Top Tips

Tips for choosing your wedding ceremony music

So your big day is coming up, you’ve chosen your musicians and now you need to think about specific music for the wedding ceremony. Where do you start?

The first thing to acknowledge is that there are 3 key musical aspects of the ceremony:

Procession of the bride

Signing of the register

Exit of the bride and groom

 

There’s also music as guests arrive and leave the ceremony, however, this could be decided by the musicians but some guidance as to what kind of music you would like could be helpful.

The next thing to note is that you could either keep things traditional or mix it up a bit. This may depend on where you are getting married. Church services tend to have a list of music appropriate for the occasion to fit the organ. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t stray from tradition by using external musicians on different instruments.

Here are a few examples of traditional and non-traditional ceremony music, you’ll see that some music could be used for severals parts of the ceremony:

Procession of the bride:

  •  Wedding March – Wagner
  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – Handel
  • Canon in D – Pachelbel
  • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  • Turning Page – Sleeping at Last
  • Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
  • Game of Thrones Theme – Ramin Djawadi

 

Signing of the register:

  • Water Music – Handel
  • Largo from Winter – Vivaldi
  • For the Beauty of the Earth – Rutter
  • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  • Your Song – Elton John
  • Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  • All You Need is Love – Paul McCartney and John Lennon
  • Nothing Else Matters – Metallica

 

Exit of the bride and groom:

  • Wedding March from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – Mendelssohn
  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – Handel
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • Red Wedding Theme (Rains of Castamere) – Ramin Djawadi
  • Marry You – Bruno Mars
  • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  • All You Need is Love – Paul McCartney and John Lennon

 

The list is exhaustive and you could even come up with some brand new ideas to surprise your guests. I once arranged a mash up of Wagner’s Wedding March and the Imperial March from Star Wars to make “Darth Vader’s Wedding March” for one couple. The music should be personal to you, if you have a favourite song as a couple, you watch a TV show together or are enthusiastic about a certain film or radio programme, talk to your musicians about how this could work within the ceremony.

It’s advisable to pick 3-4 songs for the signing of the register to give time for pictures to be taken at this point of the ceremony too. If you’re still unsure about what to pick, talking to your musicians about the feeling you want for your wedding is important too. Knowing that you want it to be softly romantic or ‘not fluffy’ makes a big difference to the style of music. Talking about what you like to listen to or, if you don’t listen to music much, those theme tunes that you enjoy can help to influence the musical direction to go in. Your personalities can shine through your music, this day is about you as a couple and the ceremony should reflect that.

You’ll find that a lot of musicians are very open-minded. If  you suggest an idea to them, they will try to run with it. If it can’t work for logistical reasons, they should be able to offer alternatives with the idea in mind or a way to make the original idea work if they change it slightly. Have fun!

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