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5 Unique Non-Traditional Classical Wedding Songs

Zoey HughesMake your special day more unique by choosing lesser known pieces by well-loved composers.
~ Zoey Hughes
Wedding are almost always stressful.

Once the big decisions have been made there are all the little details that make the day “your” day. One of those decisions is the music you’ll walk down the aisle (or equivalent) to.

Most people opt for a classical option for this (One Direction just doesn’t set the tone) but it’s hard to avoid the small selection of well-loved pieces that are chosen over and over again.

If you want to avoid Pachelbel’s Cannon but don’t know where to start, check out these non-traditional classical wedding songs that will make you feel like a princess on your special day.

‘Liebesträume’ (Franz Liszt, 1850)

I’m a sucker for a great piano piece and this is no exception.

Liebesträume is German for Dreams of Love and actually comes in three parts.

The pieces were originally designed as music to accompany romantic poetry readings so these will be ideal for your own readings or as entrance music.

Liebesträume No. 3 is by far the most popular and most pianists will have it in their repertoire.

‘Salut d’Amour, Op.12’ (Edward Elgar, 1888)

Salut d’Amour is one of those pieces that no one knows but a lot of people recognise once it starts. It’s a great example of non-cheesy wedding music and you can’t get much more romantic than this.

Elgar wrote this piece, which translates as “Love’s Greeting”, as an engagement present for his betrothed, with whom he was absolutely besotted. She was so taken by it that she set a poem she had written to it and the couple were soon wed.

There are many different arrangements for this piece so whether you prefer a simple cello or violin and piano or a small orchestra this can suit your needs.

‘Concerto for Lute in D Major, RV 93’ (Antonio Vivaldi, 1730)

Think Vivaldi and you think of The Four Seasons. It’s simply impossible not to, regardless of how much classical knowledge you have.

Unfortunately The Four Seasons has been played ad nauseum for so long at weddings that it has become an annoyance rather than a pleasure so try this on for size.

You may think a piece designed for a lute is a bit old-fashioned but the beauty of this piece makes it a pleasure that your guests won’t have heard over and over.

The Concerto is made up of three parts, any one of which would make a superb addition to your day.

My personal favourite is the Largo – a statelier piece than the two intricate Allegro movements that sandwich it – but if you want everyone to break into a smile regardless of family tensions then the first Allegro is hard to pass up.

‘Etude no. 3 in E major, Op. 10 no. 3, “Tristesse”‘ (Frederic Chopin, 1832)

Chopin is often considered depressing, but being a major fan-girl I was determined to find a more upbeat piece that would work well at a wedding.

This particular piece is a little different from his usual works (it’s in a major key for starters!) but actually features the melody he felt was his most beautiful creation.

Forget the frantic sombre tones you would expect and fall in love with this magical piece, perfect for the aisle walk or signing the registry.

‘Dolly Suite, Op.56’ (Gabriel Fauré, 1893)

I adore Fauré’s Pavane in F Sharp Minor, Op. 50 and for many years it felt like my little secret.

It was one of my favourite pieces and yet few knew about it. Then it was suddenly everywhere. It was sampled in pop songs, it was in the background of many TV programmes, and most importantly it appeared at many weddings.

Fortunately, after an arduous search that involved having to listen to hours of high-end classical music (I promise it was in no way a pleasure that revealed new pieces to me) I can recommend the Dolly Suite.

Comprising of 6 short but sweet pieces the Dolly Suite contains a variety of tempos and moods that will allow you to pick a suitable piece for your wedding whether it’s a church affair, a town hall or something altogether more unusual.

The Berceuse is an outstanding piece that I would highly recommend. It’s definitely my pick of the bunch.


Zoey’s Verdict

Weddings are basically a collection of traditions that people are only now starting to realise they don’t have to follow.

Non-traditional classical wedding music is a great area to explore if you don’t want to follow the crowd but don’t want to upset the family.

Your great grandma may not approve of a contemporary selection, and your sister-in-law may mock you for using something that’s at every wedding, but no one can complain if you select a classical piece that fits the tone of your wedding, even if it’s something they’ve never heard before.

What Do You Think?

I came across these pieces when I was preparing for my own wedding and felt the need to share.

If you’ve stumbled across a great piece pass it on and let other brides-to-be know in the comments.

My name is Zoey Hughes and I′m a video games contributor for itcher. I also write and review for various gaming websites. My first console was the ZX Spectrum and I’ve been utterly hooked ever since. I love all things game related and can usually be found with a controller in my hand, but I’m also passionate about reading, fashion and music. I live a quiet life with my husband/co-op partner whilst I try to keep my competitive side hidden.
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