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Advice On Choosing Your Ceremony Music

Congratulations and best wishes for your wedding day! Planning your special day is full of excitement and many choices. Amongst the many choices is selecting the music for your wedding ceremony and reception. The music you choose can make your wedding even more elegant, personal, special, and memorable. However, without musical training, choosing ceremony and reception music can be somewhat intimidating. Classical Elegance is happy to offer the following suggestions and general guidelines that will help to prepare you in making the best choice of music for your special day. Contact Us


Prelude music

This music is heard 20 -30 minutes prior to your ceremony while the guests are arriving and being seated. The Prelude music may continue through the seating of the mothers, however it is a nice touch to have a special selection/processional for the seating of the mothers. The Prelude music establishes the atmosphere for your wedding, so make sure it compliments the mood you wish to achieve such as religious, elegant, contemporary, or a mixture of styles.

The Prelude music should adhere to some general rules: The music should be suitable as background music for prayer and light conversation and it should not be dance/entertainment oriented.  It is also advisable to discuss the music policies with your church or synagogue. Some churches and synagogues may prohibit some popular music, so it is always a good idea to ensure approval as to avoid disappointment. 

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Processional music

There are usually 2-4 processionals; one for the wedding party, one for the bride to walk down the aisle, and it is also quite acceptable to have a separate selection for the seating of parents and grandparents for a total of 3-4 processionals. However, too many selections/changing of musical selections must be considered, especially if the aisle does not permit for a long processional. This music should be of the style that makes it easy for all to "keep time" while walking.

The bride's processional announces the bride and focuses all of the attention on the bride. The bride's entrance is one of the most important, special moments of the day!

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Ceremony music

Music can be performed as a short interlude before a reading or during the lighting of the unity candle. These selections should be played slow and softly.  Again, it is important to know exactly what the music policy is for your church or synagogue.


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Recessional music

This music is played as you and your new spouse exit arm in arm. The music should be majestic and joyous with a quick tempo.


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Postlude music

This music is performed as your guests are leaving and possibly during the receiving line. Again, it should be upbeat and joyous.


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The following is a brief list, with streaming audio clips, of a few possible wedding ceremony selections. Use the below suggested samples as well as the information categorized above to give you an idea of the style of music available for each segment of the wedding. For more audio clips, also in downloadable format, please visit  our demo and visit our repertoire for a complete listing of selections.

Prelude Selections
 Air on the G String     J.S. Bach
Meditation from Thais      J. Massanet
Pavane      G. Faure

Seating of the Mothers
 Sheep May Safely Graze      J.S. Bach
Piano Concerto #21: Andante (Elvira Madigan Theme)      W.A. Mozart

Processional
 Erev Shel Shoshanim (Evening of Roses)
Trumpet Tune      H. Purcell
Trumpet Voluntary      J. Clarke

Ceremony/Unity Candle
 How Beautiful      T. Paris
The Lord's Prayer      Malotte
One Hand, One Heart   (West Side Story)

Recessional
 Fireworks Music: La Rejouissance      G.F. Handel
The Four Seasons: Spring      A. Vivaldi
The Four Seasons: Autumn      A. Vivaldi
Ode to Joy      L. Beethoven

Postlude
This music can be from any of the previous examples because, similar to Prelude music, this music is purely background for which to continue your established atmosphere.

It is advisable to purchase some wedding music tapes/CDs or listen online to become acquainted with possible music selections before making your decision. Of course as professional musicians Classical Elegance will be able to provide guidance with your selections. Contact Us
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