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Ceremony Music: For the Traditional & Non-Traditional Couples

Friday, June 24

Music and dancing are easily some of the best parts of a wedding, and while you and your love may have talked extensively about the song you’ll be sharing your first dance to, don’t forget about the importance of the ceremony music. Some couples choose to go the traditional route for the processional and recessional songs while others like to mix it up with more contemporary music. We have complied a list of our favorite classic and unique ceremony songs for the traditional and not so traditional couples!

Enjoy! Xo, Calluna


For the Traditional Couple: For the couple that wishes to stick with tradition and make a grand entrance down the aisle, we have the perfect songs for you!

Processional:

  • “Canon in D” (Johann Pachelbel)
  • “Bridal Chorus”  (Richard Wagner)
  • Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Johann Sebastian Bach)

Recessional:

  • Allegro Maestoso (Handel)
  • Ode to Joy (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • Wedding March (Mendelssohn, From a Midsummer Night’s Dream)

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Photo Credit: Angie Wilson Photography


The Not So Traditional Couple: For the couple looking to step a little outside of the box, we love these alternative options for processional and recessional songs! Your guests will never forget the moment you walked down the aisle as a beautiful bride and the moment you and your hubby walked back down as husband and wife!

Processional:

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (Ingrid Michelson)
  • Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
  • Awake My Soul (Mumford & Sons)
  • Sign Sealed Delivered (Stevie Wonder)
  • Reign Of Love (Coldplay)

Recessional:

  • You Make My Dreams Come True (Hall & Oates)
  • Happy (Pharell)
  • Crazy in Love (Beyonce)
  • Boom Clap (Charli XCX)
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling (Justin Timberlake)

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Photo Credit: James Christianson Photography


Calluna Faves: The Calluna team has worked and attended a fair share of weddings, so we definitely have some favorite ceremony songs from the past years. Check out what Calluna Events owner, Heather Dwight has to say about alternative options and incorporating culture into wedding music!

Heather Dwight (Owner): “My husband and I used one song for both the family and bridal processional, The Weather by Built to Spill and I came out right at the crescendo of the song. And since I am Scottish we of course had a bagpiper play our recessional. One of our couples used Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years which is such a beautiful song. I also love First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes for either the processional or recessional!  Any nod in the ceremony music to the bride or grooms tradition or culture, or a song that has meaning to them to make it theirs.”

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Photo Credit: Recherche Photography


The Experts Weigh-in: We are so lucky to have some amazing professionals in the industry that know everything there is to know about wedding and ceremony music. We asked Kimberlee from The Lyric Ensemble, and Georgina from Columbine Entertainment to give us the scoop on their favorite traditional and non-traditional ceremony ideas.

Kimberlee Hanto: “My favorite traditional processional for the bride is Canon in D by Pachelbel. Though it was written over 300 years ago, it has a mesmerizing quality that is timeless.  Everyone loves hearing it!  My favorite traditional recessional is the Hornpipe from the Water Music by Handel.  It has such a wonderful energetic and joyful exuberance- perfect for that special moment when a couple has finished their ceremony.”

“Regarding today’s trends, couples often enjoy having current songs as a part of their ceremony.  One bride told me that she heard Over the Rainbow when her groom proposed- and that she really wanted it for her wedding processional.  We love it when we can provide songs that have an extra special meaning for the couple.  Having a guitar in our ensemble makes it possible for us to be able to perform contemporary songs authentically.  When a song request is not in our repertoire, we make every effort to find sheet music and arrange it for the ensemble.  We love helping make each special wedding day unique and memorable.“

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Georgina Petheo: “If its just a string quartet we love to play Arrival of Queen of Sheba by Handel. Its a very beautiful song that talks about the arrival of a Queen, just like the arrival of the Bride to the aisle. The song is upbeat and happy, perfect for the processional. If we do a trumpet combo we love to play Rondeau by Mouret, its absolutely gorgeous. For the recessional, we enjoy the traditional Hornpipe by Handel, especially if we have a trumpet player. Lately we have been including a trumpet player and it truly makes the processional and recessional feel bright, fancy, upbeat and gorgeous, making the Bride feel even more special.”

“We do often play some more contemporary songs, and we spend a lot of time arranging them to make sure they fit perfectly with the group of instruments. Some of our favorites include All You Need is Love, by the Beatles, its truly a timeless song. La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong and Dream a Little Dream of Me by Ella Fitzgerald are also a few of our favorites.”

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Featured Image: Laura Murray Photography 

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