If you were to list your current “Wedding Top 10”, what would they be?
And more specifically, what do 2011 brides want? Do they stick with the old classical chestnuts or request modern pop tunes?
Posted In: Professional Harpists
I’m relatively new to performing though my gigs so far have gone smoothly. I’m working up Pachelbel’s Canon of course, and Clarke’s wedding march. If contemporary brides like that elegant classical feel I’ll keep going with that sort of era. And yet …
I’ve also added All I Have To Do Is Dream, Love Me Tender, and I Can’t Help Falling In Love from the 50’s & 60’s … and Red Sails In The Sunset from an earlier era … and Come To Me Bend To Me and My Heart Will Go On from the movies.
But where to go from here and how to appeal to today’s brides … I’m stumped!
Right now, my brides are asking for a lot of classical. There are a few pop songs that, in my location, are standard. I’ve also had a bride who has asked for hymns, since its a church wedding. I guess my top ten staples would be:
1.Canon in D
3.The Four Seasons by Vivaldi
4.Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
6.Arioso by Bach
7.Prince of Denmark’s March
8.Hornpipe from Water Music
10.Etude in E Major by Chopin
For a younger bride, she might be looking for more pop. In that case, you could always try:
1.You Raise Me Up by Groban
2.The Prayer by Dion
3.Forever in Love and The Wedding Song by Kenny G
4.I Will Be Here by Chapman
5.You’ll Be in My Heart (from Tarzan!)
6. Ashokan Farewell by Ungar
7.All I Ask of You and Think of Me by Webber
Find out what kind of wedding you’re dealing with. Is it a church wedding? If so, you are looking at the traditional classical, plus hymns…which might equate to contemporary praise songs to younger brides. If it’s an outdoor wedding, you have a little more wiggle room. The “outdoor” bride is probably going to ask for something different anyway, so pop/classical/country/contemporary praise songs may be more what she’s looking for.
Try going to TheKnot.com’s music list…you’d be surprised at the variety of music they recommend. Just remember, she might want you to learn a new song. Don’t promise miracles, but tell her you’d be glad to look at it, and if it would sound good on the harp, you’d be glad to play it.
I’m fortunate to get a lot of interesting and special requests (I find it fun and a challenge to learn new music/arrange for the harp), so here’s a list of songs that I’ve played for weddings are a bit different than the usual traditional pieces:
O from Cirque du Soleil
Feather Theme from Forrest Gump
Lucky by Jason Mraz
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
Fireflies by Owl City
stuff from Japanese Anime, including Eyes on Me from Final Fantasy (which is pretty old, but there’s other requests for Final Fantasy music as well as other anime like Porcu Russo)
The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall
Over the Rainbow, Iz’s version, which I blend along with Wonderful World and sometimes I’m Yours
River Flows in You by Yurumi, plus other requests from Asian artists
…and requests of music from movies such as Amelie (try arranging accordion music for the harp!), Juno, etc.
There’s more but I’ll let others chime in.
Alice, it’s great you mentioned the Final Fantasy music. There is definitely a niche that would love music like that in a wedding (or anywhere for that matter). I’ve heard of some orchestras doing performances pieces from the Final Fantasy scores to large and enthusiastic audiences.
Which reminds me of a recording a fan put up of her rendition of “Lament of the Highborne” from World of Warcraft, in which she sings and plays the instruments including harp. Not a great one for a wedding though, if any guests understand Thalassian (and if the couple requests it, there’s a good chance a few would).
It is interesting to read others posting about Final Fantasy! I have had 2 requests in the past year to play Final Fantasy theme songs! I was never a “gamer” so I didn’t really get it, but both grooms really loved it!
For the ceremony, I find that brides are sticking to the standards. Canon in D will probably never go away! Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bridal March, Wedding March, Ave Maria, and the Lord’s Prayer are always popular. I really like Grandjany’s Gavotte for a recessional and my brides seem to really like it too. I also play Vivaldi Spring and Simple Gifts a lot.
I wish there were more modern songs being arranged for the harp, I think brides would really love more options of music that is more current and I am no arranger. Sometimes if a bride wants more popular music I recommend Somewhere Over the Rainbow or What a Wonderful World and those are both popular.
I love David Ice’s arrangements of Longer Than, by Dan Fogelberg, and Fields of Gold by Sting. They are both love songs and highly appropriate for weddings. Ashokan Farewell (Jay Ungar, 1982) was used as a farewell or goodnight at the annual Ashokan fiddle and dance camps before its use as the theme from the documentary on the Civil War by Ken Burns. It is gorgeous.