(A teach-in for the bridal party)
(The organist plays for 20 to 30 minutes while
the guests assemble in church.)
Chorale Prelude: “Schafe konnen sicher weiden”
Salix (Plymouth Suite)
Minuets 1 & 2 in G minor (Suite - The Water Music)
Gavotte in G
Romance sans Paroles (Op.7.)
Pastorale in E - Psalm 23 (Seven Sketches on the Psalms)
|Basse et Dessus de
Air & Gavotte
Pieces for Mechanical Clocks
Rhythmic Trumpet (Baroques Suite) .......................
Fugue in C (a là gigue)
(Suite “The Water music”)
Galliard for a Festive Occasion
Introduction and Allegro in A minor
Menuet Gothique (Suite Gothique)
Organ Concerto #2 (16 Organ Concertos)
Overture (Die Meistersinger)
Gold & Silver Waltz . / l ...
Fugue à la Gigue
Toccata in G (Suite No.1)......................
Toccata in F
Finale in Bb
(The choice of as many
to fill 20 to 30 minutes is required.)
(These are all from my repertoire and I would recommend them. All are excellent and known to most organists but the bride's organist will prefer naturally to choose from his own library of music.
The aim, especially in large weddings, is to 'ramp up' the music in the course of the recital to increase tension which is brought to a climactic declamatory halt on the playing of the bride's fanfare. Yes, the organist is the stage manager!)
N.B. One never hears music of this calibre at a rock/pop concert so please, please don’t ask for a bouncy pop number (that requires a drum kit) to be played in a church. The organist most likely will not have the piece anyway!
If I had ever been asked for this
I would have required c. 2 hours to score the pop
number for organ and rewrite the whole
arrangement. Then I would have charged the bride
an extra £60 for the work!
Bride enters the church
on her father's/relative's arm,,
aiming to glide up the aisle
From here on, to find an
on You Tube, click on the Name of each Piece
(The traditional "Here comes the bride")
For a long aisle the whole minuet is possible; for
Voluntary - Andante (Op. 6 No.6)
(Starts where the trumpet enters - very dignified but makes an impact)
Fanfare in Bb (Music for a Royal Wedding)
(Very dignified but makes a tremendous impact with the full rich
....organ timbre and brilliant solo trumpet. May be used simply to
announce the bride's arrival followed perhaps by the Berenice Minuet
to take her down the aisle. Version here by the Locke Brass Consort.)
(Yet another impressive piece - a dialogue between fanfare trumpet and
full organ. The bride's entry will certainly be noticed!)
|C S Lang
for any wedding
2. for a small wedding (25 to 50 guests)
3. for a small wedding (25 to 50 guests)
4. for a medium/large wedding (100 to 200 guests +)
5. for a very large wedding (300 to 400 guests +)
6. for a medium/large wedding (100 to 200 guests +)
|The choosing of
the piece, however, will by governed by the tonal
dimensionality of the instrument and, of course, the
performing ability of the organist of the church.
Ideally the bride should process in with a hesitant walk – counting left 2 3, right 2 3, left 2 3, right 2 3, etc. or left 2, right 2 for music which has 2 or 4 beats in each bar. In this way she appears to float down the aisle. Remember on her wedding day she is, if only on this one occasion in her life, a princess – mystical yet regal. Make the most of it! Too many brides walk, march, often clump and plod down the aisle. Avoid this at all costs!
The other reason one should
take a slow dignified pace is that most
Presbyterian churches and a number of Anglican
churches are fairly small architecturally with a
short aisle. If one rushes up such an aisle,
the poor organist barely has time to play about 16
bars and has to find a quick way to come to a
halt. This is not aesthetically
When playing a bride down a short aisle as in the picture below, it may be advisable for the bride to allow about 16 bars of music to be played before setting off down the aisle. The arrangement of the bridal party at the chancel steps with the transfer of bouquet from bride to bridesmaid etc. will allow for a number of concluding bars to be executed.
Frequently seen design of an average Presbyterian
church. Note the absence of a centre aisle but
the inclusion of two short narrow side aisles.)
I do remember playing for a friend's wedding in an unfamiliar Presbyterian church with an extremely short aisle. At the wedding rehearsal on the evening before the marriage, I had just about 'played the bride in' and had but only two bars to go when she reached the communion table. The minister roared out: "You can stop now Mr. organist!"
I certainly did but then roared back even louder: "No, I damned well won't! You may have no respect for me, a stranger, but you might have some for Wagner. Will these 20 seconds be keeping you from your after dinner tipple?" He never replied as he realised there and then that if my professionalism is ever breached, I would devastate the devil!
(Many a Parish
'meenister' in Scotland tends to consider himself
(E.g.: Typical long aisle
of a large
parish church or small cathedral)
March (Midsummer Night’s Dream)
(Traditional wedding march – now well overdone.)
March “Nun danket alle Gott”
Movement (Sonata No.3)
Voluntary (Op.6 No.5)
to Act 3 (Lohengrin)
(the pure magnificence of Wagner for that very special big wedding)
Although this is heard by full symphony orchestra, a pipe organ arrangement is available.
out counting “left and right and
INTERACTION & INPUT
during the service - usually two
There are not too many wedding hymns available from which to choose. One can choose a softer hymn as hymn No.1 and a more robust hymn as No. 2. Too many times I have had a bride or her mother request "The Lord's my shepherd". This is the 23rd Psalm and if one reads it through carefully, it becomes obvious that the 23rd Psalm is a funeral psalm!
The words are important. So
if any tune is not well known, an alternative better
known one can be substituted provided it has the same
metrical formula. The organist will advise on this
and let one hear various hymn tunes.
The bride should see the organist well in advance (6 weeks?) after a morning service to arrange a meeting when he will help choose her music [depending on a) the organ & b) whether he has the music or no]. He must also agree to attend the rehearsal before the wedding.
Now when the bride and groom go out to sign the register after they are married, there is a space of some 5 to 8 minutes. The organist usually plays during this to ‘fill in’ the break.Nevertheless if the bride has a friend who is a competent singer or if the organist can provide a singer, this person may perform during this hiatus. It’s an ideal place to have a favourite piece of music of the bride, groom or a parent sung.
vocal solo during the signing of the register
|If the church is an Anglican one, the choir may be engaged to sing at the wedding. In this case they will have been trained to sing a number of wedding anthems and one of these will be sung at this point. E.g.:|
|Although I eschew the
current pop numbers within a church wedding, I readily
there are several songs from a previous era which are
standards of worth with fine melodic content and sound
lyrics which reflect the nature-given emotions in
As we are in modern times, a number like this should be considered if it pleases a young bride and groom or their parents. There may even be a relative or family friend who can competently sing a number of choice.
Here are a few examples which may be guides to that genre:-
you thoroughly enjoy your wedding reception
I wish any bride who reads this page
and has found it beneficial,
a happy and memorable wedding day.
|This material was put in print thanks to the prompting of Jem, a former pupil of mine who requested I give her some advice on the choice of musical input for her wedding. I hope she found this of value and of help in setting a good sonic seal on her very special day. Fare well, Jem and may you always have happiness and prosperity as your close companions!|