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Prelude

Learn about the traditions involved with the prelude of an Irish wedding including the Bachelor's Lament and Celtic prelude music.


Bachelor's Lament

The tradition of the "Bachelor's Lament" is a favorite.

In small communities, it was often the case that a young girl might have many suitors. During a time when all members of the village or locality were invited to attend wedding celebrations, it was likely that a broken-hearted suitor might be present.

By way of acknowledging the sadness of the brokenhearted suitor(s) and as a signal to accept that this woman was about to be the wife of someone else, the Bachelor's Lament was played before the bride walked down the aisle.

Although this might seem strange to us today, I love the transposition this provides for a community. Maybe there is such a thing as "closure" after all! 

Music for Preludes

The following collections have a "Celtic meets Classical" vibe with some Irish tunes in the mix. It can be a good idea to keep it nicely upbeat with just the right amount of joy to set the mood while keeping the vibe nice and mellow… 

1. Carolan's Welcome 3:02 (iTunes Essentials, Irish Music) (Celtic meets Classical) This tune is listed on iTunes essentials with such luminaries as Horselips, Van Morrison & The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Clannad, Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova, The Pogues & Luka Bloom

2. Give Me Your Hand 3:03 A classic done in the style of The Chieftains; very Irish and traditional sounding. Not for everyone but if you like it - you love it! This tune is also on the collection "The Vow, an Irish Wedding Celebration". 

3. O'Carolan 3:02  (Celtic meets Classical)

4. Hunting the Wren 3:08 Mid-Tempo, fun Early Music vibe, somewhat upbeat

5.Carol of the Jezebel 2:16  Favored for upbeat Processional or even Recessional

6. King of the Faeries 4:31 (Version 2) (iTunes essentials, Irish Music) This version is listed on iTunes essentials with U2, the Cranberries, Enya, Celtic Woman and The Chieftains. Yes, it's another version, but people love this tune and love the option of the versions!

7. King of the Faeries 6:04 (version 3) Longer version, voices in the distance.


Click HERE to see a Full list of musical arrangements for every part of your wedding!

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  1. 1 Carolans Welcome 02:59 Info
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  2. 2 Give Me Your Hand 03:03 Info
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  3. 3 O'Carolan (Version II) 02:57 Info
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  4. 4 Hunting the Wren (Version II) 03:08 Info
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  5. 5 Jezebel Carol 02:17 Info
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  6. 6 King of the Faeries (Version 1) 04:32 Info
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  7. 7 King of the Faeries (Version 2) Unedited 04:32 Info
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Why the Bride's family sits on one
side and the Groom's family on the other 



Traditionally the "side of the heart" or left side is for the woman of the house and legend has it that the left side of the fire was always reserved for women. Similarly, at Irish weddings, the brides' side of the family tend to sit on the left side of the church.

Before Vatican II, women often took the left side of the church and men the right. Yes, they were often sat separately.

This tradition is a holdover from the past but it does explain why there are "sides" and I love the idea that it's related to the heart and not one clan as opposed to another!