Civil wedding ceremony

last update 07.03.02

Within the civil wedding ceremony there are several points which are potentially dull or confusing for the guests; notably while they are assembled and awaiting the arrival of the bride and later while the registrar is performing a routine administrative task. Live music deals with these admirably.
The Hearnshaw / Barrett Duo has a flexible program of music suitable for the civil wedding ceremony. It can of course be adapted for a church service. I have set out below, as a starting point, some of our tried and tested ideas. The form and content of the service may of course be varied according the wishes of the couple. A rough outline might be as follows:

The ceremony
The guests will assemble in the room where the service is to take place. Whilst the guests await the bride some light swing tunes such as `Ain't Misbehavin' (Fats Waller) and `Don't Get Around Much Anymore' (Duke Ellington) - the titles of the tunes bringing slight humour to the occasion if any of the guests recognise them.

For the entrance of the bride we suggest the Pavane by Gabriel Fauré. This tune is ceremonially appropriate without being pompous. Due to the contrast between this and our previous pieces, as soon as we start to play the Pavane it becomes obvious that the bride is about to enter.

The signing of the register. The attention of the audience is extremely focussed making this is a good point to introduce a tune that has special romantic or sentimental significance for the couple. As a default we suggest `Here There and Everywhere' by the Beatles, which brings a slight lift to the atmosphere without losing the sense of occasion.

A friend of the bride reads or recites an appropriate poem or piece of prose.

Guests will have been asked by the registrar not to take photographs until the end. The solemn part is over and we propose a lively jazzy tune such as Gershwin's They can't take that away from me

For the exit of the newly married couple followed by the guests we suggest one of our own tunes called Nelson

That brings us to the end of the actual wedding ceremony. Should they be required to play the reception too, the Hearnshaw / Barrett Duo is then able to scurry to the reception area - where they have already set up the rest of their equipment - and begin playing with a minimum of disruption to the proceedings.

links in english
Projet Brassens' homepage...o0o...Georges Brassens...o0o...Projet Brassens Quartet
Shelly Studios CDs...o0o...Lyrics and translations...o0o...Scores
Charlie Hearnshaw's giglist...o0o...Book a band...o0o...Photo gallery
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liens en français
Projet Brassens' page d'accueil...o0o...George Brassens...o0o...Projet Brassens Quartette
Projet Brassens' CD de début...o0o...Textes et traductions...o0o...Partitions
Shelly Studios CDs...o0o...Activités éducatives...o0o...Photo galerie
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