Dr. Julie Ainscough at the Frobenius organ of All Saints' Parish Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (U.K.).

Dr. Julie Ainscough at the Frobenius organ of
All Saints' Parish Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (U.K.).

Photograph: © Copyright 2012 Michael Harrold Artist Management.

Music  At  Your  Wedding

Choosing the music for your wedding may seem a perplexing task:  the many magazines and web sites which go into all the nooks and crannies of your wedding preparations may turn out to be of limited use when it comes to the wedding service itself.  A number of Compact Discs containing examples of wedding music are available, although some appear unnecessarily restrictive.  One of the better discs - Catalogue reference "PRWEDD" -

is available from:
3, Eden Court,
Eden Way,
Bedfordshire, LU7 4FY.
Telephone: (+44) (0)1525 377566
Fax: (+44) (0)1525 371477
E-mail: sales@priory.org.uk

This Company specialises in the recording of church and pipe organ music:  they know the repertoire well.

Ideally, you should try to contact the Director of Music at your church at as early an opportunity before your wedding as possible and arrange to meet.  You can also help your Organist (if the wedding is not at the church where they are employed regularly) by obtaining information on the organ:  the incumbent clergy there may be able to help.  Please bear in mind that pipe organs vary in character, size, quality and functional reliability:  all are factors which may have a bearing upon your final choice of music.

Please do not leave your wedding service music until the last moment, as it may not be possible for sheet music to be obtained in time.   The conventional etiquette is that, unless agreed otherwise, the Bride and Groom undertake to obtain sheet music in the event that the Director of Music does not have the particular piece desired.  Please ensure that the Director of Music is supplied with your printed order of service as soon as this becomes available.

The following list is by no means exhaustive, but may be of some assistance in short-listing music to discuss with your Director of Music.  All items listed below are in Julie Ainscough's own library and are in repertoire currently.


1) Baroque beauty!

"Jesu, joy of man's desiring" - J.S. Bach
"Sheep may safely graze", from the "Hunt" cantata, "Was mir behagt", BWV208 No.9 - J.S. Bach
(Suitable for dedicated vegetarians or vegans)
Chorale prelude on "Wachet auf, ruft' uns die stimme", BWV645 - J.S. Bach
Chorale prelude on "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier", BWV706 - J.S. Bach
"Air" from Orchestral Suite No.1 - J.S. Bach
Selections from the "Messe pour les paroisses" - François Couperin
Selections from the "Messe pour les couvents" - François Couperin
Selections from the "Livre d'Orgue" - Nicolas de Grigny
Excerpts from "The Water Music" - G.F. Handel

2) Romantic lyricism!

Chorale prelude on "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" - Johannes Brahms
Chanson de Matin - Sir Edward Elgar
Prelude, Fugue & Variation - César Franck
Chant de mai - Joseph Jongen

3) Early Twentieth Century elegance!

Selections from the Pièces en style libre - Louis Vierne
Selections from the Pièces de Fantaisie - Louis Vierne
Rhosymedre (from "Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes") - Ralph Vaughan Williams
Fantasia on "Greensleeves" - Ralph Vaughan Williams
Popular song (from Façade) - Sir William Walton
Folk Tune (from "Five Short Pieces") - Percy Whitlock


1) Splendour of the Baroque!

Cuatro piezas por clarines No.2 - anonymous Spanish (17th Century)
(A lovely and unusual piece with echo effects)
Prelude in E Flat (opening section only)(BWV552) - J.S. Bach
Prelude to a Te Deum - Marc-Antoine Charpentier
The Prince of Denmark's March - Jeremiah Clarke
Entr'acte preceding the arrival of the Queen of Sheba - G.F. Handel
Hornpipe (from "The Water Music") - G.F. Handel
Trumpet Tune - Henry Purcell
Trumpet Voluntary - John Stanley

2) A romantic arrival!

St. Anthony Chorale - attributed to Josef Haydn
Bridal March (from Lohengrin) - Richard Wagner
("Here comes the bride: sixty inches wide"!)

3) The thrill of trumpets!

Three Bridal Fanfares - Sir Arthur Bliss
Two Fanfares - Francis Jackson


1) A Baroque flourish!

Prelude in C Major, BWV547 - J.S. Bach
Prelude & Fugue in G Major, BWV541 - J.S. Bach
Prelude or Fugue in D Major, BWV532 - J.S. Bach
Prelude in E Flat Major, BWV552 - J.S. Bach
Fantasia in G Major, BWV572 - J.S. Bach
Sinfonia from Cantata BWV29 No.1 - J.S. Bach
Toccata & Fugue in F Major - Diderik Buxtehude

2) A triumphant toccata!

Toccata in G - Theodore Dubois
Toccata in B Minor - Eugène Gigout
Toccata - Joseph Jongen
Toccata - György Mushel
Final (from Symphony No.1 for organ, Op.14) - Louis Vierne
Carillon de Longpont (No.21 from Pièces en style libre Op.31) - Louis Vierne
Final (from Symphony No.5 for organ) - Charles-Marie Widor

3) A majestic march!

Chorale Fantasia on "Nun danket alle Gott" - Siegfried Karg-Elert
(Not strictly a march at all, but works well at the military slow march pace)
Pomp & Circumstance March No.4 - Sir Edward Elgar
Imperial March - Sir Edward Elgar
Organ Sonata No.1 (First Movement - Allegro Maestoso) - Sir Edward Elgar
Processional - William Mathias
Crown Imperial - Sir William Walton

4) A fairy-tale ending!

Wedding March (from "A Midsummer Night's Dream") - Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
"Wedding day at Troldhaugen" - Edvard Grieg

5) A celebration of service and tradition!

The Dam Busters' March - Eric Coates
The Royal Air Force March Past - Henry Walford Davies
Prelude (from "The First of The Few") - Sir William Walton
(suitable in instances of RAF service).
Theme music from "All Creatures Great & Small" - Johnny Pearson
(actually played - by request - for a Surrey veterinary surgeon's wedding!).

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