The selection of music for the guitar can be bewildering, particularly if you don’t have specialist musical knowledge. As a classical guitarist I am often asked to play for wedding ceremonies and I am frequently asked for my recommendations for pieces.
Choosing the right music for a wedding can be daunting, and while many know exactly what they want, a little guidance can be helpful. With that in mind, I thought that I would write a short guide to picking the best guitar music for their day.
The Wedding Ceremony
The wedding ceremony is the focal point of the day, and choosing the right music can add extra magic. You will need to think about what music you would like for:
- Arrival of the guests
- Entrance of the bride (the most important!)
- Signing of the Register
Arrival of Guests
Music for the arrival of the guests should provide a gentle ambience before the beginning of the ceremony. It’s not often that I get asked to play particular requests for this section of the day, (although I am happy to) so usually provide a gentle accompaniment to the arriving guests. To give you an idea of the kind of music that I might play, here are some examples:
- Romance de los Pinos (F. Moreno Torroba)
- El Noi de la Mare (trad. arr. Llobet)
You may already know that religious music cannot be played at civil ceremonies (e.g. at registry office), so you will need to bear this in mind when picking music.
Entrance of the Bride
The music for the arrival of the bride is perhaps the most important of the day, and the choice of music is very personal. Most couples ask for an piece that is special to them (and this might mean a special guitar arrangement of something I’ve not played before!). When picking the music, remember that the walk down the aisle is a lot shorter than you think. It is likely that you would only hear around 30 seconds of music. I have played many different types of pieces, and some well known songs have become particularly popular recently, e.g.:
- You’ve got a friend (Carole King)
- Somewhere over the rainbow (Harold Arlen)
There are many others you could choose. YouTube is a great resource for looking up potential music. I am always happy to play requests, just ask.
Signing of the Register
If the entrance of the bride is shorter than you would expect, then the signing of the register is longer. This part of the ceremony always seems to last about 10 minutes, so two good length pieces provide some gentle background accompaniment during the proceedings. Some examples:
- Prelude in D (JS Bach)
- Balleto (M Ponce)
Traditionally a more lively, celebratory piece is played as the bride, groom and the rest of the wedding party leave the ceremony venue. The are hundreds of pieces that would work, but I particularly like these pieces:
- Joyful Departure (Ralph Towner)
- Sound of Bells (Joao Pernambuco)
I hope these examples will help you to pick music to suit the mood of your day. If you would like any extra advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.