No matter what type of wedding you’re planning on having, religious, traditional, wild, contemporary, relaxed or a beautiful smash of a few of the above… Music will play a big part. It will set the scene and tone, relax your guests and you. It will also be a big part of your lasting memories for years to come. That song will play on a random Sunday afternoon and transport you right back to the moment you walked up the aisle. Whilst creating those moments with traditional, classical pieces can be the perfect choice for some. Others may want to hear a more popular song that they know, love and already means a lot to them. We caught up with our talented List members, Adel and Karina from 2 of Harps to find out how to take those modern wedding songs and transform them into unexpected, beautiful classical harp pieces that you and your guests will love.
Are there any general rules for choosing modern wedding songs to play in a classical style?
When choosing a modern song you’d like played in a classical style, the most important thing to remember is not to limit your choices – whether it’s pop, hip hop R&B, folk, alternative and indie songs, they all sound amazing on the harp. But take another more ‘out there’ genre such as rap… Couples who love rap often can’t imagine it played on the harp. But we can hear that the rap verses are almost always sung over catchy music, so can adapt wonderfully to the harp. For us, taking famous lines and arranging them for the harp is such an exciting process, especially when we see the reaction from couples when they hear it for the first time!
How far in advance should a couple submit a special request for a modern piece?
Just like venues, and caterers we get booked up months in advance. So for couples who are choosing new modern songs to be arranged on the harp, we say don’t procrastinate! Ideally, they should send us their ideas as early as possible. But to reassure you, we have also arranged pieces as late as several weeks before the wedding day.
If time permits most songs only take a couple of days for us to prepare, but by giving us time, we can also meet couples face to face or online. This allows them to listen to the arrangement of their song before the big day. Then, if they want us to change anything, we have more time before the live performance.
Anything else you want couples to know about creating the perfect classical but modern wedding songs?
We love writing and arranging music, especially for our couples. Although Google has answers to everything, sometimes, we find couples asking for us to play songs which you can’t find music online. Because we also write music, for us, even a song that’s only been released for a week is possible to play!
Our top tip for couples choosing music is to be creative and follow their hearts. Even if they love a song that may not seem the first choice for a wedding, it can be arranged specially for their big day as we understand that it makes for a beautiful unique touch.
What are your favourite modern wedding songs to play?
When we first hear a song we like, we both think, “Will it work on the harp?”. Taking new songs and arranging them for harp and voice, experimenting and creating covers is one of our favourite things to do at our rehearsal sessions. The list below is of the songs we think work really well on the harp as modern wedding songs.
29 Modern Wedding Songs That Can Be Performed Classically
- Old Town Road – Lil Nas X
- Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi
- Giant – Calvin Harris & Rag’n’Bone Man
- Dance Monkey – Tones & I
- Señorita – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
- Shotgun – George Ezra
- Just You and I – Tom Walker
- Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
- Higher Love – Kygo & Whitney Houston
- This is Me – Settle & The Greatest Showman
- Perfect – Ed Sheeran
- Champions – James Blunt
- I’ll Be There – Jess Glynne
- Shape Of You – Ed Sheeran
- A Million Dreams – Ziv Zaifman
- 2002 – Anne-Marie
- Promises – Calvin Harris & Sam Smith
- Lost Without You – Freya Ridings
- Lucid Dreams – Juice WRLD
- All Night – Afrojack
- Deja Vu – Georgio Moroda ft. Sia
- Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine
- Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Pease
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
- I Found You – Cash Cash & Andy Grammar
- Shine – Felix Jaehn ft. Freddy Verano and Linying
- Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
- What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
- Wildflower – 5 Seconds of Summer
If one of the songs above make the cut for you, then rest assured that it can be transformed into an elegant rendition for your wedding day. There’s something really exciting about going to a wedding and recognising a modern wedding song in a classical arrangement. If you have a song that is special to you that isn’t on the list above, but you must have on your day, feel free to get in touch with Adel and Karina from 2 of Harps to see if they can make it a reality for you.