What Is A Prelude In A Wedding?

There are a lot of different components to a wedding – the ceremony, the meal, the reception, the rehearsal, etc. However, there is one part of the wedding that is often overlooked and sometimes either completely dismissed by the marrying couple or forgotten altogether – the prelude. 

But what is the prelude and what can you do to make yours perfect?

What Is A Prelude In A Wedding

Here, we are going to be discussing the wedding prelude including what it is and what usually happens during this short period during your wedding. So, if you want to know what a prelude is and how you can plan your own, keep on reading below! 

What Is A Prelude?

The definition of a ‘prelude’ is:

“An action or event that serves as an introduction before something important.”

The term prelude is most commonly associated with plays and operas, where music is played to warm up the audience before the actual show begins. It’s like the prologue of a book but in real life – and it has the same effect at your wedding. 

In weddings, a prelude is a very short piece of music played before the wedding procession and the actual wedding ceremony begins.

The prelude is used as an introduction to the wedding ceremony and also acts as a way to set the tone for the rest of the day. It may last any period of time, depending on the length of time that you have for the wedding itself, but most preludes last around ten to thirty minutes.

Some weddings start the prelude from the moment guests arrive, or from when they start to take their seats. 

However, because most couples are so focused on the other, more important parts of their wedding day like the ceremony itself, or the reception later, it’s not uncommon for many people to forget about organizing the prelude or just not putting a lot of time and attention into it. 

But preludes are an important part of your wedding nonetheless as they help set the mood and tone ready for one of the biggest moments of your life. 

Imagine all your guests are sitting waiting for the procession to begin, and before they know it, you’ve walked the aisle and made it to the altar – it’s not very emotional or affective, is it?

However, imagine that they all hear some soft, romantic music start playing and all grow silent,expecting the procession to start at any moment. Their heads turn, their breaths are all held waiting to catch the first glimpse – isn’t that much more romantic?

Therefore, preludes should not be overlooked!

How Can You Plan Your Prelude?

Luckily, preludes are very easy to set up and plan. 

Before your wedding, you and your partner should pick out some music to play beforehand. If you have hired a live musician, discuss with them what kind of music they can play as before you walk down the aisle. On the other hand, you could have a prepared song to play on a CD and set it up ready. 

Then, on the day itself, have a signal sent to the person in charge of music that the procession will begin soon. They can then start up the music and switch to the procession music once the signal is given that everyone is ready to start walking up the aisle. 

If you have a wedding planner or coordinator with you on the day of the wedding, they will be able to send these signals. Discuss this process with your wedding planner to ensure that it is all set up and ready before the big day! 

What Music Plays During A Prelude

The great thing about weddings is that they are completely customizable and can be tailored to your own tastes. So, when it comes to prelude music, you can play absolutely anything you want to!

If you have a few pieces of music or a few songs that are special to both members of the wedding couple, then you can play these to warm up your wedding before you take to the aisle.

In general, most couples play classical pieces of music or romantic music as their prelude. Some pieces are more popular than others, so let’s take a look at a few examples to give you some inspiration. 

Moonlight Sonata By Beethoven

This is probably the best known piece of music for weddings. It has been played at countless ceremonies over the years and is perfect for setting the mood for a beautiful wedding.

This is because Moonlight Sonata is best known for its soft melody, soothing pace and ability to be easily played on any solo instrument from pianos to violins to harps. 

What A Wonderful World By Louis Armstrong

This song is beautiful and romantic even without the lyrics, so it’s the perfect gentle melody to play before your wedding procession begins.

If you have hired a singer, they could sing this classic tune with its fitting lyrics to celebrate your wedding. After all, What A Wonderful World is all about celebrating moments just like this one! 

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life By Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder wrote this song especially for his wife, but it’s also an incredibly romantic song. So, this would be a lovely way to start off your ceremony. 

The lyrics are perfectly fitting for a wedding as they celebrate a lover, and it also sets a romantic, happy mood for your wedding. It’s certain to get your guests into a positive, upbeat mood before the procession begins. 

Clair de Lune By Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy was a French composer who made many wonderful compositions during his lifetime. He is famous for his piano works which include Clair De Lune.

This composition is slow and gentle, and perfect for creating a romantic and sophisticated atmosphere. Therefore, it is a perfect prelude piece for weddings. 


So, that is everything you need to know about wedding preludes! 

They are pretty simplistic and easy to plan, but that often means that a lot of couples end up forgetting about it or skipping it altogether. 

But preludes are important for setting the atmosphere for your wedding procession and ceremony, and is one of the finer details of the wedding day that helps tie everything together perfectly. 

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