This past weekend, I had the honor of providing music for my cousin’s outdoor wedding.
I don’t know about you, but even though playing for weddings has never been part of my regular gig, it seems as if requests have definitely slowed down even more in the past ten years.
It likely has a lot to do with people having easier access to music tracks as well as the changing culture in church music and, thus, the declining demand for church pianists and organists. Of course, I’m COMPLETELY speculating here, but that’s my rough take on it.
Even though they happen infrequently and every wedding’s musical requests are different, there are a couple of books and several pieces of repertoire that I have found to be my trusty go-to’s.
In the course of my preparations for this past weekend, I came across a couple of other items that were great additions to my list. I now have enough now – I thought it was time to share!
First up: Pianorama! Wedding by Carol Tournquist
This is one of those books I’ve had for so long I can’t even remember buying it! Unfortunately, it’s not available on SheetMusicPlus.com, but it does still appear on a couple of other sheet music sites.
It’s part of an “Unfold & Play” series, which means the pages are printed and folded so that you can actually open them out across your music rack. Luckily, with the invention of the iPad and apps like forScore, that is no longer an issue – you can scan the music. It’s still a pretty ingenious way of printing!
While there are lots of great arrangements in there, there is only one that is part of my go-to list. I love it so much, I would buy the whole book to have this arrangement! It’s a combination of the songs “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman” and “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
I used that particular piece for when the pastor, groom, grandparents, and parents entered. Everyone loved it!
Favorite Wedding Songs by Phillip Keveren
Anyone who’s a Phillip Keveren fan won’t be surprised by this one!
More than half of these 15 solos make it onto my regular list. I find a lot of these tunes are perfect for the 20-30 minutes of music preceding the wedding.
There’s a lot of great variety with anything from soft rock like More than Words and Don’t Know Much to Broadway’s Seasons of Love and Sunrise, Sunset to worship music’s Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing). This book is DEFINITELY worth every penny to have in your library.
Just a heads up that I am an affiliate with Sheet Music Plus which just means I get a very small percentage back if you purchase using any of the links here today without it costing you extra. Thanks for the support!
As I said in the introduction, there are a couple of others I recently came across that I’m excited to share with you today as well.
Piano Calm by Phillip Keveren
Yes, of course, another Phillip Keveren book!
This is a book I thought sounded fun and dropped into my shopping cart a year or so ago. When it arrived, I played through it and realized the pieces were great for background music, so I stashed it with my wedding music file.
I played a half dozen or so of these following the ceremony while the bride and groom were dismissing their guests.
One piece from this book made it into the ceremony – Johann’s Music Box. It was a lovely 3-page arrangement on the progression from Canon in D. As is often done, I used it for the bridal party procession.
Last but not least is an arrangement of the traditional bridal march.
My cousin told me to play whatever I wanted for the wedding – she just “figured” she would walk down the aisle to the traditional wedding song. (That was a pretty easy gig, I will say!)
You know how, most of the time, the walk down the aisle – whether for the parents, bridal party, or bride – is WAY shorter than our arrangements? I was ruminating over this dilemma for a bit until I found my concerns (thankfully) squelched.
First up – as I already stated – I found the short canon arrangement. Then, I came across an arrangement of the bridal chorus that was loaded into my forScore app that I didn’t even remember I HAD!
It’s a fun, unique, and SHORT arrangement of the wedding song from Leila Viss. She actually has two different arrangements available in the download. I went for the first.
Score! Thanks, Leila!
Do you have any favorite books or go-to arrangements you like to keep up your sleeve for wedding gigs? Share in the comments!