Choosing your Ceremony Music

BW weddig piano

The Wedding Ceremony

Religious Ceremonies:

We  always recommend that you hire the musicians that work for the church(or temple).  You will have to pay them their fee, but it will be well worth it.  These musicians are familiar with the specific musical equipment and with the liturgical order  of the ceremony. This is especially important if  you are having an organist.  Large church organs can be one of a kind, and should only be played by a person familiar with that specific instrument.   In the event the church musicians are unavailable, make sure that the person you hire knows liturgical music. These musicians must be well versed in the nuances of your religious ceremony.

Some brides choose more musicians, such as trumpeters, vocalists, harpist, flautist.  While these extra musicians are not necessary, they will make your wedding ceremony a memorable one.  One of our favorite “extra” is a trumpeter(or more) to play a fanfare as the bride enters the church.  This will give your ceremony a regal touch.

If your  ceremony is to take place in a place other than a church or temple, we still suggest you hire musicians that are familiar with the order of the liturgy.  Choose music celebrates the season as well as the venue.  For example:   at a summer or a beach wedding, a steel drummer might be a great choice.

$Money Saving Tips$   Have your ceremony musicians play the cocktail hour of your wedding reception.

Below is a list of our favorite music for a wedding ceremony

Classical Music

  • “Air” (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)
  •  “Bridal Chorus” (from Lohengrin), (Richard Wagner)
  • “Canon in D” (Johann Pachelbel)
  •  “Procession of Joy” (Hal Hopson)
  •  “Rigaudon” (Andre Campra)
  •  “Spring” (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi)
  •  “Te Deum” (Marc-Antoine Charpentier)
  •  “The Prince of Denmark’s March” (Jeremiah Clarke)
  •  “Trumpet Tune” (Henry Purcell)
  •  “Trumpet Voluntary” (Jeremiah Clarke)
  •  “Trumpet Voluntary” (John Stanley)
  •  “Wedding March” (from The Marriage of Figaro), (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Religious, Sacred Music

  •  “All People That On Earth Do Dwell” (“Old 100th” hymn)
  •  “Dona Nobis Pacem” (16th century hymn)
  •  “Hana’ava Babanot” (A Love Song), (Neeman)
  •  “St. Anthony’s Chorale” (Franz Joseph Haydn)
  •  “Hymn Fanfare from The Triumphant” (Francois Couperin)
  •  “Scalero de Oro” (traditional Sephardic)

Choosing the right music should not create more stress,  whether you hire a DJ or a band,  these professionals are there to guide you in your choices.  Most music professionals have song lists for you to choose from.  You should have a brief list of songs you want to hear, as well as the songs you don’t want to hear.

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23 thoughts on “Choosing your Ceremony Music

  1. Wonderful post, Ana. I love music, too, and also feel that music should be part of all our important events. I love your money saving tip to have your ceremony musicians play the cocktail hour of your wedding reception.

  2. Music is so very important at a wedding. It sets the mood and brings a personal touch. Special songs with special words always add as well. Our daughter actually wrote a song for her outdoor wedding and sang it. The whole audience was in tears (of happiness).

    1. That’s what we love to hear. Your daughter made her wedding truly unique and special. We encourage our brides to let their personalities shine through the musical choices they make. The best way to do this is to write and sing a song! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had that kind of talent.

  3. Great selection- I’m going to show my Dad these as for some reason he always seems to be the go to family member when it comes to recommendations for church music.

    1. We like the church musicians because they know the order of the service and are familiar with the specific instrument at that church. Recommendations should come from individuals that are familiar with music. If a family member is a professional musician, then that’s a great option.
      Don’t forget, now you can hear every song on Itunes, or YouTube. You can even go to Wikipedia and listen to just about every song out there!

    1. It’s not easy at all! Especially when you want to make everybody happy! We like to tailor the music to the bride’s taste. One of the reasons couples work with agencies, such as ours, is because we know the music and instrumentation.

    1. You are right, Carele, it is not easy to choose the music for a wedding. Sometimes you have chosen the music you like, but others have a variety of opinions. Our list is based on what gets the most play with our brides. I’m working on a contemporary list, which is everchanging! 🙂

  4. Where were you 14 years ago. I struggled so with what were our favorite songs, walking down music, etc. Lists overwhelmed me. Somehow we got thru and it was all perfect. What was in my way was my own expectation that it ‘had’ to be… When I relaxed about it, it all came together. Sorry I didn’t know you then.

    1. Brides need to make their wedding exactly the way they want it, rather than conform to someone else’s ideals. We recently had a bride pick out modern music(rap, hip-hop, some jazz) as the guests were entering the chapel. For her walk down the aisle, she walked to a hip-hop tune. It was unique, and it was hers. She chose unconventional music, but chose very conventional instrumentation: a violinist. The outcome was wonderful and memorable.

  5. I have a wedding coming up in September and it will be held at a local chapel. We are hiring an organist through the church and I prefer the bridal party to walk down the aisle to Canon in D and then I would like to walk down to the wedding march. It has been something that I have always dreamed of! Can’t wait! Loved reading this and thank you for sharing!

    1. Hiring the church organist is the way to go. Organs can vary greatly, you want the person that is most familiar with the instrument to perform. The other advantage to hiring the church organist is that they know when to play, and when not to play, they know the order of the liturgy.

    1. Thank you, Alexandra. We got into this business because of our love of music, we’ve been at it for almost 30 yrs. We feel that music should be incorporated into all the important events in our lives.

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