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Latest Trend in Ceremony Music is ‘Bittersweet’

Who wrote the rule that Pachelbel’s Canon in D was the de-facto standard for the bridal processional?


A review of recent Scratch Weddings’ playlists reveals that Bittersweet Symphony is gaining steam. Both the blockbuster version by The Verve and the instrumental Vitamin String Quartet remake are getting heavy use at ceremonies this spring.

Couples are also tapping Scratch Weddings to spin U2′s All I Want Is You and even Queen’s Somebody to Love for wedding crowds that might not relish classical music – even during the ceremony — on their special day.

Our Operations Manager, Dana Wise, tracks the musical likes and dislikes of hundreds of brides across the United States. Among the trends Dana has identified:

  • Bookings of marquee DJs for the ceremony and cocktail hour are more frequent than in the past. This is the part of the wedding where even music that’s not danceable can make an important contribution.
  • Couples who do hire string quartets are insisting the musicians perform anything but traditional songs during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Recent requests include selections from David Bowie, Lady Gaga and a ton of Cold Play.
  • Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes, played during the ceremony, highlights that couples no longer shun music containing lyrics for their processional.

Traditional slow dances in 2011 are not as slow as they were when mom and dad got married. First-dance tracks gaining traction include the soulful Ray LaMontagne’s You’re the Best Thing and Joshua Raden’s Today.

We’re not ready to throw a funeral for Canon and Vivaldi, but it’s likely they won’t start gaining in popularity until they get covered by Cold Play. Maybe Black Eyed Peas should take a a look at a remake of The Carpenters’ Close to You.