Phoenix Wedding Ceremony Music – Most Popular Songs

With all the decisions brides have to make when planning their wedding ceremonies, selecting the songs for their ceremony can be one of the most difficult but also the most fun. Couples get to decide:

  • Live ensemble or recorded music
  • What style of music
  • What exact songswedding ceremony music Phoenix

Once a couple selects who will play the music and what style, they get to decide on music for the wedding party, the bride’s processional and the recessional.

Below are some of the most common songs for each of these portions of the wedding, both classical style and contemporary.

TOP 10 PROCESSIONAL SONGS

A Thousand Years, Christina Perri

Autumn, Vivaldi

Ave Maria, Schubert

Bitter Sweet Symphony, The Verve

Canon in D, Pachelbel

Clair de Lune, Debussy

I’ll Be There, Jackson 5

Make You Feel My Love, Adele

Marry Me, Train

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Of these songs, we have had requests for A Thousand Years, Canon in D and Somewhere Over the rainbow. While this music is often used for the wedding party, they are also great choices for other parts of the ceremony.

The music for the bride’s entrance is perhaps the most important choice. This is the moment that everyone is waiting for, so it must be the most memorable! Below are the top choices of brides around the country.

 

TOP 10 BRIDE ENTRANCE SONGS

And I Love Her, The Beatles

Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, Elton John

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop, Landon Pigg

Glasgow Love Theme, from Love Actually

Hoppipola, Sigur Ros

The Luckiest, Ben Folds

Landslide, Fleetwood Mac

Water Suite, No. 2 in D Major, Handel

Wedding March, Mendelssohn

What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

Of these songs, our brides have selected What a Wonderful World and the Wedding March. We also have had requests for A Thousand Years, Canon in D, Bridal Chorus (“Here Comes the Bride”) and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran.

Recessional music is generally lively music with a celebratory message. Below are some top choices.

 

TOP 10 RECESSIONAL SONGS

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Marvin Gaye

All You Need is Love, The Beatles

Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Hymne, Vangelis

Love on Top, Beyonce

Lucky, Jason Mraz & Colbie Callait

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder

Spring, Vivaldi

You Are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne

You Make My Dreams Come True, Hall & Oates

While these may be popular songs in some areas of the nation, here in Phoenix, we’ve never gotten a request for any of these songs for recessional music. The most popular recessional songs we have are  You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy StoryRondeau, Jean-Joseph Mouret (this is by far the most frequent request we’ve gotten from couples), and the Wedding March by Mendelssohn.

While there is a reason these songs are so popular, and it’s because they are such classics, we also encourage our couples to choose songs that are most meaningful to them. For a complete list of our wedding music repertoire, click here. We have had some unusual requests but are always happy to make arrangements for flute and guitar so couples will have just what they want to hear on their wedding day.

Referral – Wedding at the Tempe Center for the Arts

The ultimate compliment is getting a referral from a former client, especially when that client is present for the both events. This just happened recently when we played a wedding where we were referred by a couple whose wedding and cocktail hour we played for last year.

The couple we played for last year held their wedding on the rooftop of the Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix. It was a hot and windy day and following that wedding, we had a second wedding to play at Sassi Scottsdale, so it was a full day.

We were delighted to get an email from a bride about six months ago saying that she was referred by our former clients. Their wedding was held on a late Saturday afternoon at the Tempe Center for the Arts outdoors on the north patio. While it was a very warm day, it was surprisingly cooler on the patio. Tempe Center for the Arts wedding music

When we arrived, there was a huge crowd in the lobby getting ready to see a Childsplay Theater Company performance. The staff at the Tempe Center for the Arts was very nice and prepared though. They had the wedding ceremony site all set up with chairs and the sound system and even a spot with chairs and music stands for us! It was a smaller area than we expected but since we only brought our larger Bose sound system, we set that up instead of our smaller amplifier. As we were setting up, we noticed that one of our photographer friends, Kevin Wolfson, was photographing the wedding, so that was fun to get to be on a wedding with him.

About half an our before the ceremony started, we began playing classical music to set a romantic mood for the wedding. Some guests sat inside the open doors to listen and some gathered outside in their seats for the wedding ceremony. At one point, there was a young lady all dressed up, perhaps for her quinceañera, who was posing for pictures on the Tempe Town Lake walkway that the ceremony was looking out on, so it was fun seeing her.wedding music Tempe Center for the Arts

Before we knew it, it was time for the ceremony to start. The aisle for the processional wasn’t very long, but the flower girl and bridesmaids walked nice and slowly, so we were able to play a good amount of the song the bride chose for their processional – A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Next, the bride entered with her father to a song that we arranged especially for her – 18th Floor Balcony by Blue October.

The ceremony was quite emotional for the couple and was performed by a judge as onlookers walking down the path along Tempe Town Lake looked on. There was even a bride and her bridesmaids out taking pictures in the background during part of the ceremony which was kind of ironic. There was no unity ceremony or sand ceremony, so we didn’t get to play again until the end of the wedding ceremony.

Once the couple was announced as man and wife, they did their recessional to the most famous and traditional wedding recessional music around, Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.

Following the wedding ceremony, the couple requested that we perform romantic contemporary music as they got pictures taken and their guests enjoyed drinks. The bar of the Tempe Center for the Arts was open, so guests got drinks inside and then came outdoors to the patio again to listen to the music. We played lots of our favorite romantic songs including And I Love Her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, The Nearness of You by Hoagy Charmichael and Ned Washington, Some Day My Prince Will Come by Frank Churchhill and Larry Morey and many more.

After the couple finished their photos, the guests departed for the reception which was to be held at a home in Tempe. As always, we had a lot of fun playing for this couple and their guests, and we’re so thankful to our former clients for this referral.

Wedding Music at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix

We recently played for a beautiful wedding ceremony and cocktail hour at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix that was such a lovely, memorable event.

The couple were living out of town, so many of the arrangements were made by the bride’s mother and father. We made most general arrangements about the music through them, but before the final decisions were made, the couple themselves decided on the music for the processional, bride’s entrance and recessional – as well as a list of 98 songs they wanted played at the cocktail hour! The processional of bridesmaids was to Edelweiss from Sound of Music, the bride entered to What a Wonderful world and the recessional was to You’ve Got a Friend in Me, from Toy Story.

The wedding itself took place in the ceremony area of the Desert Botanical Garden behind the Ullman Terrace. It was a pretty area with plenty of seating and a gorgeous view of the mountain and desert landscape behind. As the ceremony musicians, we sat behind the guests in an unpaved area. The ceremony took place on a large raised stage with the guests a few seats lower. There was enough seating for more than 100 guests.

It was a busy preparation before guests arrived.  Since there were military personnel participating, they held several run-throughs of their sword arch ceremony that would be performed later in the evening as the bride and groom were presented before dinner. It seemed like it would be a very impressive ceremony, at least as we saw it rehearsed.

As we were setting up for prelude music, there was also a DJ setting up to play for the dinner. We played prelude music as guests arrived and sipped on cool drinks. It was a beautiful day albeit a bit windy and warm.  For the prelude music, we played some of our favorite classical romantic music.

The processionals went without a hitch, followed by a pretty extensive ceremony. There was a large wedding party, many of whom participated in the ceremony by doing one of the six readings. They had a microphone set up for the readers, so it was easy for guests to hear. The readings ranged from scripture to a Dr. Suess poem. 

Following the announcement and recessional of the new couple, we packed up our sound system and quickly relocated to the cocktail hour location nearby on the Ullman Terrace. We set up in a corner close to the building in the shade that was also out of the way of guests. We were close to they bar, so there was lots of activity nearby.

For the cocktail hour, we played a large selection as chosen specifically by the couple. It included a variety of music including standard love songs, Broadway favorites, movie music, jazz tunes and contemporary songs. It was a lively celebration, but before we knew it, the wedding planners were moving guests back to the ceremony area which had been transformed into an outdoor dining room.

We had a wonderful time playing in this gorgeous setting. Yes, it was a bit of a walk to bring all of our equipment out to the wedding venue, but it was definitely worth it! Such an appreciative family and a beautiful day. We were honored to be a part of their wedding!

Booking Custom Wedding Ceremony Music is Easier Than You Think

When it comes to decisions facing a couple planning a wedding, deciding on live music for your ceremony and/or cocktail hour versus recorded music is one of the most Custom wedding music phoneixbasic but also most important decisions you will make. Luckily, there is no right or wrong decision. Both have their pros and cons, but the decision is often made based on simplicity, in addition to taste and budget.

Parts of a Wedding that Use Live Music – Ceremony Music and Cocktail Hour Music

Whether you go with live music or a DJ, you can expect that the music will begin about 15 minutes before the ceremony with “prelude” music, include music for the bride’s processional, the bridesmaids’ entrance, the unity ceremony and the recessional. After the ceremony, there is usually “postlude” music that is played as your guests leave their seats and head to the cocktail hour. Music also is played for the cocktail hour to help set the mood and keep your guests entertained. And for the reception, there is often a live band or DJ.

Hiring Live Musicians is Easy

With the technology available today, hiring live musicians is not as time-consuming as you may think. Thanks to websites, email and YouTube, you can do most of your shopping for live music without even having to go hear their performances in person. We suggest that you start by reviewing several musicians’ websites. Having a well-designed site with active links is a must, as it shows the ensemble is professional and pays attention to detail. While on the website, listen to as many demo recordings as they have available. Be sure to listen to music from all the styles the group offers, especially the styles you are interested in having played at your wedding ceremony or cocktail hour. Do they have the cocktail hour songs you’d like to hear at your wedding?

Live Traditional Wedding Music

If you’re looking for traditional wedding music, listen to those samples and make sure they sound like what you have in mind. Also, take the time to watch the groups’ videos as they will give you an idea of how the ensemble presents themselves during performances. As you listen and watch, imagine how the ensembles will sound at your wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. Will they help set the mood you want to have at your wedding?

Is it Worth Hiring Live Musicians for Your Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour?

Having live wedding ceremony music or cocktail hour music gives you the dynamics of a live performance that you just can’t get with a DJ. Having live music brings your wedding both a distinctive and traditional feel. If you book a small ensemble, rather than a string quartet (4 musicians) or larger band, it can give your wedding a much more personalized and intimate feeling, no matter the number of guests you have attending. And contrary to what you may think, musicians these days tend to be very versatile, so you can choose from a wide array of styles and songs. Most musicians will even arrange your favorite song for their instrumentation, so you can get a unique, memorable performance.

Instead of just having the same DJ for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, make your wedding a truly memorable event by hiring live musicians for part of your day!

Best Bride’s Processional Songs from the Sixties

If you’re looking for wedding ceremony music that will take you and bride's processional songsyour guests back to a simpler, sweeter time and place, there’s no better decade to choose music from than the sixties. Guests of all ages will appreciate the nostalgia of this “peace and love” generation. There are so many beautiful, romantic classic love songs from the sixties that are perfect for wedding processionals.

While we generally think of pop love songs when we think of music from the sixties, but there were also many songs that made social and political statements. In the second half of the decade, music reflected the growing hippie culture. In addition to psychedelic music, there was also radio-friendly pop music and harder rock that helped make album sales rise in importance.

During this period, television networks tried to attract a younger audience by featuring rock musicians performing their hits. American Bandstand, the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows featured rock bands popular in the day.

Obviously, The Beatles dominated the record charts with 6 of the top 10 albums during that decade and 21 of the top 100 singles. Elvis Presley, in comparison, had 9 of the top 100 singles and 4 of the top 100 albums.

The best sixties music is generally thought of as produced by musical artists from England coming to the United States, called “The British Invasion”.

Sixties Songs for Brides Processional

When it comes to choosing music to suit a bride’s processional, there are so many choices of great music from the sixties. Since the bride’s processional is the quintessential moment of every lady’s wedding day, this is frequently the song that gets the most thought from brides because she needs the perfect song to walk down the aisle to. While many brides opt for traditional music, a large number of today’s brides are choosing more contemporary love songs or one of the beautiful songs from the sixties.

Some our couples’ favorites for the bride’s processional that we love to play too include:

  • Crazy (1961)
  • And I Love Her (1964)
  • Can’t Take My Eyes of You (1967)

Sixties Songs for the Bridesmaids and Wedding Party

With each lady handpicked by the bride, the bridesmaids’ entrance music should be extra-special. We believe bridesmaids’ entrance should be honored with a unique song that will show just how special these ladies are to the couple. Some of our favorite songs for bridesmaids and wedding parties are:

  • Here, There and Everywhere (1966)
  • What A Wonderful World (1967)
  • All You Need is Love (1967)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (1961)
  • Unchained Melody (1965)

While some of our brides carefully select every song they want for their prelude, recessional, unity ceremony and recessional, choosing your wedding music can be as simple or involved as each couple wants. The main things we suggest to them when selecting wedding processional music, is that it’s important that the music reflects the mood of your wedding, your personalities and your feelings about your relationship.

If you know of a song from the sixties that is special to you and your fiancé and it fits the mood of your wedding, we would love to play it for you. Please contact us today to discuss your ideas!

Songs for the Unity Sand Ceremony at Your Wedding

Unity sand ceremonies for weddings have become a popular alternative to the more traditional unity candle ceremonies. But, with all the details that go with planning weddings, music for the sand ceremony is often not considered until the musicians ask.

The sand ceremony is a perfect opportunity for music though! Depending upon what you arrange with your officiant, the sand ceremony could be very short to several minutes long. The sand ceremony takes place after the vows. For outdoor ceremonies, the sand ceremony is popular because wind is always a risk for unity candle ceremonies but is not an issue for sand ceremonies.Classical Music Sand Ceremony Phoenix

Pouring two different colors of sands together is used to symbolize the joining of the bride and groom or the joining of their families. For the ceremony, three small vases are set up –  one for the bride and groom to pour the sand into as well as one for the bride and one for the groom to pour the sand from. The bride’s and groom’s vases are each filled with a different color of sand which symbolizes the separate lives of the bride and groom and their families. After the ceremony, the two empty vases can be used to display fresh flowers at the wedding reception. The vase containing the combined sand can be put on display at the ceremony and in the new couple’s home as a constant reminder of their wedding day.Wedding Sand Ceremony Songs Phoenix

There are three ways the sand ceremony is generally conducted:

  1. The officiant makes a few remarks about the significance of the sand ceremony then the couple pours the sand into the vase. The musicians play after the officiant is finished speaking. Because the sand pouring doesn’t take much time, the music generally ends a while after the couple finishes pouring.
  2. The officiant speaks while the couple pours the sand. This plan doesn’t work so well if you want music during the sand ceremony because it can often be too loud for the officiant to be heard. If this is the plan, it’s just important to make sure the music is soft enough or starts after the officiant finishes speaking.
  3. The officiant says a few words, the family comes forward to pour some sand and then the couple pours the sand. This works well musically because it takes more time, so more music can be played.

Music can certainly make the sand ceremony more meaningful, but the music must be played sensitively, since if it is too loud, it can overpower the words. We generally play a short selection of sentimental music softly in the background. Couples often choose a center vessel with a narrow opening that slows down the rate of sand flow so the couple can spend this time thoughtfully listening to the music. Alternatively, couples just enjoy the music and the moment until the song ends after they finish pouring. The two elements don’t have to be completed at exactly the same time.

A couple’s choice of music for their wedding’s sand ceremony is completely personal, so there is no right or wrong choice, but we can recommend some of our favorites that we would suggest for couples who are looking for ideas.

 

Classical Music for Sand Ceremonies
Air on the G String, J. S. Bach
Ave Maria, Franz Schubert
Greensleeves, Traditional
Gymnopedie I, Eric Satie
Meditation from Thais, Jules Massenet
Spanish Romance, Anon.
Vieni, vieni, Antonio Vivaldi

Contemporary Music for Sand Ceremonies
All I Ask of You – Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Can’t Help Falling in Love, G. Weiss, H. Peretti & L. Creatore
One Hand, One Heart – West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein
Somewhere, Over the Rainbow, Harold Arlen
Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
Unforgettable, Irving Gordon
What a Wonderful World, Bob Thiele

5 mistakes to avoid when choosing wedding music

As most people know, the music you choose for you wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and reception is one of the main ways you can set the mood for your special day. But, unfortunately, many couples with good intentions make bad decisions because they just don’t know enough about selecting music, selecting a band or ensemble , or selecting a DJ. To help make sure you make good decisions when it comes to choosing music for your wedding, we offer the following to help you avoid the most common mistakes.mistakes to avoid when choosing Phoenix wedding music

Common wedding music mistakes:

  1. Ruling out live music or a DJ before you actually research the options in your city. Most people assume that hiring live musicians will be more costly than hiring a DJ. Some others may assume that having a DJ will automatically come across as tacky. Neither is totally true, of course. If you plan ahead, and shop wisely, you can find small ensembles that can bring an intimate, romantic mood to your wedding and won’t break the bank. Alternately, skilled DJ’s can bring energy to a crowd and lead the evening through a lively celebration. We recommend that you contact a variety of live musicians and DJ’s and really spend the time to consider your options before making a decision on which to book. Also, you can get the best of both worlds by booking live musicians for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour and a DJ for the rest of the celebration.
  2. Not consulting your wedding venue regarding music suggestions and restrictions. Some venues have restrictions regarding music – such as not allowing live musicians to be amplified, so it’s always best to consult with your venue to find out if there are any such rules. Additionally, you should ask if they have any suggestions regarding the appropriate ensemble size (solo, duo, trio or quartet) for your wedding ceremony venue, cocktail hour venue, dinner and reception venue. If you’re hiring live musicians, you can also speak with them, as they may have experience  and advice about playing in your venue.
  3. Having no music as guests arrive at your ceremony. Whether you choose to have live musicians or a DJ playing recordings, be sure to have some music playing as guests arrive for your ceremony. This music, referred to as “prelude music” is often more on the romantic side, either contemporary love songs or more traditional classical wedding music. When you hire live musicians, you can work with them to select just the style of music you’d like to set the mood for your wedding.
  4. Not mentioning your favorite songs. Whether you choose a live ensemble or a DJ, don’t be shy about requesting your favorite music or songs. Professional ensembles should have a large repertoire and should be able to play the standard wedding music and popular weddings songs, so don’t be shy about asking. If they don’t have your favorite song in their repertoire, they can often make arrangements especially for you for a nominal fee. When using a DJ, they should have access to most every popular recording, so be sure to give them your “must play” list as well as your “do not play” list.
  5. Allowing the music to overshadow the conversation. Whether it’s during the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner or reception, it’s important that the music volume balances well with the other activity. Never should the volume be so loud that it makes it difficult to hear the officiant, the couple or your guests’ conversations. For the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, the volume should be fairly low, but once the reception starts, the volume can be kicked up to drive the party atmosphere.

There are so many considerations when choosing music for your wedding, so be sure to take the time to talk to experienced, professional musicians and DJ’s who can help make the music and integral part of your wedding day.

Tips on How to Save Money on Your Phoenix Wedding Music

The cost of weddings can easily get out of control, but we wanted to give you a few tips on how to have the wedding music you’ve dreamed of without spending more money than you need to.

save money on wedding music
tips on how to save money on wedding music
  1. Book musicians early. The top musicians in Phoenix get booked early, so for best availability, you’ll always want to begin conversations with potential wedding musicians at least 6 months in advance. You may find fine, professional musicians with shorter notice, but without much lead time, rates can be higher than if you plan ahead.
  2. You may be considering different musicians for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception in order to have a variety of music. But, the fact is, if you hire one ensemble to play several parts of your wedding, you will save considerable amounts of money because most musicians’ fees are reduced after the first hour. Just look for well-trained, experience, versatile musicians who are able to perform a variety of styles, and you should be happy with  your entertainment.
  3. As you plan your wedding, keep in mind that musicians often charge fees for sound equipment, so be sure to ask about these fees before booking. Depending upon the ensemble and the equipment, fees may vary greatly. Also, be aware that some ensembles charge extra fees to move their equipment from say, the wedding ceremony site to the cocktail hour site. This fee will certainly be less than hiring multiple groups, but it is still a fee which should be considered and perhaps avoided with some planning.
  4. Experienced musicians will have fairly extensive song lists including music that is particularly suited for processionals of the wedding party, the entrance of the bride, the unity ceremony, the recessional, the cocktail hour and the reception. Be sure to discuss the styles and variety of music that you can choose from before booking a musician. In addition to choosing songs of their standard play lists, many musicians offer to arrange songs that you request. Many couples do have songs that are particularly meaningful to them that they would like included in their ceremonies, but just be aware that most musicians charge a fee to arrange the music for their instrumentation and to rehearse the music in order to prepare it to perform for you. If you’re looking to save money on wedding music, we suggest you choose only one or two special songs to be arranged to keep the cost down.

While there are certainly some specific ways of saving money on your wedding music, we would caution you NEVER to hire wedding musicians just based on price alone. Some couples think they can save money by hiring friends or students, but in the end, they often end up disappointed that the quality of the performance is not what they had hoped for on their special day.  So, we recommend that you get the very best musicians you can and then use the tips above to save some money where you can.

Live music at your Phoenix wedding cocktail hour? 7 questions to help you decide

Among the many decisions couples have to make when planning their weddings is

whether or not to have live music at

Live musicians at wedding at WigWam Resort, Litchfield Park, AZ
Live musicians at wedding at WigWam Resort, Litchfield Park, AZ

their cocktail hour. Here are seven questions for you to answer to help you decide if you should hire living musicians for your cocktail hour or not.

  1. Do you want to set a special ambiance for your cocktail hour (celebratory, intimate, romantic, elegant, fun, etc.)? If you’re looking to have a more high-end feel to your wedding, live music is one of those touches that can’t replicated with a DJ just playing recordings. Live musicians will bring a more personalized, intimate feel to the cocktail hour by playing soft background music that sets the mood for the hour.
  2. Do your guests all pretty much know each other? If you have guests at the cocktail hour who don’t know each other, it can sometimes feel like a long time between the ceremony and dinner for guests who don’t know others there. Having live musicians creates a relaxing, pleasant focal point for guests to enjoy while waiting for you to return from taking pictures.
  3. Do your guests get to hear live musicians often? Many people rarely get the opportunity to watch and listen to live, professional musicians in anything other than a large concert setting. They may hear hobbiests perform in the local coffee shop, but this is a very different experience from hearing professional musicians, so consider if you would like to treat your guests to the special, memorable experience of professional live music when they attend your wedding.

    live music or just a DJ at your wedding
    How to decide if you should have live music or just a DJ at your wedding
  4. How will you keep your guests entertained for all of the wedding festivities? Between the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and reception, the whole event can be a long day for your guests. For this reason, it’s important to plan a variety of ways to entertain them. While your ceremony may be with traditional wedding music, your cocktail hour could reflect this style or have more lively, jazzy music. Then the evening can get more energetic until it progresses to dancing to a DJ’s tunes.
  5. Is your cocktail hour in the same location as your dinner and reception? If your cocktail hour is not in the same location as your dinner and reception, it may be difficult for your DJ to set up in multiple locations and it may cause a delay. If you have live musicians play for your cocktail hour, they can quickly move from the ceremony location to the cocktail hour location. This allows your DJ to set up and do sound checks in one location without having to set up twice.
  6. Can you budget for live music for my cocktail hour? You may be surprised to learn that if you are already hiring musicians for your wedding ceremony, it is often quite reasonable in price to keep them on for the cocktail hour as well. Many musicians have a higher fee for the first hour and then reduced fees for subsequent hours. You can save money by asking about pricing for one ensemble for several hours rather than hiring different ensembles for each part of your wedding.
  7. What are your priorities? The decision to have live music or not really boils down to what your priorities are. If you are on a tight budget and would rather spend your money on more booze, hiring live musicians for your cocktail hour doesn’t make sense. But, if music is important to you and you believe it will help create the romantic, elegant ambiance you’re looking for at your wedding, then there is no substitute for booking live musicians.

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!