Tips for Selecting Music for the Main Sections of a Phoenix Wedding Ceremony

Years later, most couples remember and still have a very warm place in their hearts

outdoor wedding musicians at the WigWam Resort in Litchfield Park, AZ
Setting up for an outdoor wedding at the WigWam Resort in Litchfield Park, AZ

for the songs played at their wedding. Maybe you like the idea of having live musicians for your wedding ceremony but don’t even know where to begin with planning the music. If so, here is a quick summary of the six main sections of standard wedding ceremonies that call for music and a few options to get you started thinking.

  1. Prelude– As guests arrive and are being seated (generally a selection by the musicians which  lasts 10 – 20 minutes)
    1. Traditional options: The Swan – Saint-Saens, Clair de Lune – Debussy, Meditation from Thais- Massenet
    2. Contemporary options: A Time for Us (Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet), Beauty and the Beast, Unforgettable
  2. Processional– As the bridal party enters 
    1. Traditional options: Trumpet Voluntary – Clark, Trumpet Tune – Purcell, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” – Bach
    2. Contemporary options: Your Song – Elton John, All You Need Is Love – The Beatles, Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  3. Bride’s Entrance– As the bride enters
    1. Traditional options: The Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride) from Lohengrin –Wagner, Trumpet Tune – Purcell, Canon in D – Pachelbel
    2. Contemporary options: In My Life – The Beatles, Can’t Help Falling in Love, All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera
  4. Interlude/Unity Candle/Sand Ceremony– During the Ceremony
    1. Traditional options: Greensleeves, Ave Maria – Schubert, Gymnopedie No. 1 – Satie
    2. Contemporary options: Everything I Do – Bryan Adams, One Hand, One Heart – West Side Story, Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  5. Recessional– As the couple exits
    1. Traditional options: Wedding March (Midsummer Night’s Dream) – Mendelssohn, Alla Hornpipe (from Water Music Suite) – Handel, Ode To Joy – Beethoven
    2. Contemporary options: Happy Together – The Turtles, Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder, Marry You – Bruno Mars
  6. Postlude– As the guests stand and leave  (generally a selection by the musicians which lasts 5 – 15 minutes)
    1. Traditional options: La Rejouissance – Handel, Rondeau – Mouret, Autumn – Antonio Vivaldi
    2. Contemporary options: All You Need Is Love – The Beatles, How Sweet It Is – James Taylor, At Last – Etta James

Spending time with your fiancé picking out your music is fun, relaxing and will help make your music meaningful. But, if you don’t have a strong preference for any certain songs or music, experienced wedding musicians will be able to recommend appropriate songs that suit your tastes, whether they be more traditional, contemporary or unique.

Nothing like music has the power to express the emotion of a wedding ceremony, so if you’re looking for the secret to a more meaningful day, live musicians will bring the perfect touch to your ceremony.

Be sure to check out our play list to see some more of the music we like to perform for Phoenix-area couples!