One crisp, fall day, our quartet played at Carli and Tom’s wedding ceremony. Their wedding took place in a large, grand parish hall in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Their Catholic ceremony was elegant and concise. The pieces we played were:
Family/Groomsmen: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
Bridesmaids: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Bride: Bridal Chorus (Wagner)
Readings: Arioso (Bach) and Winter (Vivaldi)
Unity Candle: Ave Maria (Schubert)
Carli surprised Tom by having a bagpiper play for their recessional. Our quartet finished with some celebratory postlude music as guests left the building.
Congratulations Tom and Carli!
If you have more than one reading, many couples choose to have a short, musical reflection between them. You may also choose to have two (or more) musical reflections before and after readings as Carli and Tom chose to do.
Our quartet played at Alicia and Brendan’s wedding in ‘the Loop’ at the beginning of September. The location was grand; as one approached the hall from the entrance above, one could see the huge fountain at the front decorated with flowers and candles. Guests mentioned that they could hear our music rise up over the waterfall when they entered.
Alicia had a list of pieces she really liked from our repertoire list, and we chose prelude pieces to play from that list. The pieces we played were:
Family and Bridesmaids: Romance (Shostakovich)
Bride: Scheherazade- beginning of the 3rd movement (Rimsky-Korsakov)
Unity Candle: Air on the G String (Bach)
Recessional: Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
Postlude: Finale from Fidelio (Beethoven)
Alicia and Brendan also had a surprise guitar player playing Over the Rainbow right before their recessional which was pretty neat touch.
The older a piece of music is, the more likely we will be to find it online for free (which means no arranging fee). For example, I found a free, legal copy of the third movement of Scheherazade for Alicia and were able to easily put together a quartet version free of charge, even though it was not originally on our repertoire list.
With the approach of summer’s end, our quartet played at Adam and Morgan’s wedding in downtown Chicago. Even though school had started for most students, the streets were still bustling with activity. The ceremony location was magnificent; as guests walked in, we could hear their excited exclamations. Adam and Morgan chose their processional and recessional pieces, and they wanted us to choose the short reflection pieces during their ceremony.
Here is the final music list:
- Grandparents/parents/groomsmen: “Air” from Water Music (Handel)
- Bridesmaids: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
- Bride: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
- Recessional: Trumpet Voluntary (Clark)
We also played at the cocktail hour, and we enjoyed interacting with the guests a little more during this time.
Congratulations Morgan and Adam!
You may choose as much or little music as you want for your event. We have played at weddings where the bride wants us to pick all her music, and sometimes couples will choose everything that is played from the beginning of the prelude to the end of the cocktail hour. If you just know what kind of mood or style you would like to set, we have a lot of experience putting together playlists.
One early evening in August, our quartet played at Laura and Jacob’s wedding in downtown Chicago. Elegant decorations lined the aisle; there was a large chuppah at the front, and huge windows which opened and lit up the room after Laura processed down the aisle. In the planning process, Laura expressed interest in opera, baroque, and Jewish selections, and we were able to make all of those genres work for her wedding:
Laura specifically requested that we not play any Mendelssohn or Wagner, and we are always willing to omit selections or composers on our repertoire list. We also played at the cocktail hour which was, conveniently, right outside the ceremony room. For the cocktail hour, Laura and Jacob requested light, baroque chamber music similar to “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi.
Congratulations Jacob and Laura!
Making a “do not play” list for your musicians is perfectly acceptable. Our ensemble has plenty of music, even if you do not want more than half of what is on our quartet repertoire list. Of course your hired group will use their judgment when deciding what music to play during your event as well (e.g.: we only play “Bridal Chorus” if the bride specifically requests this piece).
In mid-August, our trio played for Shelden and Nydia’s wedding in Chicago’s southwest suburbs. It was a beautiful, sunny day which was perfect for their outdoor ceremony! The music they requested for the ceremony was:
- Family/Bridal Party: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
- Bride: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
- Reflection: Ave Maria (Schubert)
- Unity Candle: You Raise Me Up(Groban)
- Recessional: Hornpipe from “Water Music Suites” (Handel)
Following the delightful ceremony and recessional, everyone walked inside for the cocktail hour. At the cocktail hour, our trio played classical favorites as guests mingled.
Congratulations Nydia and Shelden!
Interesting fact: There are two well-known versions of ‘Ave Maria’ used in weddings, one written by Schubert and one written by Bach/Gounod. The Schubert version seems to be the more popular, but both work well in a wedding ceremony.