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Music adds a special touch to a wedding ceremony. It can heighten the drama of the bride's entrance, provide a romantic pause during the ceremony and maintain the mood during the signing of the register. As you walk up the aisle together as man and wife it can also be the perfect way to signal that the celebrations are about to begin!

Register Office

If you marry in a register office there may not be many chances during the short ceremony for musical accompaniment. You may be lucky, but many register offices don't even have a CD player, let alone room for a singer or musicians1 If you feel strongly that you would like to walk in to a particular piece of music or have a musical interlude during the ceremony, ask your registrar well in advance for permission. Some will be more flexible and allow certain CDs to be played, so long as your ceremony doesn't exceed the allotted time.

Civil Ceremony

A civil ceremony in a licensed building allows you more flexibility and you will have time to include as much music as the wedding timetable permits. Be sure to ask for details about your venue's facilities. If you're considering recorded music ask the venue co-ordinator if there is an on-site sound system or if you can bring your own.

At a civil ceremony, songs with religious connotations are out of bounds so you won't be able to sing hymns, but most of the classical wedding favourites should still be permitted. That said, many couples who have chosen a civil ceremony want to break away from tradition with more unusual musical selections. As with all aspects of your ceremony, make sure the registrar approves all your selections beforehand - and before you print the order of service!

Prelude music

This is played whilst guests are gathering in the marriage room. Traditionally, couples play soft prelude music to set the appropriate tone.

· 'Chanson de Matin' - Elgar

· 'Air' from Water Music - Handel

· 'Meditation' from Thais - Massenet

· 'Canon in D' - Pachabel

· 'Pavane' - Faure


· 'Can't help Falling in Love With You' - Elvis Presley or Andy Williams

· 'Fields of Gold' - Sting or Eva Cassidy

· 'From This Moment On' - Shania Twain

· 'Unchained Melody' - The Righteous Brothers

· 'When I Fall in Love With You' - Nat King Cole

· 'You Are so Beautiful (To Me)' - Joe Cocker


The music signals the entry of the bride and the main wedding party. The processional music is usually slow but stirring.


· 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' - Handel

· 'Finale', from Sleeping Beauty - Tchaikovsky

· 'Grand March', from Aida - Verdi

· 'Bridal March', from Lohengrin (Here Comes the Bride) - Wagner

· 'Hornpipe', from Water Music - Handel

· 'The Rejoicing', from Music for the Royal Fireworks - Handel

· 'Pomp and Circumstance March' - Elgar

· 'Prelude' to Te Deum - Marc-Antoine Charpentier

· 'The Wedding March' - Mendelssohn

· 'Nun Danket Alle Gott' - Sigfrid Karg-Elert


· 'Can't Take my Eyes Off Of You' - Frankie Valli

· 'Have I Told You Lately' - Van Morrison

· 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' - Abba

· 'The Gift of a Thistle', from Braveheart

· 'The Look of Love' - Andy Williams

· 'Everything I Do' - Brian Adams

· 'Only Time' - Enya

The Signing of the Register

During the signing of the register - and posing for the photographs - there is often time for one or two pieces of additional music to be played. Classical music is fine but many couples choose something romantic and contemporary instead. It can be either a CD or a live performance.

The Recessional

Music can be played as you proceed from the room as husband and wife. The recessional music is faster and more jubilant than the processional. It's also an opportunity to select a more unusual tune to signal that the serious wedding ceremony is finished and the celebrations have begun.


· 'Finale' from Symphony No 1 - Vierne

· 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' - Handel

· 'Toccata' from Symphony No 5 - Vidor

· 'Trumpet Tune and Air' - Purcell

· 'Trumpet Voluntary' - Jeremiah Clarke

· 'Wedding March' from A Midsummer Might's Dream - Mendelssohn


· 'All You Need is Love' - The Beatles

· 'My Baby Just Cares for Me' - Nina Simone

· 'It Had to be You' - Harry Connick Jr

· 'It Must be Love' - Madness

· 'Lovely Day' - Bill Withers

· 'Unforgettable' - Nat King Cole

· 'The Wedding Song' - Kenny G

· 'We've Only Just Begun' - The Carpenters

· 'What a Wonderful World' - Louis Armstrong

· 'When I'm 64' - The Beatles

'You and Your Wedding Jul/Aug 04

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