Here Comes The Bride: Ceremony Music

Music is one of the easiest ways to inject your personalities into the ceremony.  We are in an era where absolutely anything goes (so long as it’s cleared with your venue and officiant!), and music now can be the traditional organ/piano, a string quartet, a speaker with an iPod jacked into it, a mariachi band, anything you can think of.  There are options upon options and places upon places in the ceremony where you can have music.  While what you do and don’t have will depend on your ceremony structure, here are some places that people usually choose music:

  • Seating of the grandparents
  • Seating of the mothers
  • Procession of the bridal party
  • Procession of the bride
  • Unity ceremony
  • Recession of the couple and bridal party
  • Recession of the parents

If you are doing a religious ceremony, there may be other things you need to add in (if you’re doing a full service then it’s almost guaranteed).  Since we’re doing a short ceremony, that doesn’t apply to us, so I don’t have much of anything useful to add in that respect.

Not all of these are necessary of course, and you may have other places you’d like to add music.  Likewise, some of these can be combined with other things.  There doesn’t need to be any special music for seating at the beginning of the ceremony if you don’t want it, or you can combine the seating music.  You also don’t have to have anything special for the parents and grandparents recessing either.  It is completely up to you.

Some venues have special requirements and restrictions that you need to be respectful of.  Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” tends to not be allowed in many churches,  and some Catholic churches don’t even allow Canon in D.  Be sure to ask if there are pieces or composers that are not allowed, and if there are restrictions on how the music is delivered (i.e. if you have to use someone the venue provides, if you can/can’t have a quartet, if there is a mike system to jack into, etc).

While some couples still stick to traditional songs, it’s becoming more and more common for pop songs (or other songs with vocals, not necessarily pop) to be used.  You can do the original versions of course, but if you’re looking for “fun” songs with a traditional vibe, check out the Vitamin String Quartet.  They take popular songs and turn them into string pieces, and most DJs have their songs (if you’re doing your own music you can buy the tracks).  Go here to visit their YouTube channel.

We are mostly going the traditional route.  Below is our music selection, to be performed by the Four Seasons String Quartet:

  • Seating of the grandparents and the mothers – La Rejouissance (Handel)
  • Procession (the same music for the bridal party and myself) – Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  • Unity Candle – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  • Recession (just the couple and the bridal party) – The Zelda Theme (you should go here if you don’t remember me talking about that)

Have you decided on your music?  What are you doing?  Anything you’re particularly excited about?

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Posted on May 14, 2012, in Ceremony, Music, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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