Why Instrumental Music Is Better for the Wedding Processional and Recessional

Don’t get me wrong, beautiful songs can add a special touch to your wedding ceremony. You’ll want your guests to be able to listen to the lyrics so they know how you truly feel. The best time for a song is right before the processional begins and at some point during the wedding ceremony.

Why instrumental music is better for the Processional and Recessional.

1. Length - Instrumental music is flexible. How long the music plays depends on how long it takes for the bride to walk down the aisle. For recorded music, a simple fade out can be applied when the bride reaches the altar or ceremony location. For live music, arrangements can be adapted so that the final notes occur when the bride reaches the altar. It is a different story with a song. Songs are generally three to four minutes in length.  If it takes thirty seconds to walk down the aisle there are two choices. First, you can fade out when the bride reaches the altar. The impact of the song’s lyrics is lost because your guests are only hearing part of the first verse. This defeats the purpose of having a song. Second, the bride can wait at the altar for the song to be completed. For the bride, this will be the longest three minutes she will ever spend. It is a long wait for the guests, also. It is very awkward!

2. Focus – During the Processional, you want the focus to be ON THE BRIDE, not song lyrics!

3. Recessional – You are now married and are introduced to your guests as a married couple. Once again, your guests want to see YOU! They will not listen to lyrics. Upbeat music works best. It builds excitement! It gets everyone ready for the next step…THE PARTY!

There are two types of Processionals, the big fanfare type and the more subtle type.

Examples of the big fanfare are:

Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (“Here Comes The Bride”) – the old standard

“White Lace” from the “A Wedding By The Lake” CD. – This has an attention getting introduction, so guests will know that it is time to stand, followed by a stately wedding march. (LISTEN TO IT!)

The other type of processional is more subtle. This can be used when the Bridal Party ad Bride walk down the aisle to the same music.

Here are two examples:

Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” – This is probably the most famous and has been used millions of times. It can go on and on and provides plenty of time for the largest bridal party to enter.

“Rose Petals” from “A Wedding By The Lake” CD works great for the entrance of the Bride or the Bridal Party and Bride. It is a truly beautiful piece of music and most of all, it is new and hasn’t been overplayed.  (LISTEN TO IT!)

The music from “A Wedding By The Lake” is also available as sheet music for a variety of instruments like string quartet, piano, flute, trumpet, violin and cello. It is easy to add some live music to your wedding ceremony!

I hope this helps!


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