Selecting Your Wedding Music

This is a great article that was originally written by BellaB at Completely Weddings in October of 2008 and thought it was great to publish again for our blog readers with credit going to Completely Weddings for their superior writing skills….


Finding the perfect soundtrack for the first day of the rest of your lives together.

Wedding Music

Wedding Music

The music that you select for your wedding ceremony and reception will set the tone, and provide a calming, soothing, backdrop for your event.  While there may be some similarities, selecting ceremony music and selecting reception music are generally two completely separate tasks.

Ceremony Music
For the ceremony, you should first find out what the rules are for your location.  Some places allow pre-recorded music, while other more traditional churches may not have the right facilities for this.  Next, decide which parts of ceremony will need music.

You will need a piece for the processional and recessional at a minimum.  You may also want music to play while the guests are being seated, and something special just before the processional beings.  If there is a unity candle ceremony, this is another time when a short piece may be appropriate.

The most traditional choices for instrumental wedding music are a piano or organ, or a small group of classical instruments such as flute, harp, and stringed instruments.  Some couples choose to hire a vocalist to sing for the ceremony.  Whatever your choice, the ceremony music should be subdued and a bit demure. You want it to set a nice subtle backdrop for the event.  If you have a vocalist, it is important that their performance not take away from what you really want your guests to be looking at – the bride.

Reception Music
For the reception, many people elect to hire a band or DJ to handle the music.  Another option that is become more and more popular for thrifty couples is to simply use a stereo and burn a CD of the music you want, or hook up an iPod with a special playlist created for the event.  No matter what your choice, you should consider a few special songs.  You will probably want to decide on something that is very meaningful to you for the father-daughter dance, as well as the couple’s first dance.  For the other songs, you select a variety of pieces that you think your guests will enjoy dancing to.

Listen to Samples
When you have an idea of what type of music you would like, it’s time to start listening to samples.  One easy way to do this, is to go to your local library and check out several CDs.  There are many compilations that are put together especially for weddings.  You can also listen to some classical pieces that may suit your wedding. For the reception, if you don’t already have some special songs in mind, check out some of your favorite artists.

You can also listen to hundreds of popular wedding songs and music through iTunes or Windows Media Player.  Watch wedding music videos and build the perfect wedding playlist at Wedding Wire.   Below is one of my favorite love song “Because You Loved Me“  featuring from one of my favorite artists Celine Dion.  You can listen to 11 more Celine songs at the end of this video.


Live Performers
If you are booking any live performers, it is important that you listen to an audition first.  You should probably audition at least three different performers or groups.  This way you will be able to better define what you like and dislike about various performers.  Not only will this help you make the best decision possible, but an awareness of the musical style you prefer can be helpful when you are explaining to your hired musicians just how you want them to perform.  Keep in mind that professional musicians should have no problem playing a piece a little slower or faster.  They can also increase or decrease the volume at certain points in the music to coincide with you entrance or other important moments.

Final Words for your Wedding Music
The last thing that you need to remember with your ceremony music is to have the recorded piece or the musicians available for the rehearsal.  Practicing the music in the ceremony location is vital to having a successful performance.  There may be surprising acoustics in your location that need to be compensated for.  Professional musicians will be prepared to do this, but this is something that needs to be taken care of ahead of time.  Be honest with everyone you have hired for your wedding music.  They will be eager to help you, but it’s important that you and your fiancé find constructive ways to describe your needs.  By working together, you can put the perfect musical backdrop behind your event.

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