When I’m planning a ceremony with clients, the question of music often comes up. Of course, some people know exactly what they want, but many need guidance. Advice will vary from person to person, but one thing to understand is that we’re not planning a standard ceremony. The whole point is that we are personalising it.
That means that there is not really a right or a wrong. It’s what you want that matters. Obviously, one consideration will be the guests! A piece that goes on and on would soon lose the audience, and not every genre will go down well. However, if that’s what reflects your personality, then it can go in to the melting-pot.
Therefore you’re not obliged to start a wedding with Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”, lovely as it is. Nor do you need a religious or even classical piece, while the coffin is borne in at a funeral.
Many brides at weddings I have conducted have entered to Pachelbel’s “Canon”. There have also been harpists or string quartets to accompany the bride. Oddly, I have also heard “Moonriver” and, by contrast, an aria from Handel’s “Samson and Delilah”. Schubert’s “Ave Maria” has been another choice. So there’s no real rhyme or reason.
From other people’s blogs I’ve selected some of the most popular pop songs.
Adele – “Make you feel my Love”
Al Green – “let’s Stay Together”
Stevie Wonder – “Isn’t she lovely”
Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie – “Endless Love”
Elton John – “Can you feel the love tonight?”
Elvis Presley – “Can’t help falling in Love”
Bruno Mars – “Just the Way you are”
Doubtless, you could suggest your own favourite.
Again, there’s a huge range of music genres in the funeral canon. The most popular exit music nationally seems to be either “My Way” by Frank Sinatra or Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side”. Andrea Bocelli seems to get in somewhere a lot of the time.
Music at my most recent funerals has ranged from George Formby and Dean Martin to Lesley Garrett and Eva Cassidy, Chris Barber to Chuck Berry, and Judy Garland to Richard & Adam, and Audrey Hepburn.
I usually shy away from heavy metal, but for the funeral of a biker (suicide), the family requested Metallica and “Nothing else Matters”. Until I actually listened to it, I assumed the worst, but it is a fine piece of music and was highly appropriate. I’ve suggested it subsequently too!
So, to revert to my opening remarks, unless you’re having a full religious service (in which case, you will have few – if any – options for the music), the world is your oyster, and you can have fun choosing something fitting.
Feel free to contact me, to discuss this further.