Wedding Wednesday | The Music of a Wedding Ceremony

Here on Wedding Wednesday, I’ve been reviewing venues and services for weddings, but now I want to delve into the part of the wedding that I usually guide – the music!

First, every bride needs to be familiar with the terms for the different parts of the wedding ceremony!  During the first phone consult with a musician, he/she may ask if you have chosen music for the processional and recessional, if you have a style preference for the preludes, and a host of other questions using terms that are only vaguely familiar to a first-time wedding planner!

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Your musician(s) will start with preludes 20-40 minutes prior to the ceremony while your guests are being seated. This ambient sound sets the tone for the wedding.  Generally, you do not need to choose each individual song played, but rather give the musician a genre – like Celtic, classical or romantic movie themes.

The processional is often broken down into three parts.  First is the seating of the mothers. The mothers and grandmothers are formally escorted down the aisle after the last of your guests have been seated. The music usually remains gentle, but should have a “walking tempo”.

Next comes the processional for the bridesmaids. Something more march-like is often used; however, generally it should maintain a formal character – we don’t want the bridesmaids running down the aisle! The officiant and groom usually come from the side and stand at the front  just before the bridesmaids come down, but they can also process down the aisle if desired. (I’m reminded of one wedding where the groom came down in a suit of armor to our arrangement of Forth Eorlings from the Lord of the Rings!)

After the bridesmaids and flower girls have reached the bottom of the aisle, it is time for the entrance of the bride! The musician(s) can play a fanfare, letting everyone know it is time to rise, and then launch into the music you have chosen!  If you prefer a quieter entrance, you can always come into the same piece as your bridesmaids, but why not make an striking entrance on your special day!

It is time for an introspective mid-ceremony piece while you light the unity candle, sign the marriage registry or have any other unity symbol. A soft Celtic air can create the perfect atmosphere for a sacred moment, but this can also be a time to play your favorite romantic movie theme.

The recessional is fast, lively and fun! It comes right after you have been announced as husband and wife.  Everyone cheers and the music starts while you recess down the aisle, followed by the rest of the wedding party.

A few minutes of postludes are often played as your guests are released from their seats. The ceremony is over and the reception begins!

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(Photos by Samuel Ramsey)

Coming soon…what is the most popular wedding processional music of all times?


Noah’s Vocal Debut

Early this spring Noah finally decided that his developing voice had settled enough sing a solo.  Guess what subject he chose?  You got it!  A battle!

I love the narrative style of this song, but it is worth noting that like Hollywood today, they took some poetic license with the historical facts to make a more dramatic song! This video was taken this summer at the Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival in Hamilton, MT.

Wedding Wednesday : 4th Street Brewing Company

Tonight I attended the Northwest Wedding Pro meeting at the 4th Street Brewing Company. We met in one of their two private upstairs event rooms. The spread of hor d’ oeuvres was excellent and the room was elegant and comfortable. Noise from the restaurant below did drift up, but it was not loud enough to disrupt our meeting.


The Ale Room can accommodate up to 48 people and can be set up a variety of ways. It is more closed off from the main restaurant, and would make an ideal place for a business meeting or wedding rehearsal dinner!


We met in the Lager Room, which can accommodate up to 90! The set-up is open and it is an excellent choice for a reception or larger party. Catering starts at just $8 per person and goes up from there.  4th Street does not cater outside their building, but they do sell kegs of their home-brewed beer.

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 77 NE 4th Street, Gresham, Or

Accommodates: up to 90

Pros: Excellent food and great location

Cons: Somewhat noisy open room (large room only)

Friday’s Feasts | Aunt Tami’s Chocolate Fudge


As long as I can remember, my the family always talked about what a good candy Aunt Tami made, but since she moved to northern Washington when I was quite young, I hadn’t had a chance to learn…. until I went to visit! The weather was too warm for a lot of candy making, but Aunt Tami did show me how to make fudge! Let me just give this warning, you may have felt better about eating fudge before you knew just how much sugar goes into it, but when you bite into a creamy piece you’ll believe it is worth every calorie!


In a heavy aluminium saucepan, mix 4 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup butter and 1 can evaporated milk. Bring it to a boil, and boil for 9 minutes without stirring.


Meanwhile measure out 10 oz. of marshmallows or marshmallow creme (I told you there was a lot of sugar!) and 12 oz. of chocolate chips.  Place them in a mixing bowl.


Pour the boiled mixture over the chocolate and marshmallows and mix until completely smooth. Continue mixing until the mixture has a dull shine and is hard to stir.


You will have to stir it for a long time! Then add 2 tsp. vanilla, and 2 cups toasted walnut pieces.


Pour mixture into a greased pan and smooth. Allow to cool thoroughly, and the cut into bars.  Enjoy!

What recipes would you like to see featured here?  Is there something I’ve made you want the recipe for?  Or are you tired of all the breakfasts you make and need new ideas?  Let me know!