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Wedding Ceremony Music Ideas

Whether it be on a sunny beach in the Caribbean, in a shady garden,  or at your reception venue, more and more couples are being married outside the traditional church setting. With this change, couples are putting their own spin on all other aspects of the ceremony including the music being played.

When planning your wedding day, you have to consider the following four musical sections:

1. The Prelude:

Choose the music to welcome your guests. Such music should set a cheerful, yet expectant atmosphere for what is soon to take place. The prelude can be classical, Latin guitar, or a compilation of romantic songs by your favorite artists. Plan the prelude to begin 30 minutes before the ceremony.

2. The processionals for the Bridesmaids & the Bride:

The music for the processional consists of usually two, but sometimes only one, instrumental piece. The processional is the showpiece music when guests and groom will see the bride for the first time in her beautiful gown.  The most popular selections are:

· Traditional Bridesmaids’ Procession: Canon in D by Pachelbel

· Traditional Bridal Procession: Bridal Chorus by Wagner

Alternative Pieces:

· Air on a G String by Bach

· Spring (Four Seasons) by Vivaldi

· Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach

· Largo by Vivaldi

· Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke

· Water Music by Handel

Many brides choose the Traditional Bridesmaids’ Processional for themselves, and another piece for their bridesmaids. If the wedding party consists only of the bride and a maid or matron of honor, then they often will walk down the aisle to the same music.

Some points to keep in mind: If you pick a vocal piece of music for the processional, either for the Bride or for the Bridesmaids, you will most likely not hear much of the song, and in many cases, only the introduction. It is our experience that no matter how many times you and your bridal party rehearse coming down the aisle at just the right speed, on the big day everyone moves a little quicker, and in most cases the bride is down the aisle in 45 to 60 seconds, and on average 30 seconds per bridesmaid. Therefore, choose the song accordingly for its length.

3. Sand Ceremony, Unity Candle, Signing of the Register:

The sand ceremony, unity candle, and signing of the register taking just over 2 minutes on average, when you factor in photographs and the time it actually takes to complete the above, you will have enough time to hear at least one song, if not two; therefore, you have an opportunity to add something a little special to your ceremony. We recommend an extra slow song that is suggestive of the reception to follow.

· Modern Songs:

· All I Ask of You by Andrew Lloyd Webber

· Blue Moon by Rod Stewart

· Come What May by Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman

· Evergreen by Barbra Streisand

· Falling by Alicia Keys

· From this Moment by Shania Twain

· Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart

· Heaven (Candlelight Version) by DJ Sammy

· I Only Want to Be With You by Vonda Shepherd

· Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

· Michelle by the Beatles

· Moon River by Andy Williams

· Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

· She by Elvis Costello

· Story Book Love by Mark Knopfler

· There is Love by Noel Paul Stookey

· Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden

· Traditional songs:

· Ava Maria (Too many artists to list)

· Air (from Water Music) by Handel

· Clair de Lune by Debussy

· Chanson de Matin by Elgar

· Fur Elise by Beethoven

· Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach

· Minuet by Boccherini

· Morning (from Peer Gynt Suite No.1) by Grieg

· Prelude in C by Bach

· Variations by Handel

4. The Recessional:

More couples now are having a bit of fun with their musical selection for the recessional, and try to make a statement about their relationship. We have seen clients leave to every type of song such as Happy Together by the Turtles, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Highway to Hell by AC/DC and Another One Bites the Dust by Queen. So, don’t be afraid to pick a piece that you can dance to, or at least bop back down the aisle. It is, after all, the happiest moment in your lives as newlyweds. In other words, celebrate! No one says you can’t, and if they do, who cares? It is your wedding day and after all your hard work leading up to the big day, it’s time to let loose and enjoy the moment now that you Wife and Husband. Your guests will talk about it for a long time to come.

· Traditional Wedding Recessional:

· Wedding March by Mendelssohn

· Fun & Up Beat Recessionals:

· All You Need is Love by the Beatles

· Beautiful Day by U2

· Better Together by Jack Johnson

· Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe by Barry White

· Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley

· Everything by Michael Buble

· Happy Together by the Turtles

· I’m A Believer by Smash Mouth

· Let’s Get Married Remix by Jagged Edge

· Love Me Do by the Beatles

· My Girl by the Temptations

· Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

· Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder

· Sugar Sugar by the Archie’s

· You’re My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White

Article contributed by Robert Hawkins Professional DJ Service