Wedding are on people’s minds these days. For starters, the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is THIS SATURDAY(!!) at 12 noon local time (which is 7 AM Toronto time, which means if you’re interested in the red carpet – I mean, the arrival of the honoured guests — you’ll have to get up earlier to watch that on your local news channels). I have been getting up in the middle of the night for royal weddings since Charles and Diana, and I’m not about to stop now. I’m from Vancouver, and in the summer, my dad drove the family to Banff, Alberta, to take in my brothers’ performances at the Banff Centre. This meant the alarm was set for 3 AM (or whatever it was) to watch live coverage. We did the same a few years later for Prince Andrew and Fergie. The night before William and Kate married, I laid out my place setting for tea and toast, set my alarm for 4 AM, and went to bed. I associate all royal weddings with being groggy and in my pajamas.
Apart from my interest in the fascinators and outfits the guests will wear, I can’t wait to hear what the music will be. This wedding is informal by royal standards – no politicians on the guest list, but likely a celebrity or two, and a smaller number of invited guests at 600 for the reception. However, classical music is a sure bet at the ceremony.
If you’re planning a wedding (as a bride, groom, or event planner), I thought it’d be good time to go over some ideas for wedding music – the standard choices, as well as some alternatives for something different. If you’re looking for the royal touch, these works were performed for both the weddings of Charles and Diana, and William and Kate: Edward Elgar’s “Sonata for Organ, Opus 28”; William Walton’s “Crown Imperial”; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Rhosymedre”; and “Jerusalem” by Sir Charles H. Parry.
As a side note, Dame Kiri te Kanewa, soprano, officially became household name when she sang “Let the Bright Seraphim” by Handel at Charles and Diana’s wedding.
(Downton Abbey fans may recall she portrayed Dame Nellie Melba who sang for Lord and Lady Grantham.)
Here’s a list of popular wedding pieces:
1) Pachelbel’s Canon
2) Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary
3) Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
4) Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”
5) JS Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
Looking for something off the beaten path as you walk a straight line down the aisle? Give these some consideration:
1) Caro mio ben by Tommaso Giordani (“My darling dear, at least believe me, without you my heart languishes”)
2) Paradise by Coldplay (classical arrangement; this video features an impressive piano move outside St. George, Utah, with spectacular scenery, replete with an outburst of drumbeats once the music is underway)
3) “She Loves You”, Baroque style, based on The Beatles
4) “Sicilienne” by Faure
Good luck with the planning, and choosing the music that best suits your wedding! And happy wishes to Harry and Meghan!