The music is a key part of any wedding ceremony. The music sets the tone for the event. It tells your guests what kind of ceremony they can expect, and gets them in the mood for the celebration to come. Picking the right music can be stressful, but these steps will lead you on the path of choosing your perfect wedding ceremony music.
Look at Your Ceremony Style
The overall feel of your ceremony should give you a clue as to what type of music you should choose for your ceremony. You should establish the overall feeling you are trying to create. Whether it is casual and upbeat or formal and traditional, the aesthetics and ambiance of your wedding ceremony should coincide with your music choice.
This will influence not only the songs you choose, but the accompaniment as well. A beach ceremony may go for an acoustic guitar, a luxurious garden ceremony may go for a string quartet, or a house of worship ceremony may go for a piano or organ. It is important to note that you don’t need to feel limited by the type of accompaniment you choose. Many of your favorite songs likely have instrumental versions you can choose from, so don’t be afraid to pair your favorite genre with an unexpected instrument!
Check in with Your Venue and Think of Acoustics
Before booking a musician, you’ll want to touch base with your venue staff to see if there are any rules you should be aware of. Venues may have certain restrictions in place, or logistical constraints. A house of worship, for example, may only allow certain religious music options. The acoustics of a venue can also affect your choices. For example, if your ceremony is outdoors, any music with vocals might be difficult to hear—it’s probably best to stick with instrumentals.
Choose a Cohesive Theme
Try to think of a theme for your songs so that they blend well together. This might mean they have a similar tempo, come from the same genre, or are from the same time period. Pick any theme that will help tie your songs together!
Reflect on Your History as a Couple
When it comes to choosing songs, look back on some of the memories you have made as a couple, and see if that sparks any ideas. Maybe you went to a concert together, maybe there was a memorable song playing during your first date, or maybe there is a special song that always reminds you of your soon-to-be spouse. You could even look at what music was popular around the time that you started dating, and see if there are any good sentimental options from then.
Check Out Your Musicians Song List
Once you’ve chosen a musician, look over what they already have to offer. Many wedding musicians will have a list of the music that they already know how to play, and may even have demos of them playing those songs. Look into this list to see if anything sparks your interest. If not, don’t worry—many musicians are able to work with a selection of your choice, so long as there is sheet music available for their instrument.
Break Down the Different Songs
Once you have your musician selected and have some ideas of the songs you’ll want them to play, you’ll need to assign them to different stages of the ceremony. Your musician will have experience with this, and can help you make these selections. The stages include the following:
- Prelude Music: The prelude songs serve as the welcoming music for the guests, and set the tone for the ceremony. You may want to veer towards more upbeat songs, and will need to select around 20 to 30 minutes of music.
- Wedding Party Processional: This music plays as the wedding party walks down the aisle. Since they’ll be walking to it, it is a good idea to find music with a tempo that matches a comfortable walking pace.
- Bride’s Processional: The wedding party processional music will pause briefly, and then the bridal music will play for the bride’s entrance. Of course, this music choice depends entirely on what the bride wants, but this song might have a bit more drama than the previous music.
- Recessional: The recessional music kicks off the reception, so something more up-tempo and lively is fitting. You’ll want a selection that will get guests in a celebrating state-of-mind!
- Postlude Music: You may want to choose some postlude music for after the recessional, as the guests are leaving the ceremony space. You’ll likely want to continue with music similar to what you choose for the recessional.
- Interlude Songs: Depending on the structure of your ceremony, interlude music may be helpful to avoid any awkward silences during transitions.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!