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FAQ – What songs do I need for my ceremony? 

The music you play for your ceremony can vary based on your personal preferences (traditional vs contemporary) and the make-up of the musicians you select. To help you get an idea of the kind of wedding music you will want to select for your ceremony, we’ve included a breakdown of the components of a traditional wedding ceremony/service, with suggested musical selections.

1.  Prelude

The musician usually plays a half-hour prelude while your guests arrive and take their seats for the ceremony. Most often, this is classical music. The music you choose will set the tone for your wedding, so it needs to work well with the rest of your choices. Some popular prelude selections include:

“Prelude in C” (J.S. Bach)
“Ave Maria” (F. Schubert)
“Clair de Lune” (C. Debussy)
“Gymnopedie” (A.E.L. Satie)
“La primavera” and “L’inverno” from the Four Seasons (A.Vivaldi)
“Over The Rainbow” (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)

2. Processional

The procession begins after all guests are seated. You are now ready for the procession of the officiant, family, and wedding party. Some music could include:

“Trumpet Voluntary” (J. Clark)
“Trumpet Tune” (H. Purcell)
“March” from Occasional Oratorio (G.F. Handel)
“Here Comes The Sun” (Abbey Road)
“Wildest Dreams” (Duomo)

3. Bride’s Entrance

This is self explanatory. The bride’s entrance is where the Bride walks down the aisle by herself, with her dad, or both of her parents. This is one of the most sentimental parts of the ceremony, so some choose a more classical song, while others choose a favorite love song. Some standard wedding music selections for the bride’s entrance include:

“Canon in D” (J. Pachelbel)
“The Bridal Chorus” from Lohengrin (R. Wagner)
“Allegro Maestoso” from Water Music (G.F. Handel)
“Rondeau” (J.J. Mouret)
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Haley Reinhart)

4. Interludes

Sometimes throughout the ceremony there are moments for pause or recognition, and that’s where you have music playing for this, this is called an interlude. There are a few moments where interludes can be played, like during the lighting of the unity candle, or when the witness . Stick to two arrangements here, otherwise, the ceremony could run long.

The Lord’s Prayer” by A. Malotte
“O Perfect Love” by J. Barnby

5. Recessional

Now it’s time to walk back down the aisle joyfully! Some arrangements for the end of service include:

“The Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (F. Mendelssohn)
“Ode to Joy” (L. Beethoven)
“Hornpipe” (G.F. Handel)
“This Will Be” (Natalie Cole)
“Home” (Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros)

6. Postlude

This is the time following the recessional and before the start of reception. The postlude is continuous music in celebration as your guests exit the ceremony. Postludes offer an elegant sound rather than rustling feet. Here are a few classical and contemporary selections:

String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3: Allegro – Haydn
Autumn – Vivaldi
Sonata In B Minor – Scarlatti
You Make My Dreams
You’ve Got the Love

The music you choose will set the tone for your wedding. Some clients go more traditional and choose classical songs, while others select contemporary songs. On strings, we love the Vitamin String Quartet, this is for the couple that loves contemporary music played with a classical sound.


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