Live music is an essential element of the perfect wedding, because music speaks through the language of emotion.  Have you ever watched a movie with the sound turned off?  Scary movies just aren’t very scary without the startling punctuation provided by the soundtrack; dramatic moments would lose their impact if the messages were not underscored by the exciting music. And when a film is supposed to be especially moving, the music plays an essential role in creating that state of mind too.  The music at your wedding is an individual soundtrack designed especially for you, to communicate and celebrate the essence of your unique relationship.  An experienced and intuitive live musician responds to you, your guests, and the environment, in a way that a recording simply can’t do.  This live interaction reflects back and magnifies all the emotional communication between yourselves, and your guests.

The harp is surely the most beautiful and emotional instrument in the world, making it ideal for weddings – and of course, the soothing tones of the harp are renowned for easing stress!

Alys Howe is an experienced musician who has played harp since 1985. With musical training and education in classical and world music, as well as a specialization in Celtic (Irish and Scottish) styles of harp, Alys has studied and performed across North America and throughout the UK, and has played for many ceremonies and events – recently, Alys was the harpist in the orchestra for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Listening to music possibilities is an important step in planning and visualizing the flow of your ceremony. Scroll down this page for audio and video samples of many pieces that Alys has performed at other weddings, helping you start the process of discovering your own wedding soundtrack.  Alys is happy to consult with you, to ensure that the perfect music is selected or created for your wedding in Nova Scotia.


Wedding music played on the harp is tasteful and memorable, and appropriate for all the special moments of your ceremony.  An example of the “standard” musical contributions during a wedding include:

  • inviting and relaxing ambient music as your guests arrive
  • music for the processional
  • music during the signing of the register
  • music to highlight any other special moments (for example, lighting a unity candle)
  • music for the recessional

Whether your location is a large cathedral, or outside in the memorable landscapes of Nova Scotia, music performed on the harp will create a sense of intimacy, and touch the heart of each one of your guests.


Video clips of Live Performances



Suggestions for The Processional

or The Signing of the Registry

*indicates that this musical selection is available on pedal harp only.   For information and to see pictures of the harps, please visit About the Harps.


Traditional Selections (audio)

Pachelbel’s Canon
Bach Chorale
Wagner’s Here Comes the Bride (lever harp)
Here Comes the Bride*
Schubert’s Ave Maria*
Bach’s Meditation*
Bach’s Ave Maria*
Handel’s Largo*
Handel’s Air from “Water Music”*
Hymn: Be Thou My Vision
Hymn: Amazing Grace
Hymn: For the Beauty of the Earth


Classical Selections (audio)

Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro from “Gianni Schiichi”
I Vow to Thee (Jupiter)
Musetta’s Waltz
Debussey’s First Arabesque*
Lakme Flower Duet*
Couperin’s Les Barricades Mysterieuses*
Bochsa’s Air
Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits/C.P.E. Bach’s Minuet*
Purcell’s Air
Vivaldi’s Largo from “The Four Seasons”*
Gabriel’s Oboe*
A Rose e’er Blooming
Dvorak’s New World (theme)


Celtic Selections (audio)

Inis Sheer (Ireland)
Wild Mountain Thyme (Scotland)
Salley Gardens (Ireland)
Fair Jean (Scotland)
Lady Owen’s Delight (Wales) [also on phosphorescence CD]
Sheebeg Sheemore (O’Carolan)
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose (Scotland)
The Mountains High (Ireland)
Miss Power (O’Carolan)
Gratitude (Kim Robertson)
My Brown-Haired Girl (Scotland)
The Eriskay Love-Lilt (Scotland)
Give me your Hand (Ireland)
The Boatman (Scotland)
Mist-Covered Mountains (Scotland)


Pop Music Selections (audio)

Fields of Gold
Can’t Help Falling in Love *
Unchained Melody *
Fairytale (Enya) *
Memory of…(Enya)
Let it Be (The Beatles)
Sun and Moon (from Miss Saigon) *
Con Te Partiro *
The Rose
My Heart Will Go On (from Titanic)
Perhaps Love (John Denver)
Annie’s Song (John Denver)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (audio sample coming soon!)




Suggestions for The Recessional

*indicates that this musical selection is available on pedal harp only.   For information and to see pictures of the harps, please visit About the Harps.


Traditional Selections (audio)

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
Trumpet Voluntary (lever harp)
Mendelsohn’s “Wedding March” *
Handel’s Hornpipe from “Water Music”
Trumpet Voluntary (Purcell/Clarke) *
Purcell’s Trumpet Tune *
Mouret’s Rondeau from “Masterpiece Theatre” (audio sample coming soon!)
Purcell’s Rondeau * (audio sample coming soon!)
Hymn: Christ the Lord is Ris’n Today


Classical Selections (audio)

Vivaldi’s Spring from “The Four Seasons”
Dalza’s Paduana Alla Venetiana
Ode to Joy (theme)
Handel’s Harp Concerto, 1st Movement *
Dussek’s Sonatina (audio sample coming soon!)
Bochsa’s Rondo * (audio sample coming soon!)


Celtic Selections (audio)

Skye Boat Song (Scotland)
The Ash Grove (Wales)
Carolan’s Concerto (Ireland)
Mairi’s Wedding (Scotland)
Carolan’s Draught (Ireland)
Morgan Megan (O’Carolan)
Newlywed Waltz (Scotland)
Musical Priest (Ireland) [also on phosphoresence CD]
Miss Sally Hunter (Scotland) [also on phosphorescence CD]
Merrily Kiss the Quaker’s Wife (Ireland) [also on phosphorescence CD]
Saint Kilda Wedding Reel (Scotland) (audio sample coming soon!)
Moving Cloud (Ireland)


Pop Music Selections (audio)

A Whole New World (from Disney’s Aladdin) *
When you say nothing at all
Anywhere Is (Enya) (audio sample coming soon!) *
Only Time (Enya)
And I love her (The Beatles) (audio sample coming soon!)
What a Wonderful World *




Harp and Flute

Pachelbel's CanonThe House in Rose Valley

Theme from Masterpiece Theatre (Mouret)
Largo, theme from The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Trumpet Voluntary (Clark)
Tambourin (Hasse)
Irish Jig (Traditional)
Musical Priest (Traditional Irish)


Harp, Flute, and Cello

Gaelic Love-Song (Traditional Scottish)
Lord Birsay (Orkney Islands)
Fair Jean (Traditional Scottish)


Celtic Ensemble

Pachelbel's Canon The Wedding Reel set

The Wedding Gift

 The House in Rose Valley (harp, accordion, cello)



IMG_6485 IMG_6486




“Your harp music was just absolutely beautiful. Thank you for adding such elegance to our ceremony.  We have received numerous comments on how beautiful your music was. Our wedding wouldn’t have been the same without having you their to play for us.  Much thanks.” – Shannon, Aug 30, 2014  


“I was so excited to have you play Berkley Springs [my special request] at our ceremony. You did a wonderful job – it was beautiful! Thank you so much.”  –Sarah, June 10, 2006

“I just wanted to send a special thank you for the wonderful job you did at our wedding…We received MANY compliments on your performance from our guests…you provided them with immense pleasure. Thank you deeply for your excellent work.”  –Matthew and Jennifer, September 9th, 2006

“We would like to thank you for the exceptional job you did for our Catholic wedding ceremony.  Everything went according to plan and you contributed to our “perfect wedding day”.  -Reggie and Abby, May 20, 2006

“Thanks for your patience during the planning process. We highly recommend you to anyone who would like harp music at their wedding! Thanks again!”  -Adam and Kim, September 24, 2005


“You have made me feel so much better about everything! Your music is so lovely, and you are a very nice person to work with, making me feel comfortable in every aspect.”  – Rene, September 3, 2005

“Your music was incredibly beautiful, and many of our guests commented on what a special atmosphere it created.”

-Cal and Kelly, September 30, 2006

“We can’t thank you enough for being a part of our wedding and making it such a special day. All our best, always!”

-Eric and Jeff, September 17, 2005

“Thank you so much for the beautiful music you made [with vocalist Zaena Campbell] for our wedding day. Truly amazing!”  -Corey and Shelin, September 23 2006

“Thank you very much for your wonderful playing at our wedding on on May 16th!  It made our special day that much more special.”  –Kanako and Steve, May 16 2009

“Thank you for playing at our wedding ceremony.  Your harp music was very beautiful, and it made it so special for us.  Thank you.”  –Megumi and Dave, May 17 2009

“Thank you so much for the beautiful harp music you played at our wedding. It was exactly what we had imagined, and all our guests commented on the special ambience it created. You took care of us through the entire process and made it so easy! I would whole-heartedly recommend you to anyone looking for something special for their ceremony or reception.”  –Penny and Tom, July 2004

Reilly Wedding

Reilly Wedding 2