Wedding songs


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A Classical Procession

From the walk down the aisle to the first dance the task of choosing the perfect song for your big day can be more daunting than figuring out which uncle to keep the furthest away from the bar.

We’ve compiled a list of the most popular, well-tested songs to help alleviate your stress.


1. Bridal Chorus, Richard Wagner

Commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride” (I won’t quote the schoolyard version,) this piece of classical music may seem cliché and overused but for those that are more traditional in their leaning, this is still an excellent choice. If you want to use it but are looking for a more modern flare, find someone who can perform it on the piano rather than the organ. Check out the gorgeous arrangement by Vicente Avella on classical piano.

2. Canon in D Major, Pachelbel

Imagine a string quartet off to the side of the stage where the nervous spouse to be and the wedding celebrant awaits. The bows draw their long, warm, immediately recognisable first notes as the doors open and the bridal party is backlit by the beaming sun. If you have any doves that fly in slow motion this would be a good time to release them. Despite being written in the late 17th or early 18th century, it is really only since the 1980s that it started being used as a common wedding song. You could find someone to perform it on a classical guitar for minimalistic beauty.

3. The Prince of Denmark’s March (AKA The Trumpet Voluntary) – Jeremiah Clarke

This was Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding march song. I’m not sure if that’s a selling point but hey, if you want to feel like dysfunctional royalty… To be fair, if you’re looking for something with true grandeur, this mighty piece will do the job nobly.

4.  Air on the G-String, Johann Sebastian Bach

One of the best wedding song titles ever! As immature sniggering subsides it is realised that this slow tempo and thought inducing piece can act not only as processional music but as a prelude.

5. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Johann Sebastian Bach

While this ethereal music was composed by Bach as part of a larger piece, in isolation this works really well for the walk down the aisle, which is why it is so popular with brides and grooms. Many modern weddings will use versions or have someone play a version that is stripped back and slowed down.

Next, Part 2: 20th Century Wedding Aisle Classics