String Quartet Wedding Music: Thinking Beyond Canon in D

A Different Drummer

You’d probably agree that Pachelbel’s Canon in D performed by string quartet would be a great musical selection for any Paso Robles wine county wedding. But then again there are plenty of other choices to inspire your wedding guests as you walk down the aisle.
In 2023 many couples march to the beat of a different drummer and want to avoid a copy cat, carbon copy wedding ceremony. With that in mind, here are a few good alternatives for your consideration.

Arioso – J.S. Bach

This 1729 classic was originally performed by oboe with small orchestra, and it’s also a great fit for string quartet. The pacing is similar to Canon, though Bach’s composition offers greater depth of meaning and color.

Largo – J. S. Bach

Another beautifully paced composition, Bach’s Largo was conceived as a concerto for two violins, and so it’s right at home in a string quartet setting. There’s a beautiful, emotional quality to the music, which you’ll soon come to appreciate.

Gavotte – J.S. Bach

This tuneful selection picks up the pace a bit so it can work as a wedding recessional as well as a processional. The 805 String Quartet players will adjust their tempo to fit the mood and size of your wedding party. Originally for solo violin, it has a playful musical energy you will enjoy.

Ancient Airs – Respighi

While the original tunes of this piece are indeed ancient, the harmony and texture was transformed by 20th century composer Resphighi into a brilliant piece for orchestra. Having performed this many times, I can only say that the music is deeply inspired and will similarly inspire your wedding guests during your processional or recessional.

Theme by William Byrd

Best described as regal and emotional, I can only say that this composition has a way of touching your heart. It’s from an old English Pavane and you might agree that its power to reach across the centuries is something incredible to behold.

Any of these selections would be a great addition to your Central Coast California wedding ceremony. Not only for your ceremony, they’re also perfect for the prelude while your guests are arriving and being seated.

Last but not least, you’re not limited to classical music for your wedding ceremony. I remember playing a beautiful Disney song for one bride as she exited her horse drawn carriage and walked up the aisle. It might sound a bit corny, but in the moment it was powerfully effective.

Think about the music you love. The 805 String Quartet will personalize your music for a wedding to remember for a lifetime.

The 805 String Quartet Guide to Perfect Music for Your Wedding Ceremony

The music you select for your Paso Robles / Central Coast California wedding ceremony will set the tone and mood for your entire wedding day. Choosing the right music is more than just selecting a song for the bride to walk the aisle. In this guide, we will discuss the various parts of the wedding ceremony that require music and how to work with a string quartet to make your big day unforgettable!

Key Musical Moments of Your Paso Robles / Central Coast Wedding


    • Prelude

    • Procession of the Mothers

    • Procession of the Wedding Party

    • Procession of the Bride

    • Unity Moment (optional/during ceremony)

    • Recessional

    • Postlude (optional)

    • Cocktail Hour

The wedding processional is when the parents, grandparents, and wedding party walk down the aisle. This usually doesn’t last very long, only about the length of a single song. The bridal procession is when the bride walks down the aisle. The recessional is the wedding party’s exit from the ceremony, starting with the couple. The music that goes along with the recessional is often upbeat and fast-paced since we’re celebrating the excitement of you and your partner as an officially married couple! 


When it comes to adding music to your wedding ceremony, The 805 String Quartet makes things simple. One option is to let us pre-select our top selections based on your musical preferences. This will add an air of elegance, timelessness, and softness to your wedding ceremony. You’ll be able to audition our list and make any changes you see fit. 


Of course, many couples provide us with a list of their favorite songs. We are happy to fulfill your requests, and are able to perform music of most any genre. 


When a string ensemble plays songs you’ve heard on the radio, a there’s an added elegant vibe. If you’re aiming for that kind of elegance and style for your wedding in Paso Robles and Central Coast California, The 805 String Quartet is your perfect choice. 


When working with a string quartet for your wedding ceremony, there are a few tips to help your day run smoothly. One tip is to know that your quartet/musicians don’t need to start your favorite songs at the beginning. Usually, the processional, bridal march, and recessional will be relatively quick. So, if you have a song you want played, we can start at the song chorus or hook so the song can be immediately recognized by your guests. 


Another tip is not to worry about timing your walks to the music. As long as you communicate well with your string quartet or musicians, we’ll know exactly what part to start playing your song at. This way, you don’t have to worry about timing your walk perfectly (or painfully slowly). The take-away here is to place your wedding coordinator next to wedding musicians to fine-tune the key moments in real time. 


Choosing the right music for your wedding ceremony in Paso Robles and Central Coast California is an important decision. It sets the tone and mood for the entire wedding day and makes for a lifetime of special memories. By understanding the various parts of the wedding ceremony that require music and communicating well with your string quartet, you can make your big day even more unforgettable!