Which Classical Music to Choose for a Wedding Ceremony…Very often clients book us for weddings and functions with a clear idea of what they’d like playing. Many people enjoy spending hours looking through the repertoire choices on our playlist page and constructing lists of favourite pieces, including the order in which they’d like them played on the day by their wedding string quartet. There are other couples who give us a general¬†idea of the mood or ambiance they’d like to create, then leave the selection up to us so that there’s an element of surprise for everyone.
Occasionally though, people do become overwhelmed by the large classical repertoire and need advice or guidance on which pieces might work well. Of course there are wedding favourites such as Pachelbel’s Canon for string quartet, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Bach’s Air on a G String or the traditional bridal marches – and many people opt for these. For couples who want something a little bit different but who aren’t particularly familiar with classical music, we are always happy to offer a free telephone consultation to talk through various ideas and options. Usually I’ll ask them what particular atmosphere they are hoping for and people come up with¬†words such as ‘grand’, ‘ceremonial’, or ‘gentle’ so I’m able to point them in the direction of some beautiful (but perhaps lesser known) classical pieces that they can then go and check out on itunes or youtube. In the past,¬†some couples have even put their phone on loudspeaker and I’ve played the violin line of several options down the phone to help them¬†decide.
As a rule, most of the pieces listed on our popular classics category will be recognisable to a large percentage of guests, even though the names of the pieces might be unfamiliar. If clients want something less well known, we can suggest pieces from our chamber repertoire (normally we would play these for recitals rather than weddings), so that there’s a good chance wedding guests will be hearing something which they may not have come across before. Of course, these days, many couples opt for a modern string quartet playing pop and rock music, which is often a constant source of delight and entertainment to guests.
Because not everyone wants their wedding music to sound similar to other peoples, we’ve ended up playing some really¬†unusual and striking pieces such as a movement from a Debussy String Quartet, the third movement from the Bruch Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s string quartet Op. 74 (the Harp). All these pieces have required considerably more rehearsal than we would need for most weddings but have meant a lot to the couples getting married and been incredibly rewarding to play.
I suppose it’s always worth remembering that¬†the options when choosing classical music for a wedding service are absolutely vast and when hiring string quartets directly, clients have access to all our accumulated expertise about music – as well as the actual performance on the day itself.