String quartets are a bit like the Swiss army knives of the music world. They are ideal for almost any event and can play just about any genre—from classical to pop to jazz. Take a look at any professional string quartet’s repertoire list and you’ll see what I mean.
With so much choice, it can be hard to know where to start. And with string quartets, the options are endless deciding what music you’d like to hear on your special day.
That’s why we’ve put together this short guide, walking you through the ten most popular string quartet wedding songs to walk down the aisle to.
When it comes to wedding music, string quartets are a go-to ensemble. They are sleek, refined, and boast a beautiful sound that’s very hard to match. You’d be hard-pressed to find an ensemble more well-suited to the atmosphere of a wedding.
More and more, we’re beginning to see outdoor weddings become the norm. And whereas other string ensembles—like string duos or string trios—might be too quiet for a well-attended outdoor event, string quartets have no issue with maintaining a volume that all the wedding guests can hear and appreciate. Whether it’s the wedding breakfast, the signing of the register, the wedding ceremony, or the drinks reception, string quartets are the ideal match for weddings.
There are hundreds of wonderful string quartets all over the UK—many of whom are available to book on Encore. If you’re looking for a string quartet for your wedding, then we’d love to hear from you and help you find the perfect fit.
- What are some traditional/classical pieces for string quartets?
- What are some pop songs for string quartets?
- What are some jazz songs for string quartets?
- How much do string quartets cost?
Air on the G String by J.S. Bach
It’s hard to go wrong with Bach. His soft and soothing ‘Air on the G String’ was composed way back in the 1700s (making it the oldest on our list). Its popularity has only grown as the years have passed. Now considered one of the most beloved and elegant string pieces ever written, ‘Air on the G String’ is a byword for musical excellence. Hearing this piece performed by a string quartet never gets old.
London-based string quartet, Giardino Strings, performing an immaculate rendition of Bach’s classic air
Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel
If you’ve ever been to a wedding, chances are you’ve heard ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ before. And even if you’ve somehow managed to avoid weddings entirely, its chord progression has been used as the basis for plenty of modern pop songs (Oasis, Kylie Minogue, and Green Day have all borrowed it at one time or another).
Truth is, ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ has now become a little ‘over-played’. But all it takes to change that narrative is a performance by a talented string quartet (as the Niche String Quartet below clearly shows). ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ is now a staple wedding piece—its delicate harmonies and timeless melody are simply too good to ignore.
A sublime performance of ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ by the Niche String Quartet. And just listen to those acoustics!
Prelude on ‘Rhosymedre’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Originally a hymn tune by a Welsh priest, it was later re-orchestrated by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his signature style, making for a piece of music every bit as lush as ‘The Lark Ascending’. It was performed at the weddings of both Prince William and Prince Harry. Royal pedigree aside, ‘Prelude on ‘Rhosymedre’’ speaks both to our connection to home (Rhosymedre was the Welsh priest’s village) and to the happy prospects of marriage.
Sonore String Quartet are a Maidenhead-based ensemble, shown here performing a powerful rendition of ‘Rhosymedre’
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder
Possibly the most well-known soul song of all time, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)’ translates surprisingly well to string quartet. Its distinctive and energetic tone makes it an ideal accompaniment for those looking for a more upbeat walk down the aisle. The only problem you might have is overzealous guests attempting to sing along!
In this medley of pop covers, The Element String Quartet prove just how much fun this soul anthem sounds when performed by a proficient quartet
Marry You by Bruno Mars
With covers ranging from the cast of Glee to Childish Gambino, this pop doo-wop song—which successfully channels the best of 60’s pop in its hey-day—has an infectious energy that is hard to match. Released on Bruno Mars’ first album in 2010, it has since become one of the most popular songs for weddings the world over.
Giardino Strings performing a jaunty, folksy version of ‘Marry You’
All of Me by John Legend
What is it that makes for the best string quartet pieces? Beautiful, memorable melodies, polished harmonies, and a touch of heart, no doubt. ‘All of Me’ has all these things and more. John Legend’s masterful pop ballad sounds almost like classical music at times, reaffirming time and again its place in the string quartet canon.
Making the transition from chamber music to pop music seamlessly, Grazia Strings here perform a heart-rending cover of ‘All Of Me’
Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran himself considered this his ‘walking down the aisle’ song, and we couldn’t agree more. When played by a string quartet, the soulful vocal line comes into its own: affirming but so easy on the ears. Fun fact—Sheeran apparently wrote ‘Thinking Out Loud’ with Amy Wadge in only twenty minutes!
A delicate rendition of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Rondino Strings
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
Since its debut on the Twilight soundtrack in 2011, ‘A Thousand Years’ has become one of the classic love-songs of our time. It’s about love and that feeling of ‘knowing’ when you’ve met the right person. The sweet, undulating shape of the song sounds simply wonderful when played by a string quartet.
A wedding march if ever there was one! Scherzando Strings belting out sustained harmonies and soaring octaves on their version of ‘A Thousand Years’
Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra
Taking us back to the age of cabaret, hot jazz, and the swinging 60s, ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ was made astronomically famous by the king of the crooners, Frank Sinatra. On the original recording, he was accompanied by the one and only Count Basie on piano, and the piece itself was arranged by the inimitable Quincy Jones. Despite this kind of pedigree, the music really does speak for itself.
A light and breezy musical accompaniment for your drinks reception? Scintillo String Quartet has got you covered
At Last by Etta James
There is no doubt Etta James lived a difficult life. But it is for that reason that ‘At Last’ takes on such a poignant quality—a lasting evocation of love and companionship no matter the circumstances. The languid lines of the violins and viola paired with the gentle rocking rhythm of the cello make it an excellent candidate for a first dance.
If it sounds amazing performed by a trio, imagine how it sounds performed by a quartet? Rondino Strings with another impressive cover
As a general guide, prices for a string quartet for a wedding are roughly:
- Starting Price: £640
- Average Price: £820
- High-end Price: £1600
With such a broad range of music, string quartets are a popular choice for weddings for a reason! But perhaps you have a song that you want to hear performed at your wedding not included above? Easy. Get in touch with any of our fantastic string quartets and they can point you to their full song-list (plus, they will often be happy to arrange your song if it’s not already included).Browse all String Quartets →
If you’ve already organised a string quartet for your wedding (lucky you!), but need more music for another part of the day, take a look at some of our other professional wedding acts—ranging from bands, to harpists, to a cappella groups.