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“Canon” or “Canon in D was composed around 1694 and was likely written for a wedding. This piece is now heard in virtually every Wedding Ceremony scene on TV and in film.  The music term canon is where multiple instruments play the same melodies at different times – think “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.  Although designed for multiple instruments the melody is strong enough to be played beautifully by a single-line instrument such as Violin or Flute.  The more instruments you add the more rich and complex the musical layers. Quartet (4 pieces) or Quintet (5) are ideal if your budget allows but Duo, Trio, Organ, Piano, or Harp will sound great. Canon works well for a Bridesmaids Processional because it takes time to develop from slow whole notes to fast sixteenth notes.  For Brides -  take a few deep breaths before you enter and move slowly to allow the music to build to it’s magnificent apex. A nice thing about Canon is that you can stop playing it at the end of almost any 8-measure section and it will sound like it was supposed to end there.  See one of our quartets play this piece at


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The “Bridal Chorus” from the opera “Lohengrin” by Wagner (pronounced Vog-ner) is what we know as “Here Comes The Bride”.  Many brides consider this the most traditional selection but it has no real cultural or religious ties.  It became popular because of the wedding scene in the 1850 opera and when someone put the words “Here comes the bride” to it then it went to the top of the charts here in the English-speaking world. It’s not even a procession in the production but is sung by a chorus after the ceremony.  Plus, the marriage between the characters ends almost immediately in failure. It can be done on most instruments solo, accompanied by organ or in ensemble form.  Beware –the Catholic church considers this a secular piece, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod bans it because of pagan themes in Wagner’s opera, and Jewish services won’t allow it because of the composers known anti-semite views.  Contact me if you have questions. See one of our Trios play this piece at

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“Trumpet Voluntary  is a general term given to may English keyboard tunes from the Baroque era. The “Prince Of Denmark March” was written by Jeremiah Clarke -but often attributed to Henry Purcell – was made very popular in 1981 when used as the procession of Princess Diana in her wedding with Prince Charles.  The composition is a slower, stately march with a clear melody in the first part which is restated in a different key, then breaks into quicker bridge before coming back to the main theme.  Nicely structured for a Wedding processional because it made up of short sections. See one of our Trios play this piece at

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 Other favorites include “Trumpet Tune” also by Henry Purcell,  Vivaldi’s “Spring” from The Four Seasons; “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” (pronounced yay-sue) by Bach, “Ode To Joy” (or “Hymn To Joy”) which many people know as a church hymn but is actually the main melody to Beethoven’s Symphony Ninth Symphony; or selections from Handel’s “Watermusik” or “Royal Fireworks”.  All of these pieces can be heard in various forms on YouTube.  There is no wrong answer – only the one which is most right for you.  One consideration is the length of the aisle you’ll be walking down.  Some pieces take longer to develop – or make musical sense – so they may not be practical for a short procession.  Often, when the Bridesmaids are coming down to a different selection you may want their piece of music to have a different character, style, pace, or feel to create a dramatic contrast between them and you.

Here is a breakdown of what couples have been choosing for their Ceremony music.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all selections are available for all groups or solo performers


  • Ode To Joy by Beethoven
  • Winter by Vivaldi
  • Largo from Xerxes by Handel
  • Simple Gifts also known as “Shaker Song” and “Lord Of The Dance”
  • Wind Beneath My Wings
  • Ave Maria
  • Air from Watermusik by Handel
  • Greensleeves
  • I Dreamed A Dream
  • Trumpet Voluntary
  • Arioso by Bach
  • Air For The G String – Bach
  • “What A Wonderful World”
  • “Canon In D”
  • “Dodi Li”
  • “In My Life”
  • “The Prayer”


  • Canon In D  ***** ***** ***** ***
  • Trumpet Voluntary ****
  • Ode To Joy  **
  • Air For The G String – Bach **
  • Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring – Bach  *****
  • “Winter” from The Four Seasons” - Vivaldi
  • If I Ain’t Got You (with backing track) -  Alicia Keys
  • Bittersweet Symphony (with backing track) – The Verve
  • Across The Universe – The Beatles
  • Hallelujah – Rufus Wainwright
  • Spring from The Four Seasons – Vivaldi
  • “Ave Maria” – Schubert
  • “Wedding Processional” from “The Sound Of Music”
  • “The Wedding Song”  Kenny G
  • “Prelude from Te Deum”  Charpentier
  • “True Companion” vocalist
  • “The Legend”



  • Canon in D ***** ***** ***** ***** ***
  • Bridal March by Wagner (Here Comes The Bride) ***** ***** **
  • Rondeau by Mouret
  • Trumpet Voluntary ****
  • Ave Maria - Schubert
  • A Thousand Years
  • Bittersweet Symphony
  • “Unthinkable” (with backing track) – Alicia Keys
  • “Lost In The Moment” (with backing track) - Big And Rich
  • “Wedding March” by Jonathan Cain
  • “The Wedding Song” Kenny G
  • “Secrets” with backing track
  • “The Gael” from “Last Of The Mohicans”
  • “Erev Shel Shoshanim”
  • “Turning Page”
  • “Jesu, Joy Of Mans Desiring” by Bach
  • “All I Ask Of You” from “Phantom Of The Opera”


  • Jesu, Joy Of Mans Desiring by Bach  ***
  • Simple Gifts ***** **
  • Ave Maria ****
  • Over The Rainbow
  • You Raise Me Up
  • The Wedding Song
  • O Perfect Love
  • Lovers Waltz
  • The Servants Song
  • Let There Be Peace On Earth
  • If I Should Fall Behind
  • Ode To Joy
  • Chances Are
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Annie’s Song
  • To A Wild Rose


  • “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn ***** ***** **
  • “Hornpipe”/”Allegro Maestoso” from “Watermusik” by Handel ***** ***
  • “Ode To Joy”  ***
  • “Trumpet Voluntary “
  • “How Sweet It Is “
  • “Spring” from “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi **
  • “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay
  • “Swallowtail Jig”
  • “All My Life”
  • “Love And Marriage” (with backing track) – Sinatra
  • “La Rejouissance” by Handel
  • “Hail West Virginia”
  • “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  • “What A Wonderful World”
  • “The Gael” from “Last Of The Mohicans”
  • “Rondeau” by Mouret
  • “I Do” by Colbie Caillat
  • “Beautiful Day” by U2 Electric Violin over track
  • “All You Need Is Love”


* indicates it was used multiple times.