25 Jan 2015 Admin

How to Pick Your Wedding Music

Weddings are special occasions that require careful planning in order to be pulled off without any major setbacks. One aspect that may be overlooked during the planning phase is the type of music used during the ceremony and afterwards at the reception. Often, couples find themselves leaving this out until it dawns on them how vital song selection really is. But what may seem to be an overwhelming task – especially if being done without the help of a professional – can be achieved through proper planning, and some tips from the experts. 

Before jumping right in to song selection, it’s best to take a moment to understand the parts of the wedding ceremony that requires music. 

Parts of the Wedding Ceremony for Music

1. Prelude
This is the part 15 to 30 minutes before the wedding ceremony actually starts, and as the guests start to arrive. While it isn't exactly a requirement, having a playlist to fill the venue with songs is undoubtedly a lot better than awkward silence in the church or the wedding hall. Other than entertaining guests, playing music during this period of waiting also a great way of setting the tone for the ceremony, and gives guests a glimpse of what to expect in the next hour or so.

2. Processional
The processional is the part where the ushers, bridesmaids, and the couple themselves walk down the aisle. In other words, this is the bride’s big moment where all eyes are on her as she heads towards her groom up front. Having a different song for the ushers and bridesmaids, and another for the bride can make much more of an impact for the bride’s entrance. Traditional brides may opt for something classic, but it all really depends on taste. Whether it’s something solemn, or something akin to a rock anthem, the music for the processional ought to make the bride and groom happy and in a celebratory mood.  

3. During the Ceremony
Couples may choose to have music being played at some points in the ceremony, such as before a reading, in an interlude, or while the unity candle is being lit. Music played can be an instrumental piece to serve as a background melody, or it can be a meaningful song sung by a soloist or a choir. In the absence of a live band or string quartet, recorded music can also be played.

4. Recessional
This is the part where the newly-wedded couple gets to walk back down the aisle in triumph as they celebrate the fact that they just got hitched. Music used during the recessional should be something loud and joyful, as it signifies the celebratory mood that the couple is in after finally tying the knot. Music played while the couple exits the church or wedding hall is usually powerful and a lot quicker than what was played during the processional.

Tips on Choosing Wedding Reception Music

1. Consider the type of ceremony
Traditional weddings between Catholics, for example, are held at a church, and would most likely have a choir perform songs during the ceremony.  A garden wedding may offer more than ample space for a band to set up and play. Knowing what type of ceremony the wedding will have narrows down the choices that need to be made regarding wedding music. 

2. Decide between live music and pre-recorded songs
This depends on the availability of performers, and of course, the couple’s budget. Live wedding bands that have been around for a long time are great, but if the wedding venue cannot accommodate them, it may be best to play recorded songs compiled into a playlist from a laptop.

3. Listen to the band play before hiring them 
When getting a live wedding band, it’s always a good decision to watch and hear them perform live first before signing any deals. This is important in order to ensure that their type of playing matches well with the kind of wedding music you may have in mind.

4. Choose music that satisfies both the bride and the groom
It’s not just the bride’s wedding, it’s also the grooms. So brides have a heart – let the groom get a word in when it comes to music selection.

5. Ask for help when necessary
Music selection may seem easy, but it can be a daunting task. When it all gets too much to handle, it’s always a great idea to call in some professionals, such as Music for Scotland, to help out.

Some couples may opt to stick to traditions and have all the expected kinds of instrumentals played while they get married. However, nowadays, picking music that actually has a lot of meaning for the bride and groom has been getting more and more common. When choosing what type of music to play during the wedding reception, it’s not so much as what’s ideal but what suits both the bride and groom’s tastes and preferences. At the end of the day, the wedding is about the two people getting married.