Wedding Processionals

Cider House Rules-Rachel Portman

Some of the most beautiful, evocative instrumental music, perfect for processionals, are written for Hollywood soundtracks. One the finest composers for film is Rachel Portman, who was the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the movie “Cider House Rules” in 2000. The movie also won for six other Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (Lasse Hallstrom), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine) and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Irving)

Rachel Portman

“Cider House Rules” is one of my all time favorite films, with Portman’s soundtrack reaching the pantheon of some of the greatest composers for film, like Ennio Morricone, John Williams and the late James Horner who tragically died in a plane crash in June, 2015. Horner won an Academy Award for Titanic in 1997, which also became the largest selling soundtrack of all time, selling over 30 million units.

Many of the pieces that I will be reccomending in the Ceremony section in the blog will be coming from film soundtracks. Rachel Portman’s sensational score for “Cider House Rules” is as beautiful as the movie itself. In the next few blog entries I’ll be trying to introduce some of the most beautiful, sentimental, romantic scores to accompany the Bride and Bridal Party down the aisle. Definitely give this one a listen.

Let me know what you think.

Erev Shel Shoshanim

Erev Shel Shoshanim is the perfect song for a Jewish Bridal Procession. This is the Wikipedia definition for the Hebrew title: “Erev Shel Shoshanim  English: Evening of Lilies or “Evening of Roses.” The Hebrew word shoshana has been identified with both flower. It is a poetic Hebrew love song. Its melody is often used as wedding music in Jewish weddings, as a replacement for Here Comes the Bride.”

The melody is simple, clear and beautiful and works equally well as an instrumental or vocal. It also works very well when paired with Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D.


Mazel Tov.

Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters

On May 4, 2013 we played Elton John’s esoteric classic “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters” for a delightful client, who requested it for their bridal processional. I thought it was a terrific choice, and it turned out to be extremely successful. While it may not be Elton John’s most famous song, the melody is extremely song and worked extremely as an instrumental with guitar and keyboard. Which basically makes everything about that party just about perfect.

Sir Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin are known for their evocative, sensitive lyrics as well as Elton’s instantly recognizable piano sound. However, the fact that music for Wedding Processions are played simply by instrumentalists and render the lyrics irrelevant. The key element is that the melody is strong enough to stand on its own. And quite frankly the lyrics to “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters” are sweet but fairly inconsequential,

While Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
Turn around and say good morning to the night
For unless they see the sky
But they can’t and that is why
They know not if it’s dark outside or light

But just to give Bernie Taupin his due, one lyric would fit nicely if indeed it were to be sung:
I thank the Lord there’s people out there like you.


With it’s strong chordal structure and clear melody, Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters does make a terrific addition to your choices for your wedding procession…one that you almost never find on any traditional list.

Let me know what you think.

Beautiful Day-U2

U2s Beautiful Day has rapidly made its way onto the list of standard recessional tunes. The very beginning of the Chorus is the place to start, with the easily recognizable tune and appropriate (albeit unsung) lyrics “It’s A Beautiful Day…”

This is one that fits with just about any other classical, pop or movie soundtrack choices. The song definitely takes on an upbeat “feel” when compared to the others, but does make a distinctly bold and confident choice.

Let me know what you think.