Why is a String Quartet such a good option for your event?
The string quartet – two violins, a viola and a ‘cello is one of the most perfect combinations of instruments. It’s a beautiful blend of sounds and they can play in a huge range of styles which makes them a great choice for wedding and event music. There are fantastic arrangements available nowadays from Mozart to Fat Boy Slim with Film music, Jazz, Bollywood or Tangos in between. There’s always the chance for a bespoke arrangement of your favourite song too if it’s not on their list.
The beauty of the string quartet is its versatility and it can often save you booking two acts. For example, many quartets can play 3 sets, building in tempo and energy. They can start with a classical set, perhaps while people have drinks on arrival or during the meal. They can then move on to a mid-tempo set of pop covers building in momentum and finish with a high energy set of dance music – clothing changes included!
String Quartets for weddings
For a wedding many people choose a string quartet for their ceremony where they will play traditional classical repertoire and then the group stays on to play at the drinks reception where they will play lighter repertoire as the atmosphere becomes more upbeat. The quartet can often cover from the ceremony right through to the evening meal and beyond if needed.
Hiring a string quartet is straightforward as all you need to provide is some cover for them to play underneath if outside and four ARMLESS chairs if they’ll be playing seated. As always, a room for them to leave their instrument cases is important too. If your event is in a large room with over 100 people they may bring a PA system to be heard but your agent will deal with all those technical points so you can just enjoy the show.
The sound of a string quartet stirs the emotions and they always bring sophistication and impact to an event making it memorable for everyone, that’s why we love them and you will too.
If you want an idea of the kind of pieces a string quartet can play reach out to us and we’ll send you a list – you might be surprised by the possibilities!
Wedding Ceremony Music Ideas
Remember last time you were at a wedding, that moment when everyone is suddenly on high alert, knowing they are going to get their first glimpse of the bride? The musicians lift up their instruments and their collective intake of breath signals that the music is about to begin. The first notes fill the room and the atmosphere is set, sweeping everyone up in emotion.
In all honesty, both classical and pop music can work beautifully for the ceremony. We have worked on weddings where all the choices are pop or alternative and others where all the music is traditional classical, it totally depends on what atmosphere you want to create and your personal taste. Some people choose to start with classical for the ceremony, lighter more jazzy numbers for the drinks reception then classic dance tracks for the evening so it builds in intensity throughout the day, but anything goes!
There are four main points of the ceremony where music fits in and some choices from couples we have worked with:
As wedding guests arrive
Noone has had a drink yet (well, most haven’t anyway!) and music at this point creates an atmosphere and a sense of excitement. It also puts people at ease as they gather and get seated, waiting for the ceremony to begin. You can be as late as you like to the ceremony, knowing that your guests are entertained.
The Wedding Processional
This is when you walk down the aisle. That grand moment everyone has been waiting for. Again, a myriad of styles work and it’s about choosing a song or piece of music that you love. You could think about what tempo you prefer for your entrance – slow and stately or faster and more upbeat. For example, if classical, a more upbeat choice we have had is ‘The arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ by Handel. Slower numbers have included the beautiful ‘Kissing You’ from the film Romeo & Juliet and ‘To Build a Home’ from the Cinematic Orchestra. If you want a vintage or dreamy feel, ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘Moon River’ are stunning too.
The signing of the register
This is the part of the ceremony where you’ll have time for a complete piece of music or two. Again, anything goes. Classical choices we have had are Elgar’s ‘Salut d’Amour’ and ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ by Ennio Morricone. Non classical choices have been Bob Dylan’s ‘Make you feel my love’ and Elvis ‘Can’t help falling in love’. The atmosphere at this point is more relaxed and your guests can sit back and enjoy listening.
The Wedding Recessional
The moment you walk back down the aisle as a married couple. Most people opt for an upbeat number for this and you can go as silly as you like as the mood has lifted now to much less serious! We love one of our couples choice ‘Lovefool’ by The Cardigans and a beautiful uplifting classical choice is the Allegro from Mozart’s Divertimento in D.
Whatever your tastes in music, there is no such thing as a silly request. With the right expertise, any song can be arranged for the particular group you have opted for with the main theme played on an instrument if there is no singer. Popular choices that work perfectly for the ceremony are: String Quartet for full impact or String Trio, Solo harp, Singer with guitar / keyboard and Choral ensemble.
Whether you’re a fanfare type of couple or a minimalist dreamy one there’s a wedding soundtrack for everyone!
Are you looking for the perfect wedding music to walk down the aisle to – something that creates a sense of occasion and reflects you as a couple? Grab a cuppa or, sit down and relax and listen to these suggestions. They have been compiled from years of experience playing at weddings and we offer you both a classical and a pop list to browse. All of the suggestions can be played by live wedding musicians and arranged for many different combinations of instruments to great effect. Let’s go!
The Classical List
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – Handel This is a great choice for an upbeat atmosphere. This piece is lively and celebratory to make an entrance with impact.
Adagio Cantabile from Piano Sonata no.8 – Beethoven An emotional slower choice and a real tear jerker! Just one of the most beautiful piano pieces ever written.
Nimrod from Enigma Variations – Elgar This is a slow paced piece which builds in intensity. Predominantly played by string instruments so full of feeling.
Divertimento in F K.138, Andante – Mozart A stunning string quartet piece with an almost innocent feel to it and simply beautiful.
I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi A gorgeous piece if you have booked a piano or keyboard player. Simple and exquisite with a feeling of something magical coming..
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana – Mascagni Very romantic but not sad – listen beyond the introduction and it becomes more joyful as it progresses.
The Balcony Scene from Romeo & Juliet – Craig Armstrong One of our favourites – words can’t describe how beautiful this is. Just listen and have tissues to hand!
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major, Allegro – J.S. Bach An upbeat choice that is evocative of the Baroque era with it’s highly ornate architecture and grandeur.
Canon in D – Pachelbel Probably one of the most popular choices for weddings. It’s stately pace is perfect for the processional and it builds as the instruments are added.
Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke This can be played very effectively by a string quartet if you don’t have a trumpeter. It’s a Last Night of the Proms number and a favourite for Royal weddings.
If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis A great choice if you have a small choir. It’s a heavenly piece of wedding music and works brilliantly for winter weddings.
Ave Maria – Schubert A musical prayer that works very well with an instrument taking the vocal melody too.
Gymnopedie No.1 – Erik Satie One you’ll definitely recognise and it works best on piano or keyboard. This is another simple yet extremely atmospheric choice for the processional music.
Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin – Wagner Last but not least and perhaps the most obvious – Here comes the bride – a clear signal to everyone as to what’s about to happen!
The Pop List
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong This doesn’t need any introduction, just a wonderful vintage choice.
Moon River – Audrey Hepburn Dreamy and atmospheric, this works beautifully with an instrument taking the vocal line instead of voice too.
To Build a Home – The Cinematic Orchestra One of our absolute favourites! Be sure to listen beyond the slow introduction to the build. It’ll give everyone the shivers!
Stand By Me – Florence & the Machine We love this modern cover of a classic song originally written by Ben E King.
How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding This is a good pace for your walk down the aisle and the lyrics create the perfect sentiment.
When I Fall in Love – Nat King Cole A vintage classic that everyone loves for a truly romantic vibe.
How Can I Tell You – Cat Stevens If you’ve booked a solo guitar this is a unique and beautiful choice.
Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley This is a firm favourite as a processional song. Watch our singer Claire singing it in a church with a guitarist on our reels – it’s stunning!
Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve Perfect if you and yours like an Indie vibe and there is a great arrangement for string quartet.