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Pulling off the perfect ceremony music program is easier than you think. Please scroll down to read and find out everything you need to know about planning
the music for your wedding!

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Auf Flügeln des Gesanges von Felix Mendelsohn Bartholdy
aus Buch der Lieder (1827) von Heinrich Heine IX. Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, Herzliebchen trag ich dich fort, Fort nach den Fluren des Ganges, Dort weiß ich den schönsten Ort. Dort li...
Step 1: Learn the Basics The most basic wedding ceremony music setup involves a minimum of three types of songs: preludes, processionals, and recessionals. Prelude music is light, ambient music that sets the mood while guests are being seated and waiting for the ceremony to 
begin. It usually begins when the doors open, or as early as 45 minutes prior to but no later than 20 minutes before thebeginning of the ceremony. Next is the processional, which accompanies the entry of the extended wedding party -- family, bridal party, and bride. The same 
song can be used for each, but we love the idea of changing to another song when the bride enters to add drama and highlight her entrance. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the recessional plays. As the name implies, this music accompanies you as you recess (that is, make your exit)

 and is traditionally bright and lively -- a reflection of your joy. Many couples choose to add interludes or songs played during significant moments such as the unity candle lighting or the ketubah signing. You might also want to include a postlude, which is a selection played while guests exit the ceremony. Have someone play a violin, or even a set of bagpipes, as guests head toward the exit. Some couples even ask the musician to lead guests out of the ceremony space in a paradelike fashion. 

String Duo (two violins or violin and cello) 
Flute Trio (flute, violin, and cello) 
You might consider adding an organ or piano to any of the trios or the quartet, including a harp with any of the above, or jazzing things up with two trumpets.

Three Violins & Cello
Guitar & Violin, 
Flute & Trumpet ,Violin, 
Viola & Cello Violin, piano, trumpet! 

If you decide to add vocalists, it’s a good idea to have the singing begin after everyone is seated for your ceremony. When a person steps up to a microphone to sing, guests may feel obliged to be quiet and pay attention, which creates awkwardness. It’s also wise to make sure the vocalist is comfortable with your selections, because when a singer is nervous, it shows right away in his or her voice. Ask which songs the soloist knows well, and work together to build a song list that satisfies you both. If there’s a song you want included that he or she isn’t familiar with, have a violin, piano, or flute play an instrumental version of the selection. 

Step3. Pay the Piper. The remaining balance due before or on the day of the event! Prices vary according to location but onaverage, ceremony musicians may cost $150 per piece, making a string quartet, for example, about $600. You can save a few dollars by hiring less experienced musicians through a local conservatory or college, or by getting someone who plays at your house of worship. Often the organist is a nice baseline for an ensemble and will know reliable, church-approved musicians who can accompany him or her for less money. Now that’s music to our ears!



Kick off the ceremony with a pleasant wedding prelude featuring music that moves and inspires you. Plan for about 30 minutes of music to play while guests find their seats and wait for the excitement to begin.
1. "A Rose Is Gently Blooming," Op. 122, No. 8, (Johannes Brahms)
2. "Adagio for Strings" (Samuel Barber)
3. "Air on the G String" (Johann S. Bach)
4. "Aria, Bist du bei mir" (Be thou near me), BWV 508, (Johann S. Bach)
5. "Awake My Heart with Gladness," (Flor Peeters)
6. "Chorale in A Minor," Adagio, (Cesar Franck)
7. "Concerto in D Minor," Adagio, (Tomaso Albinoni)
8. "Largo" from (Xerxes), (George Frederic Handel)
9. "Perfect Love" (Sir Joseph Barnby)
10. "Rhosymedre" (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
11. "Serenade" (from String Quartet Op. 3 No. 5), (Franz Joseph Haydn)
12. "Serenade" (Franz Schubert)
13. "Sheep May Safely Graze" (Johann S. Bach)
14. "Sonata in G Minor for Flute and Organ" (George F. Handel)
15. "Toccata in E Minor" (Johann Pachelbel)
16. "Violin Concerto in A" (Franz Joseph Haydn)
17. "Water Music" (George F. Handel)Traditional Alternatives
18. "Carolan's Welcome" (Irish Traditional)
19. "Concerto Grosso in D Major," Op. 3, No. 6 (Vivace), (George Frederic Handel)
20. "Courante" (from Three Lute Dances), (Anthoine Francisque)
21. "Gymnopedie No. 1" (Erik Satie)
22. "Nessun Dorma" (from Turandot), (Giacomo Puccini)
23. "Nocturne in E Flat" Op. 9, No. 2, (Frederic Chopin)
24. "Oboe Concerto in D Minor," Adagio, (Alessandro Marcello)
25. "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" (Claude Debussy)
26. "Romance" Op. 44, No. 1, (Anton Rubenstein
)27. "Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren" (Johann S. Bach)
28. "Sonata in E Flat," Adagio, (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
)29. "Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major," Allegro assai, (Johann S. Bach)
30. "Vocalise" (Sergei Rachmaninoff)Contemporary
31. "All I Ask Of You" (from Phantom of the Opera), (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
32. "Angel Eyes" (Jim Brickman)
33. "Evergreen" (Barbra Streisand)
34. "Longer" (Dan Fogelberg)
35. "Paris Nocturne" (Dan Fogelberg)
36. "The Gift" (Jim Brickman)
37. "Truly" (Lionel Richie)
38. "Wedding Song" (The Band)
39. "You and I" (Stevie Wonder)Religious/Sacred
40. "Ave Verum Corpus" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
41. "Benediction Nuptiale" (Camille Saint-Saens)
42. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (from Cantata 147), (Johann S. Bach)
43. "Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier (Blessed Jesus, We Are Here)," BWV 633, (Johann S. Bach)
44. "Praise To The Lord" (Johann G. Walther)
45. "Prelude" on the "Old 110th," (John Joubert)

Don't worry if "Here Comes the Bride" (Wagner's "Bridal Chorus") isn't your speed for your wedding processional song -- you have plenty of alternatives. Here are 35 wedding processional ideas to accompany you, and everyone else in your party, as you walk down the aisle:


1."Air" (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)
2. "Bridal Chorus" (from Lohengrin), (Richard Wagner)
3. "Canon in D" (Johann Pachelbel)
4. "Procession of Joy" (Hal Hopson)
5. "Rigaudon" (Andre Campra)
6. "Spring" (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi)
7. "Te Deum" (Marc-Antoine Charpentier)
8. "The Prince of Denmark's March" (Jeremiah Clarke)
9. "Trumpet Tune" (Henry Purcell)
10. "Trumpet Voluntary" (Jeremiah Clarke)
11. "Trumpet Voluntary" (John Stanley)
12. "Wedding March" (from The Marriage of Figaro), (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)Traditional Alternatives
13. "Canzon V" (Giovanni Gabrieli)
14. "Coronation March for Czar Alexander III" (Peter I. Tchaikovsky)
15. "Overture" (from Royal Fireworks Music), (George Frederic Handel)
16. "Promenade" (from Pictures at an Exhibition), (Modest Mussorgsky)
17. "Romeo and Juliet Love Theme" (Tchaikovsky)
18. "Sinfonia" (from Cantata No. 156), (Johann S. Bach)
19. "Toccata" (from L'Orfeo), (Claudio Monteverdi)
20. "Trumpet Tune in A-Major" (David N. Johnson)
21. "Sonatas for Organ, Op. 65, No. 3 (con moto maestoso)," (Felix Mendelssohn)
22. "Winter," Largo, (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi)Contemporary
23. "Appalachia Waltz" (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor)
24. "Sunrise, Sunset" (from Fiddler on the Roof), (Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock)
25. "The Look of Love" (Dionne Warwick/Burt Bacharach)
26. "The Vow" (Jeremy Lubbock)27. "To A Wild Rose" (Edward MacDowell)
28. "Flatbush Waltz" (Andy Statman)
29. "Wedding Processional" (from The Sound of Music), (Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein)Religious/Sacred
30. "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" ("Old 100th" hymn)
31. "Dona Nobis Pacem" (16th century hymn)
32. "Hanava Babanot" (A Love Song), (Neeman)
33. "St. Anthony's Chorale" (Franz Joseph Haydn)
34. "Hymn Fanfare from The Triumphant" (Francois Couperin)
35. "Scalero de Oro" (traditional Sephardic)


Musical interludes are like little commercial breaks -- choose ones that suit the ceremony and embody the essence of your love.
Musical interludes are a great way to add symbolic meaning or dramatize important moments (like lighting the unity candle or signing the ketubah). Here are 55 vocal and instrumental suggestions:

1. "Adagio" (Felix Mendelssohn)
2. "Andantino" (Cesar Franck)
3. "Arioso" (Johann S. Bach)
4. "Cantabile in B-Flat Major (BI 84)" (Frederic Chopin)
5. "Ch'il bel sogno di doretta" (from La Rondine) (Giacomo Puccini)
6. "Clair de Lune" (Claude Debussy)
7. "Flower Duet" (from Lakme), (Leo Delibes)
8. "Lento con tenerezza" (Enrique Granados)
9. "Love That Will Not Let Me Go" (Albert L. Peace)
10. "Meditation" (from Thais), (Jules Massenet)
11. "Minuet" (from Berenice), (George F. Handel)
12. "Minuet, Melody" (from Orfeo ed Euriduce), (Christoph W. Gluck)
13. "O mio babbino caro" (from Gianni Schicchi), (Giacomo Puccini)
14. "Romanza" (Ludwig van Beethoven)
15. "Salut D'Amour" (Sir Edward Elgar)
16. "Still, Still With Thee" (Felix Mendelssohn)
17. "The River Is Wide" (Tune: "Waly Waly," traditional English)
18. "Through the Eyes of Love" (theme from Ice Castles), (Carole Sager & Marvin Hamlisch)
19. "Verset," (Leon Boellmann)
20. "Wedding Song (There Is Love)" (arr. by Richard Bradley)
21. "Where e'er You Walk" (from Semele), (George F. Handel)
22. "Whither Thou Goest," (Thomas Dewey)Traditional Alternatives
23. "Barcarolle" (from Tales of Hoffman), (Jacques Offenbach)
24. "Pavane" (Gabriel Faure)
25. "Reverie" (Claude Debussy)
26. "The Call" (Vaughan Williams)
27. "Unconditional" (Will Ackerman)Contemporary
28. "A Simple Song" (Leonard Bernstein)
29. "Annie's Song" (John Denver)
30. "Benedictus" (Simon & Garfunkel)
31. "Grow Old With Me" (John Lennon or Mary Chapin Carpenter)
32. "Kind & Generous" (Natalie Merchant)
33. "One Hand, One Heart" (from West Side Story), (Leondard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim)
34. "Take My Breath Away" (Tuck & Patti)
35. "Thank You" (Led Zeppelin)
36. "The Water Is Wide" (James Taylor)Religious/Sacred
37. "All Things Bright and Beautiful" (traditional hymn)
38. "Amazing Grace" (traditional)
39. "Ave Maria" (Johann S. Bach/Charles Gounod)

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