Choosing Unique Wedding Ceremony Music

The Power Of Three

Making your wedding ceremony a true original can be as easy as choosing just

three special songs. This music is a reflection of you, your hopes and your

dreams. Seize this opportunity to give your guests an unexpected surprise

while sharing an important part of yourself with them.

While tradition still has its place, most Brides and Grooms are now choosing to

use non-traditional wedding ceremony music. Many of the old standbys, such

as Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (Here Comes The Bride), are being replaced with

other alternatives. Those about to wed have requested Slow Rock, Love Songs,

Latin Guitar, New Age, Classic 40’s Vocals, Pop Songs, Oldies and just about

everything else.

Choosing Your Songs

The first step is just to think of songs you like. You can edit your ideas later.

Make a short list of songs that relate to how you feel about love, commitment

and a special shared relationship. Feel free to consider all options. Once you’ve

made your list you can then edit it for potential Processional Song candidates.

Remember that in general, a Processional Song should have a slow cadence for

those walking down the aisle.

Choices have included songs by Nat King Cole, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Mark

Cohn, Peter Gabriel, Enya, The Beatles, Shania Twain, Vangelis, Aretha Franklin,

Van Morrison, Tony Bennett, Edwin McCain, Vangelis, Faith Hill, Etta James,

Sade and Soundtrack Songs. Your choices are virtually unlimited.

We custom edited Van Halen’s “When It’s Love” for one Bride who wanted the

instrumental part of the song for her Processional. Another Bride was a huge

Bruce Springsteen fan. She walked down the aisle to The Boss classic, “Thunder


If you want to stick to classical music, you may decide on something a little

more creative than the same old thing. Anyone who’s been to a ceremony in

the last century has probably heard Pachelbel’s “Canon In D”.

Traditionally a string oriented song, there is an updated version that uses

flowing synthesizers and ethereal keyboards in place of strings. Its

progressive, modern sound sets it apart from other versions we’ve heard.

Search for different arrangements or unusual Classical songs to give your

ceremony a unique sound.

Here Comes The Bride

Should all the songs in your ceremony have a consistent sound or theme? Not

necessarily. A contrasting style between the Wedding Party Processional and

the Bride’s song can emphasize this important change. An example of this was

when one couple chose an operatic, Andrea Bocelli piece for their Wedding

Party Processional. The song was full of drama and grand expression.

In stark contrast to this was their choice for the Bride’s Processional. They

decided on the romantic and reflective acoustic guitar sound of “The Rain

Song” by Led Zeppelin. The pronounced difference in song styles increased the

poignancy of the Bride’s appearance and the entire ceremony.

While these songs aren’t for everyone, they reflected this couple’s taste and

preferences. It also serves as a wonderful demonstration of the power of a

musical style change and original choices.

Classical instrumental still has its place. Recently a Bride chose a lesser known

classical piece for her walk down the aisle. “Variations on an Original Theme

(Enigma Variations) Op. 36″ is a fantastic selection for this. It’s a powerful song

that uses soaring strings and majestic horns to slowly build to its peak. We

edited it so that the crescendo of the song timed perfectly with the Bride’s


Another Bride-to-be chose “Once Upon a Time… Storybook Love” from the

movie The Princess Bride. The title track from Cirque du Soleil’s “O” is another

captivating piece that many have fallen in love with. “Variations and Fugue On a

Theme by Mozart, Op. 132: Variation 7″ is a traditional classical piece that is

rarely heard at ceremonies. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s version is

breathtakingly elegant.

If you’re going Classical for the wedding ceremony music, remember that there

may be quite a few different versions of many songs. It may take a little

research to find the perfect one but it is well worth the effort.


The end of the ceremony Recessional is a time for joy and celebration. You will

walk triumphantly, back up the aisle, for the first time as a married couple. As

you pass by smiling, applauding guests, let the music add an extra highlight to

this moment. Your Recessional music should be upbeat and energetic. Again,

choices are plentiful. Past requests include Classical, Rock, Swing and R & B.

Songs by Vivaldi, Harry Connick, James Brown, U2, Barry White, Frank Sinatra,

Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Queen, Marvin Gaye and many others have

worked to great effect.

Where To Look For Music

If you have a favorite movie soundtrack or radio station, your perfect song may

be something you have already heard. Next time you hear a song that really

grabs you, make a note of it.

One of the best places to find unique musical ideas is right in your own CD

collection. Chances are there’s a favorite song in there you may have forgotten

about that would be perfect. Browse through your music library and add to

your list of possibilities.

Do you have a favorite artist or concert performance? What was that old song

you loved when you were younger?

Is there a brand new song you really like? A newer song can be a refreshing

change from the status quo. And there is less chance anybody else has already

used it for their wedding.

Perhaps there is something in your family heritage you would like to

incorporate musically into the ceremony.

If you have a special moment in the ceremony for a candle lighting, rose

exchange, remembrance or other tradition, you may want to choose a song to

be played for this as well.

Samples of songs can be accessed via your computer on Apple’s iTunes music

store website (The iTunes program is free and works with both Windows based

and Mac computers) and at Barnes and Noble bookstores offer

live listening posts with thousands of artists from which to choose.

Putting It All Together

Write down all of your musical ideas and then gradually narrow it down to your

three favorites. The others can be played for the Prelude- prior to the

beginning of the ceremony, while guests are arriving or later at the


Contrasting music is good and emphasizes an important change in the

Processional. Be dynamic in your choices and create a new sound experience

for your guests.

Take the first step in making your wedding day truly YOURS by choosing songs

that express a bit of who you are. And don’t be surprised if your guests

compliment you on how your ceremony was unlike any other they’ve been


-DJ Craig

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