Wedding Terminology

I would like to address some common questions I get regarding what exactly I do as a harpist during a wedding ceremony.


When I am asked for a quote, I always follow my price by stating that the price is for the full ceremony; prelude, processionals, interlude music, recessional, and postlude. Many times I am asked what that all means. Here are some simple definitions.

  • Prelude:  Music prior to the ceremony as the guests are being seated.
  • Processionals: Music the bridal party walks in to. Usually there are 2 pieces chosen, 1 for the bridesmaids, and 1 for the bride.
  • Interlude: The time in the ceremony when music might be needed to fill a quiet moment, ie the unity candle, communion, honoring of the parents, etc..
  • Recessional: Music the bridal party walks out with.
  • Postlude: Music as the guests are ushered out.

Granted, in a Catholic ceremony, there is a great deal more music but this covers the basic service. Most preludes and postludes are about 20 minutes long each. Other music can be added if the bride and groom want a specific hymn or solo played as a part of the service.

I hope this helps to answer some questions about ceremony music and wedding terminology.

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