Throughout your wedding ceremony there are several places for you to add music. Selecting the perfect songs to play during your ceremony can be a big task, to make it easier we have compiled a list of all the times you can add music and some suggestions for the right songs.
When guests start to arrive and find their seats, the prelude is what sets the stage for the ceremony to come. The music played at this time is generally slow, soft and sweet. A few great song options for your prelude include:
“24 Preludes, Op. 28: No 7 in A Major- Andantino” by Chopin
“A Rose Is Gently Blooming (Op. 122, No 8)” by Johannes Brahms
“A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys
The pre-processional is the time where special guests (parents, grandparents, etc.) are being seated by the ushers. During this time an instrumental piece flows nicely. You can choose a classical concerto, an acoustic number or a song off of the soundtrack of your favorite movie. Here are a few great options:
“Con Te Patrino” by
“Ave Maria Virgo Serena” by Josquin des Prez
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” By Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
“Concerto In E Minor” by Bach
“Largo Opera” by Handel
As the bridal party walks down the aisle, the anticipation and excitement builds. Be sure to choose a song that has the right tempo for everyone coming down the aisle.
“Bridal Chorus” By Wagner
“Canon in D” by Pachelbel
“Air” by Handel
"Sinfonia" (from Cantata No. 156) by Bach
This moment is all about your grand entrance and walk down the aisle. All eyes will be on you, and the options for your processional song are endless. Here are a few choices (both traditional and modern):
"Toccata" by Monteverdi
"Winter" Antonio Vivaldi
"Sunrise, Sunset" (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock
"Flatbush Waltz" by Andy Statman
"To A Wild Rose" by Edward MacDowell
Lighting of the Unity Candle/ Special Moment
Many couples choose to do a special moment during their ceremony like lighting a unity candle, braiding a cord or pouring sand in a container. During this portion of your ceremony it is key to pick a short piece of music rather than a whole song. You can choose from any of the classic songs mentioned previously or pick a soothing instrumental solo.
The music you choose for the recessional will play as you and your new spouse walk down the aisle during your first moments of being married to each other. The music used here is usually full of energy. Here are a few traditional song options, but if you are looking to change it up you could do a theme song from your favorite movie or pick a song you can dance down the aisle to. The options are endless.
“Wedding March” by Mendelssohn
"Wedding Processional" by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein
"Wedding March" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Romeo and Juliet Love Theme" by Tchaikovsky
"Trumpet Tune in A-Major" by David N. Johnson
"Appalachia Waltz" by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor
During the ceremony it is likely that you will not be able to play the full songs in their entireties- choose your favorite parts and pieces that you want to hear. Your music coordinator or DJ should be able to fade in and out of the songs in particular areas as needed, just be sure to communicate all of your instructions ahead of time.
Important Reminder: Some churches are very particular as to what can be used when it to non-religious music in the building. Be sure and connect with the coordinator prior to the ceremony if you have strong feelings about the music you are wanting.
Also, keep in mind if you are having an outdoor ceremony there will be needs & requirements for your sound system. It is best to know this ahead of time and work together with your coordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly.
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Author BioMike Staff is the founder and CEO of Mike Staff Productions, one of the most highly acclaimed wedding services companies in the country, providing award-winning Wedding DJs, Wedding Photographers and Wedding Videography for over 20 years. Mike serves as a Nationwide Ambassador for The Knot.com, advising the wedding industry on best practices and insight into the challenges and opportunities.