Many of our clients are looking for the perfect wedding music for their ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception and want to take an active role in choosing the repertoire that their string quartet plays.
In this article, I will list some of the more common wedding music samples with links to many of the pieces. You may get full access to these clips by signing up for our newsletter here. Our excellent newsletter comes out once every two months. We cover topics such as music and culture, music appreciation, and upcoming concerts in the greater Boston area. We also offer helpful tips to help you plan your wedding music.
We are generally asked to play for four parts of the wedding. These are the following:
1. As guests enter the house of worship or wedding venue
2. The wedding prelude/procession
3. The recessional
4. The cocktail hour or reception
Optional: Unity candle and/or dinner music
I will cover items 1-4 since these are the most popular.
1. As guests enter the house of worship, it is generally a good idea to have the musicians play pieces that reflect the sanctity of things to come. Already at this point, the musicians will set the tone or the mood of the entire ceremony!
2. During the wedding procession, there are a few different scenarios that can take place based on the number of participants. Furthermore, we are sometimes asked to play a separate piece for the bride. Everything is fair game but there is one major caveat that most brides and grooms forget: The whole thing is often done in under 3 minutes! So, when planning this part, try to have a rough idea of the time it takes to walk down the aisle before choosing your music. Also, don’t worry if the song seems a bit too long or short. Our musicians are VERY used to this situation and can easily tailor the music based on what is happening at the time. Incidentally, it is also an excellent idea to have someone in your wedding party give us a signal when to start playing, so that the music actually introduces the processional before it begins. The same thing goes for the entrance of the bride.
The most traditional example of processional music is the Wagner Bridal Chorus.
For those who prefer something else, Pachelbel’s Canon is the most popular today.
Another BEAUTIFUL piece is the Bach Air. For something more contemporary, how about McBroom’s The Rose (made famous by Midler)?
During the actual service, if you would like the musicians to play, you will have to coordinate this with us ahead of time. We don’t want to step on the toes of the officiant and as a matter of organization, we need to organize our binders accordingly.
For the recessional, we suggest upbeat music. It goes without saying that all family members and guests will be joyful and the music should reflect this! Here are some suggestions:
The traditional standard is the Mendelssohn Wedding March. Yet, some prefer something more contemporary. How about All You Need is Love! Last but not least, another popular piece (particularly in Europe) is the Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke (a.k.a. The Prince of Denmark’s March). This one is also often played during the processional or as guests enter.
After the musicians have set up in their new location, it’s time for the cocktail hour or reception! Depending on the mood that you would like to establish, there are a number of possible choice pieces. Here are some samples:
And don’t forget! If you want the elegant ambiance to continue into dinner, you may hire us to play as your guests have the time of their lives.
Daniel Broniatowski, D.M.A.