Choosing the Right Wedding Music
by Michael Pearce
I remember many years ago, I attended a wedding of a young lady who was marrying a recently divorced older man, amid quite a lot of acrimony. As she was walking down the aisle, the music started to play. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, as the song, believe it or not, was “Don’t Marry Her, Marry Me”, by the Beautiful South.
It certainly created a buzz, and in fact was the most memorable thing about the wedding, although I’m not sure whether his grown up child ( the one who actually attended ) was amused!! However, it perfectly illustrates how important Wedding Music is, when you want to set the tone of your big day.
Music is the life of your wedding. It sets the tone, creates the mood and speaks of your love for one another. Depending on what you choose, your music can greatly enhance your wedding. How do you go about choosing the kind of music for your big day? Follow these easy steps to flawlessly choosing the perfect music for you.
First, realize that different music will be played during different times throughout your wedding. What might be appropriate for your reception may not be for when guests are arriving, etc. While the music may be different, you might want to stick to the same musical theme. For example, if you hire a string quartet to play at your ceremony, it would probably be best to have a live band at your wedding instead of a DJ. But if you choose a compilation of prerecorded music, a DJ might work better for your reception. You might want to create a feeling of solemnity while guests are arriving, to demonstrate the importance of the day. Or, you may wish to hear something more sentimental, such as your favorite songs as a couple. You may also consider something upbeat, that creates a feeling of excitement you can share with your guests, as in the case of my friends’ wedding. There are so many choices you can make, it will take some time to decide what suits you best.
Whatever your musical choices, you will need to choose a specific piece of music to walk down the aisle with. Some traditional choices are the Wedding March, or Pachabell Cannon, but nearly any piece of music that you find beautiful will work for you. Keep in mind that the music will cease when you get to the end of the aisle, so the length of the aisle is important. You don’t want a piece of music with a long introduction, when the aisle is only 10 metres long! You can cue the music to start in a certain section so you hear the part you want while you walk down the aisle.
You also may choose to have shorter pieces of music played during your ceremony. This can create such a beautiful moment for you and your guests to reflect on your marriage and wedding, and allow you to take a moment to revel in the experience. You can choose pieces that have meaning for you, or you can ask family members that you wish to honor to choose something significant. This is particularly good during the signing of the register, which can generally be a bit boring for the guests, but if you have included them in the selection of music, then this can enhance their experience. Either way, it is a great way to add a personal touch to your ceremony.
For your reception, you will want to take the time to make a ‘play’ and ‘do not play’ list. Unless you want hardcore heavy metal or rap, you will need to make your choices clear to your DJ or band. No matter how confident you might feel about the choices your DJ or band might make, you really want to make these lists, as they communicate clearly what your expectations are. Don’t forget that your guests will make requests, and it will be easier for your musicians or DJ to say no to these requests if you have created a definitive list.
Your music choices set the tone for your wedding, it is a chance to personalize and add the sentimental charm that makes your wedding uniquely your own. Have fun with your selections and don’t forget to include music which suits all age groups at your wedding. One last thing, at the reception it is always a good idea to choose songs which everybody knows, especially just after the first dance, when you want your guests dancing happily, not downing the champagne at your expense.