WEDDING MUSICI have performed for over 500 weddings, and am always moved by the fact that in this fast moving digital age, people still want to take a life partner and honor that commitment with a ceremony that is thousands of years old. It is really a beautiful event and I always feel honored that I am chosen to be an important part of this with the music.
Part of my working with you is that we meet and go over the selections of music and the flow or timing of your wedding ceremony and reception. I have heard it said that people might not remember what sort of appetizers you served, but they will remember the mood and overall feeling to the wedding, and the music plays a big part in creating that mood.
5 star reviews on weddingwire.com: "We found Julian at the last minute and he was fantastic! The bride wanted a specific piece played and Julian worked it up in the few hours he had before the ceremony. His music really made the night for us! And he has the experience to know what to do, what to ask, and how to "go with it...." so that the bride and mom could just sit back and enjoy the evening. Thanks, Julian!!" - July 2011
These solo guitar samples are from pieces appropriate for wedding ceremony music, whether for preludes or processional, and some for recessional music, (if played at a slightly faster tempo).
- Canon in D by J. Pachelbel
- Lagrima by F. Tarrega
- Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by J.S. Bach
- Etude in D by J. Sagreras
- Caprice by J. Saint Luc
- Marieta by F. Tarrega
- Etude in A by F. Sor
- Carcassi in A by M. Carcassi
Here are places where music often occurs during your wedding, and a few suggestions:
Music for the Arrival of GuestsThe beginning of your ceremony will have the guests arrive and assemble in advance of the wedding. I usually play classical guitar music, including Spanish and baroque lute pieces. (I have played other styles here, Brazilian or jazz, but 96% of the time it is classical.)
Music for the Processional (The Bride Enters)Since the entrance of the bride is considered by many to be the peak moment of the day, a distinctive piece of wedding music is certainly called for. I think of the processional as when the bride enters, and not when the wedding party and groom enter.
Before going any further, I feel that I need to say that there are no right or wrong choices for your wedding music. You should choose a piece of music you like.
The pieces could be ‘traditional’; Canon in D (Pachelbel), Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach), The Wedding March (Wagner), or ‘romantic’; Adelita (Tarrega), Romanza (anon), Etude in D (Sagreras), or even a pop song or romantic ballad.
One piece or two? One thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't take nearly as long as you might imagine for everyone to process down the aisle, so unless there is a significant distance to walk, a single piece of music will probably be all that is needed to process at a stately pace up to the altar. Having said that, many people think the bride should have a separate piece of music just for her.
In my opinion, the most stress free (and smoothest) thing is for the bride to have her own piece of music, and the wedding party to enter to another piece that is part of the prelude music. This works well (unless you have a really large wedding party) since there is not a lot of stopping and starting for different people, which could be confusing.
Music for the InterludeSometimes there is a pause in the ceremony, such as lighting a unity candle, signing of the register, or presenting flowers, where there is action without words. This is an appropriate place for a brief piece of background music. I have found that a short, romantic, lyrical, reflective piece works well here.
Music for the Recessional (Exiting the Ceremony Area)I think a bright, festive, perky or up-beat piece of music is called for here. I often play Allegro Fugato (Bach), Etude in A (Carcassi), Minuet in C (Sor), or something different like Luna de Miel (Paraguayan harp).
Music for the Reception, Receiving Line, or DinnerFor cocktails I usually change the mood to more perky and up-beat jazzy flamenco/Spanish music or bossa nova. For dinner I can keep it the same, or mix in some classical and ballads for a mellower mood.
If you really want to add more energy, this would be the place to change to a duo or trio with a second guitar, bass, percussion, piano or accordion.
I enjoy playing solo guitar, as well as my two other groups 'Dos Guitarras' - two latin guitars (sometimes with percussion), and 'Hot Club Seattle' - featuring gypsy jazz swing and French with two guitars and bass (sometimes with accordion).
Remember, whatever your choice of wedding music, it's your day, and there isn't just one right way to celebrate it. The music, like everything else, should be meaningful to the two of you and make a statement about who you are and what you mean to each other.