Your Ceremony Music Program

Choosing your Ceremony songs:

For prelude and post-lude, just choose the style of music you’d like us to play from the available styles for your selected ensemble.  You’re welcome to indicate “do not play” on any specific songs you don’t love from that playlist.

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Choosing the processional:

So many possibilities!  The first step is to narrow the field.  Ask yourself this:

  • Do I want “Here Comes the Bride”?

If yes, then the rest of your ceremony music should be similarly traditional and you’ll likely have a very easy time choosing it.

If not, then you’ll need to decide from one of the following styles of processional:

  • Elegant and lyrical
  • Stately and march-like
  • Contemporary/non-classical

A few examples of the Elegant-Lyrical type of processional:

  •         Jesu joy of man's desiring - Bach
  •         Canon in D - Pachelbel
  •         Flower Duet - Delibes

A few examples of the Stately/March-like type of processional:

  •        Trumpet Voluntary - Clarke
  •        Rondeau - Mouret
  •        Bridal Chorus - Wagner

Here are a few examples of Contemporary/Non-Classical special request songs that we have recently played instrumentally as processionals or recessional – all of which were fantastic.

  •    “Each Coming Night” – Iron & Wine
  •    “Say Yes” – Elliott Smith
  •    “We’re Going To Be Friends” – the White Stripes
  •    “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay

Interlude songs:

• Consult with your officiant to determine which points during the ceremony, if any, will require music.  Most commonly, we are asked to play a very short and lyrical piece during the lighting of a unity candle, when this is part of the ceremony.  We have a number of selections that can be logically brought to a cadence in under one minute.  We will need a detailed outline of the ceremony so we know when to play any interlude music; if you have one, a copy of a printed ceremony program is sufficient.

  • Choosing the recessional:

A swing tune or a contemporary pop song can work brilliantly for a recessional.  Here are a few examples of songs we’ve performed this way, by request:

  •    “The Way I Am” – Ingrid Michaelson
  •    “I Will” – Beatles
  •    “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” – Stevie Wonder

 

After accompanying hundreds of wedding ceremonies and seeing a lot of things go really well and a few things not work out so well, we have a few suggestions which we hope will help in the design of a seamless ceremony:

• If your bridal party is under 6 people (including flower girls/ring bearers) and your parents/honored guests who will be part of the processional number less than 4, then we strongly advise choosing only one piece of music to accompany all of them down the aisle.   The only advisable exceptions to this would be if the mothers will be lighting large candelabras immediately after coming down the aisle, OR if the distance of the processional is very long (more than 150 ft).

• For those of you who lean toward the non-traditional, we highly recommend bending to tradition just slightly and using a fairly recognizable traditional piece for the parents/attendants’ processional.  Your guests will likely be listenting for something they’ve heard before, and this will help minimize confusion and/or astonishment.  Also, if you’re using a contemporary song for the entrance of the bride, preceding it with a traditional piece will give the contemporary song greater impact and memorability.

• When using two separate pieces for parents and attendants, many couples are inclined toward a more up-tempo selection for the attendants; this is a fine idea, however, we advise against using a march-like piece, as it will diminish the impact of the bride’s entrance.

 

• For the recessional, we need to know whether we should start immediately after the kiss, or after the breaking of the glass, or after the introduction.  Most often, this is what we see:

– Pronouncement: “I now prounounce you ….”

– Kiss, followed by much applause

– Introduction: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. ________ !”  – more applause, and we start the recessional at the apex of that second round of applause.

Happy Planning!