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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Cooper

4 Classic Wedding String Quartet Songs for Your Ceremony

When you think of wedding music, what group of musicians comes to mind? If you are like most people, you probably thought about a string quartet pretty quickly. Traditionally made up of two violins, a viola, and a cello, the string quartet is a versatile ensemble for almost any type of wedding music, but it is especially perfect for classical weddings. I don’t have any firm data to support this beyond my experience as a wedding musician, but the string quartet is likely the most commonly booked ensemble for live wedding music, and if you are looking for a traditional, classical string quartet to perform for your wedding, here are four pieces you should consider:

No. 1 - Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel

Pachelbel’s Canon may be the most often played wedding piece. It is catchy, repetitive, and familiar. Many popular songs have used the same chord progression and some have even directly borrowed its bass line and melody. If you have read my article, Top 20 Traditional Wedding Songs, you will notice that this piece holds the number one spot on that list for traditional wedding music in general, not just for string quartet wedding music. The timelessness of this piece will surely impress your guests when performed by an outstanding, professional string quartet.

No. 2 - Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Johann Sebastian Bach

Another Johann? Yes. In fact, this short list is made up entirely of Johanns. Well, just two of them. The second Johann is certainly the most (posthumously) famous one in the history of music. J.S. Bach is widely known as the father of western classical music and his Baroque Era masterpieces are still widely performed in a variety of settings, including weddings. You could easily craft a gorgeous traditional wedding set list using only the music of J.S Bach. Perhaps the most familiar tune of Bach’s performed at classical weddings is Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Bach’s music is very versatile, and works amazingly well for not only a wedding string quartet but also for brass and organ.

No. 3 - Sheep May Safely Graze by Johann Sebastian Bach

This is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to wedding music selections. One of the first weddings for which I ever performed was my oldest sister’s church wedding. The setting for the ceremony was a beautiful old chapel with a pipe organ. I was so excited to perform on my trumpet alongside the organ, and I will never forget the beauty of the flower girls processing down the aisle of the church to Sheep May Safely Graze. I have mentioned it already, but the versatility of Bach’s music is amazing. This piece sounds great on an organ, performed by a brass quintet, and of course, played by a professional wedding string quartet.

No. 4 - Air on the G String by Johann Sebastian Bach

Yes... Three pieces by Bach on a list of 4 songs. His music is that good. The first time I ever played this piece as a trumpet solo, I performed it for a traditional church service as a high school student. When I finished playing, I put my trumpet down and went back to sit in one of the pews with the rest of the congregation. As soon as I sat down, the pastor began speaking to me in front of the entire congregation, questioning me about the title of the piece in the church bulletin. Let’s just say he made a surprisingly off-color joke for a church service and high school me was pretty confused and embarrassed. Perhaps I should only call this one by some of its other well known titles to avoid that scenario I ran into with that pastor... It is also known as simply “Air”, “Air“ from Suite in D, or “Air” from Orchestral Suite No. 3. Tangential story aside, this is an absolutely beautiful piece and works perfectly played by a professional string quartet for wedding ceremony music at any moment of the ceremony.


No matter what songs or musical selections you prefer to be performed at your wedding, string quartets are popular for a reason. The beauty and elegance of a professional string quartet is hard to beat, and it is no coincidence that string quartets are the most common wedding ensemble. While I am personally partial to classical and traditional wedding music, a string quartet made up of top-notch musicians (like the Best in Brass String Quartet) is perfect for setting an elegant, classy tone for your big day.

If you live in Florida, we hope you will consider Best in Brass for your wedding music needs. Our roster of top-notch professionals is made up of many of Florida's finest professional musicians. Our Orlando wedding musicians are here to serve you, perform beautifully, and help you make amazing memories on your big day. Based in Orlando, we perform throughout Central Florida, South Florida, and beyond. Contact us today to ensure that our Orlando string quartet is available to perform for your wedding day!

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