Hot Club of SRQ Guide to Ceremony Music Selection
Do we have to choose the music?
No, you don't. Many couples ask us to choose the music during the ceremony. Perhaps this could be considered a less stress option, to leave it up to the professionals. In this case, we will perform the traditional "Here Comes the Bride" by Wagner for the Bride's procession, because it is a reflex for most to rise and acknowledge the Bride when they hear this. You will be pleasantly surprised by our other selections.
When is music performed during the ceremony?
Music is typically performed 20 minutes prior as prelude music, during the processional(s), at a moment during the ceremony, ie. sand ceremony or meditation and finally the recessional. In Catholic wedding masses there is sometimes communion and an offertory, which are good spots for music to be performed.
How many songs do we choose for each of these parts of the ceremony?
One song is all you will need for the signing, recessional, communion and offertory, but you may want to have one or two songs for the processional. If you are having bridesmaids, you may want them to enter to a separate song. You will then have the luxury of walking down the isle to your own music.
We know how many songs we want, how do we choose the music?
Think of the mood that you want to create: do you want your ceremony to be to be romantic, relaxed, excited, warm, stately, indulgent or exuberant? The list goes on an on...
What can you tell us about processional music?
The processional is the bride's time to shine; therefore, it is recommended that a contrasting piece of music be chosen for the bride's grand entrance. Here are some recommendations for the Bride:
"Here Comes the Bride" by Wagner
"Flower Duet" from the French opera Lakme, by Delibes.
"Ave Maria" by Bach or Schubert
"Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder
"Canon" by Pachelbel
Recommendations for all other processions:
"Gymnopedia" by Satie
"La Vi en Rose" by Louiguy and Monnot
"Standchen" by Schubert
"Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach
"Canon in D" by Pachelbel
"Amazing Grace" by Walker and "Ashoken Farewell" by Unger are nice Celtic sounding song
What type of music is best for the signing / meditation?
The signing is the point in the ceremony where the bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen sign the marriage register. This is a quiet part of the ceremony, and quiet, slow and introspective music is the perfect choice.
Some recommendations are:
"Meditation" by Jobim
"Beautiful Love" by Victor Young
"All the things You Are" by Hammerstein
"Dindi" by Jobim
"Pavane" by Faure
"Beseme Mucho" by Valasquez
"My Funny Valentine" by Rodgers
"In a Sentimental Mood" by Duke Ellington
What type of music is best for the recessional?
Music that is upbeat and Joyous. Guests will be jumping out of their seats, and there will be lots of clapping and cheering. We have a number of original rumba flamenco songs that are perfect for this.
Here are some other good ones:
"Wedding March" by Mendellsohn (this is the most popular)
"Con Te Partiro" by Sartori (as sung by Bocelli)
"What a Wonderful World" by Armstrong (played as a rumba)
"Cheeck to Cheek" by Berlin
Here are some additional options that work great for processions, recessionals, first dance, etc. Jon (guitarist) and I are very familiar with these songs so we won't have any issue watching for cues from point person for starting and stopping at the correct moment.
What if we want you to play a song that's not on the song list?
Just ask, we are perfectly capable of making arrangements of unfamiliar music if given an adequate amount of time to prepare. We can do up to four arrangements at no extra cost, provided there is melodic potential and the accompaniment can be reduced to a single guitar. Also, please only request songs with strong melodies vs. repetitive vocal-centric songs. Special arrangements and audio previews may be requested for a reasonable cost of $50.00 per hour (most pop songs take an hour or less to arrange).
Once we have made our song selections then what?
Email us your choices so we can prepare a performance agreement. If the ceremony is in a church we will check to see if there is any concern with certain music choices.
I hope this process is fun for you, please do not hesitate to contact me if your stuck! Youtube is a pretty good resource for listening to different versions of songs. Also, definitely revisit our samples on the web. I look forward to seeing your selections and finalizing our part of your special day!!!