Bad choices in wedding music for processionals

As a part of our service as wedding musicians, we work with our clients on “building” their wedding music programs.  Usually, a client will provide us with a list of their choices of music for a wedding ceremony and at that point we can edit it as needed, giving our suggestions, making sure that their wedding music selections are suitable for a ceremony.
     Here is an example from a client who sent us an e-mail with her choices for the ceremony. We are looking at the pieces chosen for the processional, before the start of the wedding ceremony: 

Groom’s mother – Trumpet Voluntary

Bride’s mother – Amazing Grace

Pastor and bridesmaids – Canon in D

Ring Bearer, flower girl – Arioso

Bride and Father – Bridal Chorus by Wagner

    At a first glance, the choices seem to be excellent, providing plenty of processional music for the wedding party walking down the aisle. However, here are a few negative points on the above music selections that might not be obvious at first.
Having that many wedding music pieces for the processional IS quite unusual and can be overwhelming, not for musicians but for guests. For musicians the only issue might be is changing pages from piece to piece, leaving “gaps” between the music as a bridal party is walking down the aisle.
A very obvious contrast between the two wedding music pieces for mothers: Trumpet Voluntary is a happy, upbeat  wedding music piece, whereas Amazing Grace is a mournful, solemn piece, most commonly played at funerals, not weddings. Hence, it might not be a good idea to play them side by side, they might sound odd.  
Another issue with Trumpet Voluntary is its’ style.  The most “prominent”, spectacular piece of music during the wedding ceremony processional should be reserved for the entrance of the bride, not the bridal party.  Trumpet Voluntary IS very bright, loud, attention-attractive piece, used very often as a bride’s processional piece. Even though Bridal Chorus for the bride is a perfect choice, it clashes with Trumpet Voluntary.  Either one or the other, but not both.
Here is the solution we came up with for the bride in this case, altering the wedding music choices as follows:

Groom’s mother and bride’s mother – Arioso (same piece for both, gentle yet very pleasant piece of music, easy to fade as needed)
Pastor,bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party – Canon in D(very beautiful, well known piece, and long enough for a large wedding party)
Bride and Father – Bridal Chorus by Wagner (as in the original selection; very appropriate choice of a wedding music piece that will especially stand out after softer sounding Canon in D)

Our Lady Of The Sacred Heart High School

Category: Venue Reviews

This place has just moved up on our list of “Pittsburgh jems”. I was in absolute awe of the beauty that I saw in the Chapel of this artistically hidden school in Coraopolis.  The preserved architecture, wood work on the inside, the feel of the histrory back to the 1930’s is incredible! The outdoor surroundings are straight out of utopian perfect world! The people we worked with fit right in with their kindness and appreciation for our music.