Share Your Wedding Music Playlist

Win a Royal Wedding Gift Package!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

UPDATE: 10:30am April 29, 2011

Winning Playlist
by Rose Peña from Ardsley, NY

Prelude: Lullaby for Strings - George Gershwin
Processional: Homage March from Sigurd Jorsalfar - Edvard Grieg
Offertory: Agnus Dei, L'Arlesienne, Suite No. 2 - Georges Bizet
Communion: Make Our Garden Grow - Leonard Bernstein
Processional: Allegro from Organ Fantasie, K. 594 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Runner-Up Playlist
by John from Brooklyn

Prelude: KleineGeistliche Konzerte - Heinrich Schütz
Bercuese Op. 16 - Gabriel Fauré
Symphony No. 4 (Fourth movement, arranged) - Gustav Mahler
: Dolly, Op. 56, Berceuse - Gabriel Fauré
String Quartet Quintet in G major, Op. 77, III Poco Andante - Antonín Dvořák
"Laudate pueri, Dominum, Psalm 112, RV 600: Sit nomen Domini" - Antonio Vivaldi
Between Readings
: Waltz Op. 39, No. 15 in A flat major - Johannes Brahms
: Gloria - Antonio Vivaldi

For some brides and grooms, a wedding is all about finding the right dresses, tuxedos, cake and invitations. For the musically minded, it's about finding the tunes that speak to you and complement your personality.

With wedding season and the latest royal nuptials just around the corner, want to hear about your wedding music choices. Write your playlist in the comments box below, including the processional, recessional and any other music that was part of the ceremony (signing the register, etc.).

The most creative -- yet cohesive -- selection will win our Royal Wedding package: a gift certificate for afternoon tea for two at Tea & Sympathy plus a fish & chips dinner for two at A Salt & Battery in Greenwich Village.


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Comments [95]

Gordon from Verona, NJ

We were both musicians so we had harpsichord and flute for prelude, choir, and organ.

Sonata in E Flat for Flute - Bach
Trumpet TUne in C - David Johnson
Wedding Cantata - Daniel Pinkham
Sing We Merrily - Gordon King
May God Smile on You - Bach
Prelude in G (organ) - Bach

Apr. 30 2011 02:38 PM
Glenn Zorpette from Sea Cliff NY

Before my second marriage, my fiancee hired a local string quartet to play at the reception. I casually mentioned at some point that I loved Ravel's quartet. The lead violinist blanched. It was out of their range. But they worked like crazy for a couple months, and at last they were confident they could do it justice at our reception.
I didn't know any of this. At the reception, they played for a while and then I had to cut them off because it was time for the dancing phase of the reception. They were crestfallen; they didn't get to play Ravel's quartet.
I'm divorced again, needless to say.

Apr. 29 2011 03:53 PM

I'm struck by the inappropriateness of our two traditional wedding marches: The Wagner "here comes the bride" march is played at the ill-fated marriage of Elsa to Lohengrin--who abandons her at the altar and takes off on a swan boat. And the Mendelsohnn is associated with a love affair between the queen of the faries and a donkey. Not very good vibes there!

Apr. 28 2011 06:50 PM
Rita Altomara from Cresskill NJ

At my wedding in 1969, they played
Mendelssohn "On wings of song" and
Pete Seeger "Turn,Turn, Turn"...
it was the sixties, after all.

Apr. 28 2011 03:08 PM

Faure - Chanson D'amour, Purcell - Trumpet Tune, Moore - Final aria from "The Ballad of Baby Doe", Mouret - Rondeau (Masterpiece Theater!)

Apr. 28 2011 02:08 PM
Doris & Martin Boehling from Valley Cottage, NY

Married January 24, 1993 - All Saints Episcopal Church Pre-Nuptial: Was Gott Tut, Das Ist Wholegetan - Johann Pachelbel; Bridal Precessional: Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke; Mass Music: Mass for St. Mary - Martin Boehling, 1977; Motet: The Greatest of These is Love - M. Boehling, 1974; Hymn 135 - Songs of Thankfulness and Praise; Mass Propers - Plainchant; Retiring Precession: The Rejoicing - G. F. Händel

Apr. 28 2011 12:27 PM
Esther Quintero from NYC

Our wedding was on a small barroque chapel in Mexico city, thus, this was our choice of music:

Processional: Purcell's "Trompet tune"

Manuel de Sumaya, Mass in G for five voices and Tenor (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei)

Recessional: Manuel de Sumaya, "Celebren, publiquen"

Apr. 28 2011 11:59 AM

Jeremiah Clarke: Suite in D major, Prince of Denmark's March "Trumpet Voluntary"

Franz Schubert: Serenade

Jules Massenet: Meditation from "Thais"

George Frideric Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks

Apr. 28 2011 11:57 AM
Stefanie Setyon from Brooklyn

How about Ubi Caritas for the groom's processional or Randall Thompson's Allelulia.

And then for the Recessional, Vivaldi's Gloria...

Or " The Trumpet shall Sound" from Handel's Messiah

Apr. 28 2011 11:49 AM
Alice Pidgeon from Mamaroneck, NY

Like many others I chose Pachebel's Canon for our processional. I still love that piece and think it is wonderful for a wedding. After 28 years, that is all the music I recall from the ceremony!

Apr. 28 2011 11:42 AM
Dana Catharine from Brooklyn, NY

My husband was a pianist and composer from Mexico City. He wrote all the music for our wedding. I have the handwritten manuscript safely stored. He was a bit of a procrastinator, so one of my favorite wedding memories was of him sitting on the organ bench, with our young musician friend Tom Damrosch, while he finished writing the Offertory piece!

Apr. 28 2011 11:14 AM
D Tremper from Maplewood, NJ

My ideal choices for wedding music are:
Prelude: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee- from B's 9th

Processional: Pachelbel Canon

Hymns during service: The Church's one Foundation, Come Let Us Eat(214 LBW)

Meditation: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring Bach

Recessional Handel's Trumpet Voluntary

God bless the royal couple!

Apr. 28 2011 11:13 AM
Dorothy from New York

Act 2 Mikado "Braid the Raven Hair" and "Brightly Dawns our Wedding day"

Apr. 28 2011 10:57 AM
Laura Williamson from Washington, DC

Processional: Clarke 'Prince of Denmark's March'
Gloria: Vivaldi 'Gloria in Excelsis RV589'
Offertory: Paganini 'Cantabile'
Communion Meditation: Praetorius 'Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming'
Recessional: German 'Festive Trumpet'

The Communion Meditation has been played at all weddings in my mother's family line for several generations.

Apr. 28 2011 10:54 AM
Liz from Brooklyn

I'm delighted that they are including Greensleeves that is one of my favorite tunes.

Apr. 28 2011 10:54 AM
Estelle Tsantes from Brooklyn

(I don't think my earlier entry went through.)

The perfect music for this British royal wedding would be Peter Maxwell Davie's "Orkney Wedding and Sunrise," a rarely heard, rousing piece of music with the revelers greeting the dawn to the sound of a bagpipe. It would make a great wedding recessional.

Apr. 28 2011 10:17 AM
Betty from New Jersey

I would suggest Victor Herbert's "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life"

Apr. 28 2011 10:11 AM
bernard selby


Apr. 28 2011 10:10 AM
Mila Lipovski from New Jersey

J.S.Bach's "Toccata and Fugue" in D minor for a Procession.
Possibly, it wouldn't be appropriate for a wedding... But, for the Future King of England it would!

Apr. 28 2011 10:07 AM
Barb from New Jersey

It was recommended to us that we use Pachelbel's "Trumpet Tune" and "Trumpet Voluntary" as our processional and recessional music. Every time I hear it, I remember that wonderful August day. Please never "Here Comes the Bride"!

Apr. 28 2011 10:06 AM
Vicki from New York

Prelude: Bach - Air on G String
Procession: Pachelbel Canon in D
Recessional: Purcell - Trumpet Sonata in D
Reception: Debussy - Arabesque

Apr. 28 2011 09:45 AM
Estelle Tsantes from Brooklyn

For this British royal wedding I recommend Peter Maxwell Davie's "Orkney Wedding," a rarely heard piece that ends with the rousing sound of bagpipes being played at sunrise. What could be more appropriate!

Apr. 28 2011 09:30 AM
Nancy De Rienzo from Morristown, NJ

Pachelbel's Canon in D -- Seating of the Parents
Wagner's Wedding March -- Processional
Beethoven's Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee -- Congregational Hymn
Panis Angelicus -- Lighting of the Candel
Bernstein's -- Make Our Garden Grow
Haydn's -- The Heavens Are Telling -- Recessional

Apr. 28 2011 09:28 AM

I would love to see them walk down the aisle to Rimsky-Korsakoff's Scheherazade, the section "The Prince and the Princess". It is very dreamy and romantic.

Apr. 28 2011 09:27 AM
Yasmine I. from Brooklyn, NY

Processional & Recessional - improvised music on the classical Arabic oud (solo)

Ceremony - "The Coolin" by Samuel Barber sung by acapella chamber choir

Cocktail Hour - jazz trio of bass, drums, alto saxophone

Reception - my husband and I sang our own arrrangement of "The Nearness of You"; First dance was Norah Jones, "Come Away with Me"; Arabic DJ to play a mix of Arabic and American dance music + jazz and bossa nova for dinner time

Apr. 28 2011 09:22 AM
Adolfo Martinez from Queens, NY

Prelude: Adagio for Strings — Barber
Processional: Sleepers Awake—JS Bach
Anthems: He Shall Feed his flock—From Handels Messiah
Recessional: Handels Water Music

Apr. 28 2011 08:51 AM
Adina from Columbia Univ. from Manhattan, NY

Since I'm only 21 and I cannot even fathom wedding bells in my future anytime soon, there's only one song that comes to my mind for a wedding: "Kingdom of the Shades" from my favorite ballet, "La Bayadere," by Leon Minkus. In this part of the ballet, the prince is having visions of his deceased lover and they dance together in this dream sequence. It would be a very lovely and graceful processional and would mean a lot to me.

Apr. 28 2011 08:07 AM
rick o'connell from Queens Ny

processional was "Gia il sole di Gange" aria by Allessandro Scarlatti.going into the Lohengrin bridal chorus.
during the ceremony were a couple of folk songs including Burns' My love is like a red red rose" and an Applachian song called "when Adam was created"
Also Schubert's Ave Maria, and the recessional was Handel's "where ere you walk". Our tenor was a singer who later made the Met. It was great music and I think it contributed to the marriage going strong 30 years later.

Apr. 28 2011 06:36 AM
jfd from Oceanside

My Wedding: flute & harp
Processional : Pachobel Canon in D
Bride : Wagner: Bridal March
Recessional: Trumpet Tune by Purcell
Air by Bach
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach

Apr. 27 2011 09:01 PM
Lisa Dunkle Scheffler from Church of the Holy Advent, Clinton, CT

My daughter's wedding last year was the most beautiful! Here are her choices:

Mothers' entrance -- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (Bach)
Bridesmaids' -- St. Anthony's Chorale (Haydn)
Processional -- Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
Hymn -- "Ode to Joy" -- Beethoven
Recessional -- Toccata -- CM Widor

Apr. 27 2011 08:17 PM
Liz from Jackson Heights

Prince of Denmark's March - Clarke
One Hand, One Heart - Bernstein
Gloria - Rutter
Rondo in G - Bull

Apr. 27 2011 06:44 PM
John J Palatucci

prelude music for organ: Reger and Bach
Bach - Bist du bei mir (on euphonium)
brass sextet & organ
wedding party:
Marcello - Psalm XVIII
Handel - Ov. to Music for the Royal Fireworks
congregational hymn: Praise to the Lord
Mozart - Laudate Dominum form "Vesperae per la Confessore"
Kaufman - Beloveds (original song)
Bach:Nun danke alle Gott
Bach: Alleluia from Cantata #142

Yes, we're still married (32 yrs. and counting).

Apr. 27 2011 06:05 PM
Marcia T Jacobs from Brooklyn

Gilbert & Sullivan: "None shall part us" from "Iolanthe"
Prokofieff: "Wedding Dance" from "The Stone Flower"
Wright & Forrest: "And this is my beloved" from "Kismet" (or the original slow movement from the Borodin String Quartet No. 2)

Apr. 27 2011 11:55 AM
Joanne Gibson Wiggins from New York City

The processional we enjoyed for our wedding was

BUX WV 202 Dietrich Buxtehude's Lobt Gott ihr Christen, allzugleich. It was perfect.

I listen to WQXR daily at work. It, too, is perfect!

Thank you.

Apr. 27 2011 10:41 AM
Martin from Brooklyn

I see the response to Joa66 on how to enter the contest, but I sympathise with Joa66. This really is a confusing web site: nowhere does it say specifically how to enter, just how to leave a comment, and no indication that leaving a comment is equivalent to entering. Bring back the old WQXR web site - it had less on it, but was clearer.

Apr. 27 2011 10:37 AM
Marcia Jacobs

Bernstein's "One Hand One Heart" from "West Side Story"
Goldmark "Rustic Wedding Symphony"
Frank Loesser "My Heart is so full of you" from "Most Happy Fella"

Apr. 27 2011 10:29 AM


Mark O'Connor's Appalachian Waltz, performed live with cello, fiddle and double-bass


Emily's Reel, also by Mark O'Connor

It was a fall country wedding in the Catskills - lots of Appalachian music and square dancing.

Apr. 27 2011 09:40 AM
Pat Horwitz from Oak Ridge, NJ

I felt like a "queen" 27 years ago when my husband and I recessed to Rimsky Korsakov's "Procession of the Nobles" from Mlada.

Apr. 27 2011 08:46 AM
Catherine MacLeod from Philadelphia

Processional- Clarke- Trumpet Voluntary
Recessional- Widor- Toccata from Symph # 5
Out of church- bagpipes- Mairi's Wedding

Apr. 27 2011 08:40 AM

Det er så yndigt at følges ad
Tekst: N. F. S. Grundtvig, 1855
Melodi: C. E. F. Weyse, 1833

this psalm is played at every Danish wedding since 1860 or there about
Text translated is
it is so beautifull to go in to life together
try to play it and you will love it
ole pedersen

Apr. 26 2011 06:28 PM
Susan K from Basking Ridge, NJ

Ooops, sorry...Its Bach (below) for the concerto for 2 violins in b flat minor...sorry.

Apr. 26 2011 10:57 AM
Susan Kalas from Basking Ridge, NJ

The greatest piece ever written for a wedding entrance procession is
SONG OF THE EVERGREEN (would love to have it done for my daughter; she would rather elope!)
Music before procession as people enter...
Beethoven Concerto for 2 violins in B flat minor, Pachabel Canon, Tchykovsky's (?)
Sleeping Beauty Waltz...then THE SONG OF THE EVERGREEN as the procession takes place. Ode to Joy as the exit procession followed by a Classical version of the Beatles...When I'm 64!! :)

Apr. 26 2011 10:40 AM
seagull from Connecticut

We were married just a few weeks after 9/11 and music choices had to bridge an impossible gap between happy and grieving. We had Bach and Telemann flute sonatas played by family (who happen to be excellent professional flutists) and our entrance music was Sibelius's Andante Festivo. All was perfect.

Apr. 26 2011 09:59 AM
George Jochnowitz

The wedding march from Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro's Nose).

Apr. 26 2011 09:30 AM
Andrew from New York, NY

Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man
Handel - Hornpipe from Royal Fireworks
Purcell - Trumpet Voluntary

Vaughn Williams - "Rhosymedre" from Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes

Bridal Entrance:
Elgar - "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations

Exchange of Rings:
Elgar - Salut D'Amour

Signing of the Register:
Delibes - "Flower Duet" from Lakme

William Walton - March for "A History of the English Speaking Peoples"

Apr. 26 2011 09:01 AM
Michael Wolf

At my wedding, when the mothers-in-law walked down the aisle, the organist played "The Ride of the Valkyries."
Most effective!

Apr. 26 2011 08:52 AM
Howard Marder from Manhattan

Yankee Doodle because America fought a bloody war to free itself from the oppression of Britain's royal family and this piece of music, along with any other that reminds us of the tyranny of the royalty, would be just fine.

Apr. 26 2011 08:33 AM
martin from New York, NY


Bach: Prelude in C minor, BWV 546
Bach: Trio Sonata 2 in C minor, BWV526
Bach: Fugue in C minor, BWV 546

Bach: Contrapunctus I, Der Kunst der Fugue, BWV 1080

Bach: Toccata in F Major, BWV 540

Luther: Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott

Groom’s Processional:
Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C Major,
BWV 545

Bride’s Processional:
Widor: Symphony No. 5 in F minor, Andantino quasi allegretto

Reiche: Abblasen

Mozart: Allegro in F minor, K 594

Apr. 25 2011 10:21 PM
Janet from Brooklyn

My wedding playlist:

Entry of the mother-in-law - Baba Yaga's Hut (Mussorgsky)

Processional - The March to the Scaffold (Berlioz)

Song for the Bride - "Lord, help me make it through the night"

Recessional - Funeral March of a Marionette (Gounod)

gee.....hope my selection wins!

Apr. 25 2011 09:54 PM
Brendan from Bois-le-Roi, France

I'm not married, but I've gone back and forth between:

-Liszt Transcription of the Mendelssohn Wedding March
-Allegro Assai Vivace from Mendelssohn's First Organ Sonata

I suppose it will depend on whether I'm closer friends with an organist or a pianist :)

Apr. 25 2011 04:26 PM
Marisha from New York City

We were married nearly three years ago in Newport, Rhode Island at the Touro Synagogue, the olderst synagogue in North America.

For the processional, the music included:

For the mother of the bride, accompanied by her grandson, Canon in D by Pachelbel (among Mom's favorite pieces).

The rest of the bridal party walked to Mozart's clarinet and harp concerto.

The bride and groom walked down the aisle together to Mozart's flute and harp concerto. This was also played softly during the encirclement part of the ceremony. Typically, the bride (and sometimes the mothers of the bride and groom) encircle the groom at the chuppah (wedding canopy). At our wedding, the bride, her mother and daughter encircled the groom and the groom also encircled the bride.

The recessional was a mix of Bach's Badinerie and traditional Jewish music including Siman Tov u'Mazal Tov and Kol Sasson v'Kol Simcha.

Apr. 25 2011 11:18 AM

Seating of Parents:
Carolan’s Welcome by Turlough OCarolan

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel

Entrance of Bride:
Indian Queen by Purcell

Following Scripture:
Think on Me by Alicia Ann Scott

Unity Tying of the Knot:
For Good by Stephen Schwartz from Wicked

Presentation of the Couple:
Merrily Kiss the Quaker

Apr. 25 2011 10:46 AM
Richard from Brooklyn

I had the resources of one of the world's great pipe organs at our wedding in Methuen so I had to lean on some organ masterworks. However, we included some other stuff including rare film music:

(entry of the wedding guests)
Finale from Vierne's Organ Symphony No.1
Hovhaness Prayer of St. Gregory
Morricone Gabriel's Oboe

Brewer Marche Heroïque (processional)
Desplat The Engagement from the film Birth (played on piano to contrast with the organ)
Widor Toccata (recessional)

Apr. 25 2011 10:27 AM
Nancy Whyte from Eastn

We used vocal music for the entire wedding song by a friend with a lovley mezzo-soprano voice:
processional: Panis Angelicus (Franck)
communion prayer: Ave Maria (Bizet)
before the reading of the gospel: Whither thou Goest(sp?) -Flor Peters
recessional: Mozart's Alleluia

Apr. 23 2011 03:20 PM

Processional: Imagine - John Lennon
Recessional: All You Need Is Love - The Beatles

Apr. 23 2011 01:50 PM

Aida triumphant march =)

Apr. 22 2011 07:05 PM

When I met my beau, a wedding was out of the question. Gay marriage was not a viable option in the late 1970s.
Later, I sang for my sister's wedding, including a setting from Ecclesiastes:

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest...

Alas, that marriage ended in divorce, but I have a niece and nephew and their respective husband and wife in my extended family. And my sister has since remarried.

My beau died just about three years ago, so I doubt there will ever be a wedding for me.

Apr. 22 2011 06:38 PM
Virginia & Ken from Grand View on Hudson

The only thing I remember is that Brahms "Variations on a Theme by Haydn" was the processional, and hearing it is still a thrill 40 years later.

Apr. 22 2011 03:23 PM
Richard from Manhattan

(K) Kalinnikov, 4th Movement, Andante Cantabile-Allegro Vivo, from Symphony No. 2
(A) Arnold, Sir Malcolm, "Four Scottish Dances
(T) Telemann, Don Quichotte Suite
(E) Enescu, Romanian Rhapsody No. 2, in D Major
(M) Mendelssohn, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
(I) Ireland, John, A London Overture
(D) Dvorak, Slow Movement from Symphony No. 5
(D) Dunstable, John, Veni Sancte Spiritus
(L) Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
(E) Elgar, Sir Edgar, Cockaigne Overture
(T) Tchaikovsky, Waltz from Eugene Onegin
(O) Orff, Bridal Duet from the Cantata Trionfo Di Afrodite
(N) Nicolai, Otto, Overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor
(W) Walton, Sir William, 1st Movement from the Violin Sonata
(I) Ives, Charles, "Soliloquy"
(L) Lambert, Constant, Gemini Waltz
(L) Lawes, William, Consort Suite
(I) Ives, Charles, Moderato Movement from "Trio"
(A) Albinoni, Adagio
(M) Mozart, Exsultate Jubilate(Alleluia)

(P) Purcell, Overture to "Come Ye Sons of Art"
(R) Rachmaninov, "Vocalise"
(I) Ireland, John, "Merry Andrew"
(N) Nenna, Pomponio, "L'amoroso Veleno
(C) Couperin, Concerts Royaux, No. 1
in G Major
(E) Elgar, Sir Edward, "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations
(P) Palestrina, "Exsultate Deo"
(S) Schubert, Adagio, Symphony No. 1

Apr. 22 2011 02:48 PM
Rose Peña

Lullaby for Strings - Gershwin

Homage March from Sigurd Jorsalfar - Grieg

Agnus Dei, L'Arlesienne, Suite # 2 - Bizet

Make Our Garden Grow - Bernstein

Allegro from Organ Fantasie - Mozart, K. 594

Apr. 22 2011 12:37 PM
Bob Huber

Bride's procession -- "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" by Handel. It's her day, and for once in her life, she should be a queen.

Married Couples procession out -- Brandenburg Concerto #2, first movement by Bach. Something new and glorious has just been created at the altar, so it should be immediately recognized by a creation of equal glory.

Introduction of the Couple at the Reception -- Nimrod Section from "Enigma Variations" by Elgar. Admittedly, this piece should not be used if the reception has an open bar. It's too contemplative, but if it's a champagne reception, nothing beats the Elgar piece. After all, a great marriage is the apotheosis of friendship.

Couple departs reception -- La Rejouissance from "Music for the Royal Fireworks" by Handel. They're off for their first night in marriage. If no fireworks now, then when?

Apr. 21 2011 05:28 PM
Mary Lynne

I won't give my full playlist, since many of you have pieces from it in your list. But one piece I haven't seen mentioned yet is Eternal Source of Light Divine by Handel. Works really nicely for a church wedding, although you need a soprano or tenor with chops to sing it! :-)

Apr. 21 2011 05:11 PM
innes borstel

my brother played an old pump organ that we hauled out into my parents front yard...Grieg's Wedding Day at Troldhagen was at the beginning--it was a challenge to fit onto the short keyboard! Mendelssohn's march was at the end. then we had lovely string band music for the contradance afterwards! (this was twentynine and a half years ago...)

Apr. 21 2011 01:30 PM
Jennifer M. from New York, NY

My wedding playlist spans centuries, but is bound together by two threads: each of these works has a text that is as beautiful as its musical setting, and all are by English composers (Handel, of course, being an adopted Englishman!)—my way of honoring my heart's home.

Prelude: "They shall be as happy as they're fair" (Purcell, The Fairy Queen) [I enjoy reading this with a 21st-century interpretation of the word "fair".]

Processional: "Where e'er you walk" (Handel, Semele)

Giving away of the bride: "Rise up, my love, my fair one" (Healey Willan, Three Motets in Honour of Our Lady)

Exchange of Vows: "Set Me as a Seal Upon Thine Heart" (Sir William Walton)

Recessional: "Happy We!" (Handel, Acis and Galatea)

Apr. 21 2011 01:04 PM
Elizabeth from Manhattan

We had an embarrassment of good music at our wedding, and coincidentally it had a Russian theme:
Prelude: Selections from the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil and Set Me As a Seal / Rene Clausen
Processional: Finale from Saint-Saens Organ Symphony
Hymns: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones
Signing of the Register: Ubi Caritas / Durufle
Anthem: Beloved, Let Us Love / Gibbons
Service Music: from Durufle Requiem
Recessional: The Great Gate of Kiev / Rachmaninoff
Bonus: First Dance: Sleeping Beauty Waltz / Tchaikovsky
Last Dance on the reception playlist that was accidentally organized alphabetically: "YMCA"
The day my husband and I met, in a choir, we were rehearsing the Rachmaninoff Vespers, so we had to have that. I've always loved the Saint-Saens ever since I heard it as a little girl retooled as the theme from the movie "Babe" and had pictured it as my entrance music. My husband used to be a dedicated pianist and wanted to relive his glory days with the thunderous chords of "Great Gate."

But I think my favorite musical moment from someone else's wedding was a processional of "All You Need Is Love" played by violin and cello, in the middle of a park, while curious pedal boats riders looked on!

Apr. 21 2011 12:34 PM
John Ford from Greenwich, CT

Perfect timing for this contest, as our wedding was exactly one year ago this Sunday, April 24. So here we go, and time to dig out the CD of the ceremony...

Prelude: Elgar, Chanson de Matin

Processional: Purcell, Trumpet Tune in D

Vidi Aquam: Victoria

Kyrie, Gloria: Byrd, Mass For Four Voices

Psalm: McKie, We Wait For Your Loving Kindness, O God

Offertory Anthem: Parry, I Was Glad

Sanctus and Benedictus: Byrd, Mass For Four Voices

Agnus Dei: Byrd, Mass For Four Voices

Communion Anthem: Walton, Set Me As A Seal

Ave Maria: Elgar

Hymn: Parry, Jerusalem

Recessional: Walton, Crown Imperial

Apr. 21 2011 11:00 AM
Fred from IBronx, New York

I am a choir director and had many vocal solo and duet numbers at our Wedding.
Prelude; Wedding Prayer-Dunlap
Because- Guy d'Hardelot
O Promise Me- R. De Koven
The King of Love my Shepherd Is- Mendelssohn

Call to Worship- Panis Angelicus- C. Franck

Wedding March- Trumpet Tune in D- H. Purcell

Hymn of Praise- Psalm 89- Jeremiah 33
Congregational Response;
'I will sing the story of your love"

Congregational Hymn; Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee- Beethoven (Ode to Joy)

Duet after Second Lesson
'Jesu, Joy of man's desiring" - J.S. Bach

Hymn of the Day;
'For the Beauty of the Earth'

Lighting of the Unity Candle
'Bist du bei mir"- J.S. Bach

After Prayer of the Church
Solo- 'The Lord's Prayer" A. Malotte

Wedding March- F. Mendelssohn
Rigaudon- Andre Campra
Trumpet Voluntary in D. - J. Clarke
Finale- Symphony No 6- Charles-Marie Widor

Apr. 21 2011 09:56 AM
Rusty Bacon from Denville Nj

Unfortunately, it seems that many of your respondents are from "back in the day" ! ! ! I too have lived a long and good life. 53 years ago on our wedding day, the birth of rock and roll was the prevailing sound. However, when Alfred Drake and Doretta Morrow stole our souls, with Kismet, that began our love affair with Alexander Borodin and his Russian counterparts with the passion of the Steppes..........Their music still stirres............

Apr. 21 2011 09:05 AM
Edward from NY

Because this is an English royal wedding, perhaps Elgar's Concert Overture: Cockaigne (in London Town).

Apr. 21 2011 08:53 AM
Bernard F. Dick from Teaneck NJ

I was unable to do anything about the music for my wedding in 1965 (yes, I'm a relic), but I was so much in love that I didn't matter. If I had my choice, it would have been the first-act love duel from La Boheme, "O Suove Fanciulla." I will always associate it with my wife. Although Victoria de los Angeles and Giuseppe diStefano never sang it at my wedding, but did on a Saturday matinee in November 1952, the impact that duet left on a teenager from Scranton, PA turned him into the romantic that he remains today. By the way, we have been married for 46 years. Thanks, Puccini, Victoria, Giuseppe, Patrice Munsel (a delectable Musetta)., and WQXR--my Music 101-02 and so on, in gratitude for the Music Appreciation courses that were not in the curriculum of my college during the Eisenhour years.

Apr. 20 2011 10:08 PM
Richard Beltle from Ocean Grove, NJ

Prelude: Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 12 in B Minor: Aria: Larghetto e piano
Processional: Trumpet Voluntary - The Prince of Denmark's March- Jeremiah Clarke
Solo Music: Lakme: Flower Duet
The Marriage of Figaro: Voi che sapete
Recessional: Bach: If you can deal with the title: Mendelssohn: War March Of The Priests otherwise: Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 - Jauchzet, Frohlocket!

Apr. 20 2011 09:25 PM
Noel Holland from New York City

Your listeners have have suggested a lot of wonderful wedding music already, but one selection that I have always thought was particularly apt -- and almost never used -- is the madrigal from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado": "Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day!"

Apr. 20 2011 08:23 PM
Mary from Metro NY

Here is the CD from the prelude music I compiled for my wedding:

Nigel's & Mary's Wedding - Prelude Music
Composer Piece Name Artist Time
Antonio Lotti Sonata for flute, viola da gamba and continuo Allegro Eroica Trio 1:25
Vivace 1:52
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte Overture Georg Solti: Chamber Orchestra Of Europe 4:07
Le Nozze Di Figaro Deh vieni, non tardar, o gioia bella John Eliot Gardiner: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir, Terfel, Hagley, Martinpelto, Gilfrey, Stepehen, McCullough, Feller 3:06
Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro 1:50
Richard Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Di rigori armato il seno Te Kanawa, Bernard Haitink, Staatsopernchor Dresden, Knaben des Dresdener Kreuzchores 2:08
Edvard Grieg Haugtussa Elsk Anne Sofie Von Otter 2:15
Sergei Rachmaninov Aleko Intermezzo Lorin Maazel: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 2:03
Vocalise Opus 34 o 14 5:23
Claude Debussy Suite Bergamasque Prelude Werner Hass, Noδl Lee 3:50
Passepied 3:53
Maurice Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin Prelude Jean-Yves Thibaudet 2:49
Gabriel Faure Cantique De Jean Racine Opus 11 Orfeon Donostiarra; Orchestre Du Capitole De Toulose 5:50
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Ave verum corpus K. 618 K 618 Marcus Creed: Rias Chamber Chorus, Berlin Radio Symphony 3:31
Le Nozze Di Figaro Sinfonia John Eliot Gardiner: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir 4:11

Apr. 20 2011 08:12 PM
Char from New York City

Prelude: Handel's Water Music
Processional: Now Thank We All Our God-Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Vocal:: Jesus, Shepherd, Be Thou Near Me - J. S. Bach
Recessional: Trumpet Tune and Air, Henry Purcell

Apr. 20 2011 07:03 PM
Don from Wantagh NY

I'm a church musician and have many musician friends.
For my wedding in 1989 we had:
Prelude: assorted renaissance music played on the lute.
Processional: Fanfare by Guy Eldridge (organ)
Solo: Alleluia by Mozart (soprano & organ)
Recessional: Fanfare by N. Jacques Lemmens (organ)

Apr. 20 2011 06:51 PM
Nancy from Denville

2nd movement,Elgar Cello Concerto
Bach -Du Bist de Ruhe
Nimrod variation
Du Bist de Eine Blume
Trumpet Tune Clarke
Widor Tocatta

Apr. 20 2011 06:46 PM
Richard Levine from New Jersey

I suggested to my daughter Sherri that she use the beautiful slow movement theme from Mendelsohn's Scottish Symphony coming in and the jubilant trumpet music by Handel at the end. She did and both pieces worked perfectly at a lovely outdoor ceremony on a NY State mountain top overlooking a valley..

Apr. 20 2011 05:54 PM
Carla Potash from Hastings-on-Hudson, NBY

When I was re-married in 1989, we chose Bob James' "Rameau" for our intimate ceremony. The combination of elegant stately 17th century fare with a 20th century synthesizer "twist" made our "coming and going" just right. (Can't recall which 'cuts' we used, however.) Royal or not, I recommend this music.

Apr. 20 2011 05:31 PM

We used: (or wanted to use---we were talked out of the asterisked selections) the following, in 1983, all on the organ:
Preceding the ceremony: Meditation from Massenet's Thais, Sullivan's The Lost Chord, Parry's Jerusalem, and Handel's Zadok the Priest*;
Processional: Marriage Procession from Verdi's Falstaff; and
Recessional: Excerpt from final movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.*

Apr. 20 2011 03:57 PM


Just leave your playlist in a comment on this page - we'll have your email address, so we'll contact you if you're the winner!

Apr. 20 2011 03:50 PM
Marianna from Flushing, NY

I'm getting married on April 29th (same day as the royal wedding). We're using traditional music with a twist. The processional will be Bach Air from the Orchestra Suite No. 3 followed by Wagner Bridal Chorus. We are using Schubert Ave Maria as a meditation and Mendelssohn Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream for the recessional.

The twist is the processional and recessional music will be played by horn quartet. (I'm a horn player so I arranged the music.)

Apr. 20 2011 11:10 AM
Jdebary from Kearny

So many lovely music to choose for the big day....I will go for:
Ave Maria (Franz Schubert)

Apr. 20 2011 08:19 AM
kjosef from Chicago

Prelude in D major (Antonin Dvorak)

Trumpet March (Jean-Baptiste Lully)
March (J.S. Bach)
Sinfonia (Henry Purcell)
Trumpet Tune (Giuseppe Torelli)
Trumpet Finale (Francesco Manfredini)
“Air de Trompette” (Georg Philipp Telemann)
Prelude in D major on a Given Theme (Antonin Dvorak)

“Grand March” from Aida (Giuseppi Verdi)

Hyfrydol (“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”) (Charles Wesley)

Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd (Richard Proulx)

Chant Mode 6 & Verse (Unknown)

Let the Bright Seraphim (Handel)

“Community” setting (Richard Proulx)

Panis Angelicus (César Franck)
Chant, Adore te devote
La Grace (Georg Philipp Telemann)

Ave Maria (Franz Schubert)

Dance No. 4 for Organ (Philip Glass)

(The Glass was unbelievable as a recessional. Highly recommended.)

Apr. 19 2011 09:50 PM
John from Brooklyn


Schutz: KleineGeistliche Konzerte
Fauré: Bercuese Op. 16
Mahler: 4th Symphony, final movement (arranged)


Fauré: Dolly, Op. 56 – Berceuse
Dvorak: String Quartet Quintet in G major, Op. 77, III Poco Andante
Vivaldi: "Laudate pueri, Dominum, Psalm 112, RV 600: Sit nomen Domini"

Between Readings

Brahms : Waltz - Op. 39, No. 15 in A flat major


Vivaldi: Gloria

Apr. 19 2011 04:19 PM
John from Brooklyn


Schutz: KleineGeistliche Konzerte
Fauré: Bercuese Op. 16
Mahler: 4th Symphony, final movement (arranged)


Fauré: Dolly, Op. 56 – Berceuse
Dvorak: String Quartet Quintet in G major, Op. 77, III Poco Andante
Vivaldi: "Laudate pueri, Dominum, Psalm 112, RV 600: Sit nomen Domini"

Between Readings

Brahms : Waltz - Op. 39, No. 15 in A flat major


Vivaldi: Gloria

Apr. 19 2011 04:16 PM
Karin Barnaby from Sea Cliff, NY

One of the biggest thrills of my life came when my daughter asked me to choose her wedding music 12 years ago. Inspired by your invitation, I just listened to all the selections on YouTube several times over. Thanks.

Here's what I chose:

Mozart, "Exsultate Jubilate"

Bach, "Sinfonia" (Christmas Oratorio)

Bridal Processional:
Handel, "Minuet" (Berenice)

Gounod, "Sanctus" (St. Cecilia Mass)

Gluck, "Trionfi Amore" (Orfeo ed Euridice)

Apr. 19 2011 01:30 PM
nisha from bangkok

Mendelsohn Wedding March

Apr. 19 2011 11:10 AM
Mary Heller from Poughkeepsie

Preludes: Handel's "Water Music Suite" ; Pachelbel's "Canon in D"; Bach's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring".
Processional: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven (this was ours; also used by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip)
Solo: "Alleluia" from Mozart's "Exaltate Jubilate"
Recessionals: Marcello's "Psalm XIX" and Purcell's "Trumpet Voluntary."

Apr. 18 2011 09:57 PM
Steven Lanser from Upper Manhattan (Inwood)

We were married in October, 1996, and an officiant from the Ethical Culture Society performed the ceremony. Music list (all a cappella) was: I Love My Love (Cornish folksong arranged by Holst), Si Chio Vorrei Morire (Claudio Monteverdi), La Rosa Enflorece (Sephardic folksong arranged by Paul Ben Haim), I Am The Rose Of Sharon (Anthem by William Billings), Come Live With Me (William Sterndal Bennett-text by Marlowe).

Apr. 18 2011 04:26 PM
EF Slattery from New York

My husband and I were married in Prague, in a civil ceremony at the town hall on Old Town Square, and our music options ranged from the traditional (Pachelbel's Canon) to the completely wacky ("Conquest of Paradise," "Bridge over Troubled Water," "Hey Jude"). We opted for Bach!
(Not meant as a contest entry; I just like telling the story.) :)

Apr. 18 2011 03:09 PM

Sonata No. 3 in C Major - Bach

Caprice No. 14 in E-flat Major - Paganini

Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major - Mozart

Apr. 18 2011 02:48 PM
Nell Buck from Boston, MA

**Pre Ceremony **
Igloo by Karen O and the Kids
Mothersbaugh's Canon by Mark Mothersbaugh
I always Wanted to be a Tenenbaum by Mark Mothersbaugh
Sparkplug Minuet by Mark Mothersbaugh
Fiction by Belle and Sebastian
Hope On Board by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
You Are The Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne

Apr. 18 2011 02:13 PM

Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze"
Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
Purcell's "Trumpet Tune" (Processional)
Beethoven, Ode to Joy" (Recessional)

Apr. 18 2011 01:12 PM
cargo from New York City

Bride Processional
La ci darem la mano - Mozart Don Giovanni

Groom Processional -
Nimrod Variation - Edward Elgar

Rejouissance - Telemann Suite in A minor

There I will give my hand to a man of the earth and then we will rejoice.

Apr. 18 2011 12:16 PM

How do I submit my wedding song in order to enter the contest. Thank you.

Apr. 18 2011 12:04 PM

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