Best Classical Songs for Weddings in 2021: MustHaveClassicalMusic

Best Classical Songs for Weddings in 2021

During the coronavirus, most weddings were postponed, since the grooms and brides wanted the family and friends to be present at the ceremony. As the restrictions start to loosen up, people are trying to secure a date for their wedding.

If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve surely thought long and deep about the music that will be playing. Today, we’ll discuss the suggestions we have for the music that will be playing on that magical day.

When a bride is walking down the aisle in a white wedding dress, what do you expect to hear playing in the background? Most likely, you’re expecting a classical tune. Classical wedding music provides a timeless and elegant feel to the wedding, and it’s no surprise that many brides choose to play exactly this type of music on their memorable day.

The most sentimental feelings strike once traditional wedding songs start playing. Another good thing about classical songs is that they’re a timeless piece of art, so in 10 years you won’t look back at your wedding and feel bad for picking a song that’s trendy today but forgotten tomorrow.

Best Classical Songs for Weddings Right Now and Forever

It can be a difficult task to find the right wedding song. There are those who choose to walk down the aisle to classical music, and some prefer music that’s far from classical. 

Today, we will stick to the timeless sound of romance. We’ve compiled a list of the best classical songs for weddings to help you with your choice of music for your wedding day.

1. 100 Must-Have Wedding Masterpieces

100 Must-Have Wedding Masterpieces was released in 2013 by various artists. It features some of the most famous songs for weddings, such as the Marriage of Figaro. Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, it was a comic opera or opera buffa, that has four acts. It premiered in Vienna at the Burgtheater in 1786. 

The libretto of the opera is based on the stage comedy called The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro, also known as La Folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro, by Pierre Beaumarchais. This piece is one of most frequently performed operas in the world, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest operas ever written. Some other famous songs on this album are: 

  • Don Giovanni, K. 527, Act I: Love Duet - "La Ci Darem La Mano" (Instrumental Version)
  • The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Act III: Dove Sono (Instrumental Version)
  • The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24, Part II: VII. Dance of the Sylphides
  • Songs Without Words, Op. 62: No. 6, "Spring Song"

The album comes at a very affordable price, and the songs on the album are soothing and beautiful, ideal for romance and love. 

The Ultimate Wedding Album was released in 1997 by Kiri Te Kanawa & José Carreras & Plácido Domingo & Luciano Pavarotti & Peter Hurford & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields & Sir Neville Marriner.

On the Ultimate Wedding Album, you’ll find the unforgettable Ave Maria. Ellens Gesang III, also known as Ellen's Third Song in English, was composed in 1825 by Franz Schubert. It is one of the most popular works of this composer, often recorded and performed by many singers under the title Ave Maria, which is the Latin name of the prayer Hail Mary. 

This piece has various different lyrics and can sometimes have musically simplified arrangements that are different from the original song composed by Schubert. 

Some other songs that are famous and can be found on this album include:

  • Moonlight - Clair de Lune (from "Suite Bergamasque")
  • Bridal Chorus (Wir winden dir den Jungfernkranz)
  • Romance In E Flat Major, Op. 44
  • Festive Dance And Waltz Of the Hours

The ultimate wedding album: 2-CD set was released in 2009 and it lasts 2 hours and 21 minutes. 

The Sleeping Beauty was composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and it was the second of his three ballet scores, based on a fairytale written by Charles Perrault. It was orchestrated and composed in the years between 1888 and 1999, and there were several minor revisions during the rehearsals on stage that took place during the last three months. 

The piece is composed for a large orchestra that consists of 2 trumpets (in A, B-flat), 3 trombones, cymbals, glockenspiel + piano + harp, 2 bassoons + 4 horns (in F), 2 oboes, 2 cornets (in A, B-flat), tam tam, 2 clarinets (in A, B-flat), 2 flutes, English horn, violins II, tuba + 4 timpani, violins I, piccolo, tambourine, double basses, military drum, bass drum, cellos, violas, and a triangle.

The sumptuously titled, Once Upon a Time - Fairytale Wedding Classics for Princess Brides & Their Prince Charmings, was released in 2012 by various artists. 

Some of the songs on this album include:

  • Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, Cantata, BWV 147: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Frank Berger, Hans-Dieter Weber & Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Concerto in E Major: The Four Seasons, RV 269, "Autumn": I. Allegro by Budapest Strings
  • Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik": Allegro by Vienna Mozart Orchestra, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Herbert Kraus
  • The Nutcracker, Op.71, Act II, Scene XII.: Divertissement - E. Dance of the Toy Flutes by Sofia National Opera Orchestra

The performances on the album showcase drama, vivid character, engagement, and emotions. Best of all, they all deliver really high-quality sound, too.

60 Essential Royal Wedding Classics was released in 2011 by the Royal Wedding Orchestra. The album includes some of the following songs: 

  • Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Sinfonía Da Requiem - Dies Irae - 2nd Movement
  • Serenade For Strings in E Minor Op 20 - Allegro Piacevole 
  • Serenade For Strings in E Minor Op 20 - Allegretto
  • Scheherazade, Op. 35 - The Young Prince And The Young Princess - Andantino Quasi Allegretto - Un Poco Larghetto

This album offers a wide variety of classical music. You’re going to love this collection if you like bagpipes, brass, and a full orchestra. 

Ways To Use Classical Music in Your Wedding Ceremony

Classical music can sometimes have a bad reputation, especially with generations that are younger. It can be seen as boring and stuffy, which in our opinion is completely unfair. However, classical music is everywhere, from samples in popular dance tracks to television adverts and film soundtracks.

This vast musical genre has a lot of tradition, grandeur, and beauty that should be appreciated. The fact that you haven’t watched a whole opera or have never attended a full classical concert shouldn’t stop you from including this gorgeous music in your wedding day. The range of classical music is wide, and there’s something that will fit everyone’s taste.

As The Guests Arrive

A great way to set the tone for the ceremony that lies ahead is to play classical music as your guests arrive. 

This will also have a great effect on calming down your nerves and the nerves of the people attending the wedding. Playing some calming classical melodies while your friends and family find their seats is a great choice.

However, you need to make sure that you don’t choose a song that’s often played as a processional piece because you might confuse the guests, who might assume that the ceremony has already started.

As Entrance Music

The processional music, aisle music, or entrance music is music that signals the start of the ceremony. Usually, this is the part for which most couples pick classical music since it’s familiar and traditional.

A piece of classical music that is well-known at weddings is Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, from his opera Lohengrin. In the original opera, it’s better known as Here Comes the Bride!, and it’s performed by a full orchestra and chorus. However, at weddings, it’s often played on a classical instrument like the organ. This song never fails to capture the attention of the guests immediately.

Bridal Chorus by Wagner has a strong competitor, and that’s Pachelbel’s Canon in D. This beautiful piece has been used countless times as entrance music, and it still doesn’t lose any of its magic. It’s a really serene, elaborate, and moving piece of music.

When you hear Pachelbel’s Canon in D, your first thought is weddings. Some other popular choices when it comes to professional music are Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by J S Bach, Te Deum by Charpentier, and Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel. These pieces are memorable and give an uplifting feeling, making them the perfect choice for entrance music.

As Church Hymns

You’re likely to include hymns if you’re going to have a church wedding ceremony. A lot of popular classical composers wrote concert pieces as well as church hymns.

Consider booking a brass or string ensemble if the church doesn’t have an organ or the organ isn’t in good shape. The last resort should be using a recording or keyboard since neither will sound good in a church.

You should also consider booking a choir to sing the hymns if your guests aren’t that confident at singing or don’t go to church very often. 

There should be from 4 to 40 singers, and the number depends on the side of your congregation and church. To give your guests the confidence they need to sing the church hymn, make sure that the hymn sounds uplifting and strong.

When You Sign the Register

Your guests will need entertainment while you’re having your pictures taken and signing the register. This is a great moment to use classical music. This will give your musicians a moment to shine and it will make the most of the booking.

Some great options for this part of the wedding are brass, woodwind, classical guitar, harp, strings, and solo piano, and each of them brings a different style of classical music to the table. Brass and woodwind produce livelier music, while classical guitar and harp offer a more gentle and relaxed sound.

On the other hand, strings and piano can do both. Classical guitar, harp, and piano can be played on their own, while the other instruments we mentioned usually need to be accompanied by some other instrument.

Clair de Lune by Debussy is an amazing piece of classical music for this moment. It can be arranged for many instruments, although it was originally composed for solo piano. When they register, many couples love to hear a singer perform. A baritone or soprano can sound wonderful while you’re signing the register. 

You can go for something angelic and gentle, something romantic and luscious, or something operatic and grand. The possibilities are endless. Ave Maria is a well-known classic when it comes to weddings. In case you have a choir booked for your wedding, you can use them to their full potential by letting them perform during the signing of the register. 

There are many non-religious and religious beautiful pieces for choirs. If you have a larger space with a resonant acoustic, it’s best you use solo classical singers and choirs since they use their technique and natural acoustic to project the sound.

For The First Dance

The first dance is extremely personal, just like the vows, and it’s a great opportunity for the wedding couple to show everyone what they mean to one another.

Our advice? Pick a piece of classical music that’s upbeat and sweet, and will provide a positive experience for everyone. Keep an eye on time, though. You don’t want your guests to be waiting for 15 minutes while you’re dancing through an entire ballad.

As Exit Music

The end of the ceremony is called a recessional, and this is the moment when the couple moves back up the aisle. Just like any part of the wedding, the recessional also has a few classical and traditional pieces of music that often go hand in hand with it.

Recessional music should be uplifting and upbeat. Mendelssohn’s The Wedding March is a piece that will feel familiar to your guests and yourself. It can be arranged for many instruments, although it sounds incredible when played on a church organ.

Another popular choice for recessional music is Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary. It’s a regal and fantastic way to end the ceremony. This piece can be played by organ with a trumpet soloist or a solo organ. Widor’s Toccata is another famous piece that’s a brilliant piece of classical music to end the ceremony with.

You will create an unforgettable atmosphere by using classical music in your wedding ceremony. In order for your guests to feel at ease, it’s always a good choice to combine a few well-known pieces that your guests can recognize and sing along to. To reflect your personality and taste, you might want to mix modern and traditional touches.

How To Make Sure Every Guest Hears the Music

Unanticipated sounds can quickly ruin the atmosphere at a wedding, and you can know this if you’ve ever been at an outdoor wedding where the music was drowned by winds or waves.

Even if you’re marrying indoors, the audio can still be ruined by a large ballroom or a cavernous church. We’re hoping that we can offer a solution to this issue.

Hire Someone to Manage the Sound

The person who will be managing the sound equipment needs to have the proper knowledge and experience about handling anything that may come up. The best option, if your budget allows it, is to go with a sound technician who’s well-qualified. 

Your DJ or band might even help you handle the sound equipment, so make sure you ask them first before hiring someone else.

Choose A Room with Amazing Acoustics

Room acoustics and quality hardware are very important. Sound reflection is usually caused in rooms with hard surfaces like bare walls, tiles, and windows.

These reflections will lead to the production of audio that sounds sharp, as well as poor bass production. On the other hand, soft surfaces like pillows will make your music sound better by absorbing sounds.

If it’s possible, pick a room that has great acoustics. To ensure more sound absorption and less reflection, push furniture with soft upholstery near the wall. By doing this, you will get fewer reflections from the room elements and you will hear more of your audio.

Pick A Quiet Time of The Day

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, make sure you find a spot that’s usually quiet. For instance, if you’re having a wedding at the beach, you’ll want to consider a time when the tides are less noisy. You might also want to look for a location where the winds aren’t so intense or the seagulls are less active.

Choose Quality Speaker Wires

The quality of audio will also be dictated by the choice of speaker wires. Thicker wires are always a better choice. Usually, speakers come in bundles with cables that are thin. 

Ideally, you should use wires that have a thickness of at least 12 to 14 gauge, which will provide a clear and rich sound to your wedding.

Have A Good Sound System and Mics

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning your ceremony to be indoors or outdoors, you should always amplify the couple and their officiant. 

A lapel mic can be worn by the officiant and the groom, while the voice of the bride can be picked up through their microphones. Another option is to get a standing mic which will be positioned between the three of you.

In case you’re worried that the look of the wedding will be ruined by the interference of equipment, work with your wedding planner to hide any stands or cables, or ask for wireless mics. 

Speakers are another must-have at weddings. If you’re not into big speakers, get some small ones and place them all over the space.

Place The Speakers on Stands

The sound that your speakers produce can be easily ruined by having your speakers rest directly on the floor. In an ideal scenario, you can place your speakers on stands, which will be located 5 feet from the ground.

To reduce the chance that the vibrations will round the quality of the sound, make sure that the speakers are firmly mounted on the stands.

The success of your wedding entertainment will depend on the quality of your sound. Use the tips we mentioned above to ensure a fantastic sound experience for your wedding guests. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best classical songs for weddings, the pieces you select set the ambiance and tone of your big day and guide the emotions of your guests. Try to opt for music that fits the vibe of your venue and also feels special and personal to you as a couple.

Some couples choose classical music for the ceremony and then more personal songs when it comes to the reception, while others choose something more modern and mainstream throughout the day.

However, classical music really will give the guests a moment to reflect and appreciate the beauty of the moment. In the end, you’re the one who gets to decide what’s best, since it’s your unforgettable day.

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