Wedding music for the church – Can you have solo piano?

One of the most common questions which I’ve had in my time of piano playing relates specifically to church weddings in Ireland; It goes something like ‘Hi Paul, we really love the piano and we’d love to have it in our wedding ceremony but I’m not really sure that you can have just instrumental piano on its own; surely you need a singer as well!?’. (For context, I don’t offer my vocal services as I’m simply not a professional singer but rather specialise on solo piano playing.)

Answering this question ultimately comes down to you, the bride or groom-to-be. I can however, offer my thoughts without trying to shamelessly promote my own services here on pianomaster.ie.

The piano as a solo instrument is a must-have in the minds of couples getting married as part of Civil, Humanist and Spiritual ceremonies it seems. However, when it comes to church ceremonies in Ireland, I detect a hesitancy with this approach. I think the reason comes down to scale and perception. Most churches, whether big or small, seem to be too grand or majestic to have something as intimate as solo piano during the ceremony. I don’t share this view but I can completely understand why this would seem to be true.

So to get to the crux of the problem, I have two solutions so as to guarantee your peace of mind in choosing the piano as your church wedding instrument.

You simply can choose solo piano for your church ceremony. Having performed in over 100 church weddings alone, as of 2020, I can testify that it works out beautifully, particularly if you’re going for a theme of simplicity.

If you’re sure you’d like a singer at your ceremony, you could hire a singer in addition to me or ask a singing relative/friend and have me accompany them on the piano which I’ve happily done on many an occasion.

Honestly, both approaches work equally well and again, it’s up to you. As far as I’m concerned, the piano playing at your ceremony must be of supreme quality and that’s one thing I’m uncompromising on.