What Music Should I Choose for my Wedding?
-“For they say when you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life.”
June is known as the month of weddings, and it certainly is for Uptown Violins! We have already been playing for several weddings throughout the Midwest and the South, and thought we would take this opportunity to share with future brides-to-be a few of the things to consider when choosing wedding music.
First of all, having live music at your wedding is always much more memorable than simply playing a recording through a sound system. Although it will not sound exactly like the recording, especially if you have a different instrumentation than the original, it will help your wedding stand out from what your guests could otherwise experience in their homes.
Secondly, when choosing music and style you should take your venue into account. If your wedding will be outside, you may want to consider our electric violin option, as these instruments will carry much further than our acoustics. However, if your wedding takes place in a historic church, the acoustic instruments would be preferable, as these older buildings were designed for acoustic instruments. Also, if you are having a traditional liturgical wedding, like Catholic or Lutheran for example, you will probably need to primarily choose traditional classical songs, as all selections must be approved by your pastor/priest. However, if your wedding takes place at a country club or in an outdoor garden, you will have more latitude in your choice of repertoire.
On a related note, you should consider the overall style of your wedding. Is it contemporary and cutting edge? Simple yet distinctive? Traditional and elegant? These questions will help guide you in choosing the style of your music. At Uptown Violins we offer a wide array of music, including traditional classical, romantic gems, religious hymns, praise and worship music, jazz classics, and contemporary pop.
Lastly, it is important to know the places where music is needed in your ceremony. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):
-Prelude: 20-30 minutes of music which sets the tone for your wedding as your guests arrive. Usually the musicians choose these selections based on the style of your wedding.
-Seating of the Parents/Grandparents: This song can be played as the last song of the prelude, or the first song of the ceremony. As it is hard to predict how long it will take your Grandmother to walk down the aisle, it is important to select a song that has multiple stopping points in the phrasing. For a classic choice, you can’t go wrong with Bach’s famous “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Some more contemporary options could include John Legend’s “All of Me” and Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.”
-Wedding Processional: This is often the longest of the opening songs, as it usually includes the procession of the bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearers. One of the most popular wedding songs of all time would be Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” Again, this piece can cadence at any point during the song, so as to accommodate the number of people walking down the aisle. If you prefer an ethereal, Impressionist selection, you might enjoy Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” For some more contemporary choices, you could consider Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.“ or Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”
-Bridal Processional: This is the climatic song for the opening of your ceremony, and should be the most poignant. However, as it is just for the bride, it is also the shortest song, so again, you need something that can be stopped after a brief period of time. For a dramatic entrance you can’t go wrong with baroque composer Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary.” A fabulous Romantic era masterpiece would be “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” Some popular contemporary choices are Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” and “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding. However, if you choose one of the latter three, you may have to wait a little longer for the musicians to reach a cadence that sounds natural, so as to avoid an abrupt cutoff when you reach the altar.
-Unity Candle: You will probably enjoy having music during the ceremony, and this is an excellent place to include one of your favorite songs! However, you don’t want to pick a long song, as it can be uncomfortable to be standing too long awkwardly waiting for the music to end after you light the candle. A verse or two of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer” is always a nice choice, as well as the beautiful hymn “Be Thou My Vision”, and Burke’s “Hallelujah” as a more contemporary song.
-Recessional: This song concludes your ceremony, to which you and the bridal party will exit. You definitely want to choose something exciting and upbeat. We recommend “La Rejouissance” (The Rejoicing) by Handel, or “Rondeau” by Mouret. Maroon 5’s “Sugar” is a fabulous choice as well as Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and “Finesse” if your goal is to leave with big and fun exit!
-Postlude: Here you can pick a song or two as an exit for your guests. Handel’s “Hornpipe” is an excellent classic in addition to his “La Rejouissance” and Mouret’s “Rondeau,” which also make great postludes. Many brides choose an old-timey song such as Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”, Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”, and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” You could even choose something like One Republic’s “Counting Stars”, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home”, or Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” if you want a dramatic finish!
-Do not forget that you can also hear any of these songs plus plenty more at your cocktail hour for your reception if you would like to include this option in your wedding package!
We hope that this list helps guide you as you prepare for your special day! Please check out our Audio/Video link to listen to several of these selections!