The wedding music you choose is the soundtrack for the beginning of your new life! The bridal processional may be the highlight of your wedding for you and your guests. It’s a poignant moment that can live in your hearts for years to come – the beautiful and memorable walking music for both you and your bridesmaids, so choose your wedding processional(s) carefully. Listen free to these wedding music samples and choose your wedding music in 17 minutes!
All the planning and decision making for your wedding day become a reality as you walk down the aisle. The church or chapel has been decorated, the minister, priest or rabbi chosen, groomsmen and groom have made their entrance, the bridesmaids have each gracefully made their way down the aisle, and now it’s time for you to join them as you prepare to be joined in marriage to the love of your life.
Choosing the right wedding processional music can be a piece of cake (pun intended) if you’ve already decided what the music will be. However, for some, this can be a difficult decision.
What kind of mood do you wish to convey – triumphant and noble, beautiful and flowing, traditional, or do you prefer an instrumental version of a contemporary love song?
We’ll help you become familiar or reacquainted with the most loved wedding processionals. Our Wedding Music Samples album features 10-20 second samples of processionals, recessionals, ceremony music, & prelude + music for other special moments in your wedding. In about 15 minutes you can listen to more than 70 wedding music samples; over half of them have been used as processionals.
It’s likely there will be at least 2 musical selections, and perhaps 3 or 4 used as “wedding processionals.” Don’t forget, there needs to be music for the seating of the family, for the flower boy and/or girl to walk down to, the lighting of the candles, and any other special seating or pre-wedding moments. While these songs are not always referred to as wedding processionals, they are similar musically.
If you’re working with a wedding planner, they’ve been down this road, so you can lean on their wisdom and expertise. But if you’ve chosen not to involve a planner, if you’re making the music decisions, or if you simply want to be more informed about the music aspect of your ceremony, you’ll need to answer some questions.
Are you using live musicians? For how much of the ceremony? Your wedding music can be live, pre-recorded, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, the combination approach is being used. For more discussion and information read this article.
As a good starting point, let’s figure out how long each of these aspects of your pre-ceremony will last. Ideally, you’ll go to the wedding venue and do a walk through for each part. (You may choose to wait until the rehearsal to make these calculations). If you’re using live musicians that are confident and can adjust on the fly to the pace of events, you’re probably good to go. Now you just need to choose the music that will be used. However, if you’re not sure about the musicians and their flexibility, or if you’re using recorded music that you’ve chosen, it’s wise to consider the timing for your wedding moments.
If the church or venue is small, all these pre-bridal processional events may happen very quickly, and you may only need one or two songs. Then again, there may special songs for parents, or grandparents, or a particular song you would like played while flower children traipse down the aisle, and so you may end up needing shorter versions of many songs.
As you can see, there are too many factors involved to make a simple statement about how you should go about organizing your music for the ceremony and pre-ceremony. Consider your unique situation and do what is best for you and your wedding.
One way we can help: we offer many processionals in various lengths. For example if you’ve chosen “Pachelbel’s Canon in D” for your bridesmaids, it’s likely we have a length that will be very close to what you need. If you’re considering walking down the aisle to a rendition of the traditional bridal chorus, you can click this link to hear many different styles, instrumentations, and timings.The same is true for some other wedding processionals you may choose.
It’s worth noting that if you are considering walking down the aisle to the traditional Bridal Chorus, we have many arrangements of this classic, in many different lengths. We have a traditional piano version, a string quartet version, pipe organ, trumpet & orchestra, or a softer and gentler piano arrangement, both shorter and longer verisons, if that fits your personality or the feel of your ceremony.
Most couples use instrumental versions of the songs they choose (our specialty). As an example, my nephew (who is one of the partners in creating this website) and his bride had all instrumental music in their wedding, except for the singing of one hymn – the timeless “Be Thou My Vision.” Their first dance was a piano solo of Lifehouse’s beautiful wedding song “You And Me” which I was privileged to play.
While choosing your processionals, consider the feeling of the music, the tempo and how that matches your walking speed, and if the bridesmaids will be walking to the same or different music.
You can choose to say something about your thoughts and feeling regarding marriage and the meaning of this moment through your processional music, and all of these are good. As it turns out, though, you have to choose just one to walk to!
Is it acceptable for the music to change drastically from bridesmaids to the bridal processional? Answer: play the end of the music that the bridesmaids will be walking to, and then play the beginning of the bridal processional, and see how it flows. If the two pieces sound rather different but it’s not annoying or strikingly odd, then you’re probably good to go. Keep in mind that waiting an extra few seconds before beginning the bridal music can make the transition feel more natural if the styles are markedly different.
Additionally, it is worth considering there are a few churches that may not allow certain contemporary songs, perhaps because of the reputation of the popular singer. That situation will be the exception, but something to settle well in advance if there is any doubt, by checking with the appropriate people – wedding planner, church music director, or others who are involved in setting and discussing policies at your wedding location.