Most wedding ceremonies have a wedding march in the beginning and one in the end. There are a number of very well-known international wedding marches, but you can also select a Finnish piece. Many other musical pieces may suit the occasion even if they are not known as wedding music or are not even marches. When looking for your favourite music, please remember that the wedding ceremony is a worship service, and that the music must suit the religious nature of the event.
Popular wedding marches:
- J.S. Bach: Prelude in C major
- J.S. Bach: Prelude in F major
- Jeremiah Clarke: A Trumpet Voluntary
- Edward Elgar: Land of Hope and Glory (Pomp and Circumstance)
- Toivo Kuula: Wedding March op. 3/2
- Erkki Melartin: Festive March op. 22/30 (Sleeping Beauty)
- Felix Mendelssohn: Wedding March op. 61/9 (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
- Johann Pachelbel: Canon
- Richard Wagner: Bridal Choir from the opera Lohengrin
You can listen to the wedding marches on the website haamusiikki.info.
You can also listen to the more popular wedding marches played on the organ of the Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral on YouTube. The channel Häämusiikki Soi run by the organists of the Helsinki Cathedral Parish is constantly being updated and expanded.
You can find Finnish wedding hymns and songs from the Finnish Church Hymnal: hymns 238–241 and songs 816–824. Many other hymns are suitable for the occasion, e.g. general hymns of thanksgiving and praise, and hymns about family and home, especially if you bring children into the new marriage.
I you are planning an international wedding, you may want to choose hymns that are available in Finnish and English or in the mother languages of both partners. You might also want to check with your families what hymns they know.
Here is a list of suitable songs with lyrics in Finnish and English:
135. Jumala loi auringon, kuun – God made the sun brightly to shine
240. Herra, kaiken onnen tuoja – O Lord, fount of ev’ry blessing
327. Kaikki maat, te riemuitkaatte – Praise the Lord, each tribe and nation
329. Kiitos nyt Herran! – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
332 Herraa hyvää kiittäkää – Praise the kind and gracious Lord
342. Niin ihanaa on ylistää – How wondrous fair to praise thy name
416. Nyt on aika kiitokset – There’s a spirit in the air
462. Soi kunniaksi Luojan – Oh, sing to the Creator
464. Kun oksat vihannoivat – Like boughs that bear abundance
471. Hyvä Jumala, kiitän kodista – Good and gracious Lord
517. Herra kädelläsi – In your hand, my Saviour
571. Jo joutui armas aika (Suvivirsi) – The summer in sweet splendour
600. Hyvyyden voiman ihmeelliseen suojaan – By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered
817. Luo näihin kahteen katseesi – These two have come, O gracious Lord
820. Loit, Luoja, meidät maailmaan – You made us for each other, God
821. Kiitos, hyvä Jumala – Thank you, good and righteous God
824. Oi rakkauden Luoja – O love-creating Power
830. Oi saavu, Herra, kotiimme – Lord, bless this home you gave to us
937. Nousta sai aamuun – Morning has broken
979. Tulkoon tie sinua vastaan – May the road rise to meet you
English hymns that are known widely around the world and that are popular in English (and many other) language weddings are, for example:
- All things bright and beautiful
- Amazing grace
- Dear Lord and Father of mankind
- How great thou art!
- Love divine, all loves excelling
- Lord of all hopefulness
- Praise, my soul, the King off heaven
- The King of love my Shepherd is
- The Lord’s my Shepherd
It is possible to have other music than wedding marches and hymns in the service. You may have a favourite song with strong emotional value for both of you. Or perhaps a good friend would like to present a gift in music to you during the ceremony, either vocal or instrumental. If so, let the pastor and the church organist know your wishes, so they can advise you on whether the idea is appropriate to the religious character of the occasion.
Wedding music concerts
Throughout the year many Lutheran parishes in Helsinki organise wedding music concerts, where you have an opportunity to hear many popular wedding marches and hymns in the setting of a church and mostly played on the organ.