Wedding Ceremony Music Ideas from Mike Paul-Smith Music

Wedding ceremony music from Mike Paul-Smith Music

Having live musicians perform at your wedding ceremony really adds something special to the occasion. It can create a wonderful atmosphere for you and your guests and make this all-important moment truly memorable.

You won’t have to worry about a PA system or CD player malfunctioning, or an usher forgetting to fade the music in and out, and you can make your ceremony truly meaningful and unique by having your favourite song (or songs) performed in a style and tempo that creates the perfect ambience for your special moment. 

Ceremony Package

Our ceremony musicians provide music for the whole ceremony:

• 15 minutes before the ceremony, while guests arrive and are seated
• the entrance (‘procession’) of the wedding party
• the signing of the register
• the exit (‘recession’) of the wedding party
• any group songs and hymns

Whether you are looking to have the same genre of music throughout the ceremony, or are looking to mix it up with both classical and contemporary pieces for different moments, our versatile musicians have such an extensive and varied repertoire that you can create the perfect soundtrack for your ceremony.

Wedding ceremony music from Mike Paul-Smith Music

Whole-day wedding music packages

Our musicians can also stay after your ceremony, providing entertainment for the drinks reception at a fraction of the cost of booking two separate entertainers. Or why not create a whole day music package, where we expand our line-up of talented and versatile musicians throughout the day to provide music for your ceremony, drinks reception, dinner, first dance and party. 

Each line-up can play a different genre of music and is styled accordingly. For example:

• Ceremony – Classical piano
• Drinks Reception – The Soul Essentials (piano and vocals)
• Ambient Dinner Music – The Jazz Hours (piano, vocals, bass, saxophone)
• Party – The Get Downs (piano, 2 x vocals, bass, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, drums)


Ceremony Music Ideas

Below we’ve listed some of our most popular ceremony music options, but we understand that every wedding is unique – so do get in touch with Mike today to discuss your ideas.  We are always happy to tailor our line-ups to suit your music choices and the ambience you are looking to create.

Ceremony pianist

Our wedding ceremony pianist Mike has performed at well over 500 weddings and can perform a wide range of music to suit you’re the style of your ceremony. 

He performs a huge repertoire of classical music and can recommend familiar but not overplayed pieces by composers such as Debussy, Chopin and Elgar. 

Mike also has an extensive jazz repertoire and can perform your favourite contemporary ballads and pop songs too, or even songs from films and musicals if that’s more your thing.

Finally, Mike is also a trained church organist and has performed at hundreds of religious ceremonies in churches and chapels across the UK.

Repertoire – Classical, jazz, films, musicals, contemporary and pop music.

Acoustic – Electricity is required unless you have a piano at the venue or will be hiring one.

Strings and Instrumental Ensembles

Whether you want a solo harpist, a string quartet, or a pianist and cellist, our instrumentalists make a beautiful and stylish addition to any wedding nuptials.

Whether they are performing familiar and traditional classical wedding pieces or contemporary music, this popular option always adds a touch of class to your ceremony.

Other popular instrumental combinations include a trumpeter and pianist, solo guitarist, or even a 12-piece string orchestra. 

The possibilities are endless and guided by your music choices, so get in touch today and we’ll talk you through the options.

Repertoire – Classical, jazz, contemporary and Israeli music.

Acoustic – Most line-ups are acoustic, but power will be required for line-ups including a keyboard if there is no piano at the venue

Vocalist & Accompanist

Having a vocalist is a great option if you’re choosing more contemporary music for your wedding ceremony, where the lyrics of a song are particularly meaningful for you and your partner. Accompanied by our pianist or guitarist, our talented male and female vocalists can perform a wide repertoire of music, including charming jazz standards, contemporary romantic ballads, chilled-out soulful classics, and reimagined pop favourites. Our male vocalist can also perform traditional Israeli songs for Jewish ceremonies accompanied by our pianist.  

There is of course the option to expand our vocal-led line-ups by adding extra musicians.  For example, our saxophonist is a popular addition to our female vocal-led line-up The Soul Essentials and our clarinettist and violinist are a great addition to our Israeli music line-up.

Repertoire – Contemporary, soul, swing, pop, jazz, musicals, Israeli music.

Acoustic – Guitar and vocals line-ups can be acoustic, but power will be required for line-ups including a keyboard if there is no piano at the venue.


For large-scale ceremonies and those looking to make a real impact, a larger band can really add to the spectacle of the ceremony.  Here are some options:

• Our 4-piece Soul Essentials line-up (vocals, piano, saxophone, bass) create a beautiful laid back and romantic vibe with their repertoire of soulful classics.

• Our 5-piece Lady Gatsby Jazz Band (vocals, piano, bass, trumpet, saxophone/clarinet) have performed at a number of wedding ceremonies and is a popular choice amongst couples wanting to create a vintage or opulent vibe. 

• Our 5-piece Vintage Strollers line-up (vocals, saxophone, acoustic guitar, bass, trumpet) can perform completely acoustically and play everything from swing classics to soul grooves and contemporary chart hits. A great choice for those who want to create a quirky, upbeat, and feel-good ceremony atmosphere.

• Our 5-piece The Jazz Hours line-up (vocals, piano, saxophone, bass, drums) provide a sophisticated jazz club feel to your wedding with their extensive repertoire of romantic jazz standards.

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Repertoire – Soul, contemporary, pop, jazz, swing

Acoustic – No

More Guidance

We find the best approach to planning your ceremony music is to think about the type of atmosphere you want to create. We can then guide you through the various music genres and line-up options to help you create the perfect ambience on the day. 

It may be that you already have a music style or song in mind. Once again, we can advise you on the best combination of musicians to recreate this music faithfully or to reimagine it and reorchestrate it to suit your vision. 

In 2018, we combined our wedding pianist, male vocalist and string quartet to make a completely bespoke line-up for Ailsa & Will, who wanted to hear Higher and Higher and Stand By Me at their ceremony. We even custom-orchestrated two songs for an opera singer to sing with the band. So if you are looking to have something completely unique, get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Something you will need to consider is where to place your musicians. We recommend placing musicians at the front but to one side. This allows guests to enjoy the visual aspect of our performance whilst not being too distracting during the nuptials. Furthermore it allows the musicians to see what’s going on to time things perfectly. You can of course have the musicians positioned elsewhere – we can make most set-ups work. The one thing to bear in mind is that some line-ups will need a power source and PA equipment.  We always ensure electrical cables and equipment are positioned as discretely as possible. 

I hope this article has given you some ideas about live music options for your wedding ceremony, but remember, there are no rules, so if you don’t quite see what you are looking for in this article, do get in touch as we love to hear your creative ideas and help make them a reality.  You can book a consultation with Mike, drop him an email, send a message in our live chat box or simply pick up the phone to speak to him about how we can help and answer any questions you have.

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