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Jewish Wedding Music

Choosing music for your Jewish wedding ceremony should be a pleasurable experience. In this section, we'll break down the standard facets of a Jewish wedding ceremony and discuss some standard choices from our Jewish and Klezmer repertoire. Even for mixed (ie Christian/Jewish) weddings, it's a nice touch to add a few pieces to the ceremony.

Please note that these are suggestions to get you started. Make sure you consult your Rabbi to determine which piece(s) would be appropriate for specific parts of the ceremony.

Music Selections

Sample Recordings: Those marked as MP3 were recorded in a studio or at a wedding/event. Recordings marked as MIDI have not been recorded live yet but were generated on the computer from the sheet music - they are an approximation of how the music will sound.

Name Translation and/or Notes For... Brass Strings
Erev Ba Evening Comes Prelude    
Hana'ava Babanot The Fairest of Maidens Prelude   MP3
Nigun "Humming Tune" Prelude    
Ozi V'zimrat Yah The Lord is My Strength and Song Prelude MIDI  
Tum Balalaika Sound Balalaika Prelude    
Yerushalayim Shel Zahav Jerusalem of Gold Prelude MIDI  
Dodi Li My Beloved is Mine, and I am His Processional   MP3
Erev Shel Shoshanim Evening of Roses Processional   MP3
Y'did Nefesh Beloved of my Soul Processional   MP3
El Kabir Mighty G-d Interlude    
S'u Sh'orim Look up to the Gates Interlude    
V'ha'er E'ne'nu Enlighten Our Eyes to Your Torah Interlude    
Ki Va Moed The Apponted Time has Come Recessional MIDI  
Mazel Tov Good luck to the Bride and Groom Recessional    
Od Y'shama The Voice of Gladness Shall be Heard Again Recessional   MP3
Rabbi Elimelech Medley Klezmer Standard Recessional    
Siman Tov Congratulations - Good Luck! Recessional   MP3
Der Heyser Bulgar The Hot Bulgar (Klezmer) Reception MIDI  
Hava Nagila Let's Rejoice Reception    
Sunrise, Sunset Classic from "Fiddler on the Roof" Reception    
Waves of the Danube "The Anniversary Waltz" Reception    

Parts of a Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Preludes

Preludes are the quiet, mood-setting music leading up to the ceremony. Usually 15-20 minutes long, the preludes set the tone for the service. If you're having an informal or non-traditional service, you can opt for some lively pieces. Some temples have specific pieces they will allow and not allow, so make sure you check with them before making final selections. Another idea is to have music at the ketubah signing before the service!

Processional

The processionals accompany the wedding party (rabbi, family elders, groom and his parents, bridal attendants) and bride (and her parents) as they walk down the aisle. On occasion, the Rabbi or cantor will vocalize through their own entrance, and then the music will begin for the rest of the entrances. Once you pick the bridal entrance piece, make sure you go over the specific part of the piece you'd like to walk down the aisle to, as bridal processionals generally only last 30-60 seconds depending on the aisle and how fast the bride walks.

Interlude, Service Music

Interludes are important in both traditional and non-traditional services. Make sure you check with your rabbi when picking service music, as many temples have certain pieces they will allow and not allow. Often, the rabbi or cantor will vocalize most or all of the service music.

Recessional

The recessional is the time to shine for the bride and groom. This is generally the liveliest piece of the wedding. Lots of movement and notes, with a fast, festive tempo. The music should mirror the festive mood that concludes the ceremony.

If there are topics you'd like to know more about, or other topics you'd like to see here, please contact us.