There are a ton of options when it comes to music that can be played by a string quartet (or a virtual string quartet, if you're having a virtual wedding). It'll most definitely add an air of elegance that is hard to beat — although harp wedding music certainly comes close.
If you've watched Bridgerton, you'll know how even modern pop songs can be magically transformed in the hands of a professional string quartet (thank you, Vitamin String Quartet for blessing us with your talent). And if you haven't? Well, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn how versatile they can be.
From timeless classics to recent love songs, here are some of the best string quartet wedding songs that you should check out if you're on the hunt for wedding music inspiration. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for tips on how to choose and hire a string quartet, too.
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Here are 12 stunning string quartet wedding songs you should consider for the big day:
1. Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
I don't know how you couldn't swoon and sigh to the swells of a string quartet performing Isn't She Lovely. If you're considering a cover like this, make sure to explore the kind of music your prospective musicians specialize in — you might even want to ask for videos or recordings of their most recent pieces to help you figure that out. Don't forget to communicate what your expectations are, so you can choose the right performers for your big day!
2. Shallow - Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Although Shallow is fairly new in the list of songs people play at weddings, it certainly deserves the spot it holds. If you thought the original was touching? Just imagine it bellowing through the wedding venue played by a string quartet. Like, how much more majestic can a sound even get?
If this is on your list of potential wedding songs, you'll want to ask your performers whether they'll be able to learn a specific song in advance, or if they normally only work within their own specific repertoire (and if the latter is the case, whether or not your favorite songs are included in that repertoire!).
3. Canon in D - Johann Pachelbel
Other than Mendelssohn's Wedding March, Pachelbel's Canon in D is one of the most traditional wedding songs to walk down the aisle to. If you're hiring a string quartet who specializes in weddings, you'll be happy to know that they'll most likely already have it in their repertoire — just double check with them before confirming your booking.
4. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran
If you're planning on hiring a string quartet to play during the wedding dinner or cocktail hour, then you'll definitely want to discuss whether or not your prospective performers can play some cool covers of modern love songs (like this next-level rendition of Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You). It's important to have a few songs lined up to transition into a bigger, celebratory vibe once the wedding vows are over and the tears have mostly subsided.
5. Halo - Beyoncé
What's a wedding if Queen B herself isn't invited in some way? If you and your fiancée are fans (I mean, how couldn't you be?), then we recommend talking with a string quartet who might be able to bring some of Beyoncé's magic to life with an elegant string rendition.
6. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
Okay, how FUN is Never Gonna Give You Up played by a string quartet though? It could be the perfect song to play during your wedding recessional, to finish the ceremony with a bang!
7. A Million Dreams - The Greatest Showman
Even a virtual string quartet could bring tears to your guests' eyes at your wedding. If you're socially distancing and hosting a virtual wedding ceremony, we recommend peppering in some virtual entertainment to elevate the experience of your special day.
8. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
With four members in a string quartet ensemble, you'll get huge, lush sound — no matter what songs you choose. Consider adding a song like Stand By Me to your list of wedding songs, and listen to how it is entirely transformed when played in four parts by a string quartet (I promise, you will not be disappointed).
9. To Build A Home - The Cinematic Orchestra
To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra might just be everyone's new favorite song to walk down the aisle to — especially if it's played as beautifully as Cascadia Quartet's cover.
10. At Last - Etta James
If you're a fan of classic R&B, then you probably won't argue with me when I say there is nothing quite as timeless as starting your ceremony off with a strings cover of At Last by Etta James.
11. Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Another fun — and maybe unexpected — song to play during your wedding recessional is Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It might not be a traditional wedding song, but in the hands (and bows) of the right string quartet? 10/10.
12. Can't Help Falling In Love With You - Elvis Presley
Can't Help Falling In Love With You by Elvis Presley is definitely a super popular wedding song, and for a good reason, too! Whether it is performed live by a string quartet, a vocalist, harpist, or played in its original form on a stereo (with the help of a wedding DJ), it seems to pluck just about anyone's sentimental strings. If your potential musicians are experienced with performing at weddings, I'll bet they already have this one in their repertoire.
String quartet booking tips:
- While browsing string quartets on The Bash, be sure to review their profiles and check out photos, audio clips and videos.
- When preparing a request for one of our string quartets, keep in mind that the more details you can provide, the more accurate the price quote you'll receive. If you receive a price quote that seems like it needs clarification, don't hesitate to reach out to the musicians directly to find out more.
- Make sure you have discussed what supplies the musicians will need for their performance. You'll want to know what they can provide, and what you'll need to have on hand.
- Communicate your expectations and special requests to any prospective string quartets, and make sure to ask about their repertoire — especially if you have a particular song that you would like them to perform.
- If you're planning an outdoor wedding, be sure to discuss where the string quartet will be situated for the best acoustics and conditions for them to perform.
- Make sure to discuss what kind of atmosphere and mood you are hoping to set for your event. The more they know, the better they'll meet your expectations.
Questions to ask your prospective string quartet:
- Has the ensemble booked gigs at similar events?
- What music do the performers specialize in, and does it match your taste?
- If your event needs amplification, can this ensemble provide it?
- Will the performers work to individualize your event?
- Can they provide past client testimonials or referrals?
- Do you need any special equipment (like chairs, extension cords, etc.)?
- How long have you been performing as a quartet?
- How much time do you need to set up?
There are tons of benefits booking through The Bash. Our guarantee ensures that our vendors are held to the highest standard of professionalism. All deposit and balance payments made online through our secure EventPay system are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You’ll also have hands-on support from our Account Services team who is available to help with any event needs, including a last-minute replacement.
About Brittany Barber
Brittany Barber, lover of books, dogs, and romance, graduated from Bishop’s University with a Communications and Theatre degree. After spending some time working abroad in the theatre world, she is now a freelance writer covering a range of lifestyle topics including event planning for The Bash, WeddingWire, 2life and Fluttr, and shopping for BuzzFeed.