Bridal Processional Options
When it comes to playing violin for weddings, I try to offer brides the same repertoire all the time. Now that I'm preparing for my own wedding, though, I would really like it to be unique. Does anyone have any suggestions for great/unique classical/sacred pieces that are stately enough to be used as a processional? I'm thinking about using string quartet for the seating of the parents and grandparents, and for the beginning of the processional, climaxing with organ for the bridal entrance. Thank you!
I've always loved Bach for weddings. My high school violin teacher played the Andante from the second Bach solo sonata for our processional. It worked really well. Of course, she's really good and was unfazed by the pressure; not sure one should expect that level of performance from a typical wedding gig player (no slight intended!)
I used the Grieg "Aus Holberg Zeit" as the prelude music, and then used the march from "Tannhauser" as a bridal processional. Tannhauser would probably work in an organ arrangement; it's got a grandeur similar to the traditional wedding march from Lohengrin, but without feeling as cliche'. I used recorded music, though.
First word, congrats on your wedding!
I play for a lot of weddings, but for my own wedding I used the Overture to the Royal Fireworks Music for my processional.
Other options (arrangements necessary):
Honestly if a bride were to ask me to play Nimrod, I would try to talk her out of it--it would be very difficult to stop on a dime (which is a necessary attribute of an effective processional--you don't want 30 seconds of extra music once the bride has reached the altar)but more importantly it has an association with funerals ever since Princess Diana's.
Last wedding processional I played was last Friday and it was Con te Partiro, as made famous by Andrea Boccelli, which was the bride's request but works fairly well (if you don't know the lyrics are about saying goodbye).
Fair point about Nimrod and its associations. And I agree about the challenge of finding a good stopping point. We got around this by just using one piece of music for the entire processional. And I think Hsiao-mei probably didn't play the repeats. We also walked slowly as it was a small church. :-)
Oh! Another cool piece: check out Boccherini's 6th String Quintet. We used the Passa Calle for a recessional for someone's wedding. The Minuet and/or Ritirata could work for a processional. These have the sense of familiarity without being cliched and they aren't very difficult to play.
My wife walked down to Strauss'
If you are getting married in the winter....want to incorporate an organ and string quartet...this is easily doable.
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