Pop Wedding Songs Trending in 2018 | Have You Chosen Your Music?

Have some fun choosing your wedding songs!

Pop Wedding Songs
Are you looking for something off the beaten path of Canon in D and the Wedding March for your wedding ceremony music? If you’re a little bit nontraditional in your wedding plans, you’ve come to the right place for pop wedding song inspiration.

Pop Songs to Inspire Your Wedding Playlist

Instead of a limited list of classical music, with maybe a Beatles tune here and there, we currently have over 500 custom arrangements of everything from Elvis to Lady Gaga. The best part is that every year our song list grows. You can check out our current repertoire right here on our website. I love saying “sure!” when people come up with all kinds of creative ideas for their wedding music. Yes, we can even arrange Rap and R&B. It just takes a little bit of creativity. . . but we’re musicians and creativity goes with the territory.

Top Wedding Songs in 2018: the Frontrunners

People love an amazing diversity of musical styles but there also seem to be certain songs and musical artists that rise to the top and this year, his name is Mr. Ed Sheeran.

If you’re one of those savvy couples who has chosen Ed Sheeran’s November hit, “Perfect,” for your ceremony processional, I just want to say “Well done!” The music has such a strong melody and that’s one of the key things that determine a great instrumental version of a popular song.

What’s more Ed Sheeran has a reputation for being a bit of a wedding crasher himself. If you haven’t already heard the heartwarming story of his surprise performance for an Australian couple’s first dance in 2016, you can read the story on InStyle‘s website.

If you haven’t checked out Sheeran’s video, grab some kleenexes and settle in.

Coming in at a close second for two years straight is the gorgeous ballad “A Thousand Years,” by Christina Perri from the motion picture, “Twilight.”

Perri’s voice is so haunting and vulnerable. Our arrangement puts a big spotlight on the cello. The rich tones really lend to the haunting melody. I’ve arranged this piece for not only our string trio and string quartet but also our acoustic ensembles with guitar, piano, violin and bass.

Don’t Forget Your Wedding Recessional!

I’m really in love with Katy Perry’s Chained to the Rhythm right now. This song is going to be so awesome with string quartet. I know it might be hard to picture when you’re watching Perry in those awesome Gogo boots and hearing the groovy bass, but it definitely lends itself well to strings.

A second song that is just so fantastic is Maroon Five’s “Sugar.” If you haven’t checked out this video, take a break from your seating charts and check it out. These guys drove all over LA crashing weddings. I wish they would crash a wedding we were performing at!

What about you? What is your perfect wedding music? If you’re having live music at your wedding ceremony, have you chosen your songs yet? If you are still thinking about adding the beauty and energy of live strings to your wedding ceremony, contact us to talk about your special day! We would love to help you out.

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Need some more inspiration? Check out this article on WeddingWire to give you even more ideas for your perfect wedding songs!

Gorgeous Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To

What’s your wedding processional style?

The songs to walk down the aisle to or “processional music,” as we call them in the wedding world, play a huge role in the overall vibe of your wedding ceremony!

As with many other details of modern weddings, you are free to choose processional music that is meaningful to you, whether or not it adheres to wedding tradition.  Sometimes however, it is hard to know if the song you love will play well for a wedding ceremony. Working with experienced musicians for a wedding can help each musical selection perfectly soundtrack the moment.  This processional music list represents our top ten most requested songs to walk down the aisle to in 2017. 

trending songs to walk down the aisle to

Top 10 Trending Wedding Processionals

  • A Thousand Years — from “Twilight”
  • Stáralfur — Sigur Rós
  • In My Life — The Beatles
  • Canon in D “Pachelbel’s Canon” —Johannes Pachelbel
  • The Kiss –from “Last of the Mohicans”
  • Over the Rainbow — IZ
  • Storybook Love –from “The Princess Bride”
  • La Vie en Rose —Edith Piaf
  • Come What May —from “Moulin Rouge”
  • At Last — Etta James

Need more ideas?  Explore our entire wedding music repertoire or read on to explore and listen to these curated lists of gorgeous wedding processional music by genre: 

Acoustic / Celtic Wedding Processionals

  1. Sliding Down —Edgar Meyer
  2. Vows —Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning from “Gangs of New York”
  3. Falling Slowly – from “Once”
  4. Short Trip Home — Edgar Meyer
  5. Vagabond’s Waltz — Jeff Victor
  6. Chan Chan  (instrumental version — Buena Vista Social Club
  7. Stars — Wendy Goodwin
  8. Copperline (instrumental version) –James Taylor
  9. You Raise Me Up — Celtic Women
  10. Old Pine (instrumental version)— Ben Howard
  11. Appalachia Waltz –Mark O’Connor, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer

Pop / Contemporary Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To

  1. Here Comes the Sun –the Beatles
  2. Hallelujah — Pentatonix
  3. All of Me —John Legend & Lindsey Stirling
  4. Life in Technicolor — Coldplay
  5. Forever — Ben Harper
  6. Stand By Me — Ben E. King
  7. Marry Me —Train
  8. Such Great Heights –the Postal Service
  9. Sweet Child of Mine –Guns n Roses
  10. Can’t Help Falling in Love — Elvis
  11. Beautiful Day –U2

Traditional Wedding Processionals

  1. Bridal Chorus from “Lohengrin” — Wagner
  2. Canon in D “Pachelbel Canon” — Pachelbel
  3. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring — JS Bach
  4. Trumpet Voluntary — Clarke
  5. Water Music Suite — Handel

Favorite Classical Wedding Processionals

  1. Bach Cello Suite No. 1 — Bach
  2. Clair de Lune — Debussy
  3. String Quartet 2nd Movement “Assez Vif” — Ravel
  4. Lakme “Flower Duet” — Delibes
  5. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 — Bach
  6. O Mio Bambino Caro — Puccini
  7. The Swan from  “Carnival of the Animals” –Saint-Saëns
  8. Ave Maria — Schubert
  9. Ave Maria —Bach
  10. Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64 2nd Movement –Tchaikovsky

Religious/ Inspirational Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To

  1. Be Thou My Vision-– Traditional
  2. Soon –Hillsong United
  3. Your Love is Extravagant — Casting Crowns
  4. Come Thou Fount — Traditional
  5. You Raise Me Up — Josh Groban
  6. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us –– Stuart Townsend
  7. Ave Maria— Schubert
  8. Wedding Song “There is Love” –Peter, Paul and Mary
  9. The Prayer-– Andrea Boccelli & Céline Dion
  10.  Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) –Christ Tomlin

Wedding experts recently interviewed on Bridal Guide agree that you are free to choose music that is meaningful to you. We hope that these wedding processional song ideas will inspire you to find the wedding ceremony music that truly reflects your unique style!

Thoughts on Reviews

Live music is hard to quantify because so much of it has to do with the listener’s personal taste. Reviews are certainly helpful in many genres and I rely heavily on review sites when I’m shopping for things like hotels or when I’m in a new city and I want to find the best coffee. For Effesenden though, lately I’ve been less inclined to promote our ensembles on sites that are driven heavily by reviews.

Every time I work on the music for someone’s wedding, I love getting to know a little about them and their musical styles and I really want the music to be special for them. Feedback is great but when I’m reaching out over email to couples who are getting spun up on life as newlyweds…maybe knee deep in thank you cards and HOPEFULLY traveling the world together for a year before they return to “civilization” I don’t love the process of sending those pesky “Will you please review me” emails. I’d rather just let people express their thoughts as they see fit. So .. . that’s why you won’t find a lot of review sites with super recent reviews for our work at this time.

In the past, we’ve been active in these areas so if you want to leave us a review or read what some of our past clients have to say, please check out the following links:

A couple of my favorite wedding blogs are Style Me Pretty and JuneBug Weddings– several weddings we have performed at have been featured on the pages of these totally amazing wedding inspiration blogs. If for no other reason, go there and have fun looking!

A while back, I ran into one of the first brides I ever worked for. I was at the Portland Children’s Museum of all places. She caught me as we were chasing our respective kids through the maze of activity and expressed how much she had loved her wedding music– all these years later it was still with her. THAT was the best review I could have gotten, knowing that it mattered to someone all these years later.

Ceremony Ideas for Strings (Part II)

 

Today we’re digging deeper into ideas for wedding ceremony music repertoire. Songs sampled and explored include A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, The Kiss from the movie Last of the Mohicans and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. Movie themes and popular music can make wonderful choices if you’re looking for something a little less on the traditional side.

Wedding Processional Ideas for Strings (Part 1)

Wendy Goodwin, owner of Effesenden Music breaks down live ceremony music offering suggestions for how to go about selecting your wedding music. This installment includes musical segments of Canon in D (Pachelbel Canon) and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring: two of the best choices for couples seeking traditional, elegant classical music for their ceremony.

Effesenden Music Updated Repertoire

I was so busy arranging music this summer that I didn’t have a chance to upload a list of our current offerings.  As you can see we have quite a few updates to our Rock, Pop, World Music, Movie Themes and Jazz Sections.  The first section is our offerings for string trio and quartet (2 Violins & Cello or Violins, Viola & Cello).  I did not list the classical repertoire of our string trio and quartet because we can basically perform any classical selection you are looking for.  For a list of suggestions, please contact us directly.  The second section is for our Acoustic Ensembles (Strings in combination with rhythm instrument~ either piano or guitar.)  If you would like access to our entire repertoire, consider a combination ensemble such as string trio with guitar or string quartet with piano!

CLASSICAL QUARTET PLAYING ROCK & POP

  1. All My Life (KC & Jo Jo)
  2. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl? (Jet)
  4. Augusta (Theme song from PGA Masters)
  5. Back in Black (AC/DC)
  6. Beautiful Day (U2)
  7. Big Me (Foo Fighters)
  8. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  9. Blitzkrieg Bop (The Ramones)
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  11. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  12. Breathe Me (Sia)
  13. California Dreamin’ (the Mamas and the Papas)
  14. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Frankie Valli)
  15. Carolina on My Mind (James Taylor)
  16. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  17. Clocks (Coldplay)
  18. Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye) (Pavaratti)
  19. Digital Love (Daft Punk)
  20. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
  21. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  22. Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
  23. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  24. Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead)
  25. Flashing Lights (Kanye West)
  26. From This Moment (Shania Twain)
  27. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  28. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  29. Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
  30. Gone Gone Gone (Philip Phillips)
  31. Good Life (Kanye West)
  32. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
  33. Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac)
  34. Hallelujah (Leonard Kohn)
  35. Harder Better Faster Stronger (Daft Punk)
  36. Here Comes Your Man (The Pixies)
  37. Here There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  38. Hey Ya (Outkast)
  39. How It Ends (Devotchka)
  40. I Want to Rock & Roll All Night (KISS)
  41. If I Fell (Beatles)
  42. I’ll Stand By You (Carrie Underwood)
  43. In My Life (Beatles)
  44. Just Like Heaven (the Cure)
  45. Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
  46. Karma Chameleon (Culture Club)
  47. Kids (MGMT)
  48. Linus & Lucy (Peanuts)
  49. LIve Forever (Oasis)
  50. Love Song (the Cure)
  51. Love Story (Taylor Swift)
  52. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  53. Marching Bands of Manhattan (Death Cab)
  54. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Elton John)
  55. Moon River (Henry Mancini)
  56. My Girl (Temptations/Michael Jackson)
  57. Nobody Does it Better (Carly Simon)
  58. One More Time (Daft Punk)
  59. One & Only (Adele)
  60. Pretty Flowers (Dolly Parton & Steve Martin)
  61. Rocket Man (Elton John)
  62. Roxanne (the Police)
  63. Say Yes (Elliott Smith)
  64. Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon)
  65. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) Beyonce
  66. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  67. Someone Great (LCD Soundsystem)
  68. Something (Beatles)
  69. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  70. Starlight (Muse)
  71. Staralfur (Sigor Ros)
  72. Such Great Heights (the Postal Service)
  73. Sugar We’re Goin’ Down (Fallout Boy)
  74. Sugaree (Grateful Dead)
  75. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
  76. Sweetest Taboo (Sade)
  77. Thank You (Dido)
  78. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  79. The Rose (Bette Midler)
  80. Theme from Final Fantasy
  81. Time to Pretend (MGMT)
  82. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
  83. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  84. Watermark (Enya)
  85. Wedding Song (There is Love)
  86. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)
  87. White Wedding (Billy Idol)
  88. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  89. World at Large (Modest Mouse)
  90. You Make Lovin’ Fun (Fleetwood Mac)
  91. You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
  92. Your Love is King (Sade)
  93. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD MUSIC, JAZZ, MOVIE THEMES

  1. At Last  (Etta James)
  2. Be Thou My Vision (Irish Hymn)
  3. Bicycle Built for Two
  4. Come What May (Moulan Rouge)
  5. Emma Theme (Emma)
  6. Heliotrope (Joplin)
  7. The Kiss  (Last of the Mohicans)
  8. La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf)
  9. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
  10. Meant to Be (Timer)
  11. Now We Are Free (Gladiator)
  12. Pavane (Orlando)
  13. She (Knotting Hill)
  14. Shine on Harvest Moon
  15. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  16. Storybook Love (The Princess Bride)
  17. Tango Music: Csardas
  18. Tango Music:  Fandango in D Minor
  19. Tango Music:  Rhumba
  20. Tango Music:  Serenata in G
  21. Tango Music:  “Chromatique” in D Minor
  22. Wedding Processional (The Sound of Music)
  23. You Made Me Love You
  24. Your Song (Moulan Rouge)

****END OF CLASSICAL ENSEMBLE SECTION ****

ACOUSTIC ENSEMBLES PLAYING CLASSIC ROCK

  1. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  2. And I Love Her (Beatles)
  3. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  4. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey…Glee)
  5. Here, There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  6. In My Life (Beatles)
  7. Jump Jive & Wail (Big Bad Voodoo Daddies)
  8. Have I Told You Lately
  9. How Sweet it is (James Taylor & Marvin Gaye)
  10. Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear (Elvis)
  11. The Longest Time (Billy Joel)
  12. Love is All Around (The Troggs)–from the movie Love Actually
  13. Moondance  (Van Morrison)
  14. Mustang Sally
  15. My Girl (Jackson Five)
  16. Take a Chance on Me (ABBA)
  17. This Time Tomorrow (the Kinks)
  18. Time After Time (Cindy Lauper)
  19. To Make You Feel My Love (Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Adelle)
  20. True Companion (Mark Kohn)
  21. Oh Darlin’ (Beatles)
  22. Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll
  23. Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
  24. Rock around the Clock
  25. So Happy Together
  26. Stand By Me
  27. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  28. With a Little Help From My Friends (the Beatles)
  29. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
  30. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  31. You’re My Best Friend (Queen)
  32. Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)

FOLK & ACOUSTIC

  1. 3×5 (John Mayer)
  2. Babylon (David Gray)
  3. Better Together (Jack Johnson)
  4. The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice)
  5. Breathe Me (Sia)
  6. Come on Get Higher (Matt Nathanson)
  7. Copperline (James Taylor)
  8. Dance Me to the End of Love (The Civil Wars)
  9. Daughters (John Mayer)
  10. Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  11. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  12. Fields of Gold (Sting)
  13. For Baby For Bobbie (John Denver)
  14. Hey There Delilah (Plain White T’s)
  15. Lullaby (Billy Joel)
  16. More Than Life
  17. Out of the Woods (Nickel Creek)
  18. Walking After You (Foo Fighters)
  19. When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss)
  20. You’re Beautiful (James Blunt)

POP & ROCK

  1. Accidentally in Love (Counting Crows)
  2. Beautiful Day (U2)
  3. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  4. Brighter than Sunshine (Aqualung—from A Lot Like Love)
  5. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  6. Clocks (Coldplay)
  7. Ice Cream (Sarah Maclachlan)
  8. Life in Technicolor (Coldplay)
  9. Lover Lay Down (Dave Matthews Band)
  10. Love of My Life (Dave Matthews Band/Santana)
  11. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  12. One (U2)
  13. The Scientist (Coldplay)
  14. Up and Away (Dave Matthews Band)
  15. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  16. Wonderwall (Oasis & Ryan Adams)

Country

  1. Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts)
  2. Cowboy Take Me Away (Dixie Chicks)
  3. Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks)
  4. I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
  5. Love Song (Taylor Swift)
  6. Lullaby (Dixie Chicks)
  7. Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)

Bluegrass/Celtic/Scottish Fiddle

  1. 1B
  2. After the Battle of Aughrim
  3. Ashokan Farwell (from Ken Burns documentary on Civil War)
  4. The Atholl Highlanders/Johnnie Cope
  5. Banish Misfortune
  6. Be Thou My Vision
  7. Big Country
  8. Blacksmith
  9. Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies
  10. The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter
  11. Butterfly’s Day Out
  12. Caldedonia
  13. Charlie is My Darling
  14. Da White Wife
  15. Devil’s Dream
  16. The Geese in the Bog/Jig of Slurs
  17. Irish Medley
  18. Lover’s Waltz (from the movie Legends of the Fall)
  19. Midnight on the Water
  20. My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
  21. Red River Valley
  22. Second Time Around
  23. Short Trip Home
  24. Sliding Down
  25. Star of the County Down
  26. Vagabond Waltz
  27. Wedding Jig
  28. Wedding Song

SACRED

  1. 1.     All Creatures of Our God and King
  2. 2.     Amazing Grace
  3. 3.     Ave Maria
  4. 4.     Be Thou My Vision
  5. 5.     Brethren We Have Met to Worship
  6. 6.     Come Thou Fount
  7. 7.     Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  8. 8.     For the Beauty of the Earth
  9. 9.     Here I Am Lord
  10. 10.   Here I Am to Worship
  11. 11.   Holy Holy Holy
  12. 12.   Holy is the Lord
  13. 13.   How Can I Repay
  14. 14.   How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
  15. 15.   How Great is Our God
  16. 16.   I Have Loved You
  17. 17.   I Will Be Here
  18. 18.   I’ll Fly Away
  19. 19.   Joyful Joyful
  20. 20.   The Lord’s Prayer
  21. 21.   The Time is Now (Phil Wickham)
  22. 22.   Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
  23. 23.   On Eagle’s Wings
  24. 24.   Prayer of St. Francis
  25. 25.   Psalm 128 O Blessed Are Those
  26. 26.   Psalm 145 The Lord is Compassionate
  27. 27.   Servant Song
  28. 28.   You Are Mine
  29. 29.   Your Love is Extravagant

CASABLANCA/FRANK SINATRA/CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

  1. A Kiss to Build a Dream On
  2. All of You
  3. As Time Goes By
  4. At Last
  5. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  6. But Beautiful
  7. Cheek to Cheek
  8. Come Fly With Me
  9. Days of Wine and Roses
  10. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
  11. Dream a Little Dream
  12. East of the Sun
  13. Embraceable You
  14. Fascination
  15. Fly Me to the Moon
  16. How High the Moon
  17. I’ve Got the World on a String
  18. If I Were a Bell
  19. In a Sentimental Mood
  20. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  21. It Had to Be You
  22. Moon River
  23. My Baby Just Cares for Me
  24. My Favorite Things
  25. My Funny Valentine
  26. My One and Only Love
  27. My Romance
  28. Night and Day
  29. Night in Tunisia
  30. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  31. One Fine Day
  32. Our Love is Here to Stay
  33. Round Midnight
  34. So This is Love
  35. Some Enchanted Evening
  36. Someday My Prince Will Come
  37. Someone to Watch Over Me
  38. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  39. Summertime
  40. Take Five
  41. The Best is Yet to Come
  42. The Way You Look Tonight
  43. Unforgettable
  44. What a Diff’rence a Day Made
  45. What a Wonderful World
  46. When I Fall In Love
  47. Where or When
  48. You are So Beautiful

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

  1. Angel Eyes (Jim Brickman)
  2. Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
  3. Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
  4. I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)
  5. The Love of My Life (Jim Brickman/ Michael W. Smith)
  6. Over the Rainbow
  7. Over the Valley (Pink Martini)
  8. The Prayer (Josh Groban)
  9. Time to Say Goodbye/Con Te Partiro (Andrea Bocelli)
  10. Unchained Melody
  11. Valentine (Martina McBride)
  12. You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
  13. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD/ INTERNATIONAL VIBE/ JAZZ VIOLIN

  1. All Blues (Miles Davis)
  2. Autumn Leaves (Stephane Grapelli)
  3. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  4. Besame Mucho
  5. Black Orpheus
  6. Caravan
  7. Chan Chan (Buena Vista Social Club)
  8. Charade
  9. Cinama Paradiso (Ennio Marracone)
  10. Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  11. Girl From Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  12. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  13. Kiss Waltz (Johann Strauss)
  14. La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf)
  15. Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes)
  16. Misty
  17. Moon River
  18. Nature Boy
  19. Night & Day
  20. Nuages
  21. Pavane (Faure)
  22. Pavane (Ravel)
  23. Summertime

MOVIE THEMES

  1. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella)
  2. All I Ask of You (Phantom of the Opera)
  3. Brighter than Sunshine (A Lot Like Love)
  4. Cavatina (the Dqeer Hunter)
  5. Come What May (Moulin Rouge)
  6. The Eternal Vow (Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger)
  7. The Falls (The Mission)
  8. The Kiss (from the Last of the Mohicas)
  9. John Dunbar Theme (Dances with Wolves)
  10. The Kiss (Last of the Mohicans)
  11. Kisses and Cake (PS I Love You)
  12. Love is All Around (Love Actually)
  13. Lovers Waltz (Legends of the Fall)
  14. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
  15. Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler on the Roof)
  16. Theme from the Naked Gun (The Naked Gun)
  17. Think of Me (Phantom of the Opera)
  18. When I Fall in Love (Sleepless in Seattle)
  19. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
  20. Your Song (Moulin Rouge)

CLASSICAL

  1. Air on the G String (Bach)
  2. Airioso (Bach)
  3. Appalachian Spring—excerpts (Copeland)
  4. Aria (Handel)
  5. Aria from Xerxes (Handel)
  6. Ave Maria (Bach)
  7. Bach Cello Suite (only ensembles with cello)
  8. Bist du Bei Mir (Bach)
  9. Brandenburg Concertos No 3–First & Third Movements (Bach)
  10. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner)
  11. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  12. Claire de Lune (Debussy)
  13. Entrance of the Queen of Sheba (Handel
  14. Flower Duet from Lakme (Delibes)
  15. The Four Seasons Spring—Allegros 1 & 3 (Vivaldi)
  16. Hornpipe (Purcell)
  17. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  18. Liebestraum (Liszt)
  19. Meditation from Thais
  20. Minuet (Boccherini)
  21. Minuet in G (Beethoven)
  22. Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
  23. Pavane (Faure)
  24. Pavane (Ravel)
  25. Rondeau (Mauret)
  26. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
  27. Theme from Borodin String Quartet
  28. Theme from Jupiter from The Planets (Holst)
  29. Theme from New World Symphony (Dvorak)
  30. Theme from Ravel String Quartet
  31. Traumerie from Kindercenen Op 15 (Schumann)
  32. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
  33. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  34. Wachet Auf (Bach)


Marked Increases in Wedding Advertising Resources: Does this Help or Hurt our Clients?

We get a lot of email correspondence and while historically, much of it has come from our current and potential clients, wanting to discuss their wedding music, lately there’s been some competition in the in-box.  It seems that there are an increasing number of businesses associated with the wedding industry not in terms of providing services to brides and grooms and their families but rather in pursuing small businesses in the wedding industry and recruiting them to pay for advertising.  

In the last two weeks alone I have been solicited by businesses to advertise Effesenden Music in online and print format for anywhere from $125 to $2000 per year–and that is just in the Portland area.  Any time a small business spends money on advertising that’s an additional overhead cost that impacts the prices that we charge our clients.  Since we do a limited number of events and  I’d like to keep our costs low so that we can focus on the quality of our music without being too expensive for our clients, I’ve opted to advertise with only a select few paid services.  For the most part I’ve been pleased with the ability of these services to get our information in front of the folks who would be interested in what we do.  

But still, I find myself frustrated with the constant barrage.  What is particularly perplexing is that some websites claim to have really vetted their advertisers when in reality they will take anyone with a domain name and a pulse.  

To the potential bride or groom out there planning your day, here are a few tips on navigating the sea of wedding resource websites.

1.  Look for websites that utilize review based rankings.  I really like Wedding Wire (www.weddingwire.com) because rather than just a “like” (which could be coming from friends and family of the advertiser after all) Wedding Wire allows advertisers to request reviews from past clients both in a rating and descriptive manner.

2.  Put a premium on recommendations from other vendors.  When I recommend a particular coordinator, photographer or caterer (yum!) It’s because I have seen their work over time at numerous weddings.  I know that when my fellow vendors are experienced, passionate and kind that we will all work together to create the best possible experience for our brides and grooms. 

2B.  A caveat however about #2:  there are many venues who actually now solicit payment from other vendors in order to be “preferred” or recommended.  This often has nothing to do with quality of work but rather who is willing to pay for that exclusivity.  There are now entire companies devoted to creating those glossy mags for a particular venue.  The venue covers the expense of the brochure by charging other vendors to be included.  Rough costs even a few years back were anywhere from $200-$800 per year for a vendor and when you consider that most vendors work at numerous venues, those numbers can really add up…impacting overall pricing.  

3.  When comparing potential vendors, go directly to samples of their work rather than focusing on the catchy writeup in the advertisement.  If you are hiring live music, please please please listen to samples of the artists’ music!  Listen back and forth between different groups…maybe even a “blind test.” and ask yourself which one moves you more.  

4.  When you decide to reach out to a potential vendor about your day, pay attention to how you are treated.  Does the vendor’s response seem generic?  Automatic quotes can be handy but do you fully understand what you’re getting…and moreover does the vendor really understand what you want?  Does the vendor seem enthusiastic about your wedding?  

To my fellow wedding industry pros out there, I’m curious if you’ve noticed the same uptick in requests for advertising?  How do you feel about the increase in online, print and wedding showcase events?  Does this benefit or hurt our clients?  How do you navigate the sea of requests?  

 

Classical String Trio and Classical String Quartet Comparison

Effesenden Music is well known for our emphasis on playing music that reflects our brides and grooms own unique style.  Rather than applying a “one size fits all approach,” every single wedding we play has it’s own unique musical plan.  We love arranging popular music for our musicians to perform but we also have great respect for the timeless beauty of traditional wedding pieces such as Canon in D, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and more and enjoy presenting authentic, quality renditions of these great Classical works.

This blog post features samples from two weddings we played during the summer of 2011.  On a related note, click the link below if you’d like to see a list of our current songs for classical string trio and quartet.

Effesenden Music Classical Menu

The first set of musical samples are from a wonderful outdoor wedding at Garden Vineyards in June with our string quartet.

Canon in D–Pachelbel

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring–Bach

Air on the G String–Bach

The second wedding was an indoor ceremony at the beloved Old Church in Southwest Portland, Oregon featuring our string trio.  I especially enjoyed this wedding because there were a number of Romantic period and slightly lesser known Classical works along with some more traditional Baroque.

Barcarole–Offenbach

Theme from Jupiter–Holst

I Love Thee–Grieg

Brandenburg Concerto No 3 (Allegro)–Bach

Many of our brides and grooms who are planning to use strings look for guidance on whether to opt for string trio or quartet.  The difference is that the quartet includes 2 violins, viola and cello whereas the trio is either violin, viola and cello or 2 violins and cello.  The quartet has greater richness and a slightly larger repertoire but the two ensembles are very similar in what they offer.

For comparison, I’ve included a recording of our string trio playing an excerpt from Canon in D.

Canon in D (for string trio)

If you’re like most couples, you’re probably making a lot of decisions like this in the planning—“Option A offers just a little bit more but Option B is really nice and saves a bit on the cost.”  My best advice is to work with an ensemble whose music you can tell is high quality and then choose the length of reservation and ensemble size based on your budget.  Maybe you could get an 8-piece band of amateur string players for the same price as a high quality string quartet but quantity doesn’t mean better!

More Than Entertainment

It came time to decide how the advertising would go for the coming year.  We do have to advertise… can’t just sit at home dreaming up beautiful wedding music in our bedrooms hoping someone will hear it outside on the sidewalk after all! 

But a funny thing I noticed… where flowers, cakes, and photographers all got their own special category on one prominent wedding resource guide, music was tucked away under the category “entertainment.”  This bothered me—at first I just wasn’t even sure why.  Was it because music is like breathing for me?  Was it because “entertainment” makes me think of jugglers and jazz hands more than a beautiful song?  My answer came back to the heart of what I believe about weddings versus the wedding industry.

“Wedding industry” is a bit of a taboo term amongst some who offer their skills to help make a wedding celebration unfold.  We truly love what we do and we don’t like it put in the terms of “industry.”  We prefer “craft” or “style” or “world.”  It is however technically an industry… a 62.8 billion dollar one back in 2008 according to MSNBC. 

So here we have this sort of scary, cold sounding beast of a concept “industry” butting up against this most intimate and important of choices:  how do you want to celebrate and commemorate your commitment to share your life with one special person?

As couples navigate the world of wedding planning, they can quickly feel overcome by the sense of “we don’t know, we have never done this before!”   This is not a party you are throwing so that you hope people will like you!!!  This is a party you are throwing because you want to share your happiness with your community who already loves you and wants to support and celebrate your love. 

Throughout human history, playing and listening to music has been one wonderful way that people mark momentous times in their lives and in their communities.  It is also a powerful tool of self expression.  With these two important functions in mind which have stood the test of time more than even the wedding ring, I hope that the wedding industry will someday come to give music the same credit it bestows on other elements of the wedding day.

In the end, the level of enjoyment at a wedding is still about the individual couple and their unique definition of a celebration… not a massive industry list of rules and requirements.  The couple who plans their wedding and keeps what the industry says in check might in fact just enjoy the process!

Reviews of Effesenden Music

“We would like to thank you for the incredible performance at our wedding and reception!  Every guest commented on the music and we just couldn’t have been happier.  You all played a huge part in making our wedding unforgettable!”
—The McWinters    July, 2009

This Ceremony was a full Catholic mass for which we provided a violin, guitar & cello trio along with soprano vocalist cantor.  Selections included many traditional songs such as Ave Maria along with a very unique wedding choice called Everything by the band Lifehouse.  I absolutely loved arranging this song and the cello really brought out the emotion of the music.  After the ceremony, our guitarist headed to the country club where he performed for the cocktail hour and dinner with some light jazz.  I felt really proud to be a part of this wedding because it was gorgeous and the couple seemed so happy.  Plus, I was happy that our versatility as a company was able to accommodate the different parts of the day.

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“Thank you for the beautiful music at the wedding Saturday.  Not only were WE very pleased, but several guests told us it was the best wedding music they’d ever heard.  The sound, the selections, the tone, the mood and the perfect sound level.”
—Kathleen  July, 2006

It’s not that we haven’t received any thank you cards since 2006 but this wedding was so memorable that I had to include on this post.  Not only did temperatures reach the 90s on this July afternoon, but it actually rained!  Super bizarre for Oregon but a nice segue to mention that we came prepared with a white canvas tent which provided shade from the sun and shelter from the drops which actually probably felt great to the poor guests in their suits and ties.  The wedding was held at the historic Shogren House in NE Portland.  We provided an acoustic trio for the ceremony to which we added drums for the reception.  It was a nice mix of Jazz, Acoustic…and we even did some Elvis!  I really appreciated Kathleen’s words because we strive to make the music we do at weddings every bit as excellent as what we play for ticketed concert events. 

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