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Choosing the right music for your wedding day can be a pretty daunting experience but getting it right can make all the difference to the atmosphere and mood of the occasion. Although music is one of the most important and significant parts of a wedding ceremony, it is surprising how often people leave it to the very last minute. Integrating your music choices with the rest of your plans and organisation can ensure everything works together in perfect harmony.

At Bellini Strings, we work directly with you to create the very best combinations of pieces, incorporating your own ideas, suggesting classic or more unusual choices – something to satisfy all tastes. We cater for everybody – those that know exactly what pieces of music they want, to those that have no idea whatsoever! And remember, you can book any combination of Bellini Strings depending on your budget – quartet or trio.

Below are a few things to consider before choosing your music.

Civil Ceremonies
Church / Religious Ceremonies
Other considerations
Repertoire List

Civil Ceremonies

The first thing to make clear about music for civil ceremonies is that you will not be allowed religious music of any kind. However, it is not always clear what ‘religious music’ actually means! For example, one of the most popular pieces for a bride’s entrance or exit is the ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ by Handel. Because it is actually an extract from a religious opera, it could be interpreted as being religious in nature. But since nearly everyone knows the piece out of context, most registrars will not object to you using it. Confused? Don’t be. Just make sure that you liase with your registrar in advance when choosing music for your civil ceremony. Some are more adaptable than others.

The choice of music suitable for civil ceremonies is endless. Most people have at least one idea of a piece that might have personal significance to the bride and groom. Choosing something personal can give your day an extra special emotion and Bellini Strings always try to meet your requirements, perhaps with a special arrangement (at extra cost) of your favourite tune.

Music in a civil ceremony is used in much the same as a church ceremony, usually in 3 main places : Entrance of the Bride; Signing of the Register; Exit of bride and groom.

Background music as guests arrive

We usually play a selection of suitable pieces culled from our extensive repertoire as your guests arrive at the venue, to create the perfect atmosphere for your day. But any requests can slipped in here too. Please see our repertoire list.

Entrance of the Bride

When choosing your music for the big entrance it’s worth remembering that only part of the piece will actually be heard as you walk up the aisle. But many of the most popular choices for the entrance can be adapted ‘to length’ – since aisles are different from venue to venue.

This music heralds the beginning of the whole ceremony and sets the mood of the occasion. It shouldn’t be too fast or you’ll feel obliged to rush down the aisle without enjoying the moment; conversely, walking very slowly can also be difficult, and your guests might think you’re milking it anyway! So popular choices for a civil ceremony entrance are :

Pachelbel Canon
One Day Like This – Elbow
Moon River
Flower Duet – Delibes
Make you Feel My Love
Traditional – Wagner Wedding March

Signing of the Register

This is usually the longest piece of music in the ceremony and often the most personal, with a piece or song that has significant meaning to the bride and groom. The signing can take anything between 5 and 10 minutes so Bellini Strings often play more than one piece of music. When choosing this music, do remember that essentially it is being played for the entertainment of your guests while you are busy signing! Of course, Bellini Strings’ experience means that they will watch proceedings very carefully and finish the music in time for the end of the signing.

Our repertoire list has many suitable pieces that are popular for the signing of the register. But the most requested are :

Make you Feel My Love
With or Without You
Chasing Cars
Greatest Day
What a Wonderful World

Exit of Bride and Groom

The music that accompanies you as you walk out of the venue together, passing all your guests. Much of the music chosen for this resembles the Entrance of the Bride list since it essentially has the same function, but in reverse. However, it’s always a good idea to choose a different piece! This time, though, the length of the music is not important and will generally be longer since it’s nice for the music to continue once you have left the building, to accompany your guests as they leave too. Our most popular choices are:

All you need is love
It Must be Love
Whatever – Oasis
Viva La Vida
Signed Sealed Delivered
Donít stop Believing
Traditional – Mendelssohn Wedding March

These are only ideas. Basically anything goes – as long as it has no religious connection. We were once asked to play ‘Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off’ during the signing of a register, and ‘The Bare Necessities’ for the exit of the bride and groom! Your imagination combined with our expertise will create the best music selection for your special day.


Church / Religious Ceremonies

Unlike the civil ceremony, music in a traditional church ceremony is more flexible since both religious and non-religious music is allowed. Of course, most churches have organs and many couples like to have the organist play much of the music within the ceremony. This is something you would need to organise directly with the church. However, we often play with the organ; the sound of organ and strings is particularly rich and effective. This is also the case with hymns - we can ‘join in’ with the organ or, if there isn’t an organ on site, we can accompany the hymns ourselves, using the standard vocal scores seen in hymn books.

Otherwise, the structure of the ceremony music-wise is similar to the civil ceremony : Entrance of the Bride; Signing of the Register; Exit of Bride and Groom.


Other Considerations

Please note that for both civil and church ceremonies we will need a minimum of 1 month’s notice in order to make sure we have everything we need prepared. If you require a special arrangement, made by our professional arranger, we will need 6 weeks notice



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