I get super excited when I get asked to come up with ideas for wedding ceremony music because gone are the days of just featuring a simple organist playing ‘here comes the bride’. There are endless possibilities of music you could feature in your ceremony, and I love it when couples feature live music within this most important part of their day.
A lot of couples will choose one entertainment act to provide songs for each of the ‘moments’ below. Most acts should be able to provide you with a package that can cover all your wedding ceremony music, but it is also lovely when perhaps two or three different entertainment acts are used. Some couples might want something more traditional for when guests arrive and as the bride walks down the aisle, but then a more modern approach for later in the ceremony. The world is your oyster!
Here are a few ideas…
As Your Guests Arrive
There’s nothing better than a bit of live music to set the atmosphere as your guests arrive for your wedding ceremony. A lot of people do tend to be a bit more traditional here, so a string quartet or harpist is always a lovely option. However, if you want something a bit different, what about hiring a solo vocalist to sing beautiful love songs, or an acoustic duo or trio? They could perform romantic tunes by artistes like James Morrison, Bryan Adams, Shania Twain or Bruno Mars.
As You Walk Down the Aisle
Undoubtedly the most memorable and most thought about moment of your whole wedding (in most cases!). I think every woman has had an idea in her head for what she would like to walk down the aisle to since she was a little girl.
I’ve seen all sorts of ideas brought to life – a live singer performing your favourite song (some beautiful choices that I’ve seen were Phil Collins’ ‘Groovy Kind of Love’, and Aretha Franklin’s ‘You’re All I Need To Get By’), a gospel choir (just stunning!), or a string quartet performing something traditional (‘Here Comes the Bride’ of course, and ‘Canon in D Major’ is also very popular). You could also think about getting a string quartet to play a beautiful classical version of one of your favourite and most touching pop tunes. Imagine walking down the aisle to a string version of ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ or something more modern like ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol. What an epic moment that would be!
In Place of a Reading
Where you would usually have a reading, why not have your favourite song performed? I think it’s important to think of something personal to you – something that lyrically says something similar to your vows, or content that you feel is important to your relationship.
A couple of times I’ve seen the bride and groom choose a ‘secret’ song for each other, which are both performed. This is a really sweet idea, and it’s lovely to watch their faces as the songs are revealed. For example, brides could choose something like ‘My Guy’? Grooms – what about ‘Something’ by The Beatles, or ‘You Are So Beautiful’ by Joe Cocker?
Signing the Register
Usually everyone is scrambling about with their cameras at this point, trying to get their fair share of photographs of you signing on the dotted line, so something up-tempo is always nice here.
Whether you go for a quartet, singer, guitarist, choir, or any other type of entertainment, they will probably want to prepare two or three songs. It doesn’t take very long to sign the papers at all – it’s the photograph posing that takes a while!
Suggestions for songs at this point… What about ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)’ by Stevie Wonder? Pretty perfect, I’d say!
Since the ‘Love Actually’ film came out, a lot of couples have wanted to organise some sort of surprise wedding ceremony music. For those of you who haven’t seen the film or have forgotten, in the film there are all sorts of musicians and singers hidden in the congregation and a choir up on the balcony. One by one they all come out of the woodwork! It’s a really lovely idea and lots of people have tried to re-enact that. Sadly, to do it as it happened in the film would be somewhat expensive (there was a whole choir and lots of musicians), but there are lots of options for a small scale version.
For example, you could just have three singers sat in the congregation who one by one burst into song, or perhaps some brass players. It’s great fun and will be something you and your guests remember forever!
Your ‘Just Married’ Leaving Song
This is another fantastic moment and has to be matched with music that is just as fantastic! Something happy and monumental would be perfect, like ‘Rule the World’ by Take That, or perhaps something funny like the Loony Tunes theme tune (‘That’s All Folks’).
Other Wedding Ceremony Song Ideas
- Your Song – Elton John
- If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
- All You Need is Love – The Beatles
- Stand By Me – Ben E.King
- I’m Kissing You – Des’ree
- Can’t Help Falling in Love With You – Elvis Presley
- At Last – Etta James
- Songbird – Fleetwood Mac
- Let’s Get Married – Al Green
- Marry You – Bruno Mars
- Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
- All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo
- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
Guest post by Sera Golding of MIB Music
Cello: Flickr by Nosha (CC BY-SA License)
Bride Walking Down the Aisle and Signing Register: Matt Pereira Photography
Couple Leaving Ceremony: Lara Hotz Photography