Classical Music for Wedding Ceremony
Choose fitting classical songs for each stage of your ceremony
By Faith Alessio
Classical music has charm that typical pop selections cannot provide. For this reason, many people choose it for their weddings. Some pieces are used often, such as "Canon in D" by Pachelbel, while others are less well known. There's a wealth of classical music from which you can choose to add dignity and romance to your ceremony.
Choose slow, peaceful classical music for the prelude. Ushers will be seating guests, and the guests will be chatting among themselves, so the music will not be a focus. Try "Air on a G String" or "Sheep May Safely Graze" by Bach. The "Air" from Handel's "Water Music" is another good prelude selection.
For your processional music, choose a piece with a steady tempo that will set the pace for the bridesmaids as they walk up the aisle. "Canon in D" by Pachelbel and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach are classics for this part of the ceremony. Other suggestions include "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi and "Ave Maria" by Bach.
Entrance of the Bride
The dramatic entrance of the bride requires the right music. Some classic choices are "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner (better known as "Here Comes the Bride") and Clarke's "Trumpet Voluntary." Also consider "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn and "Trumpet Tune" by Purcell.
Other Ceremony Music
Other segments of the ceremony might require music, such as the lighting of the unity candle. Nearly any piece will do, depending on the mood of the activity. "Alleluja" from "Exultate, Jubilate" by Mozart or "La Rejoissance" by Handel will lend a feeling of subdued celebration to these parts of the ceremony.
Opt for triumphant and stately music for the recessional. Any of the pieces suggested for the processional, played at a slightly faster tempo, could also be used for the recessional. Other common pieces used are "Hallelujah Chorus" from "Messiah," and the "Allegro" or the "Hornpipe" from "Water Music," all by Handel. "Rondeau" by Mouret is also an excellent choice.
The postlude music is generally more lively than the prelude music. With the ceremony over, it is now time to celebrate. Choose pieces such as "Spring" or "Autumn" from "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi or "Humoresque" by Dvorak.
About the Author
Faith Alessio is a freelancer writer and a contributor to DexKnows.
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Select reception music
Play a little something for everyone. Young and old alike enjoy dancing to the oldies. And throw in some nostalgic tunes for you and your friends, such as a top song from the year you graduated from high school. You may even want to set up a space on your website for song requests and compose a playlist from that.
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A style of music that traditionally involves many musicians and incorporates horn instruments and vocalists. Popular in the '30s and '40s.View the Full Weddings Glossary