MUSIC FOR YOUR CIVIL CEREMONY
This page is dedicated to helping decide which music might be played duing your Civil
Wedding Ceremony. Just about any choice of music is permissable during Civil and
Civil Partnership Ceremonies other than music of a religious nature. It's sometimes
difficult to define where 'religious music' and certain pieces of 'classical' and 'popular'
music have their boundaries, suffice to say that Registrars will not allow pieces which
refer to words such as 'God' or 'Jesus' in their titles or lyric. A piece, therefore, such as
'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' would certainly not be considered acceptable by law. It
was recently reported that 'Angels' by Robbie Williams was turned down for use during
a Civil Ceremony but, questionable as that decision appears, it's usually the case that
Registrars are fairly relaxed these days as to what can be played. Outlined below
are the four aspects of the Civil Ceremony for which you might want to choose music.

Playing for the arrival of the bride, The Vale Hotel near Cardiff, Saturday 2nd March, 2013

 

1. Music as your guests arrive

The first music you might want to consider is music to be played as your guests arrive and
take their seats in the Ceremony Room before the ceremony. The Registrar will usually
permit guests into the room around fifteen minutes before the arrival of the bride. There
is usually time to play five or six pieces during this period, if no preference is held by the
bride and groom a mixture of light, romantic songs will be played. Alternatively, a selection
of the couple's favourite songs could be played.


 

2. The Processional

It's probably true to say that the choice of music the bride makes to walk in to the Ceremony
Room, traditionally called 'the Processional', causes her the most worry. It's important to
remember, however, that there is usually only thirty seconds or so for the bride to move from
the back of the room to the Registrar's table at the front. The music must be brought to a succinct
conclusion after that so some pieces are more appropriate than others. Pieces such as Pachelbel's
'Canon in D', which is stately and serene and can easily be brought to a conclusion, make ideal choices.

Canon in D Major (Pachelbel) - Suggestion for Processional

Wedding March (Wagner) - Suggestion for Processional

Trumpet Tune In D Major (Purcell) - Suggestion for Processional

 

 

3. The Signing of the Register

Couples generally find it much easier to settle upon a choice of music to be played during the signing of the Register. Either favourite songs, or songs with a special 'significance' tend to be chosen. The song list on this site (click here ) often proves helpful to couples, very often the bride and groom have a very definite idea of what they'd like to be played. Within reason, any songs can be chosen for this part of the proceedings so long as it's considered that the song will sound appropriate when played on a solo piano. There's usually time to play two, sometimes three pieces during the Register signing and subsequent photographs. Popular choices would be pieces such as 'Have I Told You Lately' by Van Morrison and The Carpenters 'We've Only Just Begun' as well as romantic instrumental pieces such as 'Cavatina' by John Williams.

 
Theme from 'Romeo & Juliet' (Nino Rota) - Suggestion for Register signing

La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf) - Suggestion for Register signing

Cavatina -Theme from 'The Deer Hunter' (Stanley Myers) - Suggestion for Register signing

 
 
4. The Recessional

The final choice of music needed to be made is that of the Recessional piece, played as the
bride and groom leave the Ceremony Room. Whilst some couples prefer to choose more
traditional options to walk out to such as 'Spring' by Vivaldi , others often settle for lighter
choices in recognition of the fact that the 'serious' part of the ceremony is over! At a recent
wedding the bride and groom, both Liverpool fans, chose to walk out of the room to ''You'll
Never Walk Alone'. The important thing to remember is that, within reason, couples can
have played almost anything they like to reflect their personal taste. Included below are some
suggestions for the Recessional, all are orchestral recordings but are adaptable to be
played on a solo piano.

Wedding March (Mendelssohn) - Suggestion for the Recessional

Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke) - Suggestion for the Recessional

'Spring' from 'The Four Seasons' (Vivaldi) - Suggestion for the Recessional

Arrival of the Queen Of Sheba (Handel) - Suggestion for the Recessional

Hornpipe (Handel) - Suggestion for the Recessional