I expect to be married in June and want to have all the organ and vocal music arranged in advance, including the wedding march and recessional. Some of my friends have been telling me that the traditional Lohengrin march is not proper for a Christian marriage ceremony. I also have heard criticism of the well-known Mendelssohn march. Will you advise me on this?
I have long felt that the two marches you mention are unsuitable for a Christian wedding. Neither of them can be regarded as church music. Neither of them was written for the organ. For the processional into the church I should suggest one of the following: St. Antony Chorale of Haydn; Fanfare by Francis Jackson; the Purcell Trumpet Tune and Air. For the recessional any of the following will serve effectively and appropriately: Karg-Elert’s Nun Danket; Harwood’s Paeon; J. S. Bach’s In dir ist Freude. By the way, you might consider Sir William Harris’ Processional March which was played at the wedding of British Princess Margaret. My personal preference for a wedding recessional is an appropriate hymn tune. I know of nothing better for the occasion than Joachim Neander’s “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” I hope that some day I may officiate at a wedding where the bride enters while the assembled guests are singing a song of praise to God. Wouldn’t that create a sensation? But that is not why I suggest it. Certainly it fits the occasion. And it is one good way to get rid of Wagner painlessly!