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Topic: Wedding music suggestions

  1. #1

    Wedding music suggestions

    A couple of co-workers of mine just got engaged and will be married in May. I thought that as a gift I might render some good (but unusual) wedding music for their enjoyment.

    What I'm looking for is some suggestions on what might go well (not the wedding march, oh PLEASE not the wedding march!) at a reception. I would prefer the music be in the public domain, if at all possible. Also, if you happen to know where I can find sheet music of it...

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Wedding music suggestions

    Hi Hong Kong, I have played classical guitar for a number of weddings, both solo and with a violinist or flautist. The list of favorites almost always includes some Bach. Pieces like Aria, or "Air on a G String", "Arioso", "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" are probably the most popular. Next, are songs like Faure's "Pavane" and Chopin's Nocturne Opus 9 No. 2, also both Schubert's "Ave Maria" or the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria". Getting outside of the classical vein, I have used a number of old folk songs as well. A couple that have gone over well are "The Water Is Wide" and "Wild Mountain Thyme" which I believe both have their origins in the British Isles. The Trumpet Voluntary is another popular baroque type tune.
    Anything very modern would get into the copyright issue, but I have played "Through the Eyes of Love" and "Love Can Build a Bridge" as part of a wedding ceremony.
    There are a bunch of sites where you can find free sheet music for public domain pieces.Piano Street has some free sheet music, Classical Music Archives has mp3's and midi for a bunch of music, and you could always search on youtube for some ideas. Good luck, John

  3. #3

    Re: Wedding music suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen View Post
    Hi HongKongCV!

    I must have played 100 weddings when I was a poor musician in the 80's, and pretty much know what works and what doesn't.

    1.) The "first dance": If you'll believe it, I've had requests from the absurd, like "White Wedding" by Billy Idol (we refused to do THAT one ), to the odd but fun "Doo Wah Diddy" by Manfred Mann (that worked for a younger crowd). But normally the parents insisted on something like "Hawaiian Wedding Song" or some other standard waltz or slow 4/4 or 6/8 tune.

    2.) Dinner music: Standards all the way like "Moonlight In Vermont," "All Of Me," etc., working the tempo up gradually to stuff like "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Take The A-Train" and other swing numbers.

    There's a sheet music book called "The Real Book" that has all that stuff in it. Kinda expensive, but worth it.

    3.) Starting To Rock: Moderately slow dance songs like Clapton's "Lay Down Sally," "Proud Mary" (play it at the proper, slow tempo, and not too loud), interspersed with slow Beatles classics like "Michelle" and "Yesterday." Also, Elvis' "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" will guarantee a full dance floor. Actually, ANY Elvis song will!

    4.) Picking Up The Tempo: "I Saw Her Standing There" is a can't-miss. Mix old rockers like "Johnny B. Goode" with Motown and "newer" funky numbers like "Celebration" (another can't-miss). I've heard bands do "Brick House" that packed the dance floor!

    5.) "Current" Material: One of the last weddings I did, about 15 years ago, I chose some songs that were on the charts at the time. Some worked quite well like "New Year's Day" by U2, and "Running Down A Dream" by Tom Petty. But when I got to my hard rock fave of the time, "Rockin' In The Free World" by Neil Young, the mother of the bride came up and really let me have it!

    So if you're hip to the current material, my advice is don't do any Metallica or Slayer, etc.! Maybe some teen/pop would be O.K., but I don't listen to that crap, so I can't make any suggestions.

    Basically, it really depends on the age of the people at the reception. If they're basically under 60, the above suggestions would work. If they're between 60-100 years old, you might want to stick with "5'2" Eyes Of Blue" and Scott Joplin material. Maybe some Sousa marches!

    Good luck, and check out "The Real Book" (which is actually a fake book).


    You forgot.......ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!

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  4. #4

    Re: Wedding music suggestions

    For my procession (that's right, my wife waited for me to arrive) I used Enya's "Watermark" on her Watermark album. But its not in public domain.
    Garritan on GarageBand '08 using Intel iMac with 1.5G RAM
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  5. #5

    Re: Wedding music suggestions

    I have it on very good authority NOT to play "Send in the Clowns", esp. if the bride and groom are just arriving.

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