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The Wedding Ceremony

Champagne Consort recommends the following tips to insure the best possible processional and recessional. Please check with your Celebrant for further advice.

Designate a Cue Person: The room manager or party planner usually handles this but a friend of the family can also fulfill this role. The Cue Person should know who goes down to what music. The Cue Person lines everyone up for the processional. If the processional is running late the Cue Person informs the musicians how much more time is needed. When everyone is ready a thumbs up hand single is given to the musicians to start. The Cue Person then signals each person(s) at the appropriate time to proceed. This may seem simple, but I once witnessed an inexperienced room manager send an entire wedding party down at the same time. This forced the musicians to skip two requested pieces in order to perform the bridal entrance. This is why Champagne Consort always reviews the processional with a designated Cue Person.

After the processional, the Cue Person’s job is complete. The musicians will receive the remainder of their cues by following the service. The presentation or the breaking of the glass is usually the recessional cue. However, Champagne Consort always re-confirms the recessional cue with the Celebrant or Rabbi.

The processional should not be excessively long or too short. If you have a very large party and a long aisle, the processional can take too long. In this case consider pairing (if possible). Another effective method is to send successive bridesmaids down when the prior bridesmaid is half way down the aisle. Be sure to wait for last person to go all the way down so the bride and her escort can use the entire aisle. On the other hand, if you have a short walkway and a small wedding party, stretch out the processional so it isn’t too short. In this case, have each person march the full length of the aisle. Remember the old axiom, timing is everything.

Select music with a purpose. Our clients usually require our input for the processional and recessional selections. Usually, they leave the prelude and cocktail selections up to us. Through a personal phone consultation, Champagne Consort will guide you. We feel it is our responsibility to offer our best musical advice, but it is your wedding and you make the final decision.

The music should build to the climatic Bridal Entrance. We start with meditative prelude music to relax your guest while they are being seated. We use a verity of styles to make everyone feel included (something for everyone) and to prepare them for the processional. To achieve a graceful processional with a natural flow, one to four compositions are performed.

Decide when to conclude the Bride's Entrance music. Champagne Consort always asks for this detail. For example, many Jewish weddings include circling. Sometimes our bride prefers silence (very effective) or they may want the music to continue until after the circling. We strive to conclude the music at the appropriate cadence.

Interlude Music: Church services with a full mass usually require interlude music. However, most weddings don't desire interlude music. Occasionally, a short selection is chosen for a unity candle etc. but most of the time this is done in silence.

Recessional, Postlude and Cocktail Hour: After an uplifting Recessional, Postlude music is performed while your guest exit. For the cocktail hour, up-tempo jovial or celebratory music is the appropriate choice.

The Processional

Traditional Christian Processional:

  1. Seating of Grandmothers and Mothers
  2. Celebrant, Groom and Best Man enter alter from the side and wait.
  3. Groomsmen will either walk in from the side or will walk down the aisle accompanied by a bridesmaid.
  4. Bridesmaid who will stand farthest from the bride at the altar will walk down the aisle first. Followed by the other Bridesmaids.
  5. Ring bearer and Flower girl walk down the aisle next (usually they are seated with their parents after they reach the altar).
  6. Maid of honor walks down the aisle.
  7. Bride makes grand entrance and walk to the left of her escort.

Sand CeremonyUse Sand Ceremony for outdoor weddings. Outside unity candles often blow out. A beautiful alternative to the Unity Candle is the Sand Ceremony. To represent the bride and groom, fill two vases with different color sand. The bride and groom then pour their sand into a third container. This represents the blending of the couples hearts and lives. Other variations are possible. To include children from previous relationships give each child a container of different color sand. The children then blend their sand with their parents to symbolize the unification of the family.

Traditional Jewish Processional:

  1. Cantor and or Rabbi
  2. Groom's Grandparents seated
  3. Bride's Grandparents seated
  4. Groomsmen
  5. Best Man
  6. Groom with his parents (father on his left, mother on his right)
  7. Bridesmaids (starting with the bridesmaid that will stand farthest from the bride)
  8. Maid of Honor
  9. Ring Bearer and Flower Girl
  10. Bride and her parents (father on her left, mother on her right)

A Jewish Wedding 1903For a nice touch to a Jewish wedding have the Parents of Groom walk part way down the aisle stop, turn and wait for their son. The Groom then walks by himself to meet his parents and they escort him down. Similarly the Bride’s Parents walk part way down the walkway stop, turn and wait for their daughter. The Bride then walks by herself to meet her parents and they escort her down. At this point the Bride may choose to circle the chuppah. Traditionally she will circle seven times but there are variations. One modern variation is for the Bride to circle three times, Groom three times and then together one time. If no circling, the Groom step out to meet his Bride at the foot of chuppah. Parents give their daughter away and take their place. The Groom then escorts his Bride underneath the chuppah.

Other Wedding Processionals:

Champagne Consort has performed many Secular, Interfaith and other Religious Services. Many times elements from different traditions are used to bring families together. We are open to new ideas and will be happy to help you craft your special wedding.

Wedding Recissional
"You are going to have a beautiful wedding" Two wedding rings It's our commitment to you!Bride at churchFlute playerWedding bouquetHarp Man and Woman "We'll take care of your needs" Groom fitting ring on bridePiano Parlour It's your wedding, not our concert Bride Groom Kiss We will enhance your special day with lovely music.