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Top 10 Traditional Wedding Processionals

Updated on March 23, 2009

There are so many great choices of music out there for your wedding processional, but sometimes having too many choices can be terrifying or frustrating. The first decision when picking out your wedding processional is whether or not you want your ceremony to be traditional or contemporary. A traditional processional is usually played by an instrument like a piano or organ, while contemporary music can be played with a CD or live instruments.

If you have decided on a more traditional wedding style, you should also take into consideration your ability to find unique musicians for certain songs. A Trumpet processional may sound beautiful on a recording but if there are no trumpet players available for your special day, you might not be able to get the sound you were hoping for from a piano alone.

My Top 10 Traditional Processionals:

  1. Ode to Joy by Beethoven. This is beautiful played by a string quartet and an organ.
  2. Trumpet Voluntary in D by Henry Purcell. I love this song because it is so joyful. An organist can play the trumpet part but it is so much better if you can find a real trumpet player.
  3. Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin" by Wagner. It doesn't get more traditional than "Here Comes the Bride", and this is a lovely choice whether played by organ, piano, strings, or brass instruments.
  4. Canon in D by Pachelbel. Traditionally played by strings, this is a slower, softer choice for your processional.
  5. Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach. I think this is also one of the more joyful choices with more of an upbeat tempo and a feeling of movement in the music.
  6. Air in G by Bach. Like the Canon in D, this is a softer and slower choice, but is definitely a beautiful one as well. Because of its very formal and slow sound, this processional would work very well for a formal evening wedding.
  7. Allelujah from "Exultate Jubilate" by Mozart. A joyful choice that can be sung by a choir or simply played by strings. If you are planning a sunny garden wedding, this would be a lovely choice.
  8. Spring from the "Four Seasons" by Vivaldi. Upbeat and well known, this is another great choice for a variety of instruments, especially nice with a string quartet or organ.
  9. Trumpet Tune by Clarke. Like the Purcell song, this is best if you can find a trumpet player, but piano or organ will work lovely as well. This song is more grand and therefor well suited to a large church wedding.
  10. Water Music by Handel. An upbeat choice that works very well on piano and is sure to be recognized by your guests, but is not overplayed at weddings.

In the end, your wedding is all about you, so be sure to choose a song that fits your tastes and style. Any song can work as long as you love it! I got a lot of ideas from this site about wedding music and general wedding planning.

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