Here Comes the Bride may be played at every wedding you attend, but that’s not the case around the world. Wedding music traditions vary from country to country, and even from one religion to another within the same country.
Here Comes the Bride is still a favorite for the bride’s walk down the aisle, but Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major has become a close contender. Songs include hymns, popular music, and classic music…basically whatever the couple desires, as long as the event venue doesn’t prohibit it. In America, weddings may be held anywhere, as long as a minister or justice of the peace conducts the ceremony and proper paperwork is filed with the government.
Just like in America, Here Comes the Bride is the song of choice for the bride’s entrance. English weddings are very stepped in custom and tradition, so many brides may choose to employ a harpist. In England, law requires weddings to be held in an approved place-mostly churches. Like Americans, British weddings may have a mix of music, but British ceremonies are usually very traditional and formal.
Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major is popular here, along with many of the traditional love ballads used at wedding ceremonies in America. One thing that differs in Australia is the signing ceremony, which also can involve music. At the end of the ceremony, the couple signs the wedding certificate while everyone watches. British ceremonies may incorporate musical instruments such as bagpipes and a didgeridoo.
The traditional Japanese wedding is called a shinzen shiki, a ceremony conducted by a Shinto Priest and a shrine assistant. The bride and groom may either wear a gown and tux or traditional Japanese wedding garb, which includes a kimono and hakama. These traditional weddings use flutes and drums. Summer Candles and Dolphin Ring by Anri are both popular wedding songs. Similar to American and British weddings, Japanese weddings include sappy love songs.
While the Mexican wedding ceremony may be serious and traditional, the reception is a full party, with salsa and mariachi music getting everyone on their feet. Mariachi music involves a wide variety of music, including guitars, drums, and even violins. Canon in D Major is also popular for the bride’s processional here.
It should be no surprise that bagpipes are popular in Irish weddings. Many couples are choosing to honor their country’s rich tradition, so Celtic music is very popular in Irish weddings. The Irish Wedding Song is often played at receptions and Danny Boy and Irish Eyes Are Smiling are always popular at gatherings in Ireland.
White gowns have no place at a Hindu wedding. The bride traditionally wears a beautiful red sari and covers her feet and hands in henna tattoos, known as henna staining in India. Music plays a prominent role in the Hindu wedding ceremony and many popular wedding songs (including Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai) have been used in Bollywood movies. The wedding ceremony and post-ceremony are very involved and may last a few days, including the bride leaving her groom to join her new family and the wedding party welcoming the bride to her new home.
Music provides the backdrop for all wedding ceremonies. No matter where your wedding is set, the feeling of rich tradition is still the same. From Here Comes the Bride to Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, brides all over the world are celebrating their love with music.