As a professional violinist with Sound of Serendipity, I’m sure I could be accused of being biased, but I do think that live music can be one of the most memorable and enhancing aspects of a wedding ceremony.
It always brings me great pleasure when the bride and groom or even the guests reveal that the moment the emotion and significance of the occasion became a reality, was when they heard the first few notes of opening music.
But knowing where to begin in choosing music, and also how to ensure it is personal to you while remaining appropriate to the ceremony, can often seem a daunting task!
Your chosen ceremony musicians should be a great help in guiding you through the structure of a traditional wedding ceremony, advising what the potential is for musical interludes. But to get you started I’ve outlined the possible places and suggested some options to consider that are well suited to each part of the ceremony. I have focused on a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony today, but I will be writing a post on music during a civil ceremony soon so stay tuned!
Although the pieces listed below are popular choices, don’t be afraid to choose personal favourites, even if they are a bit unusual!
How much or how little music you opt to have is completely up to you, but the following places in the ceremony are ideal moments to reinforce the significance of the moment through music.
Processional: The moment when the bride arrives and walks up the aisle! A recent trend is to have a separate piece for the bridesmaids and flowergirls or the mother of the bride but it’s entirely down to personal taste.
Lighting of the Candles: This happens twice in a traditional Catholic ceremony. You can choose to have the same music at each section or can opt to have two different pieces.
Responsorial Psalm: You can choose to have a hymn sung at this point, others opt to have a spoken Psalm.
Offetory: Often the mother of the bride and groom both take up the gifts at this point but again it is down to personal taste if you would like a musical accompaniment.
Winter by Vivaldi, Pavane by Faure, She Moved through the Fair-traditional, Largo by Handel.
Sign of Peace: This is a lovely opportunity in the ceremony to greet your bridal party and guests for the first time as husband and wife.
Tabhair dom do Lamh by O’Cathan, Inis Oirr-Traditional, Rondeau by Mouret, Ag Chriost an Siol by O’Riada
Communion: The number of pieces that you choose to have here should be dependent on the size of the congregation. Normally we would recommend two or three options to allow plenty of time.
The Blessing, by David Downes, The prayer by the Secret Garden, Ave Maria by Schubert, Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod, Pie Jesu by Faure, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach, Thais Meditation by Massenet, Aria from Xerxes by Handel.
Reflection: Many couples are choosing to have a reflection read after Communion. It is possible to have a soft piece of music played while the reflection is being read.
Signing of the Register: As the religious ceremony is technically over at this point, this is an opportunity to include more secular choices. However that’s not to say that non classical or religious options aren’t a possibility during a traditional ceremony but there are more restrictions to take into consideration and getting permission from the celebrant in advance is advised!
All you need is Love by the Beatles, God only knows what I’d be without you by the Beatles, Le Onde by Einaudi, Westside Story, One hand one heart by Bernstein, Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve, One day like this by Elbow.
Recessional: The moment when you get to leave the church together as husband and wife!
If you really want to take music in your wedding to the next level what not consider a vintage sheet music theme as a starting point for your styling and decor? It’s a really budget friendly and versatile resource and as you can see from the above images it has loads of potential to bring a unique twist to your day!
If you have any more questions about how to choose your wedding music, or how to maximise it’s potential in your ceremony just get in touch here!
Sound of Serendipity is available as a string duo, string trio, string quartet, flute trio, strings with voice and strings with trumpet.
Sara Donaldson, via Style me Pretty| Glass Jar Photography, via The Brides Cafe | Judy Pak Photography | Cathy Sunu Photography via Style me Pretty| Eliza Truitt Photography & Barbie Hull Photography, via Oh Lovely Day | Sarah Layne Photography| Unknown via A Lady’s Findings | John Schnack Photography via Ruffled.