Wedding Ceremony Music Guide

Generally, you will need about 10 pieces of music from prelude to postlude. We will be happy to work with you and help you make your music decisions. Ultimately the decisions are up to you, but here is some guidance to get you started. Your wedding ceremony music should include:

the Prelude

Fifteen to thirty minutes of music for the guests as they walk in and find their seats. The musicians will play a beautiful mix of classics and love songs. If there are specific pieces of music you would like your guests to hear during the prelude, you are welcome to make requests!

Prelude music should be soft and with a formal touch, to let everyone know that the important event will start soon. Most brides and grooms today choose a mix of contemporary love songs, while some prefer traditional Handel, Mozart, and Bach.

the Family Processional and Wedding Party Processional

Specific songs for your family members and attendants processing down the aisle before you. Depending on how many family members or bridesmaids/groomsmen you have, you may need more than one piece of music.

The processionals should be songs that have meaning to you. Any song can work as a processional if it is played with a processional feeling (which we know how to do!). You can make traditional choices such as the Pachelbel Canon and the Bridal Chorus, or popular love songs of today such as “A Thousand Years” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” or you can choose your own special songs.

Please note: Many song changes will require the musicians to be present at your rehearsal, which will be billed as an additional booking as long as the musicians are available.

the Bride or Groom’s Processional

The key song to be played as the bride, groom, or couple walk down the aisle. Traditions are changing! Our Western marriage ceremony came from the viewpoint that the bride was being given away from her family to another. Today, many women don’t see themselves this way. Brides and grooms today look at the entrance music as “their time to shine.”

the Ceremonial Music

If your ceremony includes a candle lighting, sand ceremony, memorial tribute, or any time that no one is talking, it’s nice to have background music to cover the silence. Any ceremonial music you include should be quiet, reverent, and flowing. The musicians can provide appropriate choices for your candle lighting or presentations to the parents.

Please note: We don’t recommend music playing while the officiant is conducting your ceremony, or while you are saying your vows. It can be a distraction and make it difficult for the guests to hear the words, and we know from experience that many officiants don’t allow it.

Special Performance

Would you like to have a special song played or sung while everyone quietly listens? Talk to us about options!

the Recessional

The newly married couple takes their walk back down the aisle together as everyone claps and cheers. The wedding party will also walk out to this music. It should be upbeat and joyful.

the Postlude

More nice music for the guests, as they exit and segway to the cocktail hour. One song or classical piece is almost always enough.

the Cocktail Hour, Brunch, Dinner, or Reception

Are we also playing your reception music? You can make up to three specific song requests for each hour. We want to help you create your individual flavor for the wedding, so please give us general guidance (such as “play upbeat modern pop songs” or “play Sinatra and Broadway tunes”). The musicians will rely on their knowledge and experience to “read the crowd” and keep the event flowing — this is one of the advantages of having live musicians. And of course we will need to know your first dance songs.

Have a great time picking out your music!