One of the first questions my brides ask me is whether or not all the music has to be “church” music.
My answer is always no, as long as the music chosen is appropriate for that part of the ceremony-(Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On” cannot be used for the Responsorial but may be fine for the lighting of the Unity Candle, which is not a liturgical piece of the ceremony.)
Of course, some parishes require you to use only their musicians, and some priests have different opinions, but usually if you are respectful in asking and the music is acceptable, the musicians and priests might be amenable.
The music you choose is an important and memorable part of the ceremony, and represents your personality and theme as much as your flowers!
The organ is the most widely used instrument in any church. If you have a good organist, it may be the only instrument you want or need!
Strings are popular-soloists, ensembles, even just an acoustic guitar or a harpist. This is a lovely option, especially since many popular (even rock) songs have been covered and adapted to be played on strings.
A trumpet is a wonderful addition to the organ-especially for traditional pieces like Trumpet Voluntary. It adds depth to most classical music.
The most popular selections are:
- Canon in D (Pachelbel)
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
- Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (aka “Here Comes the Bride”)
- Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March (from Op .61 suite for A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Here is a list of some classical music that gets away from the “fab four” listed above:
- Guitar Concerto in D Major, Largo (Antonio Vivaldi)
- “Air” (from Water Music Suite), (George Frederic Handel)
- “The Prince of Denmark’s March” (Trumpet Voluntary in D major) (Jeremiah Clarke)
- “Procession of Joy” (Hal Hopson)
- “Rigaudon” (Andre Campra)
- “Wedding March” (from The Marriage of Figaro), (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
- Prelude from “Te Deum” (Marc-Antoine Charpentier)
- “Trumpet Tune and Air” (Henry Purcell)
- “Trumpet Voluntary” (John Stanley)
*Hint: Look these up on http://www.youtube.com and listen to them being performed to see if you like them!