As of January 2015, I am no longer booking weddings. However, this Music Guide has been helpful to many couples over the years, so I’m leaving it here in hopes that it will continue to be a blessing to couples as they plan their wedding music.
Eric was the pianist for our March 28, 2009 wedding. He was absolutely amazing! I was having trouble finding a song for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to. I was in love with the song “River Flows in You”. However, I wasn’t sure if it would work because the end of the song was kind of depressing. Eric assured me that it would work and changed the end of the song to sound more upbeat! I even liked his version of the song better than the original! He even was nice enough to write a blog about our wedding and music selection. All of our guests raved about how beautiful the music was at our wedding. He is a very gifted pianist and I would highly recommend him!” ~ Nicole, Baughman Center, Gainesville, March 2008
This printable Wedding Music Planning Form is designed to assist you in planning your ceremony music as you listen through the audio on this page.
Please note that the audio tracks provided here include samples of songs as well as wedding tips and recommendations based on my many years of experience playing for weddings. My hope is that this effort helps simplify some of the many decisions that couples face as they plan their weddings, and helps couples plan ceremonies that flow seamlessly and beautifully.
The Prelude begins 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony as your guests arrive. I am always prepared with extra music as there are often last-minute details that take longer than anticipated.
Good news – as an experienced wedding pianist, I expertly plan the Prelude for you!
I play a beautiful, non-stop tapestry of music that will wonderfully set the mood for your guests. Blending a pleasing variety of songs that transition from one to another well is more complicated than it may seem. I carefully select a mix of songs from different styles and eras that will have something that all your guests will recognize/enjoy. This background music will allow comfortable conversation as people meet/reconnect.
*I recorded this sample a few years ago. I regularly update/rotate the songs I use for the Prelude, so the songs you’ll hear on this likely be different from what I play during your Prelude. No two preludes are exactly alike, but this sample will give you a good taste of the style to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Prelude:
“How much input should we give about the songs you play in the Prelude?”
Most couples don’t select any of the music for the Prelude. If you know that many/most of your guests prefer a certain type of music (like classical, country, 80s, oldies, church songs, etc) I’m happy to emphasize that style. But I’ll mix in some other styles as well because you’ll almost certainly have guests that will enjoy those too. If there’s a style you want me to avoid, please tell me, and I’m happy to honor that. Also, some couples prefer (or are getting married at a church that requires) only Christian and classical music during their Prelude. As a long-time church musician I’m more than happy to honor this request. But generally the mix I’ve developed over my years of experience works beautifully.
“What if we’ve got some favorite songs we’d like you to include?”
First of all, remember that you (and your closest family members) probably won’t hear the Prelude (or not much of it, anyway). The members of the wedding party will be waiting for their entrance, and close family members are usually seated after the Prelude. So if there are some songs that are very special for you, I’d encourage that we either incorporate them into the ceremony (as a family entrance song or for the wedding party’s entrance or even bride’s entrance, etc) or that you have them played at your reception when you can actually hear and enjoy them.
If you’re looking through my song list and see some songs that you want to be sure are included, I’m happy to do that. Also feel free to ask about any song you don’t see on the list – I add songs every week but only update the website list occasionally (besides, the list was never intended to be exhaustive). If you really want me to include a song that I don’t already know during the Prelude I’ll be happy to try to find the music and learn it for you at a cost of $40/song. To learn a song well enough to get it to the standard of my other Prelude songs takes a fair amount of time. However, incorporating a special song as one of the entry songs later in the ceremony is no extra charge.
To summarize, the Prelude is background music to set an appropriate ambience for your arriving guests. I’ve priced my wedding package assuming that I will select the Prelude music from my extensive repertoire. If you would like to design a mini-concert for me to play instead, I’ll need to charge $40 for each song you select for the Prelude that I don’t already know, since that will entail much more work than a standard wedding.
Seating of the Family
- No special song; seat family as part of the prelude
- Canon In D by Pachelbel
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach
Entrance of the Groom, Officiant, and Attendants
One of the songs above (my favorite for this point in the ceremony is Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring)
Praeludium by J.S. Bach
“Bridal Chorus” from Lohengrin by Wagner (traditional)
Prince of Denmark’s March (also known as Trumpet Voluntary) by Clarke
Bridal Chorus Variations:
Perhaps you’ll want some music while you light a unity candle or for some other transition within the ceremony. I can play an elegant accompaniment to enhance the transition time, and fit precisely the time you need, so you aren’t standing awkwardly, waiting for the music to end.
I have an extensive repertoire of wedding songs that I can play and sing myself, or accompany your soloists. I don’t charge extra for solos that I do, but there is a charge of $50 per song to accompany other soloists. I can also arrange songs to highlight your favorite portions if you’d like to include a song, but want to reduce the length of the song, as some couples find that an entire song, with all its repetitions, feels a bit long as they stand there waiting.
“Wedding March” from Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn (traditional)
“Ode to Joy” from the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven (my favorite)
Review of the whole ceremony
I’ve played for many beautiful weddings with all the music chosen right from this Guide. For other couples, this Guide is a starting point. These selections are very popular, but I am by no means limited to these songs. I have an extensive repertoire, and am happy to help you customize your ceremony music with your favorite music. Let’s discuss your vision for your wedding and we’ll design just the right blend of music for your special day!
We could not have asked for or imagined our music to come out as well as Eric played for us. His singing and music was absolutely perfect. He clearly knows a lot about weddings and was even able to guide us in which parts of the ceremony we would need songs and other parts where we might just need some musical interlude. These were things of which we hadn’t thought. He is very professional and is able to accomodate most any request not only easily but with an impressive amount of grace that really placed us at ease. We knew after sitting with Eric that the music was taken care of. We just didn’t have to think of it again. Our ceremony was indoors with a classical piano. He played beautifully and was able to accomodate any type of song we requested. All in all, our wedding has left us with wonderful memories and Eric’s music was great in accentuating all of it.” ~ Howard, Church Wedding, Orlando, March 2009
Eric was quite the professional from the beginning communication before the ceremony to work out the details to the day of the wedding. His music was flowing and flawless and enhanced the beauty of the day. Being a musician myself, I would not hesitate to recommend him.” ~ Beverly, Mother of the Bride, Baughman Center, Gainesville, October 2008