There are hundreds, even thousands of classical pieces written specifically for the violin that would help make your wedding a more memorable occasion. Here are the top five most requested classical violin wedding music pieces we receive as our wedding duo or trio The Ashlings, and these are all songs that are part of our standard repertoire. We can perform these on violin, cello or an arrangement of both.
By far the world’s most popular wedding song for the processional, Pachelbel’s Canon never gets old. It brings out emotion in me no matter how many times we play it. This song was buried for centuries and then rediscovered in the 20th Century and first published in 1919. But it’s placement in a number of pop songs of the 90’s include Green Day’s Basket Case and the Pet Shop Boy’s cover of “Go West” is what really catapulted this song into the American consciousness.
Also known as the Prince of Denmark’s March, it was written by Jeremiah Clarke around 1700. It’s perfect for the procession or recessional after the couple has been presented to the guests. Great bit of trivia: it was the song played at the 1918 wedding of Charles, the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. We do a wonderful version of this with violin or cello and guitar, but the link I included is to a version played with trumpets, how it was intended.
Written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1842, this song feels the most cliche of all the typical wedding classical pieces, but it’s charm definitely lies in its history and tradition. Mendelssohn wrote this for a suite of pieces to Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but this song was again popularized by the royals, namely Princess Victoria when she married Prince Rederick William of Prussion in 1858.
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
I like this song as the entrance music for the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, but it really fits well anywhere in the beginning of the wedding or as background music while guests are gathering or leaving. One of Bach’s most famous works, it was written during his first year in Leipzig, Germany and is one of about two hundred cantatas he wrote for the Leipzig Church during that time, though this remains one of his most enduring works to date.
This is the Franz Schubert version and it is one of his most popular pieces. It has an interesting history: originally composed as a setting of a song from Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake, the story is of Ellen Douglas who sings a prayer to the Virgin Mary, calling on her for help as a battle rages on in the distance of the Scottish Highlands.