What (classical) music should you choose for your wedding?
What (classical) music should you choose for your wedding? © Getty  /  Image Source

What (classical) music should you choose for your wedding?

Weddings are a joyous moment, celebrating love and happiness. But the preparations are often anything but... In order to make this task ever so slightly easier, here is a playlist of the most beautiful music to accompany the special day.

Guest list, seating plans, flowers, caterer... Everything is sorted. And what about the music? On the long list of things to prepare for a wedding, music must not be forgotten or left to the last minute. But where to start when your knowledge of music stops at All You Need is Love by the Beatles?

The classics

Mendelssohn's Wedding March

Mendelssohn's Wedding March, what else? A theme that everyone knows, even if they don't know the name. Composed in 1843, it is an excerpt from A Midsummer Night's Dream, a work of incidental music for the stage, inspired by Shakespeare'swork of the same name. It is made up of 11 short works including the famous Wedding March (number 7).

Pachelbel's Canon

Similar to Mendelssohn's March, Pachelbel's Canon is amongst the top five most frequently performed works for a wedding entrance: classical, efficient, with a rising strength. Interestingly, the work can be performed in a variety of ways in order to evoke different intentions: it may be played at a rapid tempo so as to create an upbeat and joyous atmosphere, or slowly for a more intense and serious atmosphere. Composed in around 1700, the work has known a multitude of different interpretations, each unique in its own way, allowing for a variety of choices for the big day. 

Some Wagner!

Last of the traditional choices: the nuptial march, Here Comes the Bride (also known as the Bridal Chorus), from Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin. A perfect choice for those who love Wagner, even if it is rather conventional. 

Those who absolutely wish to have some Wagner during their wedding without the classical "hit" lay choose to use the prelude from the same opera. Dreamy, though perhaps a little long in its opening (the walk had better be a long one), it is perfect for drawing a few tears from the guests. 

Classical, but not too much

Wachet auf by Bach

Staying in the classical realm without calling upon those works that everyone expects at a wedding, one can always rely upon Bach. Many of the German composer's works are perfect for accompanying a wedding entrance. But if only one work must be chosen, why not the Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, the voice cries to us). Spiritual, bright, peaceful, it is also known as Sleepers Wake.

Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition by Moussorgsky

A more imperial choice but still very classical, the Promenade from Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition an entrance worthy of aprincely wedding. Rich brass, a memorable melody, a strong romantic entrance by the strings and it's in the bag. The work's great advantage is its length: very short, it can be performed in its entirety in the time that the couple arrive.

Piano version: 

Zadok the Priest by Handel

If you're looking to really impress the guests, look no further than Handel's Zadok the Priest. The hymn was originally used at the coronation of George II in 1727. Opening very softly, the explosive choral entrance does not go unnoticed. A highly popular work, featured in a variety of films, it is also the Champion's League anthem...perfect for football fans! 

Something a little more original

Holst's Planets

For a more epic entrance, knightly and romantic, Gustav Holst is your man. An excerpt from his Planets evokes journey and melancholy, and may be perfectly suited for a wedding ceremony. 

Django !

Classical music not your thing? Jazz then! You can't go wrong with Django Reinhardt's guitar, especially when it is combined with the genius of Stéphane Grappelli. Their Minor Swing will spice up the atmosphere and lead you down the aisle with ease and levity. 

Danzon n°2 by Marquez

Trick your guests with Danzon n°2 by Arturo Marquez. A calm and serene opening leads progressively to a joyous explosion of festivity and dance. A good mood, guaranteed.

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