Take Note Of The Music When You Plan The Ceremony

By Chandra Orr

April 18, 2008 5 min read


Take note of the music when you plan the ceremony

By Chandra Orr

Copley News Service

Your choice of music plays a big part on your wedding day and in showing off your unique style as a couple.

"When it comes to making a statement and creating a mood, nothing says more than the music that you choose," said Mark Riva, Chicago-based professional music stylist (www.markriva.com). "The goal of any wedding is to stage a peak experience, something that is rarely intellectual. It is often purely emotional. And the very best way to create emotion is with music."

To set the stage, modern couples are forgoing the traditional wedding soundtrack in favor of eclectic, innovative blends that reflect their own tastes and style. Think Broadway musicals paired up with the Rat Pack, the "Star Wars" soundtrack mixed with electronica - it's all about combining a range of artists, styles and eras.

"You want to aspire to your own signature sound with a strong emphasis on individuality," Riva said. "Mixing and matching the classic and contemporary is a great way of putting your individual stamp on your wedding, keeping it unique and personalized and stimulating to your guests."

Looking for something more sophisticated? Mix a few classics like Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" with modern masterpieces from the likes of Enya, Vanessa Mae and Andrea Bocelli.

"The goal is to artfully combine ingredients and influences, so there is sophistication in the mixing and matching of songs - exotic with classic, sporty with formal, cosmopolitan style with timeless elegance. The result should be effortless, understated and beautiful," Riva said.


While guests are being seated and awaiting the wedding party, choose music that sets a soft, romantic mood. Instrumentals are ideal, but vocal songs in a more choral or operatic style make for an intriguing mix. Add a Gregorian chant selection or a few classical crossover pieces with more rhythm and groove for a modern twist. Pull from modern artists like Enya, Mars Lasar, Delerium, Balligomingo, Julee Cruise or Josh Groban to infuse your individual style. Consider Riva's top picks for the perfect prelude.

Contemporary choices:

- "Classical Gas" by Vanessa Mae.

- "Violin Romance" by Anne-Sophie Mutter.

- "Sonata for Violin, Cello and Basso" by The Eroica Trio.

- "On the Beach" by Joshua Bell.

- "Close to Heaven" by Magna Canta.

- "Illumination" by Richard Souther.

- "E Romeo and Love Theme" by Ennio Morricone.

Classical standards:

- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (J.S. Bach).

- "Ave Maria" (Bach/Gounod).

- Trumpet Concerto (Torelli).

- Air on a G String (Bach).

- Guitar Concerto in D (Vivaldi).

- Concerto for Two Trumpets (Vivaldi).

- Barcarolle (Offenbach).

- "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen" (Grieg).

- "Romance" (Debussy).

- "The Swan" (Saint-Saens).

- "My Heart Ever Faithful" (J.S. Bach).

- Andante from Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 (Bach).


"The Wedding March," by Mendelssohn is the classic choice for walking down the aisle. With so many versions to choose from, brides don't have to toss tradition aside in favor of individuality. Look for non-traditional versions of this classic like Queen's version from the "Flash Gordon" soundtrack, Mutsuhiro Nishiwaki's music box version, the swinging "Jazz Wedding March" by the Beau Hunks Orchestra or "Luce e Esperanza," a vocal version by Miriam Stockley.

Riva also suggests:

- Prince of Denmark's March (Purcell).

- Promenade (Mussorgsky).

- Canon in D (Pachelbel).

- Rigaudon (Andre Campra).

- "Water Music Suite," "Air" (Handel).

- "Was Gott Tut, das Ist Wohlgetan" (J.S. Bach).


"Ode To Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is a classic. Look for the rousing Sydney Philharmonic version to end the ceremony on an emotional high note. If you crave a unique twist, consider the music box version by Lunacreciente, the jazzy version by Massimo Farao Trio or the marimba version by Ed Hartman, which is perfect for tropical weddings.

Riva's other choices for exiting the altar:

- "Royal Fireworks Music" (Handel).

- "Te Deum" (Charpentier).

- Trumpet Tune (Purcell).

- Adagio (Melchoir).

- "Crown Imperial Coronation March" (William Walton).

? Copley News Service

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