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Learn to play the most popular violin wedding songs!

Walking down the aisle to instrumental music can be so romantic! The violin is a beautiful instrument that sings out and provides an elegant musical experience. Whether you are looking to get some ideas for violin wedding songs or perform them yourself (even as a beginner!) at a wedding, I will provide a curated list of pieces that will create timeless memories.

In a wedding, there are typically four main sections: the processional, the ceremony itself, the recessional, and the reception.

The processional is where the wedding party walks down the aisle. There might be different songs for different people, such as the bridesmaids or the mother-of-the-bride, and a very specific song for the bride to walk to.

Songs are typically relaxed, uplifting, and soothing to indicate the beginning of the event. Then during the actual ceremony, some couples prefer to have background music. These are often sweet and soft, so as not to be distracting.

Finally, the recessional is when the couples exit the altar area followed by their bridal party and guests. This is a great time to perform an upbeat song to celebrate their union and get them ready for the reception. The wedding reception is where the party starts, so play a high-energy, upbeat song!

The most popular styles at weddings are classical, jazz/standards, pop, and rock. Often, the bridal party can look through playlists or request styles or their favorite songs. If you are looking for songs, arrangements, and tips to perform them at a wedding, then this will be the perfect list for you!

violin wedding songs - wedding

The Most Popular Classical Violin Wedding Songs

When you think of traditional classical music wedding songs, you might instantly think of Canon in D, but there are actually many classical wedding songs that fit the occasion. While it is important to find music that suits the couple on their big day, these are some top wedding songs. Most of these typically get played in the wedding ceremony and less frequently in the reception or after-party. Additionally, I have provided some practical tips that will hopefully help you get ready to perform them!

Canon in D – Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D is arguably the most heard wedding song. This simple but romantic melody sets the perfect tone for the wedding processional because guests will recognize it immediately. Though written originally for 3 violins and basso continuo, the melody is in the violin so playing it solo will be perfectly acceptable. Use a lot of vibrato, articulation between notes, and bring out the phrasing to make it extra romantic.

Click here and read my full post about Canon in D by Pachelbell.

violin wedding songs - Pachelbels Canon in D Violin Sheet Music

Pachelbel’s Canon in D

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Wedding March (easy version) – Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Mendelssohn’s Wedding March is another classic song that everyone associates with the bride’s walk down the aisle in the recessional. It was actually written as incidental music to Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” but is now played regularly at ceremonies. In this arrangement, make sure to practice your arpeggios to keep them in tune, as you ascend on a G Major arpeggio many times. The rhythm is not tricky and the tune being so recognizable will likely help you prepare to play it.

violin wedding songs - Wedding March - Mendelssohn - Violin Sheet Music

Wedding March by Mendelssohn

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Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Johann Sebastian Bach

J. S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring is another masterpiece that allows the violin melody to flow so romantically. Composed between 1716 and 1723, Bach knew what he was doing in writing an ethereal melody. Try this piece out as a processional song. The violin part will be easier for beginners, as it is in 6/8 time with constant eighth notes. The notes mostly move in a stepwise motion, so there are not many big jumps you need to anticipate.

violin wedding songs - Bach - Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach

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Ave Maria – Franz Schubert

Ave Maria’s elegant simplicity is appreciated by many wedding planners, brides included. Many times this is performed in the wedding ceremony as appropriately soft background music. This popular tune is written by Franz Schubert and has been performed in a hymn-like way for decades now. Whether sung or played on the violin, it is gorgeous. On the violin, this can be a little tricky because of the complex rhythms. It is in a slow tempo so make sure to just count and subdivide well. Also, watch out for the accidentals!

violin wedding songs - Schubert - Ave Maria - violin sheet music tutorial

Ave Maria by Franz Schubert

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Meditation from Thais – Jules Massenet

This gorgeous piece of classical music is a staple and can double as a wedding song. Massenet’s slow, sweet piece is written for solo violin and orchestra. Originally, the harp opens the piece before the violin’s entrance, which sets the mood of passion and romance. Think about a symphony laying a bed of harmonies for you before playing this piece and bring out the yearning melody with lots of vibrato.

violin wedding songs - Meditation from Thais - Jules Massenet - violin sheet music

Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet

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Salut d’Amour – Edward Elgar

Written in 1888, Edward Elgar wrote this gorgeous piece as a love note for his future wife. It has charm, romance, and will be sure to make your guests swoon with the simple melody. Try to exaggerate the intervals as you change strings from the A to the E string. Vibrate as much as you can to really make it romantic. This classical piece can be great in the wedding ceremony as a pre-processional or recessional piece.

violin wedding songs - Salut d'Amour - Edward Elgar - violin sheet music

Salut d’Amour by Edward Elgar

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Bach – Air on the G string

Bach has written many hymnals and simple melodies that are perfect for weddings and this is definitely another. It is informally called Air on the G string because a violinist in 1871 transposed the movement to be played entirely on the G string. The melody is extremely easy, slow, and graceful and will allow the violin’s natural overtones to tug at everyone’s heartstrings.

violin wedding songs - Bach - Air on the G string - violin sheet music

Air on the G string by Bach

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Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

This popular song can be perfect for a wedding day because it is cheerful and upbeat. Many guests will recognize it as a piece of classical music right away. On the technical side, it is not too difficult. It starts on an up bow and uses mostly the détaché bow stroke.

violin wedding songs - Spring from Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Violin Sheet Music

Spring, mvmt. 1: Allegro by A. Vivaldi

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Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

The largo from Vivaldi’s Winter movement is extremely slow, which allows each note to really ring out. The melody is mostly scalar so practicing your scales will really come in handy here. This easy version will tell you which strings to use, which will help you plan your string crossings.

violin wedding songs - Winter Largo from Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Violin Sheet Music

Winter, mvmt. 2: Largo by A. Vivaldi

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Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is a well-known, Irish song that can be requested at some weddings, especially if there are religious ties. This song begins on an upbeat with an up bow and uses many of the same notes. When playing remember to keep down fingers on a string as you’ll come right back to them.

violin wedding songs - Amazing Grace - violin sheet music

Amazing Grace

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violin wedding songs - note stand

Other popular classical songs for weddings

  • “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy
  • Air from “Water Music Suite” by Georg Friedrich Handel
  • “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • “The Swan” from “Carnival of the Animals” by Camile Saint-Saens
  • “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” by Georg Friedrich Handel
  • “Pavane” by Gabriel Faure
  • “Panis Angelicus” by César Franck
  • “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell
  • “Bridal Chorus” by Richard Wagner
  • “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clarke
violin wedding songs - first dance

The Best Pop Wedding Songs for Violin

Weddings often include many pop songs that sound beautiful instrumentally! The melodies on the violin evoke a deep sense of love that won’t make you miss the lyrics. Popular string ensembles such as the Vitamin String Quartet, the Brooklyn Duo, and the Piano Guys have arranged many of these gorgeous wedding songs that have now become staples in the wedding repertoire. There are many recorded songs you can listen to on YouTube but the great part is that they sound amazing alone on the violin as well!

These are some songs that are both popular for weddings and what is played often on the violin as pop songs. For these, reading the rhythms is important but phrasing should be the top priority as you are trying to copy the voice.

Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen’s classic, Hallelujah is a great example of a song that has been re-purposed. Though the lyrics are somewhat mysterious and have biblical undertones, many people consider it a beautiful secular hymn. This song would be perfect to play while walking down the aisle. It is soothing and timeless, and learning it on the violin is extremely easy with the basic rhythms.

violin wedding songs - Hallelujah

Hallelujah – Lenard Cohen

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A Thousand Years

Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years is a classic ballad for a wedding day. A violin rendition will sing through the violin with the uses of long legato bows, slurred bows, and the A and E strings. A free arrangement is not available due to copyright but you can learn through my video tutorial. Try to connect the notes with every bow stroke. Playing this for a first dance would be beautiful to capture the love between the bride and the groom!

violin wedding songs - Thousand Years - Christina Perri - Violin Sheet Music

Thousand Years – Christina Perri

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You Raise Me Up

This easy version of You Raise Me Up is a great song to have in the background of the wedding ceremony. Played softly, it can be extremely special and create a memorable moment that will make you and your guests tear up. Because this is in E flat major, use a tuner to make sure your notes are in tune. Remember that you will need a low 1st, low 2nd, and low 4th fingers. Try to put a lot of emotion in the song by using long, legato bow strokes with vibrato.

violin wedding songs - Raise Me Up - Rolf Løvland - Violin Sheet Music

Raise Me Up – Rolf Løvland

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Thinking Out Loud

A cover of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud would be another option for a perfect first dance song. Obviously, the song chosen should be personal and sentimental to the couple, so this meaningful song is a great option to consider. Though there are a lot of rests in this violin version, you don’t need to count them perfectly; just let the music flow with natural phrasing like you would if you were to sing this song.

violin wedding songs - Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud - Violin Sheet Music

Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

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Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission

From the motion picture The Mission, Gabriel’s Oboe is a short and sweet melody that spans an octave and is easy to learn. The song is slow and lyrical so enjoy the arrangement for solo violin. Use full bows even on the sixteenth and eighth notes. And on long bows of more than a half note, try to sustain the tone with a slower bow and lots of vibrato.

violin wedding songs - Gabriel's Oboe from - Ennio Morricone - Violin Sheet Music

Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission
by Ennio Morricone

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What a Wonderful World

Nothing says ballad like What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Performing a cover of this would not only be easy to play with the basic rhythms and the in-position hand frame required, but this pop song would be the perfect instrumental song for wedding music. This song is a beautiful reminder of all that is good in the world and celebrating a new marriage definitely fits within that.

violin wedding songs - What a Wonderful World - Violin Sheet Music

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

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All of Me

John Legend wrote this gorgeous song for his wife, so it’s no secret that the lyrics and the harmonies are extra romantic. This song would be perfect for a recessional, a first dance, or even in the post-ceremony reception. It is lyrical and expressive and a beginner could definitely play this! All the notes are within an octave and there are no surprises for difficult fingering patterns, bowings, or rhythms.

violin wedding songs - All of Me - John Legend - Violin Sheet Music

All of Me by John Legend

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La Vie en Rose

La Vie en Rose is the signature song of French singer Edith Piaf. Repopularized by many contemporary pop singers like Lady Gaga in the last few years, this classic tune is a traditional romantic song. Playing it on the violin is doable for beginners, but you will want to make sure you have a low enough second finger and that you maneuver the string crossings well. Practice the string crossings by rolling to each string and ensuring that your elbow is at the correct height for the respective string you are on.

violin wedding songs - La Vie en Rose - Edidh Piaf - Violin Sheet Music

La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf

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Other popular wedding songs

  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as performed by Elvis Presley (and other arrangements)
  • “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  • “All I want is You” by U2
  • “At Last” by Etta James
  • “The First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes
  • “Your Song” by Elton John
  • “In My Life” by the Beatles
  • “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
  • “Lover” by Taylor Swift
  • “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  • “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges
  • “Kiss the Girl” from the Little Mermaid
  • “Wedding Song” by Kenny G
  • “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey

Final Note

Weddings are a beautiful celebration of love and they are the perfect opportunity to include a stringed instrument like the violin to elevate the event. When you think about wedding music, the Wedding March may be the first thing that comes to mind, but there are actually many options for classical songs and versions of popular tunes as well. The violin can be an incredibly romantic instrument for its lyrical abilities and genre-bending options.

Some brides opt to have a string quartet at their wedding, but they can be pricey so maybe think about just having a solo violinist! Solo violin really lets the melody shine through- if you’re the one performing, make sure to be heard by playing more loudly than you might normally. If you are able to get amplified through a microphone, that is even better. Do not worry about dynamics, especially anything under mezzopiano. Just play out!

Next time you search for wedding music to play in a wedding, look no further and use the tips from my tutorials, I hope they’ll help you learn those pieces!

What is your favorite violin wedding song? Please comment below, I’d love to know!

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