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Ceremony songs: How many, how long, etc?

I'm not going to have live musicians for the ceremony, just a CD. But I'm confused about how many different songs I need, how long they should each be, etc. I know it goes something like this:

Pre-ceremony music: How long should we play background music before the ceremony actually starts?

Seating of parents/grandparents: Does this require its own song? Is this technically the start of the ceremony, or is it still considered pre-ceremony until the girls start coming down the aisle?

Bridesmaids: This is when I was thinking of doing Canon in D. How long should this take? I have five bridesmaids. Will it last long enough to get to the main theme of Canon in D?

Me: I thought this was when you typically do the traditional "Here Comes the Bride" theme, but a lot of posts I saw here talked about doing Canon in D for *this* part.

(We're not having a singer or any other special music during the ceremony itself.)

Recessional: This is usually the wedding theme, but again, it seems like a lot of you are picking something totally unique. In movies it's always the traditional wedding theme... is that outdated?

Do we need any other music after, like when they're releasing guests by rows to go out to the receiving line?

I know this is a lot, but if anyone could give me some pointers about how this all works (and how long each of these songs should be!), it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,

Re: Ceremony songs: How many, how long, etc?

  • SEWFSEWF member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Pre-wedding- About half an hours worth of music.

    The seating of the grandparents depends on the length of the song, how many grandparents have to be seated, how many bridesmaids you have and how long of an aisle you have. If you can find a short song, by all means, give the grandparents their own song. They probably only need a song that's a couple of minutes long.

    For yourself, you can choose whatever song you want. If you want to walk down to "Here Comes the Bride" then do it. Keep in mind that if you are getting married in a church, they sometimes limit the kind of music you can play. (I would have about a minutes worth of a song for your walk in, again, depending on the length of the aisle.)

    For the recessional, again, pick what you like. It's generally more upbeat. Personally, I don't like ANY of the traditional wedding music, but to each their own. (You'll need another minutes worth of music, or a longer song that can also be used to release the guests.)

    I would definitely have music for releasing the guests. Depending on how many guests you have, at least 15 minutes worth. Some guests may linger in the venue, so you want plenty of music.
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  • edited December 2011
    This is helpful. Thank you!
  • edited December 2011
    Okay, well, I'm not a music major, so what I meant by "the main theme" is the part that starts at 1:43 here:

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