The Romance of My Wedding Music

Sunday, February 15, 2015
It was Valentines Day here yesterday, and today my Facebook feed is full of my American friends celebrating.

Somehow I got to thinking about my wedding, nearly 18 years ago now. I was telling a friend this week who was at our wedding, that it will be 18 years, and they looked shocked. I feel a little shocked myself. Time flies when you're having fun... and busy!

I am a romantic creature by nature. I'd much rather look through rose-coloured glasses than the prosaic reality of clear. The world just looks more beautiful. My wedding was one of the highlights of my romance. The public declaration of love.

So when it came to choosing my wedding music, I wanted something beautiful, and fitting for the chapel that we were to get married in. The historic chapel at Kings College in Auckland, where my husband spent his school years. I'm only planning on doing this once, so something fitting to the ceremony was needed. The aisle is a bride's dream-come-true, and the college arranged for their organist to accompany the wedding.

So the music was to be a very important part of the ceremony.

Eighteen years ago weddings were still quite traditional. Mostly they were held in churches and our wedding services are a lot longer (in my experience) here than they are in America. Our service was an hour long which is considered a long time, but generally they are around 30-45 minutes.

The bridal procession is one of the most important parts of a wedding, and it's one I wanted to do justice to. I had four bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid and two flower girls, along with two pageboys and a ring bearer. My sister-in-law called it the 'Grand Wedding'. And because of the setting It certainly felt that.

For beautiful, grand music you can't really beat Handel.  I chose two of his famous pieces for my wedding. For the entrance music; the music I walked down the aisle to meet my groom was Handel's Royal Fireworks. It was a perfect moment.

During the wedding ceremony my sister who was learning operatic singing gave us a beautiful rendition of Handel's Largo by Xerxes. I have a recording of the entire ceremony, but it is on an ancient video tape, so we are still needing to transfer it to a more updated file, but here is a youtube version of what my sister sang and she was accompanied by the organ.

The last piece of music to choose was the recessional music, or the music for when we would leave the church a married couple. We happened upon this hymn accidentally one day when we called in to the chapel with the videographer to look at lighting. The organist was practising and as I walked into this beautiful, dark chapel with its stained-glass windows and wooden pews and the high vaulted ceiling overhead and it's old, solemn atmosphere, the music sounded glorious and triumphant and we both looked at each other and knew that we had to have that in our wedding. Can you guess what it was? One of my favourite hymns. Prince William and Kate had it during their wedding also.

I know it is the trend at the moment to have more modern music in wedding ceremonies, but I love that we chose classical, timeless music for our wedding. I still love listening to all three nearly 20 years later.

I'd love to know what music you had for walking down the aisle. It's a very personal choice, I think.


Mother of Pearl said...

We had Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary played by an organ and a piccolo trumpet. It was fantastic - the organ swelled, the trumpet rang clear and bright and everything was so happy.

Rachel said...

I love that piece. My mother had it at her wedding and so did Princess Diana! It was on my list too. It's wonderful!

Kasandra said...

We had our wedding at this place, though we didn't have the chance to try all the food because I was too busy, but out of all the ones I tried, they were decent to good. I asked my family and close friends, and they said the food at wedding location venue was really good.

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