Wedding Music Resource Guide Part I – Ceremony Music


Once you get beyond the couple getting married and the love they share for each other, music is arguably the most important element of a wedding. Imagine walking into a wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner reception without music. Definitely NOT!

There are many aspects to designing the music play list for a wedding, such as;

a) What type of instruments or music ensemble do we want to have for each element of the wedding? It can be different for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner reception.

b) Do we want a string quartet or a jazz trio for the ceremony?

c) Do we want a DJ or a live band for the dinner reception/party?

d) How many songs do we need to pick for our wedding ceremony?

e) How do we go about picking songs to dance to?

f) How many special songs do we have to or get to pick?

These are not all but, some of the most common questions asked.

Most of the answers to these questions are personal choices. Whomever you choose to run the music at your wedding will offer different options than another. Some musicians, bandleaders and DJs are more flexible than others. Some are defined by their own playlist.

In this blog we will address ceremony music

CEREMONY MUSICIANS: When it comes to ceremony musicians, most wedding couples choose either classical musicians or band musicians. Classical musicians are usually string instruments. For instance, a string quartet consists of two violins, one viola and a cello. Band musicians typically might be a keyboard/piano player with a flute player who also plays saxophone. If you add a bass player to that duo you have one type of trio.

Before you decide on either of the two choices above, I would recommend you get some ideas about which songs you want played. That may help direct you towards the instruments you need to replicate the music. For instance, there is a piece by English baroque composer Jeremiah Clarke, called Trumpet Voluntary. This piece sounds great with organ and trumpet.

Today, the lines are blurred. String quartets can play pop music by Billy Joel, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Coldplay and Bruno Mars. By the same token, band musicians play Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Vivaldi’s Spring from the Four Seasons and Air on a G String by Bach.

Here are some classical wedding ceremony suggestions:

Air On The G String – Bach

Bridal Chorus – Wagner – The Wedding March

Canon in D  – Pachelbel

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Mozart

Entremezzo – Mascagni

Guitar Concerto in D – Vivaldi

Hornpipe in D (From Water Music)- Handel

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bach

La Rejouissance – Handel

Ode To Joy – Beethoven

Spring from Four Seasons – Vivaldi

Sunrise Sunset – Fiddler on the Roof

Trumpet Voluntary – Clark

Published by New York Orchestras Entertainment/NY Beats DJs

I am a bandleader/drummer/vocalist/producer/DJ. I have made a career in the music business since age 15. I founded the company NY Orchestras Entertainment and the bands Central Park Orchestra, Island Head reggae band and The Vibe.

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