So you've got the date, the ceremony and reception venues booked - now comes the tricky part - the details!
If you are wondering what music to choose for your ceremony then I've don't worry - I've created this series of mini guides to get you started and provided audio links so that you can listen to the top traditional and contemporary
I'll lead you through these important considerations and provide pros and cons and tips for each:
- When will I need music during my ceremony?
- What music should I choose?
- Live Music vs Pre-recorded
Why have music playing?
Music will really add to the atmosphere of the ceremony (regardless of either a church or civil ceremony setting) and create the mood and anchor-in wonderful memories that will be triggered in the future every time you hear the music that you selected.
When To Play Music During a Wedding Ceremony
In short, there are two moments - possibly three during a wedding ceremony that you'll want to have music playing - some couples opt for more, but for now let's just focus on the basics:
- Processional (the music that the Bride walks down to the aisle to);
- Interludes (the music that is played whilst you are signing the register); and
- Recessional (the music that you both leave the ceremony to).
Live Music Vs Recorded Music
Before you choose the music - have a think about how you might like the music to be played:
For church weddings then there may be an organ in the church and an organist available to you as part of the church hire package. Be sure to discuss your thoughts regarding music with your organist early on in the wedding planning, as some processional and recessional tunes are notoriously difficult to play and you don't want anything distracting from the gorgeous Bride entering / the Happy Couple leaving.
Alternatives to church organs are keyboards (popular for civil ceremony weddings), classical guitars, harps or string quartets - but don't limit yourselves to tradition - if you are both really keen jazz fanatics then why not liven things up a little - especially during the Recessional!
If using recorded music then assign a responsible member of your wedding party to be in charge of it. An Usher is a good choice - have a run through with them before the wedding - perhaps at the wedding ceremony rehearsal which will give you an idea of the volume levels that you require.
If you are plugging into a venue Public Address (PA) system then you will definitely want to test it out before hand. Remember to set your volume levels a little louder than you think it needs, as a room full of people will deaden the sound considerably.
Don't forget spare batteries / chargers / extension leads. Your venue may have extension leads, but if you need to bring your own the venue may insist on valid Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certified equipment and power cables. [I am finding that I'm increasingly being asked to show my Equity Public Liability Insurance Certificate at weddings and wedding fayres in addition to PAT tested certificates for my laptop and power cables.]
Here are some top suggestions for traditional music to get you started - just click on each button to listen!
Arioso - Bach
Canon in D - Pachelbel
Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin - Wagner (the classic "here comes the bride")
The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - Handel
Traditional Wedding March (Midsummer Night's Dream - Mendelssohn
Autumn (from the Four Seasons) - Vivaldi
Alla Hornpipe (from Water Muisc) - Handel
Ode to Joy - Beethoven
The following are suggestions for music that can be played during the signing of the register:
Air With Variations(Sheep May Safely Graze) - Bach
Ave Maria - Schubert
Spring (from The Four Seasons) - Vivaldi
Look out for forthcoming guides in this series where I'll be covering contemporary and stylised music.
Let me know what you think of these suggestions using the comment box below and if you are considering something out of the ordinary I'd also love to hear from you!