Guide to plan your wedding music
Most of the standard wedding pieces can be played with an any size group and with any instrumental combination. Although there are some pieces written only for four voices, i.e., Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart. If you hire a trio to play this piece it would not sound full because a voice is missing. It is suggested that you consult with us to make sure that all of your selected pieces will work for the specific combination of instruments you have chosen.
Prelude music usually begins about 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony while the guests are being seated. The musicians will choose from their standard repertoire to entertain your guests. Your input is welcome, however we have to be flexible in the timing of the music.
Mothers & Family Seated
This is really the start of the ceremony. Decide on how many family members will be seated to special music, including grandmothers, step parents, aunts etc. Are the mothers to light candles on the alter? All of these facts will help determine how long the musicians are to play. The music can be the bride's choice or it can be a song that would be sentimental to a mother or a grandmother. Mothers usually prefer walking to a nice slow, elegant piece like Handel's Air from The Water Music Suite or Ode to Joy by Beethoven. Remember that the musicians will need to have someone cue them when the mothers are ready to proceed.
How many bridesmaids and groomsmen will there be? How many flower girls will walk down the aisle? Do you have a ring bearer? Will the attendants walk separately or together as they enter? The number of attendants and how they enter will determine the length of music you will need. The two different characters you can choose from are:
A. Music that is matching the music chosen for the mothers. We recommend Pachelbel's Canon in D, Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring or Bach's Air.
B. Music that is contrasting the music for the mothers. We recommend for your attendants to choose a more upbeat piece such as Brandenburg Concerto #3 or #5 by Bach or the Wedding March from the opera Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.
The Announcement of the Bride
A gorgeous Trumpet Fanfare right before the Processional of the Bride. Everybody stands up...
This is the most important part of all! Think about the mood you want to portray as you walk along to your processional music: joyous and regal or perhaps tender and romantic. How far is your walk down the aisle?
To help contrast the character of the previous music, we suggest that you maybe choose a little bit faster piece to come down the isle to. Besides the traditional Bridal Chorus by Wagner we have numerous other selections to choose from, i.e., Spring by Vivaldi, Trumpet Voluntary or Trumpet Tune by Clarke or Rondeau by Mouret.
If you have chosen option B. for the procession of the Bridesmaids, you might want to walk for something calmer to contrast the previous character. Some of our most beautiful processionals are: Arioso by Bach, Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach, Romanza from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart, Ave Maria by Schubert, the slow movement of Winter from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.
There can be several places during the ceremony where special music is performed. First have your ceremony prepared by your priest, minister, rabbi or officiant. After you have your ceremony planned out, you can determine where you would like music to be played. A nice way to set the mood with beautiful music would be during the lighting the Unity Candle or special moments such as when you give flowers to your mother, etc. An example would be Panis Angelicus by Franck, Ave Maria by Bach-Gounod or Largo from Xerxes by Handel.
When you are pronounced "husband and wife" a joyous piece should be played while you and the attendants walk out. We offer several pieces to select from besides the traditional Wedding March by Mendelssohn. Great processionals are: Finale from The Water Music by Handel, Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba by Handel, La Rejouissance from The Royal Fireworks Music by Handel, Allelujah from Exultate Jubilate by Mozart, Now Thank We All Our God from Cantata #79 by Bach and Spring from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Also a very happy, upbeat postlude piece can be performed while the guests are leaving or to set the mood for the reception following the Recessional.