The Most Famous wedding processional song Pachelbel's Canon in D Major

The Most Famous wedding processional song Pachelbel's Canon in D Major


The wedding processional is such a crucial moment in a ceremony — and a moving wedding processional song is the ideal way to set the tone for your "I do" moment.




Hotel Shangri-La Paris pic by. Pierre&Julia Photography

As wedding traditions evolve, it becomes increasingly common to walk down the aisle to sappy, chart-toppers by Ed Sheeran or wistful acoustic covers of classic rock hits. But Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major,” a composition that remains a perennial.


It was never intended to be.

How the singular piece of centuries-old classical music has transcended time and geographies to secure its status as one of the most popular wedding songs in Western society is a story where pop culture, music theory and imagination converge.

When and where Pachelbel’s Canon originated, and why exactly he composed it, is largely a mystery to music historians.



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Hotel Shangri-La Paris pic by. Pierre&Julia Photography

It dates to the late-17th or early 18th century, and there’s speculation that it was written as a gift for the wedding of Johann Sebastian Bach’s older brother, who studied with Pachelbel.


The early 20th century was the era of getting early music out and figuring out how to transcribe it and who could play it.


But even then, Pachelbel’s Canon was still definitively not a wedding song. Go-to works by Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn, on the other hand, were explicitly bridal marches.