Over the last three weeks I’ve given you my professional opinion on the three big reasons why music is so important to the wedding ceremony: it sets the tone for the event, it helps tell the couple’s love story, and it has practical programming purposes. Now I want to tell you about my personal experience with planning the music for my wedding.
Before I even had a ring, as soon as it was obvious the wedding was coming, I knew the very first thing we had to plan, before the venue, before the food, before the decorations, was the music and scripture readings because lyrics and music are so powerful. I am a “words of affirmation” person, so getting the message just right that the music and scripture readings would convey was very important to me. Even if everyone hated the food we chose, I wanted to make sure they knew what kind of marriage we planned to have, and the only way to communicate that was through the music (and scripture readings for a religious ceremony). Our ceremony was very God-focused, as that is the most important aspect of our marriage and our music choices reflected that, and then at the reception our wedding party entrance song was very fun and goofy because that’s another side to our marriage, and our first dance song was sweet and loving, because when it comes down to just the two of us, we will always be there to be each other’s dance partner.
If I could give you two pieces of advice in conclusion to all of this, when it comes to planning your music, I would say:
1) Don’t wait until the last minute to try to book your musicians. People tend to think that music is easy to throw together and that they can wait until the last month or even week before the wedding to try and get it nailed down. Besides the fact that musicians actually have lives and may not be available that short-notice, music takes time to get the choices just right and then obtain the music and take time to practice and rehearse with the other musicians. If I’ve been able to convey to you at all how important music is for your wedding ceremony, I hope you would feel it is as important to book ahead of time as your venue or photographer.
2) Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you are unsure, let someone who is an experienced wedding musician help you plan your ceremony and help choose the music that’s right for you and your event. I would be honored to be that person for you. <3
So far, on the topic of The Importance of Music, we’ve discussed the tone your music sets for your event and how the music you choose is an embodiment of your personal love story.
Music also plays a logistical role. Imagine the bride walking down the aisle and it’s dead silent. She’s just walking, and everyone’s staring at her, and what feels like ten minutes later (it was one and a half) she’s finally up at the altar. Awkward for everyone. Now, if that’s your style, that’s cool. But for most people, you want something to fill the silence that simultaneously is enhancing all the feelings you’re feeling right now: love, excitement, bliss, whimsy…You’ll want to choose an appropriate song, but what’s appropriate? The answer is: whatever feels right to you. Appropriate could be the traditional Canon in D, or it could be A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Perhaps you’re doing some kind of unity ceremony, be it sand, candle, ropes, etc. You could take all of 30 seconds to do this and be done, or you could choose to revel in the moment by picking a very meaningful song, taking your time for this special moment, and if you finish before the song is over, take this moment to sit together, take a breather from the events of the day, listen to the lyrics of the beautiful music you’ve chosen, bask in each other’s love and meditate on the vows you just made, take in all the finer details of the day you probably haven’t had time to notice yet, or take a good like at all the people who are here to celebrate you. These are just a couple examples of the programmatic role music plays.
If you’re lost for how to plan your ceremony or how to make it last just a little longer to get the most out everything you’ve planned and paid for already (I.e dress, decorations, hair and makeup, etc.), that’s where I come in: your resident music coordinator/planner. I can help you figure out where we could add an extra song to give your ceremony some extra flair or how to make your most important moments the most meaningful.
I’m just a call or click away.
Tune in next week for the conclusion to our four-part series!