The 5 Best Choir Pieces for a Wedding
These amazing works will bring the warmth of love and a celebration of commitment to any wedding.
Fitting your choral music selection to an event is one of the key skills for any conductor. It's your chance to act as the DJ, but instead of turntables you have a group of trained singers. And as any DJ will tell you — picking the perfect song for the moment is a lot harder than it looks!
This is especially true for weddings, where the pressure is on to make everything absolutely perfect.
But weddings are also a great opportunity for choir singing. The human voice produces so much tenderness in the listener, and some of the most romantic songs ever written were made for choirs. On top of all that, a truly great choir can elevate any event instantly.
With the following guide, you’ll never need to be in the dark about what choir music selection to make. These are the top five choir pieces for a wedding!
This Marriage by Eric Whitacre
This piece seems rather obvious, just look at the name, but the beauty and shifting subtleties of the vocal lines recommends it for any wedding. It is also not too ostentatious, meaning that it can be perfect for smaller and less traditional events — something that is more and more popular every year.
The lyrics come from the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, whose work is beloved around the world. The words add a straightforwardness to the work, but the soft and simple language builds on itself. Rather than trying to be clever, they reinforce the awe we all feel when two people decide to join together in matrimony.
Der Herr denket an uns by Johann Sebastian Bach
While this isn’t strictly for choir, it can easily be converted into an a cappella masterpiece. The music is tremendous, showing us the flair and sophistication that Bach would come to be known for later in his career.
The lyrics draw from Psalm 115, which isn’t so very much on target for a wedding (unless they are really focused on having children right out of the gate), but it does have the romantic feeling that is so important for the ceremony.
Contemporary Pop Songs
There are plenty of contemporary pop favorites that fall under the category of a perfect wedding song, especially when covered by a choir. The chorus of voices lends a timeless quality to these tracks that we all know and love. You’ll also find many people light up when they realize that the choir is singing something they actually know!
This approach is very successful because it allows the happy couple to insert songs that have meant a lot to their relationship. That level of personalization can not be overstated — it makes a major impact on the experience of the people getting married.
Irish Blessing by Bob Chilcott
Bob Chilcott put a classic Irish blessing to choir music that pulls at the heartstrings. The song works so well as a send off to the couple who will leave the wedding ceremony that day and set off on a new adventure. On a thematic level, it works perfectly, and the sound will bring a tear to the eye.
While it isn’t all about love in the traditional sense, the feeling that Chilcott makes it more than appropriate for a wedding. And being a secular blessing, it works in a wide variety of weddings, no matter the religion of the people getting married or their families.
Set Me as a Seal Upon Thine Heart by William Walton
For an anthem, this song has it all. The piece works up to the heights of drama, bringing an incredible “wow” factor to the performance. It does this by moving through stunning starts and stops, interlaced by slow parts that feel powerful and self assured.
While it is bombastic at times, this piece maintains an air of solemnity through it all, never breaking the sacred feeling most people want in their wedding ceremony. The song’s ability to do everything it does while still keeping it appropriate for the event recommends it as one of the best choral pieces for a wedding.
Singing For Love
Choral music is one of the favorite genres for weddings, but that doesn’t mean it's always easy to pick the best songs for the big day. It can be especially intimidating for people who don’t know a lot about choir singing. And yet, even those who know a lot about the genre can have a hard time.
Hopefully, this list gives you some good ideas and a place to start.
If you are interested in learning more, check out our Newsroom. We have constant updates on the world of choral music as well as helpful guides like this one!