Quartets are often queried by couples as a quintessential part of a quietly elegant ceremony.
I took a round about way for this entry and ended up with quartets and your ceremony music. A quartet is a popular choice for your wedding ceremony but there are many others which can add to the ambiance of your wedding day.
- A string trio
- A woodwind instrument
- A soloist
- Traditional organ
- A harpist
- A band
- Personal music player (i.e. Ipod)
You’re not limited to one option either – you may choose a quartet for your ceremony, a pianist for your cocktail hour and a band for your reception.
You can find wedding musicians on most wedding directories or in magazines. However you may have some talented friends, a talented local musician, or may even consider asking a university or college if their musicians are available to play at weddings.
Here’s a rundown of the ‘types’ of music chosen for your wedding ceremony.
Typically you should choose 4-5 songs for when guests are entering the ceremony location. These provide background music and can set the tone for your event. A light hearted celebratory tune will get guests into the mood. These songs are also known as the prelude and usually start about 20 minutes before the stated ceremony start time.
- Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring – Bach
- Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis
- Air On The G String – Bach
- Heaven (Candlelight mix)- DJ Sammy
Next up is choosing a song for your walk down the aisle, otherwise known as the processional. Some weddings may have a different song for the bridesmaids to the bride, signaling the importance of the bride’s entry and giving her a dramatic moment.
- Only Time – Enya
- Wedding March – Wagner
- Canon In D – Pachelbel
- Kissing You – Des’ree
- Wedding Processional From The Sound Of Music – Rodgers & Hammerstein
- Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke/Purcell
Mercedes had her father play his guitar and sing before her wedding ceremony. Photo by Christine Tremoulet
During the ceremony, you might choose to have special songs play. Perhaps during the signing of the registry or during a ceremony such as the sand ceremony. You may even choose to have a close family member of friend sing a song that’s special to you. Known as the interlude, this part of the ceremony can be a great place to put more of your special songs that are personal to you.
- Ava Maria
- The Rose – Bette Midler
- Songbird – Eva Cassidy
- Sheep May Safely Graze – Bach
- Clare De Lune – Claude Debussy
- Your Song – Elton John
Walking back down the aisle is one of the happiest parts of a wedding day- the music should be upbeat, vibrant and celebratory! This is known as the recessional
- Trumpet Voluntary – Clarke
- All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
- In My Life – The Beatles
- How Sweet It Is – Michael Buble
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
- A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Shannon & Rich had a Mariachi band play once their ceremony concluded at their wedding in Mexico. Photo by Millie Holloman Photography
As the guests leave the church or ceremony venue and gather outside, more music plays. This is known as the prolude. The songs picked for this should be joyous and with a happy beat.
- Love & Marriage – Frank Sinatra
- So Happy Together – The Turtles
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
- My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
- Keep in mind the tempo and length of the song as well as the length of your aisle.
- Have a backup plan if you’re using a CD or portable music player in case these fail.
- Listen to the lyrics of your chosen songs. Some just don’t work for a wedding! Consider using an instrumental version instead.
- Depending on the skill of your musicians, they will be able to play anything for you- from classical to modern music
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