To set a classy, old-world, timeless tone for your wedding day, there’s nothing like walking down the aisle to a beautiful piece of classical music. And – as much as it’s popular – Canon in D Major is not your only option.
Ten beautiful classical pieces below are perfect for a processional. Some are sensual and dreamy, while others are playful and almost dancy. All of them, guaranteed to start your big day right.
Six pieces that are sensual, dreamy and full of hope.
Mariage D’amour by Paul de Senneville
Often wrongly attributed to Frederic Chopin and called Spring Waltz, this surreal modern-day 5-minute piano piece is intensely lyrical, peaceful, and happy.
Joaquin Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto De Aranjuez, 2nd movement
Melancholic, mesmerizing tune that touches the senses in a way only the Spanish guitar can do. Full of hope, this part of Rodrigo’s guitar concerto has 11 minutes of slow build up.
Mendelssohn: “On Wings of Song” (Opus 34-2) is a melancholic, dreamy melody that has inspired the song ‘Till my Love Comes to Me’ from 1954 movie Young at Heart.
Claude Debussy: The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
This transcendental, serene two-minute song has been featured as a sample music on Windows 7, and used as inspiration for the soundtrack in Civilisation V. It expresses simultaneously deep joy and.. perhaps slight sadness that this beautiful day has come and soon will be over.
Brahms: Symphony 3 – Poco allegretto (3rd movement).
This 6-minute lyrical and poetic piece is perfect for a slow walk with a story behind it. Its memorable melody and sunny disposition will infuse you with good mood for the rest of the day.
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade (opus number 35).
Inspired by the story of 1001 Nights (also known as the Arabian Nights), the piece contains a variety of motifs and a series of exchanges between the beguiling Scheherazade and her bitter Sultan. Some of the most feminine and sensual motifs are:
- Scheherazade’s theme, a beautiful expression of violin and harp, with a beautiful crescendo, at 1.00 – 3.20, and again 8.45 – 11.30 with a more mellow and playful development, on this YouTube recording.
- Violin theme with very dramatic crescendo at 4.06 – 5.50 of the same recording.
- Love story between 20.52 – 30.30 is a lighthearted series of motifs, all of which convey young, perhaps a little innocent love.
Four pieces that are dancy and playful
Edvard Elgar – Salut d’Amour (opus number 12)
A short, 3-minute composition has a very feminine, fluid violin tune. This was the composer’s gift to his girlfriend on the occasion of their engagement. It was later featured on the soundtrack for Fallout 4.
Grieg: “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen” (opus number 65)
This lively piece will be quite appropriate for an unhurried walk. Both playful and passionate, lyric and fun, it is everything that married life can be, condensed down to a 6-minute piece. It is the composer’s tribute to his own marriage, composed for the occasion of their 25th anniversary.
Maurice Ravel, Bolero, M.81
Spanish-inspired, lively 15-minute tune will bring a spring to your step. It is based on a gradual continuous buildup of a single element, but it just doesn’t get repetitive. It’s perfect for a long processional for the bridal party.
Joaquin Rodrigo, Concierto De Aranjuez, 1st movement
Guitar concerto with a flamenco-like rhythm. Rodrigo himself described the concerto as capturing “the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains” in the gardens of Aranjuez.