Music creates a definite emotion and sentiment for your wedding ceremony. It sets the tone. So, choosing what wedding songs will be playing when you walk down the aisle is an important decision. Here are the top three wedding processional songs of all time. Really beautiful classics. Be sure to listen to the videos performed by Steven Vance Entertainment of Pittsburgh. I personally can’t decide if I like #1 or #3 better. I had #1 at my wedding. It was lovely, but #3  is pretty awesome, too!

TOP WEDDING PROCESSIONAL SONGS

“Canon in D” 

“Canon” or “Canon in D was composed around 1694 and was likely written for a wedding. This piece is now heard in virtually every Wedding Ceremony scene on TV and in film.  The music term canon is where multiple instruments play the same melodies at different times – think “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.  Although designed for multiple instruments the melody is strong enough to be played beautifully by a single-line instrument such as Violin or Flute.  The more instruments you add the more rich and complex the musical layers. Quartet (4 pieces) or Quintet (5) are ideal if your budget allows but Duo, Trio, Organ, Piano, or Harp will sound great. Canon works well for a Bridesmaids Processional because it takes time to develop from slow whole notes to fast sixteenth notes.  For Brides –  take a few deep breaths before you enter and move slowly to allow the music to build to it’s magnificent apex. A nice thing about Canon is that you can stop playing it at the end of almost any 8-measure section and it will sound like it was supposed to end there.  See one of our quartets play this piece at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUF2mKzrWr4

The “Bridal Chorus” 

The “Bridal Chorus” from the opera “Lohengrin” by Wagner (pronounced Vog-ner) is what we know as “Here Comes The Bride”.  Many brides consider this one of the most traditional wedding processional songs, and it has no real cultural or religious ties.  It became popular because of the wedding scene in the 1850 opera and when someone put the words “Here comes the bride” to it then it went to the top of the charts here in the English-speaking world. It’s not even a wedding procession in the production, but is sung by a chorus after the ceremony.  Plus, the marriage between the characters ends almost immediately in failure. It can be done on most instruments solo, accompanied by organ or in ensemble form.  Beware – the Catholic church considers this a secular piece, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod bans it because of pagan themes in Wagner’s opera, and Jewish services won’t allow it because of the composers known anti-semite views.  Contact me if you have questions. See one of our Trios play this piece at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNn35OE-EYs

“Trumpet Voluntary”

“Trumpet Voluntary”  is the third option in our top wedding processional songs. The “Prince Of Denmark March” was written by Jeremiah Clarke – but often attributed to Henry Purcell – was made very popular in 1981 when used as the procession of Princess Diana in her wedding with Prince Charles.  The composition is a slower, stately march with a clear melody in the first part which is restated in a different key, then breaks into quicker bridge before coming back to the main theme.  Nicely structured for a Wedding processional because it made up of short sections. See one of our Quartets play this piece at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWRwlE55fN0

Other favorites include “Trumpet Tune” also by Henry Purcell,  Vivaldi’s “Spring” from The Four Seasons; “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” (pronounced yay-sue) by Bach, “Ode To Joy” (or “Hymn To Joy”) which many people know as a church hymn but is actually the main melody to Beethoven’s Symphony Ninth Symphony; or selections from Handel’s “Watermusik” or “Royal Fireworks”.  All of these pieces can be heard in various forms on YouTube.

When choosing the wedding songs for your processional, there is no wrong answer – only the one which is most right for you.  One consideration is the length of the aisle you’ll be walking down.  Some pieces take longer to develop – or make musical sense – so they may not be practical for a short procession.  Often, when the Bridesmaids are coming down to a different selection you may want their piece of music to have a different character, style, pace, or feel to create a dramatic contrast between them and you.

Contributed by Steven Vance of Steven Vance Entertainment.

Visit our Wedding Ceremony Music page for more about Steven Vance Entertainment. They also provides a great DJ  package with strolling violins! Look for Steven Vance One-Of-Of-A-Kind Violin and DJ Package.