Wedding Music

Choose live music for your wedding

Wedding music

Why should you choose live music for your wedding? Because live musicians can make sure that everything works just right on the day, such as timing the music to perfectly match your procession up the aisle. Live music also creates a wonderful atmosphere and sense of occasion. You can consult with your professional musicians to create your own unique day, customised to your own musical tastes.

Music at Your Ceremony

You'll need to choose:

  • Processional - the bridal party walking into the church
  • Hymns - optional - for the congregation to sing
  • Signing of the register - usually something quiet
  • Recessional - walking back out of the church, usually more triumphant than the processional

Wedding Music Suggestions

Gentle music: for the Processional or Signing the Register

  • Pachelbel: Canon in D
  • Wagner: Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin
  • Bach: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
  • Delibes: The Flower Duet from Lakme
  • Bach: Air on the G String (also known as Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3)
  • Handel: Largo from Xerxes
  • Handel: Air from Water Music

Gentle music: contemporary options

  • Christina Perri: A Thousand Years
  • John Legend: All of Me
  • Ed Sheeran: Thinking Out Loud
  • Nat King Cole: When I Fall in Love
  • Van Morrison: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
  • Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World

Triumphant music: for the Processional or Recessional

  • Mendelssohn: Wedding March
  • Beethoven: Ode to Joy (or Song of Joy, theme from Choral Symphony No. 9)
  • Clarke: Trumpet Voluntary (sometimes called 'Prince of Denmark')
  • Charpentier: Prelude from Te Deum
  • Handel: La Rejouissance from Fireworks Music
  • Purcell: Trumpet Tune
  • Mouret: Rondo
  • Handel: Hornpipe from Water Music

Hymns

  • Amazing Grace
  • The Lord's My Shepherd
  • Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
  • Praise My Soul the King of Heaven
  • Love Divine All Loves Excelling
  • Morning Has Broken
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • How Great Thou Art

General Tips

Setting the mood

Your recessional music (walking out) should be more triumphant than your processional music (walking in), so depending on your choices, several pieces can be used for either walking in or out

Gentler pieces can work well for either walking in or the signing of the register

Hymns

Hymns, if you have any, should be well-known ones, without too many verses, and they'll need the words (don't assume the church will provide them)

Background music

Your organist will usually play some quiet background music before the ceremony starts

Other musicians

Don't forget to tell any musicians you hire which other musicians they will be working with

Give notice

Your musicians will need at least a month's notice of the music required, and at least a month's notice of cancellation