Classical music is probably what you imagine when you think about a violinist or a string quartet playing at a wedding. And there are some popular classical numbers in standard wedding repertoire that you’ll recognise at once, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a big classical music enthusiast.
Classical music can be used to perfectly set the scene for more formal venues like churches or sophisticated country houses, or it can provide that ‘English country garden’ atmosphere for a classy outdoor drinks reception.
I’m aware that not everyone has an in-depth knowledge of the wide world of classical music, so I think of my repertoire in terms of broad categories to help create a varied playlist. There are the big wedding hits like Pachelbel’s Canon in D, the Flower Duet by Delibes (Gavin and Stacey fans might have spotted this at Dawn and Pete’s wedding!), and the fast and furious Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba by Bach. There are relaxing classics like Satie’s Gymnopedies, Debussy’s Clare de Lune, and Einaudi’s Le Onde. There are the ones that everyone recognises even if they don’t know where from, like Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre (the Jonathan Creek theme tune) or Elgar’s Nimrod (from ‘that hovis advert’). And then there are the innocuous classical minuets, trios, adagios, mazurkas, etc etc that might not stand out from the crowd but lilt along beautifully, providing that gentle background murmur that says sophistication without being too in-your-face.
And of course, if you want classy classical AND a bit of Taylor Swift, I’m always happy to genre hop!