There are so many beautiful piano pieces that make the perfect choice for wedding processionals. Here, Saint Augustine, FL teacher Heather L. shares a few to consider…
Weddings are beautiful celebrations of a couple’s lifelong commitment to one another. They’re also a great performance opportunity for pianists out there. Though the organ, string quartets, and choirs are still used, piano is commonly the main instrument at a wedding ceremony for those who choose live music.
Music has always been a vastly important part of the wedding ceremony. “Processional” is a term that refers to the order in which the wedding party walks into the ceremony site, but it also refers to the piece that’s played as the bride walks in. Every wedding is unique in its style and mood, and the music that you play is a big part of that and should be matched to that. Here’s a list of 10 popular processional pieces that you can play on the piano for your wedding gigs.
1. Handel’s “Air” from the Water Music Suite
Calm, serene, and elegant, this is a quite traditional piece originally composed for an orchestra, but because of its popularity, it’s been long transcribed for piano.
2. Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary”
Also associated with formal and traditional ceremonies, this song’s bright, vibrant feeling is a big favorite. As the name suggests, it was originally performed with solo trumpet and orchestra, but it will sound just as triumphant on the ivory keys.
3. Vivaldi’s “Spring” from the Four Seasons
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a beautiful suite in which each section beautifully expresses the season that it’s named after. “Spring” is a vivacious, lively, bright piece with lovely movement that’s appropriate for a wedding in any season.
4. Gordon’s and Warren’s “At Last”
Most famously performed by Etta James and released in 1961, “At Last” is a perfect choice for those who’d like a less traditional sound. It’s deeply romantic and “bluesy,” the first words reading, “at last my love has come along/my lonely days are over and life is like a song.” Even if the ceremony doesn’t have a singer, the song is so well-written that it still evokes romance and devotion without having to hear any words.
5. Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me”
For a modern and contemporary ceremony, Jones’ song of romantic escape is intimate and elegant. Since it was composed originally for the piano, it will be quickly and utterly recognizable.
6. Neeman’s “Hana’ava Babanot”
Subtitled “A Love Song”, “Hana’ava Babanot” is an Israeli piece, perfect for a Jewish wedding. The translation follows:
most beautiful of maidens,
lift your face to me,
lift your face to me
come, beloved, for you are most fair,
and have delighted me.
give me your hand and embrace me –
strengthen me again and again
7. Charpentier’s “Prelude” from Te Deum
For a formal, Christian wedding ceremony, “Prelude” from Te Deum is beautifully grand and joyful.
8. Bach’s “Air on a G String”
Slow, subtle, and a little somber, “Air” was originally intended for strings to play, but it’s also lovely on the piano.
9. Pachebel’s “Canon in D”
Perhaps the most popular processional piano pieces of all time, Pachebel’s “Canon” has been arranged and rearranged by many, so you can find a level that’s easy for you to learn.
10. The Beatles’ “And I Love Her”
If your wedding client is a classic rock fan and plans a 60s themed or “flower child” wedding, then “And I Love Her” is just right. Being the quintessential rock-and-roll band of the era, the Beatles’ love songs are always be a hit.
As a wedding musician, get to know the brides and the planners that you work for in order to understand the stage that’s being set. A wedding is a sacred ceremony, but on another level, it’s a show. As a huge part of that show, it’s your job to help choose a processional that fits it!
Photo by 古 天熱