17 Songs, 42 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

A Wedding By The Lake - Professional Review


Pachelbel’s “Canon” is a lovely piece however its overuse has started to degrade its appeal as a bridal entrance song. Additionally there have been numerous spoofs of Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” that many couples may decide against choosing this for their recessional. For those blissful couples planning their special matrimonial day and wanting romantically traditional classical music, R.J. Mitchell has composed an all-in-one album A Wedding by the Lake. This collection can be used as is or as a starting point for music selection. The sheet music is available for purchase online if live musicians are desired and Mitchell also provides helpful wedding planning information on his website to help couples from getting overwhelmed.

Minnesota-based Four Voices String Quartet breathe life into Mitchell’s compositions starting with “As We Gather,” a stately welcoming Baroque piece that would be most appropriate as the last song of the prelude prior to the seating of the family during the wedding ceremony. The quartet blends nicely as musical recollections of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” are conjured when the first violin plays brief shining melodic moments while the other strings accompany with block chords. “A Mother’s Love” is more solemn and poignant. An extended version of this piece is available making this song fitting for not just the seating of the family but also for the receiving line afterwards.

While the bride’s entrance is the main anticipated event, the flower girl’s promenade is equally as enticing. What perfect fit for her adorable walk down the aisle than “Rose Petals.” Special guest Min Kim adds harp to this piece along with the string quartet in this lovely, hushed, pure song of serenity that also holds a sense of anticipation. Now all eyes turn to the back of the room as the bride slowly processes in to “White Lace.” It is bright and lively, exuding happiness and sweet purity. Once the couple is now pronounced husband and wife, hand in hand they joyfully recess to “Jubilation.”

As an accomplished musician himself, Mitchell has provided the musical backdrop for countless wedding ceremonies and receptions. He is extremely familiar with the order of events and the mood each should depict throughout this monumental day. In addition to writing music for the wedding ceremony itself he has also composed numerous incidental pieces.

“Candle” is a solemn tune that could be played while the couple is lighting the unity candle if they wish to include that segment in their ceremony. It could also be inserted as one of the prelude pieces prior to the entrance of the wedding party. Other prelude pieces might include the playful “Prelude to Romance” with the strings sashaying around this jovial melody or the lilting succinct “Cupid’s Fancy.”

Once the couple is married, the music does not stop. It is time for the reception which usually starts with a cocktail hour as a transition phase. The tender waltz “With This Ring” would fit this setting or as background dinner music. “Hopes and Dreams” is a more rolling waltz with a glint of showiness. While suitable for cocktail hour, it also sounds like a dance scene from Camelot or some other lighthearted medieval romance. Another tune with a hint at Hollywood glamour is the amorous “Altar of Love.”

Mitchell’s tunes encompass a variety of musical tastes and styles. The string quartet performs the mischievous syncopated “Danse D’Amour” with ease as well as plays the modulation from minor to major keys in “The Journey Ahead” flawlessly. This imploring, evocative song is one of the most interesting on the album as is “Something Old, Something New.” This modern flowing song features nice chord progressions reminiscent of Debussy’s “La Mer.” With an air of sophistication the strings magnanimously play the triple pianissimo ending beautifully.

For a classical sounding wedding that is not filled with overplayed classical favorites, look no further than A Wedding by the Lake. Or for the avid string quartet aficionado Mitchell’s music is sure to delight.

Artist: R.J. Mitchell

Album Title:  A Wedding by the Lake (independent label)

Reviewers Name: Kelly O’Neil

Rating: 5 stars

Original wedding music!


I purchased the CD of "A Wedding By The Lake" because I wanted some non-traditional music for our recent wedding ceremony. It was held in the lobby of a hotel, and the reception was held in the adjoining ballroom. It was just what I was looking for! We used almost all of the pieces on the album, and our family and friends loved the selections. In addition, I wanted a good friend of ours to play a flute solo during the ceremony, and I was able to download the sheet music to one of my favorite pieces on the album easily. It really made our ceremony personal. I highly recommend this CD for brides looking for something special.

A Wedding By The Lake


What a refreshing change - original music for a wedding ceremony! I purchased this CD for our daughter, whose wedding was held last weekend. RJ's music was perfect for her ceremony - she chose "Rose Petals" for her bridesmaids and maid of honor, and then used "White Lace" for her own entrance. We used every selection on the CD for music before and after the ceremony. We received many compliments from our guests on our choice of music, and I am thrilled with this purchase. I highly recommend this CD - it made our daughter's wedding unique and beautiful.

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