First thing first.
The term for walking ‘Up’ the Aisle is called the “Processional”. This is normally led by the Flower Girl and Best Boy, followed by the Bridesmaids and then the Bride, traditionally arm in arm with her father.
At the end of the wedding we have the “Recessional”. This is when newly married Bride and Groom skip back down the aisle hand in hand full of the joys of the season and hope and dreams of their future together.
We get asked more often than not for our “ideas” as to what a couple should use for either or both the Processional and the Recessional. Here are a few tips for choosing the right music for your wedding:
(1) if your ceremony is a religious affair and is to be held in the church or if it is a civic, non-religious ceremony but is being curated by a person of the cloth, ask them if you can use Contemporary music. Strictly speaking in the religious forum both the Processional and the Recessional take place outside the religious ceremony however we have heard that in rare cases the priest will not accept non religious music to be part of the wedding. So before you do anything – ASK!
(2) Pick something appropriate. For instance, while Sarah McLachlans ‘Angels’ is a beautifully rendered song that oozes a beautiful melody – it is in fact about suicide. Similarly, ‘Landslide’ by Stevie Nicks is about the end of a relationship.
(3) Try to have the music reflect the day you wish to have. Do not choose your music on an individual basis. For example, while all beautiful hymns and songs, a wedding set list made up of She Moves Through The Fair, Seinne Alleluia, Hallelujah, A Thousand Years, ag Críost An Síol, Mo Ghrá Thu, Songbird and other slow moving beautiful songs will make the ceremony feel very slow and will remove energy from the venue. Try to balance upbeat, happy songs with beautiful ballads/hymns.
(4) For the Processional we like to use songs that mix both Male and Female vocals. These vocals can be used effectively to reflect the Bride and the Groom, joining together in harmony as they meet at the alter.
(5) For the Recessional we like to think that this is the end of the formality of the occasion and a good upbeat happy song will set the tone for the rest of the day. In one instance we witnessed, a couple used the theme tune to The Muppet Show!!! By all accounts the wedding was a huge success
(6) Try to have the sentiment of the music you choose, reflect you as a couple. Whether it’s aspirational or thematic to your relationship, it can be really effective to have music that in some way shines a light on your relationship with each other and use that to express the depth of your feelings to your guests. This could either be a song that is particularly special to you both or a song where the lyrics express how you feel about each other or describe in some way your relationship.
So there are a few tips and ideas on choosing your music for your special day. While by no means exhaustive we hope that these few bullet points go some way to helping you narrow down your preferences for your big day.
Most importantly, enjoy!