1. The Venue
Some things to consider
- How big is the venue?
- Where will the musicians be located?
- If you require an organ, where is this located?
- Will the musicians need amplification? If so, is this available in the venue?
- Is there enough room? For example: If you hire a string quartet and singer they need space to sit and swing their bows. Ask us about the particular venue you are using. We may have played there before and know what works best.
We have had a lot of experience and can advise you on what we think will work best in a particular church or venue.
Remember also to consider the suitability of your chosen music. It is always advisable to consult the ceremony venue (church, registry office etc) for details of any guidelines that may be in place around choice of music.
2. The Timing
In order to create the perfect ambience for your ceremony it is vital that the right music is played at the right time. Appropriate places in the ceremony for music, depending on specific venues? guidelines, may include:
- prelude as guests arrive?
- during the lighting of the candles?
- after the vows during the lighting of the unity candle?
- at the offertory procession?
- during the sign of peace?
- during the serving of communion?
- during the signing of the registry?
3. Selecting Your Church Music
While deciding on church ceremony music, you may often have thought, “I know that piece of music but I can’t put a name on it”. Well, help is at hand. By clicking on any of the highlighted pieces below, you can hear a midi file of it – this will help you recognise well-known wedding pieces, as well as advising you where you will need music within the ceremony.
Don’t feel constrained by where songs are suggested; for example, Ag Criost an Siol could be a Communion hymn instead of an Offertory hymn. Similarly, you could have Pie Jesu at the Signing of the Register rather than at Communion etc etc, so use the song suggestions below as a guide rather than a rule. There are some cases where this is not the case, e.g. On Eagle’s Wings or Lord is My Shepherd can really only be used as Responsorial Psalms. You can usually have more flexibility on instrumental pieces.
Once again do bear in mind that if you are getting married in a church, you should check the final music repertoire with your priest or celebrant, as occasionally nonliturgical music (and on rare occasions instrumental music, depending on the context within which it was written) is considered inappropriate. If you have a particular favourite song or piece of music you’d like to include, ask the musicians and give them plenty of notice in case they have to learn it or prepare an arrangement. Please click on the midi files below to listen to them. The files are of basic quality; their function is to help you recognise the music, and hence feel more confident about choosing your own ceremony music.
- Bridal March (Wagner)
- Gabriel’s Oboe (Morricone)
- The Secret Wedding (from Braveheart)
- Canon in D (Pachelbel)
- The Ashokan Farewell (Ungar)
- Spring (from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons)
- Carolan’s Concerto
Lighting of Baptismal/Marriage Candles:
- She Moved Through the Fair (Traditional)
- One Hand, One Heart (from West Side Story)
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
- Air on a G String (Bach)
- The Coolin (Trad)
- The Water is Wide (Trad)
- Winter (from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons)
- Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
- Morning Has Broken
- On Eagle’s Wings
- Be Not Afraid
- Like a Shepherd
- Here I Am Lord
- The Hiding Place (Lawton)
- Song of Ruth (Wherever You Go)
- The Lord is My Shepherd – Celtic
- Celtic Blessing
- Ave Maria (Schubert)
- Down to the River to Pray
- One Bread, One Body
- Eat This Bread
- I Am The Bread of Life
- Ag Criost an Siol
- As I Kneel Before You
- In Bread We Bring You Lord
The Sign of Peace:
- Panis Angelicus (Franck)
- You Raise Me Up
- Nella Fantasia (Gabriel’s Oboe – sung)
- Ave Maria (Caccini)
- Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)
- Laudate Dominum (Mozart)
- I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
- Pie Jesu (Lloyd Webber)
- Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)
- The Wedding Song (There is Love)
- Flower Duet (Delibes)
- Amazing Grace
- Largo (Handel)
- How Great Thou Art
- Just a Closer Walk With Thee
- Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
- Piano Concerto 21 – “Elvira Madigan” (Mozart)
- Traumerei (Schumann)
- The Cloud’s Veil (Lawton)
Signing of the Register: (choose two songs here)
- Perhaps Love (John Denver)
- The Prayer (Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli)
- O Mio Babbino Caro (Puccini)
- Songbird (Eva Cassidy)
- Fields of Gold (Eva Cassidy)
- All I Ask Of You (from Phantom of the Opera)
- In My Life (The Beatles)
- Laschia Ch’io Pianga (Handel)
- No Frontiers (Mary Black)
- We’ve Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)
- From This Moment On (Shania Twain)
- The Rose
- Somewhere (from West Side Story)
- Love Changes Everything
- The Voyage (Christy Moore)
- Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
- Trumpet Voluntary (Handel)
- 9th Symphony (Beethoven)
- Water Music (Handel)
- Rejouissance (Handel)
- Brandenburg Concerto (Bach)
- Rondeau (Mouret)
- Te Deum (Charpentier)
- Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)