Wedding music


I spoke w/ the organist from our church today about playing at dd’s wedding in August.

She’s sending me a packet of info, but some of the songs she mentioned sound a bit like 70’s love music. “Anything out of the Gather hymnal is fine.” That could be good or not so good.

Suggestions for classic processional and recessionals? Also for background music while guests are being seated?


Our processional music was Pachelbel’s Canon in D major. That’s a classic. Most churches stopped allowing “Here comes the Bride.” :stuck_out_tongue:


There are some good threads over in the Liturgy forum with Wedding music suggestions.


I’ve had luck with these…

Trumpet Voluntary- Clarke
Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desire- J.S. Bach
Trumpet Tune- Purcell

If you question your organist’s ability or willingness to play these pieces, you can hire an outside musician. My wife’s music director was tonally challenged so we hired another organist that we had confidence in.


The classics are always great as background music…
(BTW - “Here comes the Bride” IS a classic… Bridal Chorus from Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin… and many churches still allow it!)…

One of my favorites is Pachelbel’s Cannon in D!


We had Pachelbel’s Canon in D major for our processional
One Bread One Body for communion.
The rest I forget :blush:

We have been married for 3 years now and not sure how it happens although every Sunday the week of our anniversary they play One Bread One Body for communion, I think DH might have something to do with it :wink:


I just LOVE Ave Maria. We had that during our signing of the registrar!


We did too! :slight_smile:

When the Mothers of the Bride and Groom processed down and lit the candles (that were to be combined for the unity candle), our canton sang Ave Maria… absolutely beautiful!!!

Gosh, you’d think I’d remember more about my own wedding… but 7 1/2 years later I guess some things fade! :blush:


At our wedding we heard the following:

The processional featured Canon In D and the Overture from Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music. The offertory music was The Gift of Love, at communion we heard Panis Angelicus (BEAUTIFUL!) and of course the Ave Maria for the presentation to Mary and the Hornpipe played for the recessional.


I think I had Hornpipe too for recessional.


Here’s what we had,

I had a harpist play classical music as the guests arrived.

For the Processional - Canon in D Major

For the presentation of flowers and prayer at Mary’s altar - Ave Marie (on the Piano) which our priest sang with my Aunt.

During Communion we just had classical music on the harp.

I have no idea what our recessional music was :frowning: .


DD’s Wedding music 2 years ago was:
Ave Maria - Seating of the Mother’s
Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major- The Bridesmaid’s Procession
Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire- Bridal Procession
I Am The Bread of Life- Presentation of the Gifts
Panis Angelicus- Holy Communion
Wedding March-Bride & Groom Recession
I had to look at a Wedding Program because I couldn’t remember everything;)


Most of what we used has already been mentioned, but wanted to add to use what you like and what has meaning to you (or DD in this case).

We used Amazing Grace in the prelude - my dad used to sing us to sleep with that as kids. We also used On Eagle’s Wings, I think at Communion, but maybe Offertory, just because we liked it.


Me too!! I bawled my eyes out when this song started. I bawl at all weddings with this song in the processional. So beautiful!


I was crying too! Just watching DH walk our “baby” down the isle and to such a beautiful song was so overwhelming! I know that the next wedding I go to that plays that song, I’m going to lose it:blush: :smiley: !


The ins and outs I am most often asked for, or otherwise suggest, are:

Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, Wagner (in only)
Prince of Denmark’s March (“Trumpet Voluntary”), Jeremiah Clarke
Trumpet Tune, John Stanley (a flogging good robust jolly little tune)
Trumpet Tune, Purcell
Fanfare in D, Jacques Lemmens (loads of fun, that one!)
Rondeau, Jean-Joseph Mouret (a really good piece that isn’t done-to-death)
Prelude to Te Deum, Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Canon in D, Johannes Pachelbel (in only)
Wedding March from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mendelssohn (out only)
La Rejoiussance (Fireworks Suite), Handel
Hornpipe (Water Music), Handel

If your organist is a professional and the organ/acoustics are right, the Widor Toccata is a good stirring piece. Or William Walton’s Crown Imperial in an organ transcription (Orb & Sceptre is sometimes played as well but I think Crown Imperial is better).

Norman Cocker’s Tuba Tune is another good one but needs a suitable solo reed stop. (I think there are other good tuba tunes by Lang and Hollins but need to check my music shelf.)

Not knowing what your building, organ or organist are like, its a bit hard to make specific suggestions as choices are often influenced by the organ spec and voicing (baroque-style, American, English, late 19th-century).

(Incidentally, lots of people ask for the Mendelssohn wedding march, and are surprised if you ask, “which one?” which of course we only do if a bit of a leg-pull is in order. Felix was supposed to write one for sister Fanny’s wedding and didn’t get the job done so Fanny, also a composer, wrote her own, which is now available in print.)


… if you want to give the guests a giggle in the booklet, try (Felix) Mendelssohn’s “War March of the Priests”, which is a good solid recessional march. Not my personal preference but then I don’t go much on the Romantic period.

Before Mass my preference is baroque chorale preludes for manuals only. There are bucketloads of modern liturgical doodle music collections but they all tend to be rather Romantic in style and better suited to 19th-century voicings which you may or may not have. There are any number of chorale prelude collections for manuals and they serve the same function - suitable, quality music that isn’t too demanding on the congregation’s attention that leave a bit of “headroom” for the processional to make an impact. This can be important if you’re having a quiet processional such as the Canon in D.


I am single but I’ve helped friends with their wedding music before. In addition to all the fantastic ideas I’ve heard, I always thought it would be fantastic to have the recessional music be “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” or the “Hallelujia Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. Even though they are not traditional wedding music, they always make me happy and cheerful and that’s how I would want to start out my marriage – and the fact that I’m 38 my friends say “Hallelujia Chorus” is appropriate :smiley:

Just my two cents.



Here’s what I’m planning so far:
Party Procession -Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - Johann Sebastian Bach
**Bridal Procession **- Canon in D Major - Johann Pachelbel
**Opening Hymn **- You Are Mine - David Haas
**Responsorial Psalm **- Psalm 104 – setting by Ronald Arnatt
Offeratory - Left up to musician
Communion - Eagles Wings - Joncas
Meditation - Ave Maria - Schubert
**Processional **- Royal Fireworks Music: The Rejoicing – G.F. Handel

St. Clement
That is a great site for picking out music and you can actually listen to a lot of it.


As soon as my fiance and I started discussing music I told him I wanted Joyful, Joyful for my recessional!

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