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Ceremony Music Clips and Ideas

All of these 25-30 second audio samples are in mp3 format and should work on Mac and PC with an appropriate MP3 player.
We recommend having Quicktime for Windows or Macintosh installed on your PC along with the appropriate plug-ins for your particular web browser.
Although some of the samples below are Wedding "classics", there are some which we really don't endorse, but we'll leave that decision up to you. If you have any suggestions to add to this brief but popular list, kindly send them.

You should consult with your organist and/or musicians as early in the planning process for your wedding as you can. They can provide valuable advice about which of the pieces listed here (or other music you may choose) will sound best in your church or wherever your wedding will take place.

The selections included here are grouped in several ways. First there is a list of pieces for which you can listen to brief excerpts on your computer, if your Web browser and computer are equipped to play back recorded sound. These files are stored in .WAV format. Copyright regulations and limitations of disk space prohibit the Library from making entire recordings available via this Web document. Also note that these pieces exist in many forms and arrangements, and your organist or musicians may have or suggest arrangements that differ from the ones included here.

Following the excerpt list is a discography of recordings in the Music Library that contain wedding music, including the pieces excerpted here. Compact disc, record, and tape numbers found in the category lists below also refer to this discography.

Next, there are listings by several categories of music, including

Pre-Service Meditation

Processionals and Recessionals
Vocal Solos and Ensembles
Instrumental Solos and Ensembles
Anthologies and Collections

Finally, there is a list of magazine articles that discuss how to go about choosing appropriate music for your wedding and other considerations relating to hiring musicians.


Note: These files are stored in .WAV format.

TE DEUM. Opening (165k)


Johann Sebastian BACH

Charles-Marie WIDOR
TOCCATA (from Symphony No.5)(149k)

WEDDING MARCH (Recessional Hymn)(99k)
(from A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Richard WAGNER
WEDDING MARCH (from Lohengrin)(Processional Hymn)(66k)

Johann Sebastian BACH

TRUMPET VOLUNTARY (Arr Faerber) (132k)

Johann Sebastian BACH
SLEEPERS AWAKE (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme)(182k)

George Frederic HANDEL
LET THE BRIGHT SERAPHIM (from Samson)(99k)

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
ALLELUIA (from Exsuitate, Jubilate)(198k)

CANON (arr Paillard)(347k)

ADAGIO (in G minor for strings and organ) arr Giazotto(198k)


Gabnel FAURE
SANCTUS (from Requiem 0p. 48)(182k)


CD0670 -- Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound. The Laubin Brothers, et. al. Hamburg: Deutsche Grammophon, 1986. #419245-2
CD1361 -- The Sound of Music. Mary Martin, et. al. New York: Columbia Records/CBS Inc., 1973. #CK-32601
CD1924 -- Organ Encores. Jean Guillou, Organ. Troy, NY: Dorian Recordings, 1988. #DOR-90112
CD2565 -- Pachelbel Canon. Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Netherlands: Philips Digital Classics, 1987. #416-386-2
CD3410 -- Noel! Noel! Noel! Michala Petri, Recorder, et. al. New York: RCA Victor/BMG Music, 1989. #60060-2-RC
CD3927 -- A Midsummer Night's Dream (Complete). Scottish Chamber Orchestra, et. al. Monmouth, GB: Nimbus Records, 1987. #NI-5041 & NI-5042
CD4425 -- Bach Soprano Arias with Flute. Julianne Baird, Soprano, & Emily Newbold, Flute. Providence: Newport Classic, 1994. #NPD-85530
CD4627 -- Great Toccatas. Marie-Claire Alain, Organ. Erato Disques S.A., 1994. #4509-94812-2
CD4932 -- Wedding Favourites. Stephen Cleobury, Organ. London: Decca Record Co., 1979. Weekend Classics #421 638-2
CD4933 -- The Wedding Album. Anthony Newman, Organ. New York: Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., 1991. #MDK47273
CD4934 -- The Wedding Album. New York: RCA/Ariola International, 1984. Red Seal #6207-2-RC



Organ and Instrumental Works
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Air" (on a G String) from Orchestral Suite in D Major, BWV 1068
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" from Cantata no. 147
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- Preludes and fugues for organ
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Sheep may Safely Graze" from Cantata no. 208
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Sleepers Wake"/ "Zion Hears the Watchman Singing" from Cantata no. 140
Boèllmann, Léon -- "Prière" from Suite Gothique
Buxtehude, Dietrich -- Organ Works
Elmore, Robert -- Three Meditative Moments Based on Moravian Hymns
Franck, César -- Organ Works
Handel, George Frideric -- "Largo" from Xerxes
Handel, Geroge Frideric -- "Pastoral Symphony" from Messiah
Haydn, Franz Joseph -- Musical Clock Music
Micheelson, Hans Friedrich -- Das holsteinische Orgelbuchlein
Pachelbel, Johann -- Canon (orginally for 3 violins, cello and harpsichord; has been arranged for keyboard instruments)
Pachelbel, Johann -- Organ Works
Peeters, Flor -- "Aria" from Trumpet Sonata, op.51 (also arranged for organ solo)
Vaughan Williams, Ralph -- "Rhosymedre" from Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes
Widor, Charles Marie -- "Adagio" (4th Movement) from Organ Symphony no.5, op.42, no.1

Vocal Works
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" from Cantata no. 147
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Sheep May Safely Graze" from Cantata no. 208
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "When Thou Art Near" ("Bist du bei mir") from Anna Magdalena Clavier Book
Bach Johann Sebastan/ Gounod, Charles -- "Ave Maria"
Dvorák, Antoní -- Biblical Songs, especially "God Is My Shepherd" and "I Will Sing New Songs of Gladness"
Franck, César -- "Panis Angelicus"
Handel, George Frideric -- "Where'er you walk" from Semele
Malotte, Albert -- "The Lord's Prayer"
Schubert, Franz -- "Ave Maria"
Vaughan Williams, Ralph -- "The Call" from Five Mystical Songs


Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Gravement" (Middle Section) from Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Prelude in C Major, BWV 553" from Eight Little Preludes and Fugues
Boèllmann, Léon -- Suite Gothique
Buxtehude, Dietrich -- Fugue in C Major, BuxWV 174 ("Jig Fugue")
Campra, André -- "Rigaudon"
Charpentier, Marc-Antoine -- "Processional"
Clarke, Jeremiah -- "The Prince of Denmark's March" (attributed to Henry Purcell as "Trumpet Tune")
Clarke, Jeremiah -- "Trumpet Tune"
Daquin, Louis Claude -- "Grand Jeu et Duo"
Dunstable, John -- "Agincourt Hymn"
Handel, George Frideric -- Sections from the Water Music suites, especially "Air" from Suite no. 1, "Alla Hornpipe" and "Solemn Processional"
Handel, George Frideric -- "La Rejouissance" ("Rejoicing") from Music for the Royal Fireworks
Haydn, Franz Joseph -- "Praise We Sing to Thee" ("St. Anthony's Chorale")
Langlais, Jean -- "Pasticcio" from Organ Book
Marcello, Benedetto -- "Psalm XIX"
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix -- "Con moto meastoso" from Organ sonata no. 3
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix -- "Wedding March" from Midsummer Night's Dream ("Here Comes the Bride")
Mouret, Jean-Joseph -- "Rondeau" (Theme from Masterpiece Theatre)
Purcell, Henry -- Trumpet Tunes and voluntaries
Rodgers, Richard -- "Processional" from The Sound of Music
Stanley, John -- "Trumpet Tune"
Wagner, Richard -- "Bridal Chorus" from Lohengrin
Wesley, Samuel Sebastian -- "Choral Song"
Widor, Charles Marie -- "Toccata" (Finale) from Organ Symphony no.5, op. 42, no.1
Willan, James H. -- "Finale Jubilante"


"Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee"
"Now Thank We All Our God"
"Praise to the Lord the Almighty"


Artman, R. -- "Wedding Prayer"
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "Jesus Shepherd, Be Thou Near Me"
Bach, Johann Sebastian -- "The Lord Bless You"
Dvorak, Anton -- Biblical Songs, especially "God Is My Shepherd" and "I Will Sing New Songs of Gladness"
Franck, Cesar -- "O Lord Most Holy"
Mendelssohn, Felix -- "If with All Your Hearts"
Page, S. E. -- "The Love of God Flows Deep and Strong"
Weatherill, E. -- "A Marriage Prayer"



Archer, Malcolm. The Oxford Book of Wedding Music for Manuals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. 52 pp.
This compilation brings together 27 of the most popular organ pieces for weddings in simplified arrangements for manuals alone.

Christopher, John. For Manuals Only. New York: McAfee Music Corp., 1977, 112 pp.
Contains a collection of 47 organ pieces, some suitable for weddings, that do not require use of pedals on the organ.

Goodfellow, William D. Wedding Music: an Index to Collections. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1992. 197 pp.
This book is an index to collections of wedding music, both instrumental and vocal. It includes 191 books and over 3,400 compositions.

Okun, Milton. Pop Songs for the Wedding. Port Chester, NY: Cherry Lane Music Company, 1994. 159 pp.
An anthology of popular music and love songs suitable for contemporary weddings, plus a music planning guide and ceremony register.

Trevor, Caleb H. Organ Book. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. Vol. 4
Includes 23 organ pieces, some of which are suitable for weddings.

Trevor, Caleb H. Organ Music for Manuals. London: Oxford University Press, 1972, 4 vols.
Contains a variety of organ music, some suitable for weddings, that does not require the use of organ pedals.

Wedding Music, for Church Weddings, Anniversaries, and Other Festive Occasions. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1952. 2 vols.
The chief purpose of this collection is to supply suitable music for use at church weddings. It includes over 70 processionals, recessionals, preludes, voluntaries, and postludes.


Als, Hilton. Wedding News: Celebrate! (Views of Y. D. McClendon) Essence, Vol. 16, p.42+, Feb. 1986.
Bridal consultant Yvonne D. McClendon provides organizational tips for a successful wedding. Discusses the use of a disk jockey or prerecorded tape instead of live musicians.

Braun, H. Myron. Members of the Wedding American Organist, August 1983, p.38.
Suggests choral pieces suitable for a church wedding.

Carlson, J. Bert. A Pastoral View of Music for a Christian Wedding Journal of Church Music, June 1977, no.19, pp.2-5.
Discusses theological implications involved in selecting wedding music and how theological considerations have changed in recent times.

Harper, Carrie. Perfect by Design Washingtonian, Vol. 28, pp.171+, January 1993.
Provides advice on finding a good wedding consultant; includes recommended wedding music agents.

McManus, Kevin. With These Bills, I Thee Wed Changing Times, Vol. 42, pp.86-92 May 1988.
Tips on cutting wedding costs, including those for music.

Pollan, Stephen M. and Mark Levine. 'I Do'-ing It Right New York, Vol. 22, pp.38-50, Jan.9, 1989.
A guide to saving time and money when planning a wedding, including information on music.

Zimmerman, Wallace. Wedding Music in the Reform Synagogue American Organist, p.19, August 1981.
Discusses considerations in choosing music for a synagogue wedding in the Reform tradition.
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