Let me start off by saying that Canon in D is a lovely song. Every classical piece of music has its time and place. On top of that, Canon is a very versatile composition! It can be played on a variety of common instruments, making it a tempting song for weddings because it can be done on a violin, a combo of strings, or organ. However, despite its accolades, it is time to retire Canon in D from its role as reigning sovereign of the bridal processional, and here’s why.
- It’s overused. There are so many liturgically appropriate options for a bridal procession! Many beloved classical composers have pieces with a similar romantic vibe, and what’s more, they have a more distinct identity. Additionally, you also have the option of using an instrumental from a favorite hymn. Scroll to the bottom for our list of alternative song suggestions!
2. It’s too long. The prettiest part of Canon takes place almost two minutes into the song. Unless you are getting married in a Cathedral style church with an aisle that is 100+ feet, Canon will still be in the opening notes before the bride makes it to the altar.
3. It’s very soft. While Canon is a flowy, romantic song, a bridal procession needs to build up to the entrance of the bride. If you are using Canon in D as a bridal processional, your bridesmaids procession should be softer than than Canon, and ideally, your prelude music should be equally as soft as the bridesmaids procession, if not softer!
If you have stuck with us through our anti- Canon arguments, and still find yourself drawn to Canon in D, fear not! As stated above, Canon really is a very lovely piece. And because of its popularity, it does have a strong bridal identity. If you choose it for your entrance, we suggest asking your musicians for an arrangement of Canon that cuts the opening bars, and for a bolder composition to give the piece a little more oomph!
Here are some different suggestions to Canon in D for your consideration!
Soft & Romantic songs
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Air in G
Sheep May Safely Graze
Dramatic & Regal entrances
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
All Creatures of our God and King
Be Thou My Vision
O God Beyond All Praising
Love Divine All Loves Excelling