to be ushered down the aisle. Selection of music for the prelude can be varied. You may prefer upbeat or slow paced or a bit of both.  The prelude should keep your guests entertained as well as set the mood for the ceremony. Following the prelude is the perfect time for a soloist to sing. The mother of the bride should be escorted to her seat during this time.

The processional is the music played while the bridal party enters. When it is time for the bride and her father to take “the walk,” you may use the same music or choose a piece especially for you.

The ceremony music is played while the wedding takes place. Consult with your officiant regarding the proper time for a solo to be added. The lighting of the Unity Candle is usually an appropriate time for a heart felt song.

The recessional is your exit music. This song should be upbeat and joyous, celebrating the union of the bride and groom.

Here are a few suggestions for music and their composers:

Processional Ceremony Recessional
Austrian Wedding Song, traditional All I Ask of You, Norbet and Callahan  All Creatures Great and Small, Williams
Ave Maria, Shubert Cherish the Tresure, Mohr  Pomp and Circumstance, Elgar
Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride), Wagner My Tribute, Crouch Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven, Goss
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, Tchiakovsky Now Thank We All Our God, Bach  The Russian Dance, Tchaikovsky
Ode to Joy, Beethoven Panis Angelicus, Franck  Toccata Symphony V, Widor
The March, Tchaikovsky Saviour Like a Shepherd Lead Us, Bradbury  Trumpet Fanfare (Rondeau), Mouret
Trumpet Tune, Purcell The Bride’s Prayer, Good  Trumpet Tune, Stanley
Trumpet Voluntary, Clarke The Irish Wedding Song, Traditional
Trumpet Voluntary, Dupuis The Lord’s Prayer, Malotte
Waltz of the Flowers, Tchiakovsky The Unity Candle Song, Sullivan
Wedding March, Medelssohn The Wedding Prayer, Dunlap
The Wedding Song, Paul Stookey
We’ve Only Just Begun, The Carpenters
Wherever You Go, Callahan

Most organists will welcome any input from the bride concerning the prelude selections. Consult with the organist, chances are he or she has a lot of experience with song selection for weddings – use that to your advantage.  Your wedding should sound just as lovely as it looks.

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