This is intended to be an ongoing blog – I plan to contribute more at a later date, and I may ask site visitors to contribute as well. Since we offer some beautiful orchestral and piano wedding ceremony music, it seemed only natural to offer some insight on choosing your music.
First, it would be advisable to check with pastor, minister, priest, or rabbi, or with the church music minister/director, cantor or organist at the house of worship where your wedding will be held. Usually there are guidelines as to what music styles and instruments are acceptable. This may affect both the reception and ceremony music.
It is not unusual to find resistance to the use of “popular music”, though it is less common than in the past. It may be that certain pop songs and artists are allowed simply because there are no negative perceptions – for example, Longer Than by Dan Fogleberg, You and Me by Lighthouse, or Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. However, if you choose a love song by the Beatles or Elvis, it may be disallowed, even though it seems harmless enough. So be mentally prepared for this possibility. Don’t forget - classical music can be breathtakingly beautiful, and enjoyed almost universally if some of your popular music choices cannot be used.
For your Bridal Processional Music, you may prefer the traditional Bridal Chorus – stately and familiar. Or, as at our wedding, you might choose a lesser known piece – we chose the Great Gate at Kiev, which I have not heard before nor since as a wedding processional!
Here are a few of other possible choices: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Trumpet Voluntary in D (aka the Prince of Denmark’s March), Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, Morning Mood by Grieg.
As you are choosing your processional, you might 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. I remember 30 years ago playing the Bridal Chorus for both bride and bridesmaids – with greatly increased volume for the bride.
How long should the bridal processional last? Ideally, the music stops rather soon after the bride reaches the front. This presents its own set of interesting problems. We offer many of the most popular processional choices in different lengths, so that the music can stop naturally at the perfect time!
For more help with bridal processional choices and flow, click here: “Processional Music and Timing“.