Wedding Music

Choosing the right music for your wedding ceremony and reception

One of the most important aspects of your wedding day will be your choice of music. The memory of your wedding will be with you for the rest of your life and the soundtrack on the day is something you are least likely to forget.  Time spent now researching your choice of wedding music will be rewarded on the big day by creating the right mood and atmosphere throughout your ceremony and reception.

MusicYou should consider the type and size of venue as well as the number of guests and the age groups represented. Your choice of music may not go down well with older guests and you should try to please as many people as possible, whilst not playing too safe and having music which is bland and uninspiring.

A good tactic is to mix and match a variety of music which will appeal to each generation throughout the day.

If you are using the church organist for your wedding have you checked that they are comfortable with your choice of music and have they played it before? Try and arrange a rehearsal, if you can?

Check the quality of the music system at your venue, if in doubt, a few pounds invested in hiring a decent system will pay dividends on the day.

If you are hiring a DJ, check with people or venues he or she has played at before and ensure that your reception venue can accommodate the necessary equipment.

Don’t try to do everything yourself! It’s a good idea to nominate one person as the musical co-ordinator. They should check that all the equipment works and keep track of all the records/CDs, as well as liasing with the different performers/DJ to make sure everything goes to plan.

Music at Church Ceremonies

Music at a church ceremonies can be either religious or traditional, though you should check with your Church before veering down a non-traditional path. You will need to consider:

  • Music as your guests arrive – something cheerful but unassuming works best.
  • The Processional (the entrance of the bride)
  • Hymns – it’s best to go for hymns that are well known so that everyone feels included.
  • During the signing of the register – the choir or soloist should sing one or two pieces during the signing of the register, usually accompanied by the organist. If you are having music instead then it should be quite and gentle.
  • The Recessional – (the exit of the Bride and Groom)

Music at Civil Ceremonies

Since civil ceremonies were first introduced, music with religious references has been prohibited. Until recently, songs such as Angels by Robbie Williams would have been considered to have pious lyrics and would not be allowed. The rules have recently been relaxed, but sacred texts and hymns are still barred.

Register office ceremonies tend to be fairly short so you should try and provide something suitable as guests arrive and depart, but check with the registrar in advance. Different offices will have different policies but usually they will try and accommodate your wishes.

Ceremonies at licensed venues offer greater flexibility though you should check with the registrar before finalising your arrangements. Also, check with the venue that they are able to accommodate your choice of music.

If you are planning to have live music at your venue you should check that they have an entertainment licence which allows this.

Music at the Reception

It’s not uncommon nowadays for couples to opt for a hired band, DJ, or orchestra to play at their wedding reception. There are many music agencies which cater for this and your wedding or reception venue will have some contacts in this area. Be careful though, as they are likely to have some kind of professional relationship with the band or DJ suggested, so try get a a personal recommendation or do some research first. The first dance is a tradition at the wedding reception and, no doubt, you will have your own favourite tune.

Music Suggestions For Church Ceremonies

Prelude/Processional
  • Schubert – Ave Maria
  • Bach – Jesu joy of man’s desiring
  • Pachelbel – Canon in D Processional
Entrance of the Bride
  • Wagner – Bridal March from Lohengrin
  • Charpentier – Te Deum
  • Verdi – Grand March from Aida
  • Handel – Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Hymns
  • Jerusalem
  • Love Divine
  • Morning has broken
  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Signing of the Register
  • Delibes – Dome Epais from Lakme
  • Offenbach – Barcarole
  • Handel – Largo
Recessional
  • Mendelssohn – Wedding March
  • Handel – Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah
  • Windor – Toccata from Symphony No 5
  • Clarke – Trumpet Voluntary

Music Suggestions For Civil Ceremonies

Prelude/Processional
  • Vivaldi – Spring from the Four Seasons
  • Pachelbel – Canon in D
  • Grieg – Morning from Peer Gynt Suite
  • Elgar – Chanson De Matin
Entrance of the Bride
  • Wagner – Bridal March from Lohengrin
  • Clarke – Trumpet Voluntary
  • Handel – Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
  • Handel – Hornpipe from the Water Music
Signing of the Register
  • Delibes – Dome Epais from Lakme
  • Bach – Air on a G String
  • Fauré – Pavane
  • Mozart – 4th Movement from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Recessional
  • Mendelssohn – Wedding March
  • Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Purcell – Trumpet Tune

Popular First Dance Music Choices

  • Queen – Your best friend
  • Paul Weller – You’re the best thing…
  • Gladys Knight – The best thing that ever happened…
  • Will Young – Evergreen
  • Boyzone – You needed me
  • Whitney Houston – I will always love you
  • Lionel Richie – Endless love
  • Bryan Adams – Everything I do…
  • Aerosmith – I Don’t want to miss a thing
  • Lonestar – Amazed

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