Music for my wedding (Classical, Catholic, live performance)
I thought it would be fun to do a video on the music I selected for my wedding. Michael and I got married last year in a church, and we had three live performers for the music. We had a pianist, violinist, and vocalist.
Today I’ll share with you each of my selections. Let’s get started!
A note on the music
Just a quick note on the music before we get started. I made 5 musical selections for the wedding, three of which were Baroque music selections. The other two songs were specifically chosen for a Catholic wedding.
Neither Michael or I have a strong Catholic leaning, but we wanted to get married in a church and it made our families happy.
Before the wedding began, I had the pianist play random music for about 10 or 15 minutes. I told her that she could play whatever she wanted as long as it was church appropriate, be it classical or pop. Since I wasn’t in the church at this point, I have no idea what she actually played. I’m sure it was nice though!
Entrance rite: Arioso from cantata no. 156
We chose two pieces for the entrance rite. Both were performed by piano and violin. The first one was played while the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. The second piece was played while I walked down the aisle.
Both of these pieces are by Bach, not for any particular reason other than that I really like Bach, and I wanted a serene baroque vibe for the ceremony.
The first piece was arioso from Bach’s Cantata number 156. The Cantata is titled something like “I have one foot in the grave”, which I thought was kind of funny for a wedding piece, but the title aside it’s a really beautiful tune, especially with violin and piano.
(Music via musicnotes)
Air on the G string
The piece that I chose to have playing while I walked down the aisle with my father was Bach’s air on the G string. This is from his orchestral Suite number 3, BWV 1068.
I actually have an audio clip of this piece for you to listen to. It’s a little bit different from the version I selected, since the version from our wedding was just piano and violin only. But either way it’s truly a lovely piece, one that I would recommend to anyone.
(Music via musicnotes)
credit: US air force band
copyright: Public domain 1.0
Psalm – let us rejoice
After all of the entrance music, some of the mass ensued. The next two songs were vocal selections, played in the middle of the ceremony.
When you have a Catholic ceremony, you have to pick a musical selection from the book of Psalms. Musically I’m not a huge fan of these, as I find them a little cheesy. So choosing a selection here was really challenging for me.
I ended up settling on a tune called “Let Us Rejoice”, and mainly a very specific arrangement of it. I heard an arrangement of it that had a strong Celtic flair that reminded me of woodland fairies, which I thought was kind of cool.
The way Psalms works is the lead singer sings a line, and the congregation repeats it. The main chorus of this one was, “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.”
(Music via GIA publications)
Shortly after the Psalm came the Celtic Alleluia. You basically have to choose some sort of vocal Alleluia here, but I wanted the Celtic version to go along with the Celtic sounding Psalm. Plus the tune was really familiar to Michael and I because we had grown up with it.
Again we kept it really simple with just vocals and piano.
(Sheet music via musicnotes)
Recessional – Handel Hornpipe
To finish the ceremony, I wanted something really jaunty and upbeat – but still fitting the Baroque theme. That’s why I chose Handel’s Hornpipe from his Water Music Suite II.
The entrance music was very sweet and a little sentimental, but I wanted something a little more fun and with a stronger beat for our exit music. A wedding, after all, is a celebration!
(Free sheet music here)
Those are the five selections from our wedding ceremony, which was a traditional Catholic mass. I found it very challenging to select them, but was very happy with my choices in the end.
If you’re in the midst of choosing wedding music, I highly recommend hiring live musicians – even if it’s just one or two people. It adds a really nice touch, and I think it’s something a lot of people overlook nowadays. There’s a big difference between live performers and simply playing a recording!
With that said, enjoy!