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Ceremony Processional Inspiration Videos | Vermont Bride Magazine | Valentine's Day Inspiration This Valentine’s Day, what could be more romantic to watch than a wedding processional? Here’s a sampler of videos with some fun ways of thinking about the wedding processional! Hopefully these will engage your romantic spirit, enthusiasm, and sense of adventure, while opening up your vision of a wedding processional in some unexpected and fun ways! Everyone loved the wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William, so let’s just start there! Catherine’s processional was “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me” by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, a British composer who lived from 1848-1918 – not your everyday processional music selection! Nor did anything else about their wedding qualify as “everyday.” I love the close-ups of their faces, and what a fun way to start this video processional adventure:

 

Changing gears completely, let’s have a look at an African styled wedding processional, shall we? Love the beat, and check out the stilts at about 1:30! And the smile on that bride – she’s clearly loving every moment:

 

OK – getting mellow again – get out the tissues if you haven’t yet, for this groom singing the bride up the aisle:

 

Get down, everybody, let’s dance:

 

Here’s a traditional Korean wedding – the bride enters at about 1:22:

 

I just love this sweet and mellow processional to a solo flute playing the theme to the movie “Braveheart:”

 

And while we’re in a Scottish theme, anyone for bagpipes?

 

In the next video, the two grooms assembled a large group of musicians, including many talented friends, for a rousing and touching entrance. This one features the musical performance very strongly – the grooms enter at about 10:00:

 

Something to think about: Pachelbel’s Canon is the most popular processional – but so often the folks who love the music only end up hearing a phrase or two before the bride has arrived at the altar. How about delaying the bride’s entrance and give everyone a little chance to anticipate?

 

For contrast again – I love the beat and the mellow sway of this African American processional:

 

The gentle, sweet vocals in this Jewish wedding processional end with the bride circling the groom seven times before the couple moves to the huppah. The Seven Circles is a Jewish tradition representing the seven wedding blessings and seven days of creation, and demonstrating that the groom is the center of her world. I recommend having tissues handy again, before the groom starts singing for the bride’s entrance:

 

And, well, this is Vermont, and we couldn’t be complete without Maria’s processional from “The Sound of Music.” Not sure I’d recommend a tune representing “How do you solve a problem like (name of bride or groom) – but I guess it worked for Julie Andrews, and it does sound lovely in context:

 

Enjoy! And Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Lisa Carlson is a freelance flutist, performing for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos and trios of flute with harp, violin, piano, cello, oboe, and more. She maintains a studio in Montpelier, Vermont, and teaches flute in Vermont, in Lebanon, NH, and online to students worldwide.

Ceremony Music Tips | Paint Your Ceremony Your Way | Vermont Bride Magazine
photo by Letter10 Creative

Classical music wafting through the air, elegantly winding through the gathered group of family and friends – or would you prefer a little Celtic lilt to put a spring in your step on your special day? Or what about that special hymn grandma always used to sing? Or that pop tune or show tune you always sang as a kid - or first danced to as a couple? Or what about something totally different - something composed just for your special day?

When most people think of “wedding music” what pops to mind is often Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (“Here comes the bride…”) or Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” or perhaps Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” You might imagine a church organ or perhaps a classical quartet. Many couples do choose some variation on the above for their wedding music - and why not? Classic, elegant choices that are easy to walk to, and that are tested by time, will never go out of style. Would a bride avoid wearing a long gown and decide not to exchange rings simply because everyone else does? Traditional choices can say as much about you as non-traditional choices, if chosen from the heart.  This type of connection with tradition and the past can be comforting, sentimental, and certainly can make your decision-making simpler!

 But sometimes couples choose music that’s a little different - and again, why not? It’s your day to paint the town - the music will paint the atmosphere and color the feeling of your celebration - why not choose music that has significance for you personally? That touch of you in the music will touch your guests as well as bringing you smiles - or tears - or a lift in your every move. Again, if the tunes that are significant for you are also popular with others, then go for it! If not, the sky’s the limit!

I had the honor of playing for a wedding where the bride had arranged or composed the music for her own wedding - including a special song performed by a friend. At another, the bride commissioned a friend to create medleys of a series of special songs - primarily Broadway songs and hymns, and chose popular but non-traditional classical music for the prelude. Many couples wish to have entirely classical music for their weddings, but prefer to completely avoid the traditional wedding standards. There are too many options to list here, but you may wish to look into music by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, for the classic sound that’s not “wedding standard.” And by the way - don’t think of these composers as the stodgy old men you often see in pictures - if Bach really were the person we think of when we see his stiff representation in portrait, do you honestly believe he would have fathered 20 children? Or composed the intensely energetic music he did? Bach, in particular, composed some of the most versatile and awe-inspiring music ever heard - and a great deal of his music has been arranged for many different combinations of instruments, and is often heard at weddings, though never as the standards that could be considered “over-used” - so check him out! I’ve also recently played as recessionals:  “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles and “Landler” from Sound of Music; as processionals: “Til’ There Was You” and “Fanny Power.” I’ve played two weddings where the request was for music throughout the ceremony – essentially a soundtrack - a mix of styles, in one case with music continuing even as background for the vows, and the entire ceremony built on musical selections that were particularly special for the couple.

Want to get even more unique? Vermont boasts a huge variety of composers and song writers. If this is of interest, you may wish to contact Steve Klimowski, clarinetist from  the ”Classic Consort” - also director of the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble – for names of Vermont composers who might suit your style. Why not consider having a special song composed just for your special day? It would lend a whole new meaning to the phrase “playing our song!”

Lisa Carlson is a freelance flutist, performing for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos and trios of flute with harp, violin, piano, cello, oboe, and more. She also teaches flute in Montpelier, Vermont and online to students worldwide.

Honoring Your Loved Ones Through Music Choices | Vermont Bride Magazine
photo by Mae Memories Photography

A 1927 photograph shows my grandparents on their wedding day, beaming with the newlywed glow of any young couple. My grandfather was a man of few spoken words, though he once wrote “I married a very wonderful girl in 1927…” and “We grew apples, potatoes, and peaches but our most important crop was our daughter and three sons.” I recall only one time, in the twelve years that our lives overlapped, that he spoke to me, the sixth of his ten grandchildren, directly. I was seven or eight and he in his mid-seventies, and slowing from progressing cancer. He sat in an easy chair during the day and once motioned to me to come to where he was. He took my hand and said “Where’s that chubby little girl? You’re almost grown up!” I remember the touch of his work-worn hand and the look in his eye. In hindsight I see in his face that I was, in that moment, along with my cousins and siblings, not only his most precious crop but the reason for every crop of his 75+ years, for every trip up the apple tower to survey the orchards, for every apple picked or pressed, eaten or sold, sauced or baked in a pie by my grandmother. We were the reason his parents immigrated from Sweden, and he, the youngest of their twelve children, was only one of two to live, marry, and have children in this new country. 

Every family has a precious and unique history. What better time to honor your loved ones than your wedding day? There are many ways to go about it, but consider what your music choices can say. At my wedding, I chose to include movements from Ingolf Dahl’s “Variations on a Swedish Folk Tune” to honor both of my grandfathers’ Swedish ancestry. We chose to have a contradance at the reception largely because we both loved contradancing, but it also honored both New England and Celtic roots.

If you want a ceremony and reception that thoroughly reflects a specific heritage, you may wish to choose a Klezmer band for a Jewish wedding, or a French Canadian Band to reflect French roots, or a similar choice. But many wedding couples may wish to have primarily classical music, but include some specific selections to reflect specific people or family backgrounds. I’ve often played Celtic selections for this purpose, intermixed with the classical. On one occasion I played a traditional Korean song, “Doraji,” as part of the prelude, to honor the bride’s Korean heritage. For weddings where one or both members of the couple are partially of Jewish descent, I enjoy movements from Michael Isaacson’s “A Jewish Wedding Suite,” arranged for flute, violin and cello. Movements from this suite include the folk songs “Dodi Li” (My Beloved), “Eishet Chayil” (A Woman of Valor), “Ma Navu” (The Messenger of Good Tidings), and more. Any of these folk tunes could also be played on other instruments, with the proper arrangement. There are infinite possibilities for couples wishing to reflect virtually any family background. (Bear in mind that depending on musicians and instruments chosen, as well as cost of purchasing music or potential complexity of arranging the music, there may - or may not - be additional fees involved, and certain specific selections may not work for certain instrument combinations). 

Perhaps a grandparent had or has a special hymn or song they always loved. Another thought may be to ask your grandparents or parents what was played at their wedding. Or if no one knows, perhaps you might wish to choose something that was popular at the time of their wedding. “It Had to Be You” was written in 1924, around the time my grandfather would been wooing my grandmother “away from the other fellow” (according to recent information from my uncle!). Hearing the song reminds me that my grandparents’ generation so long ago was not so different from my own generation, or from younger or future generations, reflecting the thoughts, the love, the care that any young couple today feels for one another. We’re all part of the story, taking what came before and weaving it into the future.

Lisa Carlson is a freelance flutist, performing for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos and trios of flute with harp, violin, piano, cello, oboe, and more. She also teaches flute in Montpelier, Vermont and online to students worldwide.

Outdoor Music for your Ceremony | Vermont Bride Magazine
Photo by Daria Bishop Photographers

What could be more romantic and inspiring than to be married under the open sky, with lush green (or vibrant red, orange and yellow) surroundings, breathtaking mountain views in the distance, surrounded by wildflowers and feeling at one with the natural Vermont beauty around you? I love outdoor weddings. In my youth, avid hiker that I was, I envisioned being married on top of Camel’s Hump. But, as a musician, I’ve seen the fear and trepidation that the simple words “outdoor wedding” can sometimes cause for my fellow musicians. 

What do you, as a wedding couple, need to know about live music as you plan your outdoor ceremony? 

First, it’s fabulous to hear live music wafting over the grounds, blending with the wind and the birds and the scenery to create that amazing and unique sound and feeling you’re craving. It’s all generally very manageable, and most musicians are willing to play outdoors. The key is clear communication up front with your musicians.

Second, if your musician doesn’t bring up the question of their needs for protection of their instrument from a variety of weather-related possibilities, you should double check weather details with them to make sure you’re not in for a last minute surprise. 

I’ve heard many stories from both perspectives. The most common story goes roughly this way: “It rained. The musician played in the (garage; house; inside the Inn; you pick) and could not be heard from the ceremony site.” I’ve heard versions of this one from both the musician’s perspective and the bride’s perspective, and concluded that communication prior to and included in the contract about the conditions under which the musician will play outdoors are absolutely critical to avoid panic for musicians and terrible disappointment for the wedding couple. 

Some other stories and experiences along these lines that may be helpful in understanding the situation from both sides:

  • The father of the bride happens to see the violinist for the quartet a few days before the wedding. She casually mentions “You know we can’t play in sun?” Dad’s to-do list in the final days just got a lot longer with tracking down a tent.
  • The shade from the gazebo gradually moves out of the gazebo by the beginning of the 5:00 ceremony on a 95 degree day. The harp goes out of tune and musicians panic that the glue holding the instrument together will begin to melt away, potentially shortening the life of the beloved $30,000 instrument.
  • The oboist frantically warms the outside of her instrument with her hands to equalize the temperature between the 58 degree air outside of the instrument and the 98.6 degree air going in to prevent her $8,000 wooden instrument from cracking. 
  • I see beneath the well-rehearsed calm exterior to the pit of stomach reaction of the cellist, holding his $20,000 instrument, when told by the groom: “Yes, we lucked out with the weather, but we would have been outside even in a thunderstorm!”
  • The wind picks up, and the music on the stand blows out of view during the recessional, stopping the music. Experienced outdoor musicians usually clip down the music to the stand ahead of time, and hold the base with feet or wire loops in the ground and around the base, combined with feet. If your musician hasn’t discussed weather ahead of time, they may lack this type of outdoor wedding experience. Then again, strong wind may not be manageable for anyone. 

If your musician doesn’t mention weather, this doesn’t necessarily mean all will be well - different people have different assumptions about what is considered acceptable weather for making the choice to move indoors. Sometimes musicians may assume one thing while the wedding couple may not have thought about it, but would choose to be outdoors even if weather conditions are what a musician would simply assume would be unacceptable. So be sure you know what the musician is expecting and make sure it works with what you’re hoping for - and  be prepared for some “unpredictable as weather” moments in all aspects of your outdoor wedding planning. 

Here’s a list of weather conditions to discuss with your live musician to clarify their needs and your desires, and how to best ensure that everyone will be at their best on the day that counts. First, consider the listed possible weather conditions below and discuss with your partner under what conditions you would really want to stay outdoors. Next be completely up front with your musician about your interests and make sure they let you know under which conditions they might not be able to stay out in the open. And finally, discuss whether protection from the elements is something that you’re expected to provide or whether the musicians may provide some sort of protection, and specifically what conditions would ensure that they could provide that safely. Weather concerns for musicians may include: 1) rain - heavy, light, sprinkle or potential; 2) direct sun; 3) temperature - low or high; 4)wind conditions; 5) additional moisture (from wind, shade tree, leaking gazebo, even after the rain has stopped). 

Most of the weddings I play are outdoor weddings. And most experienced wedding musicians will bring up weather concerns or stipulations and be clear and up front about their needs. With proper communication and precautions taken, during the late spring, summer and early fall, the exquisite experience of live wedding music wafting through the great outdoors is normally quite manageable in Vermont!

Lisa Carlson is a freelance flutist, performing for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos and trios of flute with harp, violin, piano, cello, oboe, and more. She also teaches flute in Montpelier, Vermont and online to students worldwide.

Choosing Ceremony Music | Vermont Bride Magazine
photo by Steve Holmes Photography

You can perfectly envision the moment you’ll begin the walk down the aisle and into your new life.  The perfect location, gorgeous dress, the flowers. Now even the flower girls have completed their walk down the aisle, and the music stops. Your processional has begun.

It’s the moment you’ve dreamed of for so long, finally here. What music will usher you down the aisle to the love of your life? What will he be feeling when he hears the music? 

There are so many choices for today’s couples. While many make traditional music choices for their ceremonies, for twenty-first century weddings, just about anything goes. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices, here are a few thoughts to help you find the direction that’s best for you, to make the ambiance of your most special moment truly memorable, and truly personal.

First, are you a person who likes tradition, or someone who likes to forge new ground? Does a wedding without Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” at the end feel like a birthday without singing “Happy Birthday”, breakfast without orange juice, or Hanukkah without latkes? I know some who hate the song “Happy Birthday”– and can’t stand the thought of the popular wedding choices at their wedding. But for some they are as dear as “Silent Night” at Christmas time, as comforting as a “welcome home” hug, and as full of anticipation and excitement as a child’s birthday wish coming true. 

If you’re a tradition lover, your choices will be relatively easy. The vast majority of couples choose the Mendelssohn “Wedding March” for the recessional (Click the following link for a basic description of wedding music terms like “recessional”). In my experience, the most popular choice for the bride’s processional is the Pachelbel “Canon in D.” The second most popular choice is the traditional Wagner “Bridal Chorus” (“Here Comes the Bride”). I have played some weddings where both are played: the Pachelbel  Canon for the wedding party and the Bridal Chorus for the bride. 

Just about everyone wants music that’s joyful and lively for the recessional, so that’s an easy place to start.  Here are a few alternatives to Mendelssohn you may wish to consider: 

  • “La Rejouissance” from “The Fireworks Music” by Handel
  • “Trumpet Tune” by Purcell 
  • “Trumpet Voluntary” by Clarke (also called the “Prince of Denmark’s March”)
  • “Gigue” from Suite #3 in D Major by J.S. Bach
  • “Allegro” from “Spring” from “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi
  • “Hornpipe” from “The Water Music” by Handel

The list above works well for almost any instrument combination, and all are popular choices. Of course, some couples might choose a popular tune, a show tune, a hymn, or maybe a Celtic or Jazz piece – you name it! Here are a few truly alternative examples I’ve experienced:

  • “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schonberg
  • “Carolan’s Concerto” by Turlough O’Carolan
  • Medley of: “One Hand, One Heart” from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein,  “And This is My Beloved” by Robert Wright and  George Forrest,” “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” by George Gershwin, and “All I Ask of You” by Andrew Lloyd Weber.
  • “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah” by Handel
  • “Everyone” by VanMorrison
  • A medley of traditional Scottish tunes played by the bride’s grandfather on bagpipes
  • “Get Happy” by Judy Garland
  • “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay

 

Choosing Ceremony Music | Vermont Bride Magazine

I hope you get the idea about how numerous and varied the options are! You’ll definitely want to check with your musicians to confirm that your choices are workable for their particular instrument combination. Your musicians may have additional ideas as well. There are too many options to list here, and many work well for some instrument combinations, but not for others, so do be sure to talk about your thoughts early in the process with your musician(s).

The bride’s processional is probably your most important musical choice. The first question: would you like your processional to be of the fanfare variety (like the Wagner “Bridal Chorus”) or the flowing variety (more like the Pachelbel Canon)? Do you fantasize a regal and stately entrance following a trumpet style musical introduction? Or do you prefer the simple but elegant glide?

Here are some processional possibilities that work well for virtually all instrument combinations. All are workable for either the bride or the wedding party:

Regal, fanfare style processional suggestions:

  • “Trumpet Voluntary” by Clarke
  • “Trumpet Tune” by Purcell 

More flowing processional possibilities:

  • “Air” from “Water Music” by Handel
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by J.S. Bach
  • “Sheep May Safely Graze” by J.S. Bach
  • Theme from “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven

Below are a few possibilities that I’ve experienced that are more uncommon:

  • “Carol of the Bells” by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych, for a December wedding
  • “Leezie Lindsay” traditional Scottish folk song
  • “Meditation” from “Thais” by Jules Massenet
  • “If We Hold On Together” from “Land Before Time” 
  • “All I Ask of You” by Andrew Lloyd Weber
  • “Sinfonia” from “Cantata 156” by J.S. Bach

Choices for music in the middle of the ceremony vary much more than processional and recessional choices. You may wish to ask a religious leader or your musicians for specific additional recommendations. Many of the pieces listed as processionals could also work well here. Below are a few additional pieces I’ve found to be popular for such a moment:

  • “Simple Gifts” 
  • “Amazing Grace”
  • “On Eagle’s Wings” by Michael Joncas
  • “The Rose” by Amanda McBroom
  • Virtually any hymn that fits the mood 

And a few others that I’ve experienced:

  • “Fannie Power”  traditional Celtic tune
  • “Sarabande” from Partita for Solo Flute by J.S. Bach
  • “Sicilienne” from Sonata in E flat for Flute and Piano by J.S. Bach

It’s my view that the most important elements of planning music for a wedding are: 

  1. Consider whether there’s a special piece of music – a tune, a song, a classical piece – that resonates with you and/or your partner, or that has special meaning for a family member or friend. If so, work with your musicians and your officiant to include that music in some way in your ceremony.  A special tune on your wedding day may put a hum on your lips and in your heart, and in the hearts of friends and family, for many years to come!
  2. Ask advice from the musicians you’ll be working with. They may be able to easily guide you toward music you’ll love that works well for their particular combination of instruments. They will also be able to discuss with you whether a particular piece of music would not be ideal in the instrument combination you’ve chosen.
  3. Be aware that the music establishes the background feelings that will color your ceremony and your memories. Select music that resonates for you in the way you’ll want to remember forever.

Lisa Carlson is a freelance flutist, performing for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos and trios of flute with harp, violin, piano, cello, oboe, and more. She also teaches flute in Montpelier, Vermont and online to students worldwide.

Wedding Music 101 with Lisa Carlson | Vermont Bride Magazine
Photo by The Light + Color Photography

Many brides envision walking down the aisle to their favorite processional before they are even engaged! Tunes played by their favorite ensemble waft through their minds as they envision the guests arriving during the prelude, and then the big moment – the grand entrance! And then of course Mendelssohn Wedding March for the recessional – or maybe anything BUT the Mendelssohn – but either way, it’s all just as clear as a bell - a wedding bell that is. One phone call or email, sign the contract, and the music is set!

But some of you may be saying “Whoa! Wait a minute! What’s a prelude? I don’t have a favorite processional – I don’t have a clue what I’d like to walk in to. Mendel-who?” Trust me, YOU are not alone. I’ve spoken with many brides over the years, and the first thing you should be aware of is that no matter what you know or what you don’t know yet, you are not the only one in that boat. Furthermore, this is your wedding and you deserve to understand the big picture regarding your special music choices – and don’t let anyone make you feel awkward about asking a basic question - anything!

 So on that note, for those of you just starting this process and a little queasy about how to even know where to start, here’s a little explanation of some basic terms and an overview to get you started on your wedding music planning.

First, a few terms:

Ensemble:  Ensemble (relative to wedding music) refers to a group of musicians who play together.

Repertoire: The word repertoire (reh’-per-twar) refers to the specific musical selections/songs/tunes/pieces you choose, or have available. Different musicians have different types and ranges of repertoire available. In some cases, your repertoire will be limited to a specific list of offerings from a chosen ensemble, or a specific style of music. In other cases, your repertoire options are very wide. In many cases, making unique repertoire choices outside of your chosen ensemble’s standard repertoire will be possible with an extra fee to cover music purchase and/or time spent arranging or rehearsing that music.

Prelude:  The first music your guests will hear when they arrive on site is called the prelude. For weddings, the word prelude means any and all music that’s played from the time guests begin to arrive until the ceremony begins – normally about 20-30 minutes. If you choose an ensemble you like, you can normally just leave the specific repertoire choices for the prelude up to them – unless you have something either specific or general that you really want to hear. You can click the following link to find more thoughts regarding the prelude.

Processional: The processional is the big moment – the grand entrance! Most commonly, there are two musical selections for the processionals. The wedding party’s processional comes first – accompanying the bridesmaids (sometimes accompanied by groomsmen, or sometimes the groomsmen enter separately), the maid of honor, and finally the ring bearer(s) and/or flower girl(s). Once the flower girl has arrived at the altar, the bride’s processional begins. You can click the following link to find additional thoughts about processional choices. The most popular wedding processional tends to be Canon in D by Pachelbel – click the link for an article featuring YouTube videos of this piece in many different forms!

Interlude: An interlude is music in the middle of your ceremony – I find that about half of the weddings I play for have at least one interlude, and about half have none. Most commonly, an interlude may accompany a candle-lighting or other ritual. 

Recessional: The recessional is your walk back up the aisle at the end of the ceremony – your big introduction as a married couple, walking into the world together! 

So the bottom line is that you’ll most likely want to choose repertoire for two processionals and one recessional. The musicians you choose for your wedding will be able to offer many specific suggestions.

I’ll be writing more detail about all these aspects of wedding music, including both specific and general thoughts on how to make those special choices, so stay tuned for more. For now, I hope to make sure that ALL wedding couples can start the process with a basic understanding of the music lingo in order to begin forging into your planning with confidence!  

Lisa Carlson (LisaFlute.com), offers ensembles for weddings and other occasions in duos, trios, quartets in a variety of instrumental combinations, and is staff wedding music writer for Vermont Bride Magazine. She also maintains a private flute  studio in Montpelier, Vermont, in addition to teaching flute at Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and online. 

Wedding Ceremony Procession Traditions | Vermont Bride Magazine

The wedding processional music is the introduction of the “big moment” – the first announcement of the life-altering commitment you’ll be making! And the specific music you choose for your processional is one of the most significant choices you’ll make in coloring the back-drop of the emotion of your ceremony. For some couples, the processional choices are clear from the start, but for most, there are several factors to consider before confirming those choices, and many couples don’t even know where to begin. Even if you know exactly what piece you’d like for your processional, let’s take a quick look at some of the particulars of applying those choices to your big day.

In particular, let’s take a look at 1) how many processionals will need to be chosen? 2) do some processional choices work better than others and will that limit options? And 3) what types of variations on traditional processional format do other couples choose? 

  1. In my experience, most couples choose 2 processionals, one for the wedding party (bridesmaids – sometimes accompanied by groomsmen, maid of honor, and ring bearer and/or flower girl) and one for the bride. But there are certainly variations on this – so see #4 below for additional options! 
  2. Do some processional choices work better than others? The quick answer is yes. I’ve detailed a longer answer below, with particular things to look for in a “perfect processional.” An alternate answer is that if it’s special to you it will probably work out just fine, and be better suited to your wedding than another piece that perfectly fits the list below! But even if you have a piece in mind, do check the list below – with planning and communication with your musician, there may be more possibilities of ways of making your special piece work perfectly than you realize!

Classic Consort | Vermont Wedding Music | Vermont Bride Magazine

Classic Consort has enhanced hundreds of gatherings with beautiful music. Only the finest professional musicians make up Classic Consort. They play regularly with the Vermont Symphony, the Vermont Mozart Festival, the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble and other ensembles.

Founder Bonnie Klimowski is experienced at bringing the beauty of classical music to venues of all kinds. Indoors or out, daytime or evening, Bonnie and her musical partners will blend seamlessly and professionally with your event to create a beautiful musical atmosphere. She will work closely with you to choose just the right music to complement your celebration or event. She will guide you through the process of selecting your music and provide you with helpful advice, based on years of professional experience.

Whether you are celebrating special friends, a special occasion, valuable clients or employees, Classic Consort can add the touch of elegance that makes memories. Here is what Bonnie had to say when we asked her some questions about her long career as a classical musician at weddings:

By Lisa Carlson

larry-asam-photography
Photo by Larry Asam

This season’s wedding couples are currently nailing down their wedding music choices – with some interesting picks! It’s no surprise that the Mendelssohn Wedding March takes first place as a ceremony music choice, in my experience so far. And Pachelbel’s Canon in D is coming out once again as the top processional choice, and second ceremony music choice overall. But what surprised me is the current third place choice.

Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” seems to be taking a number 3 position in the list of top ceremony music choices for couples I’ll be working with in 2015! In one case, it will serve as processional for the wedding party, in another case as processional for the bride, and in yet another as recessional.

“How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.
And all along I believed I would find you.
Time has brought your heart to me.
I have loved you for a thousand years.
I’ll love you for a thousand more.”

The final choices are still being decided for many couples – stay tuned for updates on this season’s couples’ choices in ceremony music!

Lisa Carlson performs for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos of flute with harp, violin, piano, and more. She also teaches flute in Montpelier, Vermont and Lebanon, New Hampshire.