Classical Music & Weddings


“Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning, you need two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.”    

Author unknown (lol)

You arrive at the church, dressed in your best attire and take your seat  15 minutes before the wedding is to begin. You wait, and wait and wait, straining to hear the familiar sound of “Here comes the Bride,” or “Wedding March.”  Finally……..

Here Comes The Bride

“Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage,”

  so goes the popular jingle.    And what goes better with marriage than classical music?

Which bride does not envisage coming down the aisle to the beat of Bridal Chorus, Wedding March or Canon in D.

Undoubtedly, one of the most traditional and all time classical music favorites is  Bridal Chorus by  Wagner.   This piece is often played on the organ or on the classical piano and is usually played without singing.

Bridal Chorus – a brief history

Richard Wilhelm Wagner
Written in 1850 by Richard Wagner, Bridal Chorus was a part of an opera  called “Lohengrin.”  As the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber, the “Bridal Chorus was sung.  The irony was that rather than a “happily hereafter ending,” the story ends in tragedy for the lovers.

The Man Behind The Music 

Born in Germany in 1813,  Richard  Wilhelm Wagner  (1813 – 1883),

 was known as the world’s most influential and controversial composer.  He was also a director and polemicist who was primarily known for writing operas or dramas.

Marching In Or Out

Another of the more popular classical compositions is the “Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn.  Composed in 1842, the “Wedding March”  at first accompanied the   “A Midsummers Night’s Dream,” by the famous poet, Shakespeare. It gained further notoriety in 1858 when Queen Victoria’s daughter demanded it played at her own wedding.

The Man Behind The Music
Felix Mendelsohn

Adored by those who knew him intimately,  Felix Mendelssohn has been described as  “the greatest musical genius since Mozart,” by Queen Victoria. Highly intelligent, the young Felix excelled as an athlete, painter, poet, linguist and musician. At age nine, he made his public debut and wrote 12 string symphonies influenced by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart.

Canon In D – 

It’s hard to imagine a wedding without this all-time favorite, Canon In D’,  one of  Johann Pachelbel’s most famous pieces.  Striking in its’ simplicity,  it consists of only eight bars of music repeated 28 times. Yet, it has been described as “one of the best-known pieces  of classical music ever written.”

About the Man

Johann Pachelbel

A German composer,  organist, and teacher,  Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706) enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime. He composed a large body of sacred as well as secular music but is best known for the Canon In D and Chaconne in F Minor.  His style was lucid and harmonic clarity was his emphasis.

Other popular professionals  for parents and bridesmaids are 

  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – from Cantata #47 – by Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • Largo – from Concerto for two violins also by Bach is a great regal processional.
  • Air on the G String – from Suite#3 in D major – by  Bach.
  • Ode to Joy from symphony#9 –Beethoven is another famous piece for bride or recessional.
  • Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke is perhaps on of the best choices for bridal recessional.


Best Music For Wedding Reception

So, you’ve  said the “I do’s and I wills,” and now it’s off to the wedding reception.

If the wedding ceremony is the main event, the reception is the highlight.

Many long hours have gone into the immaculately decorated reception area, where the guests are seated.

And what better way to entertain the guests while creating a joyous and relaxing atmosphere than background romantic or classical music.

Live band or recorded music?   A stringed quartet or full orchestra?

Whatever the mix,  below are some traditional classical favorites recommendations for young and old.

  • Love Theme from the movie Romeo and Juliet  by Nino Rota
  • Moon River from Breakfast At Tiffany’s  by Henry Mancini
  • The Entertainer & Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
  • Over the Rainbow, by Harold Arlen &
  • Misty by Errol Garner


…And the beat goes on…

What do you think?

What are some of your all-time favorite wedding music?




Your constructive comments or criticisms are always welcomed.



Sources: Classic fm



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