Post # 1
Are you allowed to walk down the aisle to the Bridal March? I just found out in the music forum that it often isn’t allowed in the Catholic church.
Also, the priest said that Catholics often walk down the aisle together (bride and groom) but he’s totally fine with what my old church usually does.
Are there other restrictions I am not aware of? They haven’t talked music to us yet (FI is Catholic) and I’m worried that there could be other rules I am not aware of.
I always visualized myself walking down the aisle to the Bridal March, and am so disappointed that it may not be an option now.
Post # 3
I have heard that “Bridal March” is indeed usually not allowed at Catholic weddings, because it’s a secular piece and generally does not promote worship. It’s also almost never used in Jewish weddings, because of Wagner’s blatant antisemitism. Try googling “bridal march alternatives”–hopefully you can find something you like as much that the church will allow!
Post # 4
@MapleBecky: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no, you can’t. It’s not considered to be sacred music and since the wedding is a church service, secular music is not allowed.
There are similar (as in also having that triumphant sound) pieces that are allowed, check out Trumpet Voluntary or Te Deum. It’s the same for the rest of the music you’ll have – it can’t be secular (no pop songs, show tunes, etc). Traditional hymns, some classical music, modern religious songs – those are usually okay.
You could always come into your reception to “Here Comes the Bride.”
As far as walking down the aisle goes, the reason that brides and grooms process down the aisle in the first place is because they are the ministers of the sacrament of marriage. NOT to be “given away.” So its encouraged that the bride and groom walk down the aisle together as a sign of unity. However, the Church is usually pretty open to whatever the “local custom” is in the country. So in No. America brides are usually escorted down the aisle by their fathers. (But still, not technically “given away.”) We had both sets of parents escort us down the aisle.
I’m so sorry you’re disappointed. I know that’s got to be really tough. I think you’ll be able to find some beautiful music though.
As far as other restrictions, it will depend on what you want to do. The order of the ceremony is very set in stone, and you won’t be able to write your own vows (though sometimes you can exchange your own vows after the traditional ones).
Post # 5
Talk to your priest because some actually do. Where I am getting married you aren’t but my cousin had it at her Catholic Mass wedding last month.
Post # 6
@MapleBecky: Where I am it’s a no go
Post # 7
I walked into Here Comes the bride and my dad walked me down the aisle. My church is rett conservative and the readings could not be customized but we were able to pick 3 songs, entry, 1 during the ceremony and exit so we had Ave Maria when the mothers walked in followed by here comes the bride and the Irish wedding song was song after we got married. I have no idea what song was sung on our exit actually maybe it was just organ. I think you should just ask your priest as I’ve heard this used at several Catholic weddings in different churches.
Post # 8
I specifically told our music director that I can’t stand ‘Here comes the bride’. He told me he prefers not to play it anyway, but they do play it if a couple has their heart set on it.
Post # 9
I didn’t walk to the Bridal March, but only because I didn’t want to. Each church is different, and some will allow it while others won’t (ours did, but like I said, I didn’t want to use it). You won’t know until you ask your church specifically.
As far as brides and grooms walking down the aisle together, this is pretty common in Catholic ceremonies. I actually think it’s super romantic, and my sister is walking down the aisle with her fiance when they get married this summer (he’s catholic, she’s not). 🙂 My husband and I actually had our parents walk us down the aisle: my husband first with his parents, then me with my mom and dad. But I love the idea of the couple coming down the aisle together!
Post # 10
I’m not using it but it was one of the options they gave us at my church as well. I guess it varies depending on the priest/church.
Post # 11
I just called my future Mother-In-Law and she said she walked down the aisle to in and in the “old church.” She is going to look into it, but thinks they still do it at their church. I’ll update when I find out.
Post # 12
The Wedding March was written for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This makes the music secular and not sacred, and as a result playing it in a Catholic church would be a liturgical abuse. That’s not to say that it doesn’t happen – liturgical abuses unfortunately occur all the time. But strictly speaking it shouldn’t be allowed.
That said, music requirements are specific to a conference of bishops. The above is correct for the USCCB (US). Maybe the CCCB (Canada) has an exemption for that song.
Post # 13
I think you’ll find that, unless your church has special/quirky rules for some reason, you can probably do the procession however you’d like–as long as it’s respectful of the church and the sacrament and isn’t totally wacky.
Also, the key to understanding the restrictions for a Catholic ceremony is that the church views the wedding ceremony (and more importantly, marriage) as a way of glorifying and honoring God in the Catholic tradition. If some part of the ceremony does not do that, it probably isn’t going to fly. (Case in point: use of secular music during the ceremony.) I’m not sure if it’s used in Canada, but if your church uses Together for Life, try to get a copy of it ASAP. It will explain what is allowed, what isn’t, and everything else is up to you and your Fiance. You’ll be surprised by how much freedom you actually have to create the ceremony you want.
Post # 14
My church allowed it, and it was a very traditional church. Just ask
Post # 15
I haven’t talked to the music director yet (he’s in Florida!) but I think it’s allowed. The sample video we got from the priest showed a girl going down the aisle to a Sarah McLachlan song, and it was a Catholic church in the city. I was shocked to see that after reading this post.