The cello is a rich and romantic instrument, making it a popular choice for a wedding. With so many wonderful cello pieces to choose from, it can definitely become quite overwhelming to find your perfect song. So, to save you the stress, we’ve chosen our top 10 cello songs for a wedding!
The tone of the cello is perfect for your wedding ceremony, the reception, or any other part of your wedding you feel needs warming and intimate background music.
Traditionally, the cello is a classical instrument and pairs wonderfully with the piano, guitar, a variety of woodwind instruments and is often the bass voice of a string quartet. But, as of recent years, there have been many new performance styles and pieces keeping up with current times. To keep it simple we’ve kept this list to two genres: modern pop renditions and our favourite classical pieces for your big day!
If you’ve not yet booked a cellist for your wedding and you’re thinking about hiring one, we’d recommend taking a look at some of the incredibly talented cellists we have right here at Encore. We have over 100 cellists available throughout the UK.
- Traditional classical songs for the cello
- Modern pop songs for the cello
- How much is it to hire a cellist?
Need advice on Hiring your wedding musicians? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiring Wedding Musicians (2021).
Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 in G major
Bach’s first cello suite is a popular favourite and is an instantly recognisable solo piece written specifically for the unaccompanied cello in the early 18th century. This is the perfect piece to create a sophisticated atmosphere for you and your guests!
Cello Suite No.1 performed by Encore’s highly rated cellist, Isabella Dembinska
Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Now, this is easily one of the most famous pieces of classical musicof all time, and has become a major wedding favourite! There isn’t much information on the composition of the piece, but it’s been said to date back to around the late 17th century.
There are also a few rumours that claim the piece was written as a gift for Bach’s brother’s wedding!… Now if that isn’t convincing enough to have you gliding down the aisle to this masterpiece, keep reading. We may have something more your style!
Ave Maria by Franz Schubert
A major classic – this piece is one of Schubert’s most popular compositions to date! Its elegance is incredibly fitting for a beautiful traditional white wedding. The song has gained some new hype in the last few years due to the recent royal wedding, where the then 19-year-old royal wedding cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason played the piece beautifully during the registry signing!
Here’s Sheku Kanneh-Mason, BBC young musician of the year (2016), playing at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at St George’s Chapel! Why not add some regality to your day and take some inspiration from the Duke and Duchess?
Encore solo cello player, Lydia Alonso performing Ave Maria
Spring: I Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi
From the renowned Italian composer Vivaldi’s four-piece musical collection titled ‘The Four Seasons’. We’re sure you’ve picked up from the title, but each piece in this work musically depicts the arrival of each season of the year. The first being Spring! This piece is instantly recognisable and nostalgic right from the first bar! We think this could be a great background piece for your wedding dinner, (especially if your wedding is planned for the spring)!
The Swan by Camille Saint-Saens
The Swan, one of the most famous pieces from Camille Saint-Saens 14 piece body of work, titled The Carnival of the Animals, was originally composed for fun (which is hard to believe considering this movement is so beautiful).
The swan was actually the only piece of the 14 movements that Saint-Saens allowed to be played in public during his life! He believed the others were too humorous and would damage his reputation as a serious composer. If you’re looking for the elegance, beauty and class of… well, a swan. This piece didn’t get its name for no reason!
Emily Mitchell, performing The Swan by Saint-Saens
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
“I have died every day, waiting for you. Darling don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years. I’ll love you for a thousand more…” Excuse us while we cry!
Knowing the lyrics behind this song will make any instrumental rendition fill your heart with warmth and love; the cello is a great instrument to reflect that with its rich enchanting tone! Why not have this song flood your wedding venue with romance!
Encore musician, Nerys Clark performing a beautiful instrumental rendition of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
Originally written by Leonard Cohen in 1984. Since then this song has been recreated 100s of times and gained popularity after being featured in many movies. To be exact, 2001 Dreamworks’ film Shrek! Although some may not see this as a wedding song, this tune is one the most requested songs in our cellists’ instrumental repertoire!
Encore’s Bethany Morris Performing Hallelujah
Perfect By Ed Sheeran
What would this wedding list be without including the one and only, Ed Sheeran! Perfect, his 2017 number one song, is the ‘perfect’ (excuse the pun) song to walk down the aisle to… ‘dancing in the dark, with you between my arms… When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful. I don’t deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight…’ Need we say more? With the cello’s gorgeous instrumental tone, your venue would echo with love!
Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Judy Garland
This beautiful ballad from the 1939 film the Wizard of Oz, originally sung by the late actress Judy Garland is definitely a popular wedding choice. The lyrics read ‘Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true’ – but in this version, the rainbow is the aisle and the dream is your life-partner to be. So, if happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can’t you?
Five star reviewed Jennifer Casi, performing Somewhere over the rainbow
ocean eyes by Billie Eilish
Here we have a relatively new common request, Billie Eilish, a new 19-year-old sensation. ‘ocean eyes’ is the lead single on her 2016 debut album ‘Don’t Smile at Me’. The lyrics compare the eyes of her love interest to the beauty of the ocean. This song is beautiful both lyrically and melodically. Maybe this is your sign to try something new for your day?
Prices for hiring professional cellists can range between £180-£400, on average costing around £290 depending on the length of the set and the time of day. Arranging a cellist for your special day is very cost-effective – especially when put in comparison with a string quartet, for example, they can cost £1000 plus! Here’s what to expect:
- Starting price – £180
- Average price – £290
- High-end – £400+
Well, those are only a few of our favourite wedding pieces for the cello, but there are so (sooo) many more amazing tunes to choose from! If you’re not yet convinced, why not have a browse through some of our incredible cellists here at Encore! They’ll be happy to help find the pieces you’ll love and create a personal setlist you’ll resonate with!
If you’ve already chosen your perfect wedding day cellist and you’re looking for more wedding music and entertainment later on in the day, take a look through our thousands of wedding acts who will be more than happy to get your party started right!
Cover image courtesy of Encore Cellist Niklas Henderson