Music sets the tone and atmosphere of an event. The right music can pull your wedding plans together while the “wrong” music can offset any plans you may have made. Take the time to select the right music and the right venue. A formal evening wedding sets expectations for the music chosen, just as an informal beach wedding is best carried off with music that matches the surroundings. Seek out the advice of experts, audition musical groups and have a good sense of the mood you want to create for your wedding. Audition professionals who will have a real impact on your ceremony.
Before you fall in love with a “must have” playlist, be sure to check with the church or synagogue where your ceremony is to be held to learn of their requirements. If there are restrictions – you must follow them. If there are few, here are some guidelines that will be helpful as you plan this part of the ceremony.
*Music should begin about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. This introductory music is usually instrumental and designed to set the mood for the ceremony to follow. If you have planned a solo, it is customary for it to be sung just after the mother of the bride is seated. That is a signal to the guests that the professional is soon to begin.
*The processional is usually an instrumental that has a good beat to walk to. Once the attendants have all reached the altar, the music “changes” and announces the bride’s entrance and her walk down the aisle to the altar. The music chosen can be traditional or more contemporary depending on personal taste but try not to make a drastic change of mood or tone. It is usually an instrumental.
*One or two songs may be played or sung during the ceremony. More than that is considered too much. Again, they should reflect the tone of the ceremony.
*Recessional music is likely to be more upbeat as the wedding party exits. The bride and groom and the attendants should be smiling as they walk back down the aisle.
It is likely that you will want live music for the ceremony but pre-recorded music may be used in some places.
If you don’t know what music you want, consult an expert, chat with the musicians you’ve chosen or go online to sites which list music ideas.