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Margaret Sneddon, Harpist

Elegant Entertainment for Special Events!

Ceremony Suggestions - A brief discussion about ceremony music in general followed by a list of suggested songs.

Music can be a beautiful and important part of your wedding ceremony. It's a wonderful welcome as your guests arrive and find their seats and helps establish a joyous and reverent mood. Click the player on the Music Samples page to hear some examples as you read.

Musically, the typical wedding is divided into several sections including the prelude, the processional, incidental music during the ceremony and recessional.

The prelude music is usually left to the discretion of the musicians. The timing is not precise and the musicians will want to be able to adjust their program according to factors such as the number of people that have arrived and any unexpected delays. If there are a few particular favorites that you would like to include in the Prelude, be sure to mention them to the musicians and they will be included if possible.

In the Christian tradition, the last thing to happen before the processional begins, is the seating of the immediate family, any grandparents, the groom's mother, and finally the bride's mother. Traditionally, no one is seated after the bride's mother. However, this tradition has relaxed somewhat in recent years.

A special song is often selected for the seating of the immediate family. If this is the case, an usher should advise the musicians when the family is about to be seated. The ushers and family should wait while the musicians conclude the piece that they are playing. A pause in the music will be the signal to the ushers that they should start seating the family members when the music starts again.

When the immediate family has been seated, the musicians will once again conclude the piece they are playing. The bridesmaids should wait until they hear another pause in the music. When the musicians start playing again is when the bridesmaids should start. Everyone in the processional should wait until the previous person is almost to the altar before starting and then walk slowly.

If the music is to change, another pause will occur between the last person in the bridal party and the bride. This will usually be the maid of honor or a flower girl. The bride, usually escorted by her father, will then start down the aisle. It is very helpful for the musicians to know the number of people in the bridal party and who will be last.

In the Jewish tradition, the family and both parents of the bride and groom are part of the formal processional. Therefore, the processional music usually begins with the seating of any grandparents.

It is important for the bridal couple to select the pieces that they want for the seating of the mothers if applicable, the procession of the bridal party and the procession of the bride. It is not required that the music change for the bride and if the procession is very short, or the wedding is informal, it may be preferable not to switch.

It should also be noted that "Here Comes the Bride" which is actually the Wedding March from the opera, "Lohengrin" by Wagner, is not usually considered appropriate for a Jewish wedding.

Some thoughts about the Pachelbel Canon

The Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel is a beautiful piece that begins simply and gets more elaborate and beautiful as it progresses. It is a popular choice for the wedding processional. However, unless the processional is long, it has to get cut before the best part! This is especially true if it is used only for the bride. The bride has usually arrived at the altar before the introduction is complete. It is far more appropriate to use the Canon for the entire processional, or have it played toward the end of the prelude when most of the guests have arrived and can hear it in its entirety.

Here is a list of music that is beautiful and appropriate for a wedding ceremony. You can pretty much mix and match the music for the bridal party and the bride. There follows a section that suggests some pretty combinations.



Aire on a G String - Bach

Aria - Kuhnau

Bransle de la Torche - Praetorius

Bridal March from Lohengrin (Here Comes the Bride) Wagner

Canon in D - Pachelbel

Come Ye Sons of Art Away - Bach

Chaconne - Purcell

Hartes Ease - Holborne

Hornpipe - Handel (From Water Music)

Hornpipe - Purcell

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Bach

Largo from Concerto in D Major - Vivaldi

Largo from Winter - Vivaldi

Minuet Finale from Water Music - Handel

Pavane in Renaissance Style - Wachs

Rigadoon - Purcell

Rondeau - Mouret (Theme from Masterpiece Theater)

Sheep May Safely Graze - Bach

Spring - Vivaldi

Te Deum - Charpentier

Trumpet Tune - Purcell

Trumpet Voluntary - Purcell


Al Kol Eleh - Shemer

Bridal March - Hassidic

Chorsha ha Eucaliptus (On the Jordan)

Dodi Li

Entreat Me No to Leave Thee - Avery

Erev Ba - Avissar

Erev Shel Shoshanim

Dodi Li - Sher

Haha'ava Babanot

Hodaya - Miron

L'Kha Dodi - Zeira

Lu Yehi - Shemer

Wedding March



The Lark in the Clear Air

Loch Ta Boat Song

My Love is Like a Red Red Rose

Welsh Aire


Canon in D to

          Come Ye Sons of Art Away

          Erev Shel Shoshanim

          Hornpipe from Water Music

          Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

          Largo from the Four Seasons

Hornpipe by Purcell to Rigadoon by Purcell or Rondeau by Mouret

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring to

          Bridal March

          Hornpipe by Handel

          Hornpipe by Purcell

          Pavane in Renaissance Style

          Rondeau by Mouret

          Trumpet Voluntary

          Trumpet Tune

Largo from Four Seasons Winter to Bridal March or Jesu Joy or Trumpet Voluntary

Pavane in Renaissance Style to Trumpet Voluntary

Rigadoon to Bridal March or Trumpet Voluntary

Trumpet Voluntary to Bridal March* or Trumpet Tune




Allegretto from Spring - Vivaldi

Concerto in B Flat Major, First Movement, Allegro Moderato -Handel

Hornpipe from Water Music - Handel

Ode to Joy - Beethovan

The Rejoycing From Royal Fireworks Music - Handel

Rondeau (Theme form Masterpiece Theater) - Mouret

Sonatina I - Naderman

Te Deum - Charpientier

Trumpet Tune by Purcell

Trumpet Voluntary - Purcell

Wedding March - Mendelssohn*


Artza Alinu - Flok tuneBashana

Chussen Kalle Mazel Tov

Dodi Li - Chen

Eile Chamda Libi

Haba'ah - Hirsch

Hevenu Shalon Alekhem

Hine Ma Tov

L'cha Dodi

Mitzvah G'odola

Od Yishoma

Rad Halaila - Trad. Hassidic

Simon Tov



Gary Owen

Give Me Your Hand

Mairi's Wedding

Morrison's Jig

Rocky Road to Dublin

Scotland the Brave

Listen to some of these selections on the "Song Samples"


Margaret Sneddon, Harpist

(914) 715-8793

[email protected]