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The first prominent use of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, from the Ballet “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” was for the wedding recessional Princess Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria, to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (pictures below).  In my experience, this remains the most popular wedding recessional today.

 Choosing Music for your Processional | Wedding Resources, Ideas, and Tips | Vermont Bride Magazine

 

For those of you who don’t summon the tune to mind at the mere mention of the title, or who just enjoy listening, here’s a video of the Berlin Philharmonic playing this popular piece:

 

 

Many people associate this piece with the organ – here’s a magnificent organ you might enjoy:

 

 

Now that you all know what music I’m talking about, you’re probably thinking either A) yes, definitely – it just wouldn’t feel like a wedding without walking back up the aisle at the end of the ceremony to that music! OR B) Ooh – no – I think that’s a little TOO traditional for my taste! Or perhaps C) hmm… maybe – what are the other choices? 

One thing to consider is that some religious denominations do not consider the Mendelssohn Wedding March to be appropriate at a sacred service, due to themes within the story line of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” 

 

The basic storyline of the play and the ballet is a comedy which involves love potions, magic spells, and misplaced passions, but in the end, couples reunite and wedding festivities ensue for three happy couples. 

So if you are having a religious ceremony, particularly a Catholic ceremony, you will want to discuss this option with your priest, minister or other officiant. Other than the potential religious conflict, primarily for some Catholic weddings, it all boils down to your personal preference, and your personal tendency toward tradition or toward more unique and personal choices.

 

Choosing Music for your Processional | Wedding Resources, Ideas, and Tips | Vermont Bride Magazine

 

If your response to the above was “What are our other choices?” then you’re in luck, since the options are many. A few alternatives I’ve found to be popular: “Rejouissance” from Handel’s Water Music; “Allegro” from Vivaldi’s Spring; or from a different angle: the Beatles “I Wanna Hold Your Hand;” or Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” And for those of you who would specifically prefer something that NOT so traditional, well, the sky’s the limit! Just keep in mind that in most cases you’ll want music that’s upbeat and celebratory as well as easy to walk to. Please check back – I’ll be posting an article on recessional alternatives soon, with more thoughts and additional possibilities I’ve experienced – both popular and VERY unique! 

Meanwhile, I thought that you might enjoy this little a cappella rendition of the Mendelssohn – particularly the non-traditionalists out there!

 

 Choosing Music for your Processional | Wedding Resources, Ideas, and Tips | Vermont Bride Magazine

Many thanks to Angel B. at  http://www.avictorian.com/ for sharing the photos of Princess Victoria’s wedding festivities above. 

Lisa Carlson is a flutist offering ensembles for weddings and other occasions in duos, trios, quartets in a variety of instrumental combinations, and 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. 

 

“Oh yes that would be great!” or, more commonly, “NO WAY!” are typical answers I receive to the question of using Wagner’s Bridal Chorus for the bride’s processional. Very few people are undecided about having this piece, commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride” or occasionally “Wedding March” (not to be confused with the popular recessional “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn), at their wedding. I’d like to share some thoughts and video clips that might just switch some opinions one direction or another, so hold on, because although you’ve heard this tune before – probably many times, your thoughts on this piece of music might just do a few backflips!

First, let’s start with this gorgeous and unique rendition of this popular processional:

 

So if you were on the “No Way!” end of things, I suspect there’s a chance that if you listened to the above you may be second guessing yourself. Now, don’t get too set on that choice too quickly though, since I haven’t started the con argument yet, but I just thought I’d allow a moment to enjoy the beauty of this music. On that note, here’s the original, as Wagner composed it, for your enjoyment:

 

 

So – Wagner’s Bridal Chorus can be really lovely, and the words are quite lovely as well – here’s the English translation of the first verse, as provided by Wikipedia:

Faithfully guided, draw near

to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!

Triumphant courage, the reward of love,

joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!

Champion of virtue, proceed!

Jewel of youth, proceed!

Flee now the splendour of the wedding feast,

may the delights of the heart be yours!

This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,

now takes you in, away from the splendour.

Faithfully guided, draw now near

to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!

Triumphant courage, love so pure,

joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!

Wagner’s Bridal Chorus was first used as a wedding processional at the wedding of Princess Victoria, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, to Prince William Frederick of Prussia in 1858 (pictured below). It was the standard for the bride’s processional through most of the 20th century, and remains popular today. 

 Your Processional: Wagner’s Bridal Chorus – Yes or No? | Vermont Bride Magazine

So some of you may be thinking “Wow! Yes - let’s use Wagner’s Bridal Chorus for our wedding!” Others are surely NOT convinced – and I will now assert that there is in fact potentially good reason to avoid this piece.  So now for the cons.

First, there are some religious traditions which do not allow the Bridal Chorus, commonly Catholic and Lutheran weddings as well as some other Christian traditions, due to thematic material in the opera from which it came. Second, Wagner was terribly anti-Semitic, and in fact Hitler was a great fan of Wagner’s music. If you will have Jewish guests at your wedding, you may wish to think twice about using any music by Wagner, particularly this piece, which does have connotations for many Jewish guests. Rumors circulated at one point that this piece was selected to accompany the march of concentration camp residents to the gas chamber during World War II. It appears that this has not been validated, but it’s difficult to separate this piece from that image once the thought has been circulated.  

Also, although Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, and his music, are beautiful, and the words to the Bridal Chorus seem very appropriately beautiful for a wedding, the opera itself is a tragedy, ending with the death of the bride and groom before their marriage is consummated. 

When I was in elementary school, my brothers always sang “Here comes the bride, big fat and wide, here comes the groom as skinny as a broom.” I suspect that’s often reason in itself to NOT choose this piece for your wedding. And finally, some couples simply wish to go off the beaten path for their wedding music choices. And THAT may be the ultimate question – are you a traditionalist? Or do you like to do things a little differently? 

My take on that is: It’s your wedding, you know who your guests are, and it’s your choice, perhaps with input from your officiant. I hope this article has you thinking from a new angle! My hope is that that will help YOU to refine your choices of what will make your wedding feel like your own!

Many thanks to Angel B. at  http://www.avictorian.com/ for sharing the photo of Princess Victoria’s wedding above. 

Lisa Carlson is a flutist offering ensembles for weddings and other occasions in duos, trios, quartets in a variety of instrumental combinations, and 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.

 

Vermont Bride Lookbook No. 6 | Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Digital Edition

When we hatched the idea to publish a bi-annual, digital lookbook, we realized that it was not an entirely new idea. Of course the term "lookbook" has been used in the fashion industry for a while, and there have been other wedding magazines that have published digital versions of their magazine. But we wanted to do it better. And we wanted it to have more. More inspiration, more real weddings, and more resources for our readers. The Vermont Bride Lookbook goes beyond being a traditional "lookbook", which typically features images only and very little text. It is truly a digital version of our print magazine, with all of the same great content and information.

Vermont Bride Lookbook No. 6 | Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Digital Edition

Vermont Bride Lookbook No. 6 | Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Digital Edition

The true beauty of it is that it is digital and free. It is accessible to anyone with the internet and viewable on all devices, from desktop computer to smart phones. You don't have to live in Vermont or New England to get a copy. You don't have to order one or drive to the store to buy it. And it is available to view months, even years, after it originally is published. You can pin any of the images inside of it, or email a link to your florist or venue. Share it on Facebook or Twitter too! And if you see a wedding professional inside that you want to find out more information about - just a click of your mouse and you can contact them or view more information about them.

Vermont Bride Lookbook No. 6 | Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Digital Edition

So, without further adieu, we are excited to release Issue No. 6 of the Vermont Bride Lookbook today! You can view it on our Lookbook Page, as well as check out all of the past issues of the Lookbook. Issue No. 6 has beautiful, fresh inspiration - romantic, modern, rustic, and vintage - we cover it all. The pages are full of bright colors, perfect for a late-winter pick-me-up. And the cornerstone of our publication - the resources and information to help you find the best Vermont wedding vendors. From photographers to florists, from caterers to registries. Plan your honeymoon, find a musician, and locate the perfect setting for saying "I do".

Vermont Bride Lookbook No. 6 | Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Digital Edition

And of course the Lookbook would not be complete without our real wedding features. We hand picked nine celebrations from all over the state, featuring different styles and themes, so you can see how it all comes together in the end. Get your creative juices flowing and start planning something amazine. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

 

Valentine's Day Picnic | Red and Pink Wedding Inspiration | Vermont Bride Magazine

Being in the wedding magazine business pretty much sets you up to fall in love with love, so every day is like Valentine's Day. But when February 14th rolls around each year we still get just as excited as you! All the electricity in the air from new relationships to new engagements, it makes our hearts go pitter-patter. So when we saw this Valentine's Day Picnic inspiration, by Staged Fine by Design, we immediately wanted to settle into the soft pillows, pop a chocolate or two, and snuggle with our sweethearts.

It might be too cold still in Vermont for a woodland picnic on V-day, but re-create this scene in front of a nice big fireplace and we're there!

 Valentine's Day Picnic | Red and Pink Wedding Inspiration | Vermont Bride Magazine

Valentine's Day Picnic | Red and Pink Wedding Inspiration | Vermont Bride Magazine

featured vendorsDESIGN: Staged Fine by Design | PHOTOGRAPHY: Emily Louise Photography & Ilona Gorokhoskiy | FLORALS: Seattle Flower Truck | DESSERT: Cupcakes by Ariana

 

Traditional cake is not the only choice when it comes to dessert at your wedding. In fact, more times than not these days, we as wedding photographers are seeing trends in smaller bite-sized desserts and tables full of colorful candies, with take-home bags that can double as guest favors. The sweet-tooth in me just loves this trend, though I rarely get the time to indulge. Here are my top five favorite dessert trends right now:

 

Wedding Dessert Trends | Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream | Vermont Bride Magazine

ICE CREAM, ESPECIALLY BEN & JERRY’S CARTS

 

 

Wedding Dessert Trends | Pie | Vermont Bride Magazine

PIE

 

 

Wedding Dessert Trends | Cookies & Milk | Vermont Bride Magazine

COOKIES AND MILK

 

 

Wedding Dessert Trends | Candy Bars | Vermont Bride Magazine

CANDY BARS

 

 

Wedding Dessert Trends | Bite Size Dessert Barns and Mini Cupcakes | Vermont Bride Magazine

BITE-SIZED DESSERT BARS AND MINI-CUPCAKES

 all photos by Letter10 Creative

Hi! I’m Jamie – a photographer and designer at Letter10 CreativeA fourth-generation Vermonter, I’m inspired by Vermont’s natural beauty, laid-back lifestyle, food and people. When not documenting love stories, I’m a board member of The Vermont Association of Wedding Professionals, and Secretary for Vermont Professional Photographers. I enjoy teaching Zentangle, playing disc-golf and tasting my way around the world. My husband is also named Jaime, and I love that we get to photograph weddings together