Wedding Music 

Suggestions and Questions

 Q: How will The Riverside Ensemble fit into a Wedding celebration?

A: The sound of a Live Classical Music is smooth, romantic and refined. Whether your event is an intimate gathering or is a lavish formal affair, music can be used to create an elegant atmosphere throughout your special day and will make an impression that will last long after the Wedding celebration is over.



Q: What is the difference between the Duo, the Trio, and the Quartet?

A: This is a question that gets asked a lot. The best way to explain this is to ask yourself to think of listening to a song being sung. If just one person sings, that person sings the melody. This is what the first Violin in our group does (The melody). At ball games, someone usually sings The Star-Spangled Banner alone with no accompaniment. That is what melody sounds like by itself. It can be very nice and effective, but it always sounds somehow lonely. The next important function to add to the melody is the bass line like what the Cello does in our group. The bass line provides the structure to the melody in much the same way a foundation gives structure to a building. If you are hiring a Duo, you will have melody in the upper instrument and bass line in the lower instrument. Larger groups like the Trio and the Quartet simply add what is known as counter-melody which adds more thickness to the mix. The second Violin plays a similar melody to the first Violin, but on a slightly lower pitch. The Viola completes the mixture and fills in all the chords. 


A: Another factor is the size of the room and the size of the party.  Generally speaking the Duo is most effective in a setting where the party is confined to a small room and you don’t have a lot of guests.  A Quartet can be overwhelming in this environment.  The Trio is usually the safest group to choose.  We can easily adapt to a small setting or to a bigger one.  We can play almost as loud and full as the Quartet.  For a party of seventy-five or more you probably want to consider a Quartet.  It guarantees that every guest at any part of the room will be able to adequately hear us.   


·          You should consider adding a Vocalist to the Ceremony.  If the Church already has a Singer or Cantor, it may be possible to work with him instead of hiring another Musician.  It is most common to have a Singer perform a piece during the Ceremony.  It can be used as an Interlude or during the Candle Lighting, Communion, or any other part of the Service.  This also is an opportunity for us to sing and play your favorite song. 




Q:  In which places during the Ceremony do I need Music?

A:  As your guests gather, Prelude Music can be uplifting or reflective.  The Processional Music should be an instrumental piece with a good tempo for the attendants to walk to. Once the attendants are in place, the music for the Bridal Party should begin. The Bridal Party and of course the Bride have their own Processional Music. This music for the Bride and the Groom should command the attention of the guests. During the Ceremony, music is often played at the Lighting of the Unity Candle, during a Rose Presentation, Communion, or simply as a Solo. Some Brides and Grooms (especially with certain Church Ceremonies) chose to have many songs or pieces selections throughout the Ceremony. You may only want one or two selections throughout your Ceremony.  Joyful Recessional Music ends the Ceremony and sends the newly married couple out triumphantly. Postlude Music gives your guests something to listen to as they exit.  Remember, we can customize your Wedding to meet your individual style.  The Officiator at your service may offer suggestions for appropriate places for music.



·         You should check first with your Church or Ceremony location to see if they have any restrictions before selecting the music for your Ceremony. Some Churches require that you use their Organist, Musicians and Singers, others do not. In addition, some Churches will not allow certain songs and types of music.


·         If you would like, we can split the Ceremony with the Church Organist or Cantor.  For Example, you may choose to have The Riverside Ensemble play the Prelude Music, Processional and Ceremonial Music and reserve the Recessional for the Church Organist, and then we can finish up with Postlude Music.


Q: How do I select music...especially if I don't know much about music?

A: No matter how much or how little you know, your taste is vital in deciding what music you want played at every point in your Wedding celebration. First, think about the mood and tone you want to set, joyous, uplifting, quiet, reflective, or a little of each as the occasion unfolds. Then listen to recordings of suggested Wedding Music.  Pay special attention to the music at the next Wedding you go to.  Call the group’s contractor and set up a free consultation meeting.  He can work directly with you to select music from the repertoire that has special meaning for you and that will enhance the occasion. Our Repertoire is extensive and varies from the early Baroque to Contemporary Love Songs, and everything in between.


·         Some Brides and Grooms (especially with certain Church Ceremonies) chose to have many songs or pieces throughout the ceremony. You may only want one or two selections throughout your Ceremony. Remember we can customize your Wedding to meet your individual style.


·         You should not be concerned with the timing of these pieces.  We are capable of lengthening or shortening a piece to fit the necessary function of the Wedding.


It May Interest You To Know...

The traditional Wedding Processional "Here Comes The Bride" is from the opera Lohengrin by Richard Wagner. In the opera the relationship between Elsa and Lohengrin was doomed because of a broken promise. Tradition dictates that it is acceptable to use "Here Comes The Bride," however, you may wish to consider the numerous alternative Processional selections.


·         Don’t Forget we offer Special Requests Services.  We will be happy to perform a special song or piece, regardless of its genre providing we are given enough time to find and arrange the music.


·         Please look over these Suggestions and then refer to the Complete Repertoire List to check if these arrangements are available for the group you have chosen.



Q: Do I need Classical Music for my Cocktail Hour or Dinner?

A: Following the Ceremony, the mood can quickly change for the Reception with festive, light, romantic music as people have their first refreshments.  Later, during a meal, music is proper with every menu. Quieter musical selections are nice as people eat and converse at Dinner. Your choices are endless.


Q: Do I need to Select Music for my Cocktail Hour or Dinner?

A:  Generally speaking no you don’t.  We have enough experience to feel out the moment and decide what the audience would like to hear. We can easily switch from pure Classical, to Jazz, to Broadway, to Rags, or Waltzes.   We also try to honor all requests that are made at the event.  If you would like to choose some or all of the music for the Cocktail Hour or Dinner, feel free to do so and we will be happy to play your selections.  Don’t forget we also offer Special Requests Services.  We will be happy to perform a special song or piece, regardless of its genre, providing we are given enough time to find and arrange the music.


Q: Where does the Ensemble Sit?

A:  For Weddings we can sit wherever you would like us to sit as long as we have a view of the isle so that we can see when to change the music for the Processional.  If this is not possible, you should ask an Usher or Church Music Director to assist us.  We usually sit in the loft overlooking the congregation, or the back of the Church where the Processional begins.  We also can sit in the front right hand side of the congregation.


A:   For Cocktail Hours and Dinners we usually sit near the bar, or buffet table.  It is ideal to be centrally located so your whole party can hear us, not just one end of the hall.   


Q: What does the Ensemble Wear?

A: Your event is special, and the Ensemble will dress for the occasion. The men will wear tuxedos or if you prefer we can wear dark suits and the women will be in dressy clothes, usually all black or black and white.



Q: What does the Ensemble need on the day of the Wedding?

A: The Ensemble needs chairs with flat seats and without arms, shade if we are playing outdoors and adequate lighting if we are playing indoors.  If we are playing a Wedding Ceremony and have to immediately play a Cocktail Hour and/or Dinner, please arrange to have another set of chairs at all locations.  This provides for a speedy transition from each location which enables us to set up faster and be ready to provide you with more music.  We don’t use microphones.  If there isn’t adequate lightening, we are also equipped with music stand lights,  but please make sure that there is a nearby electric outlet for our lighting.  We don’t have a lot of equipment, just instrument cases, music bags, stands and lights.  If our location is in the public’s eye, we need a place to hide our belongings.  Commonly we use coat checks, closets, or under buffet tables.  Please find out in advance where the best spot for us is.




If you are confused about any part of this tedious process, don’t worry we are trained professionals.   Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you in any way possible.



  Processional            Ceremony          Recessional









          1.                Arioso                                                                                                                        Bach

                2.                Bridal March (from Lohengrin, “Here Comes The Bride”)                                 Wagner

                3.                 Canon                                                                                                                         Pachelbel              

                4.                 Rigaudon (Water Music Suite III in G Majot No. 17)                                        Handel  

                5.                 Bourree (Water Music Suite I in F Major No. 8)                                                 Handel  

                6.                 Hornpipe (Water Music Suite II in D Major No. 12)                                           Handel                  

                7.                 Air (Water Music Suite I in F Major No. 6)                                                          Handel                  

                8.                 Processional (The Royal Firework’s Music)                                                        Handel                  

                9.                Arrival of the Queen of Sheba                                                                                 Handel                  

                10.                Minuet (The Royal Firework’s Music)                                                                 Handel

          11.                 Minuet In G                                                                                                             J.S. Bach                                

                12.                 Ode to Joy                                                                                                                Beethoven                           

                13.                 March (Marriage of Fiagro)                                                                                   Mozart                  

                14.                 Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark March)                                                 J. Clarke                                

                15.                 Trumpet Tune                                                                                                          Purcell                   

                16.                 La Rejoissance                                                                                                        G.F. Handel  

                17.                Elvira Madigan Theme                                                                                             Mozart  

                18.                Prelude to Te Deum                                                                                                  Charpentier

                19.                Romance                                                                                                                     Mozart

                20.                 Serenade                                                                                                                    F.J. Haydn                   

                21.                 Spring (The Four Seasons 1st movement)                                                           A. Vivaldi                   

                22.                 Spring (The Four Seasons 3rd movement)                                                          A. Vivaldi                   

                23.                 Autumn (The Four Seasons 1st movement)                                                        A. Vivaldi                   

                24.                 Autumn (The Four Seasons 3rd movement)                                                        A. Vivaldi   

                25.                Trumpet Voluntary                                                                                                     Stanley

                26.                Grand March (from Aida)                                                                                          Verdi

                27.                Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring                                                                                      Bach

                28.                Air on the G string                                                                                                      Bach                      

                29.                Erev Ba                                                                                                                         Traditional Jewish

                30.                Erev Shel Shoshanim                                                                                                  Traditional Jewish

          31.                Od Yishama I & II                                                                                                       Traditional Jewish

                32.                Yasis Alayich                                                                                                               Traditional Jewish

                33.                Ose Shalom                                                                                                                   Traditional Jewish                             

                34.                Vay’hi Bishurun Melech                                                                                             Traditional Jewish

                35.                Asher Bara                                                                                                                     Traditional Jewish

                36.                Y’varech’cha                                                                                                                 Traditional Jewish

                37.                Kozatske                                                                                                                         Traditional Jewish

                38.                Sunset, Sunrise (from the Fiddler on the Roof)                                                         Bock


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          1.               Ave Maria                                                                                                                         Schubert                

                2.                 My Heart Ever Faithful                                                                                                  Bach                      

                3.                 Air in G                                                                                                                             Bach                      

                4.                 Largo (Xerxes)                                                                                                                 G.F. Handel

                5.                 Winter (The Four Seasons 2nd movement)                                                                A. Vivaldi   

                6.                 Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring                                                                                          Bach                      

                7.                 Greensleeves                                                                                                                   Traditional

                8.                 Simple Gifts                                                                                                                      Traditional

                9.                 Amazing Grace                                                                                                                 Traditional

                10.                 Minuet                                                                                                                             Boccherini

                11.                 Romanze                                                                                                                          Mozart  

                12.                 Adagio (Flute Quartet in D Major. K. 285)                                                                 Mozart  

        13.                 Meditation (from Thais)                                                                                                Massenet

        14.                Air: Sheep May Safely Graze                                                                                         Bach

        15.                Ave Maria                                                                                                                         Bach-Gounod

        16.                Speak  Softly, Love                                                                                                          Rota

        17.                All I Ask of You                                                                                                               Webber

        18.               Shulamite Remnant (Song of Solomon)                                                                         Traditional Jewish

        19.                Y’did Nefesh                                                                                                                     Traditional Jewish

        20.                 Jerusalem of Gold                                                                                                            Traditional Jewish

        21.                Chorshat Ha’ekaliptus                                                                                                     Traditional Jewish

        22.                Hitragut                                                                                                                              Traditional Jewish

        23.                Erev Shel Shoshanim                                                                                                        Traditional Jewish

        24.                Erez Ba                                                                                                                                Traditional Jewish

        25.                Hana’ava Babanot                                                                                                            Traditional Jewish

        26.                K’var Achare Chatzot                                                                                                      Traditional Jewish    

        27.                Al Kol Ele                                                                                                                           Traditional Jewish

        27.                El Ginat Egoz                                                                                                                      Traditional Jewish

                28.                Dodi Li I & II                                                                          Traditional Jewish


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          1.                 Bridal March                                                                                                                       Mendelssohn

                2.                 Hallelujah Chorus (Messiah)                                                                                            Handel

                3.                 Allegro (A Little Night Music 1st movement)                                                                Mozart

                4.                 Rondo, (A Little Night Music 4th movement)                                                                Mozart  

                5.                 Brandenburg (No. 3, 1st movement)                                                                                 Bach                 

                6.                 Brandenburg (No. 3, 3rd movement)                                                                                Bach                      

                7.                 Gigue (Orchestra Suite No. 3)                                                                                            Bach                      

                8.                 Gavotte (4th Lute Suite)                                                                                                     Bach                      

                9.                 Allegro (Flute Quartet D Major. K. 285)                                                                         Mozart  

                10.                 Gigue (French Suite No. 5 in G Major)                                                                          Bach      

                11.                Hornpipe (Water Music)                                                                                                  Handel

                12.                La Rejouissance (The Royal Firework’s Music)                                                          Handel

        13.                Arioso (from Cantata No. 156)                                                                                        Bach              

        14.                Menuet (Water Music)                                                                                                   Handel  

                15.                Ode To Joy                                                                                                                        Beethoven

                16.                Trumpet Voluntary                                                                                                           Stanley

                17.                Grand March (from Aida)                                                                                                Verdi

                18.                 Spring (The Four Seasons 1st movement)                                                                  A. Vivaldi

                19.                 Spring (The Four Seasons 3rd movement)                                                                  A. Vivaldi

                20.                 Autumn (The Four Seasons 1st movement)                                                               A. Vivaldi

                21.                Rigaudon (Water Music Suite III in G Major No. 17)                                                 Handel  

                22.                 Bourree (Water Music Suite I in F Major No. 8)                                                        Handel  

                23.                 Hornpipe (Water Music Suite II in D Major No. 12)                                                 Handel

                24.                 Air (Water Music Suite I in F Major No. 6)                                                                Handel  

                25.                 Processional (The Royal Fireworks Music)                                                               Handel  

                26.                Arrival of the Queen of Sheba                                                                                       Handel  

                27.                Minuet (The Royal Firework’s Music)                                                                         Handel

                28.                 Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark March)                                                         Clarke    

        29.                 Trumpet Tune                                                                                                                  Purcell

        30.                 La Rejoissance                                                                                                                Handel

        31.                  Siman Tov                                                                                                                       Traditional Jewish

          32.                Chosn Kale Mazel Tov                                                                                                   Traditional Jewish

                33.                Hava Nagila                                                                                                                       Traditional Jewish

                34.                Shmelkie’s Nigun                                                                                                             Traditional Jewish

                35.                Ketsad M’rakdin                                                                                                              Traditional Jewish

                36.                Am Yisrael Chai                                                                                                                 Traditional Jewish

                37.                Dayenu                                                                                                                               Traditional Jewish

                38.                Uva’u Ha’ovdim                                                                                                                Traditional Jewish

                39.                Rad Halaila                                                                                                                          Traditional Jewish

                40.                David Melech Yisrael                                                                                                        Traditional Jewish             

                41.                V’haer Enu                                                                                                                           Traditional Jewish

                42.                Ele Chamda Libi                                                                                                                   Traditional Jewish

                43.                Sisu Et Y’rushalayim                                                                                                           Traditional Jewish

                44.                Tzena Tzena                                                                                                                         Traditional Jewish

                45.                Harachaman                                                                                                                          Traditional Jewish

                46.                Zemer Atik                                                                                                                            Traditional Jewish

                47.                Hine Ma Tov                                                                                                                        Traditional Jewish

                48.                Tzadik Katamar                                                                                                                     Traditional Jewish

                49.                Mayim, Mayim                                                                                                                      Traditional Jewish

                50.                Shibolet Basade                                                                                                                    Traditional Jewish

                51.                Harmonika                                                                                                                              Traditional Jewish

                52.                Haro’a Haktana                                                                                                                     Traditional Jewish

                53.                Hora Mamtera                                                                                                                        Traditional Jewish

                54.                Od Lo Ahavti Dai                                                                                                                  Traditional Jewish

                55.                Mazinka                                                                                                                                   Traditional Jewish

                56.                Ot Azoy                                                                                                                                   Traditional Jewish

                57.                M’chutenista Meine                                                                                                              Traditional Jewish

                58.                Artsa Alinu                                                                                                                              Traditional Jewish

                59.                Bashana Haba’a                                                                                                                     Traditional Jewish


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