In terms of the music, church weddings, of whichever denomination, can be rather different to civil ceremonies. For instance, sometimes there is the option of using the church organ for part of the service. Is this a good idea? That usually depends on the condition (tuning) of the organ and the ability of the organist! The size of the church is also an important factor; there’s no doubt that in large buildings the hymns are effective with organ accompaniment, however in smaller churches the string quartet can more than hold its own – indeed we’ve often been told how special it has been for the guests. Incidentally, we can play any hymn you choose. Can the quartet play along with the organ? Here we usually have to say it’s better not to – there can be drastic discrepancies of pitch and timing.
A few other points: wedding guests generally take their seats earlier than in civil weddings, so we recommend that we play for at least half-an-hour before the start; also obviously the restriction on religious music in civil ceremonies does not apply, although you should still discuss your music choices with your priest or minister. One personal observation, occasionally it can be remarkably difficult to find four chairs for the quartet!
What music to choose for walking up the aisle?
It’s a question many brides ask, so we thought it might be helpful to discuss it a little here.
We believe there is a lot to be said for the traditional wedding tunes, so ‘Here Comes the Bride’ and the Pachelbel Canon, for example, are deservedly popular and very effective. Other favourite choices for the bride’s entrance include ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ and the Trumpet Voluntaries by Jeremiah Clarke and Stanley. We also have a more extensive list of our suggestions that we can send on request.
However, many brides wish to select modern music that has a special meaning for them and their groom. Here we hesitate to make suggestions as the choice is such a personal one. We may well have played your tune before, or it may be new to us, so we are always very happy to discuss your ideas with you – most things are possible!
We are often asked how long a tune is, as timing is so important for this part of the ceremony. In fact, this isn’t a problem at all, as we can fade out, stop at an appropriate place, or if need be repeat the piece or part of it.
It’s worth remembering that for civil ceremonies there are a few restrictions on the music you can choose, but basically anything is allowed so long as it is non-religious in origin or does not detract from the solemnity of the occasion. If in any doubt, check with the registrar in advance; or we can do so on your behalf.