Music for Your Christian Marriage Ceremony

It is our practice at Ridgewood United Methodist Church that our Director of Music plays for all weddings. You may invite another organist to play at your wedding, but substitue organists must first be approved. The flat fee does not change if you include a guest musician, organist and/or pianist, and a separate honorarium to the guest musician is the responsibility of the wedding couple. Please contact us two months before your wedding date to schedule a consultation regarding all your wedding music. Consultations usually take between 30 and 45 minutes.

If you are making use of a vocal soloist or instrumentalist it is up to that person to contact our Music Director directly to arrange rehearsal times. Please note that the organist’s fee covers a brief rehearsal the day of the wedding. For special or additional music needing extra rehearsals, there will be an additional fee charged. This can be discussed at the time you meet to choose your music.

Since the Christian wedding is a service of worship, vocal music selections must be appropriate for use at any church service (i.e. sacred in nature). Save secular selections for use at the reception. It is the responsibility of our Music Director to make final decision regarding vocal music.

Bear in mind that music does not become “sacred” through long usage, nor by casual association with scriptural texts. The popular “Here Comes the Bride Chorus” from Wagner’s Lohengrin is an operatic piece from German mythology, which tells of a marriage which ends in divorce immediately following the song. It is therefore poorly suited for a Christian wedding, as is Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is incidental ballet music during which the groom appears with the head of a donkey. The use of these two marches, therefore, are not good choices for a Christian marriage.

15-20 minutes of pre-service music is played before the ceremony as the guests are seated. You may suggest some music if you would like. but it is not necessary. We will choose music from the standard organ literature appropriate for the liturgical year. For most ceremonies, a postlude will be played at the end of the ceremony after the recessional (after the attendants and family have left). Again, it is not necessary that you select this.

Click here for a list of suggested hymns and processional and/or recessional music