Harp music adds a touch of sophistication to any event. With years of experience performing for hundreds of weddings, parties and other special events, Melissa caters to your musical wishes to provide the lavish and elegant atmosphere you've been dreaming about for your special day.

Melissa can perform in a variety of settings as a soloist or with duos, trios and other ensembles. She has performed for countless events in the Washington DC area.

Although classically trained, Melissa is just as comfortable performing in pop, jazz and contemporary settings.  Everything from Beethoven to The Beatles to Beyonce is possible on the harp, so let your imagination soar!

Melissa was chosen to perform for Pope Francis, and has performed for events for such notable guests as former and current presidents of the United States, foreign heads of state and celebrities.

The music at your wedding should create a dynamic and memorable atmosphere.
Let’s talk about your ideas today!

As Seen in The Knot Magazine   Melissa Tardiff Dvorak, Harpist Reviews

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Choosing Music for Your Wedding Ceremony

Traditional Processional

I have compiled the following list of commonly requested selections simply to provide a starting point to assist you in planning your own program. Feel free to inquire about your favorite selections...the only limiting factor being the availability of sheet music and playability on the harp.


Soft background music performed while guests are being seated. If you do not have particular requests for this music, select a category of harp music you would like performed (for example, light classical music or popular love songs).


Begins when the officiant and the groom approach the altar. The bridesmaids (along with the groomsmen who may join them) continue to walk to this selection. Traditionally, this is a majestic piece played at a pace that is easy to walk to. For non-traditional weddings or smaller wedding parties, this selection need not have a majestic sound, but should retain an easy walking tempo. This piece ends when the entire wedding party reaches the altar.

Bride's Entrance

Traditionally, the bride enters to fanfare music that announces her arrival (most often, Here Comes the Bride). Again, for non-traditional weddings or small weddings, other music may be chosen to suit the bride's taste, as long as it sounds good played at an easy walking pace. This piece ends when the bride reaches the altar. When there are no other bridesmaids, other than the maid or matron of honor, the bride sometimes elects to enter to the same piece of music as the maid or matron of honor.


A triumphant, almost quickly paced piece played as the newlyweds walk up the aisle as husband and wife, followed by the wedding party


Lively selections played as guests file out. As with pre-ceremony music, specific requests and preferred categories are welcome.


Sample Wedding Playlists


Processional: Clarke: Chaconne

Bridal March: Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Musical Interlude: Bach: Arioso

Recessional: Handel: Hornpipe from Watermusic


Processional: Pachelbel: Canon in D

Bridal March: Wagner: Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin

Musical Interlude: Malotte: The Lord’s Prayer

Recessional: Mendelsshon: Wedding March

Opera Lover

Processional: Deblies: Flower Duet from Lakme

Bridal March: Puccini: Muzetta’s Waltz

Musical Interlude: Mascagni: Intermezzo, from “Cavelleria Rusticana”

Recessional: Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro (O My Beloved Father)


Processional: Vivaldi: Winter

Bridal March: Handel: Passacaglia

Musical Interlude: Bach: Prelude in C

Recessional: Handel: Sinfonia from Solomon (Arrival of the Queen of Sheba)

French Impressionistic, In the Garden of Monet

Processional: Debussy Claire de lune    

Bridal March: Debussy: La fille aux cheveux de lin

Musical Interlude: Satie: Gymnopedie No. 1

Recessional: Ravel: Pavane


Processional: Here Comes the Sun

Bridal March: Here, There and Everywhere

Musical Interlude: She’s Leaving Home

Recessional: All You need is Love


Processional: Mars: Marry You

Bridal March: Legend: All of me

Musical Interlude: Sheeran:  Photograph

Recessional: Coldplay: Viva La Vida

Classic Pop

Processional: Piaf: Hymne a l’amour

Bridal March: Sinatra: The Way You Look Tonight

Interlude: Garland: Over the Rainbow

Recessional: Armstrong; What a Wonderful World


Processional: Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast

Bridal March: At Last I see the Light from Rapunzel

Musical Interlude: Once Upon a Dream from The Sleepy Beauty

Recessional: A Whole New World from Aladdin

Rhythm + Blues

Processional: John: Can you feel the love tonight

Bridal March: Stevie Wonder: Ribbon in the Sky

Musical Interlude: Ritchie: Endless Love

Recessional: Gordon/Warren: At Last

Modern Romance

Processional:   Flightless Bird, American Mouth

Bridal March: Perri- A Thousand Years

Musical Interlude: Y River Flows in you

Recessional: Goulding-Love Me Like You Do 

(chain) Mail Favorites

Processional: Theme from Lord of the Rings

Bridal March: Storybook Love from The Princess Bride

Musical Interlude: Theme from Braveheart

Recessional: Theme from Game of Thrones


Processional: Shule Aroon

Bridal March: Celtic Wedding March

Musical Interlude: Believe me if all those endearing young charms

Recessional: Mairi’s Wedding

Church Wedding


Ready to plan the wedding of your dreams?

Start today! Contact Melissa to plan your dream wedding.


How do you dress for wedding ceremonies?

I usually wear formal black, similar to what you see orchestral musicians wear on stage at orchestra concerts.

How many pieces should I choose for my wedding processional and recessional?

For most weddings, I suggest that you make 2-3 musical selections for your processional and one for your recessional. For the processional, choose a selection for the wedding party and for the bride’s entrance.  You may also select a song for the Seating of the Mothers if this is part of your ceremony. 

The recessional selection will last for the entire exit of the entire wedding party. I will then segue into the postlude music for the exiting guests. 

What is prelude and postlude music? Do I need it for my wedding?

Prelude and postlude music help set the tone and ambiance for the beginning and end of wedding ceremonies. I choose a light blend of classical music to play as the guests are entering (prelude) and exiting (postlude) the ceremony venue. I. When I begin the prelude music, the mood in a room is completely transformed, providing a beautiful backdrop for your guests to mingle and feel welcomed as they arrive at your event. When I get a signal from the wedding coordinator, or see that the bridal party has lined up and is ready, I then segue into the processional music!

Does Melissa play for the wedding rehearsal?

Over the years I have found that it is not necessary for me to be at the wedding rehearsal. It is my job to make the music fit whatever is going on in the moment, and that may or may not be what gets rehearsed!  

Do you need to know the exact length of the music needed in order to time each of the entrances?

I am able to assess and tailor each musical selection to the exact length needed based upon length of aisle and number of people processing. I can gracefully end a piece at the right moment and quickly move on to the next piece without disturbing the ambiance of the wedding. Although a cue from a wedding consultant is helpful, it is not necessary.

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Reviews on The Knot

"I opted for a duo (cellist and harp) and they were both fantastic! Right from the beginning Melissa was very professional. Her responses were always timely and detailed (I planned the wedding in 3 months so time was extremely valuable). They arrived at the venue early (always a plus), played all the songs I had requested, and gave my ceremony that extra touch of awesome. She's professional, prompt, and talented. I want to host another event just to hire her again!"

-Kim T

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