Two adjectives com to mind when I think of wedding reception music: simple & joyful. Simple because the music is in the background as an addition to all the other beautiful things surrounding it. Joyful because of the occasion of two lives who have just joined together.
The list below is not exhaustive but includes some classical pieces that suit the mood of a wedding reception. All of these are piano solo music.
- M. Clementi
6 Sonatinas (Op. 36)
- Georg Friedrich Handel:
Courante (from Suite in Bb Major, HWV 440)
- Joseph Haydn
Sonatensatz (Hob. XVI:10), Sonata in D Major, “Tempo di Menuetto” (Hob. XVI:33)
- Edward MacDowell
To a Wild Rose
Songs Without Words, “Confidence” (Op. 19, No. 4)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Minuet in G Major (KV 1/1e)
- Domenico Scarlatti
Minuet in Bb Major (K440),
Original Dance, Waltz (Op. 9, No. 11), Waltz (Op. 9, No. 3), Moment Musical (op. 94, D 780)
Whether or not a person chooses the musical pieces listed above, I would recommend finding accessible music. For example, music which is a level or two under what the pianist would learn for a recital. Buying an anthology of piano music that is at a specific level can be helpful because it will contain many suitable songs which have the right mood and which are at the same difficulty. Another source of sheet music is imslp.org which contains public domain classical pieces for piano solo or piano with accompaniment. Keeping in mind that every couple is different will be of help in choosing music as some couples may prefer very calm, romantic music while others may enjoy music which is a bit more lively.
Enjoy playing through music and finding pieces which will suit the mood of the occasion–simple and joyful!