From the famous choir that stole the show at Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding to choral favorites like Felix Mendelssohn’s “Bridal Chorus,” these amazing works will add warmth and a celebratory feel to any ceremony. Civil weddings can use any music as long as it doesn’t mention God, so a solo classical singer or small choir will easily fill a room with glorious singing.
Madison Choral Project sets the tone for your big day. Whether you’re channeling Bella Swan or hoping to wobble down the aisle like a pro, it needs to be an appropriate piece of music that captures your personality and reflects your style.
‘Here Comes the Bride,’ originally from Gluck’s opera about Orpheus and Eurydice, is a beautiful, elegant, and classic option. Alternatively, Wagner’s ‘Bridal Chorus’ from Lohengrin is also smart. The piece is about a doomed marriage, so some religious leaders may have issues with it being played at a Christian wedding ceremony.
If you want to keep the tempo light and fun, try ‘Salut d’amour’ by Elgar or the spirited ‘Toccata’ from Widor’s Organ Symphony No. 5. Alternatively, Rossini’s merry aria from ‘The Barber of Seville’ could be just what you need to get your guests in the mood for celebration.
Although many couples assume that if they’re having a civil wedding ceremony, they will only be able to use music if they have hymns, this isn’t the case. A solo classical singer or a small choir will be sufficient to fill your venue with glorious singing.
This movement from Saint-Saens’ 1886 suite, The Carnival of the Animals, combines stunning starts and stops with beautiful melodies without breaking the sacred feeling most people want at their wedding ceremony. Because he worried that it would damage his reputation as a serious composer, he banned complete performances and only allowed this one movement to be published during his lifetime.
There are four key moments where a choir or soloist can add magic to your day: as you enter the room while signing the register, during the service itself, and as you leave for your honeymoon.
Whether your wedding is church or civil, this song will make you feel like royalty. It’s a beautiful, sentimental piece that will pull at your heartstrings.
This is a professional interlude from Handel’s oratorio ‘Solomon,’ which tells the biblical story of Solomon and his visit from the Queen of Sheba. She was a wealthy woman ruler, famous in history for her wealth and wisdom and for challenging Solomon with difficult questions.
This is the same choir that performed at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding last year, and it’s a great example of how music can bring people together. It’s also a wonderful reminder that love is all around us, regardless of our beliefs. The song works well at the signing of the register, bringing a sense of celebration to this momentous occasion.
This is a beautiful piece despite its religious nature. It’s an incredibly touching piece that tugs at the heartstrings and is perfect for couples who want to convey their love and commitment to each other on their wedding day.
Unlike church choirs, who may only be available to sing at services, professional singers and choirs are often open to performing for civil wedding ceremonies. This means they can help you create a truly unique and special day that your guests will discuss for years.
At a civil wedding, you can sing music (though not hymns), so what better way to end your ceremony than with this beautiful song? It is an ode to love full of stunning starts and stops, yet it always feels incredibly powerful.
One interesting thing to look out for in the piece is the chromatic chords used. For example, at bar 7, an E-major chord is augmented to G#-major, a secondary dominant for the repeat section.
Adding live singing to your wedding day is a great way to surprise your guests and create a memorable experience for everyone present. From choirs to solo wedding singers and even surprise singing servers/firefighters/cooks, there are many options for your big day. Check out our list of UK singers to find the perfect act for you!
The Toccata from Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony for Organ No. 5 is the UK’s favourite wedding music, having topped a Classic FM poll. It has a theatre heritage (the music used for the bride’s entrance in Wagner’s 1850 opera Lohengrin) and is often played as the couple exits their ceremony.
Unless you have a very particular taste, it is best to leave the choice of prelude and recessional music to your organist. They should have a good idea of your musical tastes and should be able to offer suggestions based on their experience.
For example, a slow movement from Bach’s Water Music would be appropriate for the recessional, although many couples prefer a medley of favorite hymns. Ask your organist to discuss this with you before the day. They will likely be happy to do so!
A soaring piece of organ music, this toccata by Widor will make your guests’ jaws drop. It demands a high level of skill from the organist and should be practiced beforehand to ensure that every note sounds even and perfect.
It’s also a lovely piece to play during the entrance of your wedding party into the ceremony. This will add a beautiful touch to your day and give everyone something to marvel at.
If you’re planning a civil ceremony, it’s much easier to find professional wedding singers than a church choir, as they don’t have to be available for services throughout the week! This means they can also easily pick and arrange your favorite songs.
Regarding rock and roll, Etta James is an iconic figure. Known for her nuanced wisdom and raw power, she was a real singer’s singer. This song is a stunning example of her talent, delivering incredible start-and-stop dynamics that make her feel powerful and self-assured.
Civil ceremonies can have sung music as long as it doesn’t mention God, and this track would work perfectly. It is also a great choice to keep the whole day feeling very special and intimate without overdoing it with too many big choir numbers.
The main rule in music at a civil wedding is that you can’t have hymns, but there are few opportunities for beautiful harmonies. With a professional choir on hand, you can pick music that fits your day and that everyone will be able to join in with.
This lovely canon from Boyce is ideal for choirs of any size and is easy to learn. With a comfortable range and supportive piano accompaniment, it’s a great way to start your wedding.
One of the best things about hiring a choir for your wedding is that they can double up as a live band at your reception or party. This means you can have the same performers serenade your guests at every stage of your day, making it even more special!
In most church weddings, a few hymns will be sung during the ceremony. These songs bring people together and reflect a sense of celebration and joy.
A choir can also be hired to sing a processional song as the bride (or groom in same-sex weddings) walks down the aisle. This music helps to set the mood for this important moment in the ceremony and should match a natural walking pace.
A professional wedding singer or choir can perform various pieces to suit your wedding. They are also likely much more available than a church choir that only meets for Sunday services. This means they can fit the music you choose to your ceremony far more quickly and easily than a church choir would be able to do.