Wedding Music 101

Wedding Songs for the Bride

Wedding Songs for the Bride
  • Bridal March - R. Wagner
  • Trumpet Voluntary - J. Clarke
  • Royal Procession
  • Te Deum - A. Charpentier
  • Trumpet Tune - H. Purcell
  • Gloria - A. Vivaldi
  • I Vow to Thee - G. Holst

Bridal March from Lohengrin - Richard Wagner
In Wagner's opera Lohengrin, this actually is called the Bridal Chorus, which might be a better way to describe a trip down the aisle. This is the piece you hummed in grade school (Here Comes the Bride) when you played "getting married." Many people confuse this piece with Mendelssohn's Wedding March, a totally different composition with a similar name. This arrangement uses flute, violin and cello.
Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke
Another piece that has become synonymous with weddings, especially for the bridal procession, is the Trumpet Voluntary. Actually Trumpet Voluntary is a generic term for compositions performed on the organ using a trumpet-stop for the melody. During the Baroque period there were many of these pieces. This trumpet voluntary is formally known as “Prince of Denmark’s March” and originally attributed to Purcell.
Royal Procession
Long before Prince William and Kate, I was working on this processional. There is an energizing build-up (seventy seconds) before the entrance of the bride when the trumpet starts. With a little planning and rehearsal, the first part of this piece could include the bridal party, depending on size. The demo heard here begins with the trumpet. Listen to the full version here: Greg Thompson Music Wedding Ceremonies.

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Wedding Processional, Te Deum - Marc Antoine Charpentier
First-rate piece for organ, strings and trumpet.
There have been over 1 million downloads from Wedding Music 101.
Trumpet Tune - Henry Purcell
Trumpet Tune is often confused with Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary, however, they are two very different pieces. It is best performed with trumpet and accompaniment, but can work with just a classical trio.
Gloria - Antonio Vivaldi
This is a “big” arrangement, meaning lots of strings, flute, oboe, piccolo trumpet and a brass choir. The demo starts just before the brass choir begins, which is a perfect place for the bride to make an entrance. In the full download, there are about thirty-five seconds before the bride would start, which might be nice for the flower-girls. Or...this could be excellent as a recessional.
I Vow to Thee
This tune was written by Gustav Holst and used as the main theme for Jupiter in his orchestral suite, "The Planets."