The music you play at your wedding ceremony will express the characteristics that you have as individuals and as a couple. It will also set the tone and mood for your wedding.
If you doubt the power of music at a wedding, just think about the ceremonies you’ve attended over the years—and you’ll undoubtedly recall whether you heard the striking loud chords of an organ, the elegant but full-bodied sound of a violin, or the clear refined notes of a flute.
For a Non Religious Wedding
You can have whatever music you want – Do it your style!
Check out some of the ceremony song ideas at Secret Wedding Songs
For the Church Wedding Ceremony
Before you decide just what kind of music you want, ask your clergyman or the manager at your venue if there are restrictions on music options for the wedding ceremony.
Many Catholic churches actually will not approve the familiar strains of Wagner’s Here Comes the Bride because it is from Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, in which tragedy befalls the newlyweds.
Likewise, Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, which we more often hear as a recessional when the bride and groom leave the church, is often frowned upon.
This is a piece that was created for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, specifically for the scene when the already-married fairy queen dallies with a nearby mortal.
Not only Catholic but also Unitarian and Lutheran ministers have refused to approve both of these songs.
Generally, the Catholic Church encourages the bridal couple to choose music that will reflect glory or thankfulness to God, that it will be known by people in general, and that it will be beautiful music that reflects the divine nature of marriage.
No matter what music you choose, for any part of the ceremony, run it past your clergyman. Just this year, an English country vicar refused to permit the couple’s first two hymnal choices of Jersusalem or I Vow to Thee My Country because he said they were too national and not appropriate for a wedding ceremony.
The Musical Parts of Your Ceremony
Here are the parts of your ceremony that require music:
• About 15 minutes of music whilst your guests take their seats, known as the Prelude.
• Processional for the parents of the wedding couple.
• Processional for the wedding party.
• Processional for the bride
• Song, usually a hymn, which takes place after the Biblical reading.
• Instrumental music played whilst participants take communion, if applicable.
• Instrumental music played whilst the bridal couple perform an activity such as lighting a unity candle, pouring sand, or for the ceremony of the wooden box.
• Recessional, played as the bridal couple and then the attendants leave the church.
Live or Recorded?
Some non-secular officiants require music to be played live during the ceremony. They believe that recorded music does not honour the wedding vows because it is artificial. As with your specific songs, you must check with your officiant whether recorded music can be used.
That being said, it offers a nice touch to a wedding ceremony to have live musicians play—even a simple duo or trio, perhaps a violin, harp, and flute.
The wedding DJ will hold forth over the reception with a wide variety of music to suit every taste, and so for the ceremony itself it makes sense to choose classical or at least romantic pieces.
• Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major
• Schubert’s Ave Maria
• Handel’s Air from Water Music
• Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
• Charpentier’s Te Deum (prelude)
• Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze (Cantata no. 208)
• Bach’s Be Thou But Near
• Bernstein’s One Hand, One Heart (from West Side Story)
Visit Secret Wedding Songs for more Processional Song Ideas
• Just about anything from Handel’s Water Music—the livelier selections include Suite No. I in F, Hornpipe; and Suite No. 2 in D Major, also Hornpipe
• Mouret’s Rondeau
• Campro’s Rigaudon
• Handel’s Where’re You Walk
• Beethoven’s Ode to Joy
Visit Secret Wedding Songs for more Recessional Song Ideas
Music Fit For a Princess
If you want to go another route, choose a song from a Disney fairy tale wedding. Whether or not you still enjoy animated features, you must admit the movies were equipped with outstanding love songs:
• Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
• If I Never Knew You (Pocahontas)
• So This Is Love (Snow White)
• Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Lion King)
• Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
• A Whole New World (Aladdin)
In the end, the music you choose is intended to convey your affection for one another and also to serve as a backdrop to the main event—your wedding vows.
It is a reflection of the love you have for one another, and only the two of you can decide on the best music options for your ceremony.
If you share a special song but you’re not certain if it’s appropriate for a wedding ceremony, ask your wedding DJ—he may know of an instrumental version that would work well for your special day.
Keep us in mind for your Ceremony Sound System requirements also.
Goldbass DJ Entertainment
Professional DJ Hire for Events & Weddings in Perth, Broome, Margaret River & WA