There are several places where music is appropriate. The organist will play for about 15 minutes before the service or as soon as people begin to arrive. If you have any preferences as to what is played beforehand, please let us know.
Here are some suggestions for the rest of the music:
Entrance of the Bride
The Bridal March from ‘Lohengrin’ by Wagner (“Here comes the Bride”) is still the most
popular choice, but other alternatives include ‘The Prince of Denmark’s March’ by Jeremiah Clarke (sometimes known as the Trumpet Voluntary), Trumpet Tune (Purcell), Prelude to the Te Deum (Charpentier), Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (GF Handel), Grand March from Aida (Verdi) and many others. You may also, as a change, come in to a hymn.
Signing of the Register
The organ, soloist or choir can play or sing one or two pieces during the signing (it takes about 5 minutes) including Ave Maria (note TWO versions are popular – by Schubert and Bach-Gounod), Panis Angelicus (Franck), Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (JS Bach), Pie Jesu (Fauré – although actually from a Requiem!). Many other pieces may be suitable – Ave Verum (Mozart or Elgar), The Lord Bless you and Keep You (Rutter). The organist can play instrumental versions of most of the above or other suitable organ music. A hymn is also possible, but as you will be occupied doing the signing, you may prefer not to have one here.
Exit of the Bride and Groom
The traditional choice, the Wedding March from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Mendelssohn is still the most requested. Also very popular (and quite spectacular on our organ) is the Toccata from ‘Organ Symphony No5’ by Charles-Marie Widor. Handel’s Hornpipe from the Water Music is also popular, as is the Rondeau-Fanfare by Mouret, LaRejouissance from Handel’s Fireworks Music, and again by Handel, the Hornpipe from the Water Music. There are also Toccatas and other festive pieces which may be suitable – please ask. In addition, many of the pieces mentioned as entrance pieces would be equally suitable to go out to.
Usually two or three; at the beginning, one in place of a psalm if you wish, and at the end. At a nuptial mass, there are places such as the offertory and communion where hymns can be sung. You can choose from so many hymns but bear in mind the congregation that you will have. Are they likely to be familiar with sacred music, or a mixture of all creeds and none? Many hymns will be known to all denominations (especially Anglican) but not all. The hymn book we use is ‘Laudate’ and some of the most popular hymns are listed below with their numbers: Praise my Soul the King of Heaven (807), The Lord’s my Shepherd (806, possibly as the psalm), Love Divine (801), Love is His Word (803), All things Bright and Beautiful (685), Lord of all hopefulness (969), Give me joy (‘sing hosanna’ – 722), Lord of the Dance (765), I the Lord of sea and sky (865). In addition, Jerusalem is popular (especially with rugby players!) although not in the hymn book – the text has to be printed in your order of service. Some weddings choose not to have hymns, but there is no doubt that your guests will usually relish the chance to unleash their vocal cords to support you.
If you have a choir or soloist, the psalm and particularly the Gospel acclamation (Alleluia) may be sung. If you require specialist settings for the Ordinary of the Mass (Sanctus etc), you must consult the Director of Music.
Printed order of Service?
If you have one, you should print composers of organ music and authors of hymn words (although you can just print hymn numbers if you use the hymn books). You don’t need to publish the names of the musicians! You must check the order with the officiating priest. We also ask that you add a line asking guests not to use video recorders, digital cameras or mobile phones with video settings (as this is in breach of copyright and performance regulations). Only an approved videographer may use video equipment in the church subject to the conditions set out on the reply slip. The use of flash photography is also not permitted as this is very distracting to the Priest and wedding party. As a general rule, try to persuade your guests not to take photographs in the church – leave it to your professional photographer.
This is only a small list of suggestions – please ask for more guidance if you wish. If you consult other websites for suggestions, please be aware that some of the ideas in them are not suitable for this church.