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!
Last week we talked about the importance of music for setting the tone of your event. What kind of event do people expect when they sit down and hear your music? Today we’re talking about the second reason music is so important for a wedding.
Music tells the story of the couple. The songs you choose set the tone not only for your day, but for the rest of your marriage. What are the pillars your marriage will stand on? What is it about your relationship that will stand the test of time? If you are having a religious ceremony, is there a particular hymn that speaks to your relationship with God as a couple and how he is at the center of your marriage? For a non-religious wedding, perhaps there is a song that just takes all your feelings about each other and perfectly puts them into words that you could never come up with so succinctly on your own. This can be extrapolated to the reception as well: your wedding party entrance song, first dance song, father-daughter song, mother-son song…all of these have very particular emotions and vibes associated with them…what are the emotions and vibes you want to convey? Fun? Sweet? Loving? Again, music is a universal language. Music starts playing, lyrics are sung, and everyone knows what’s up. That rustic centerpiece on the table – it’s nice for creating atmosphere, but does each guest experience your love story the same way because of it?
Tune in next Tuesday for part 3 of 4!
Alternatively titled: “Things to consider when planning your wedding music.”
I'm a day late for Wedding Tip Tuesday, but I really want to talk to you about the importance of music in a wedding.
I truly do believe music is the most important part of any wedding, particularly the ceremony. Why do I believe this? First, music sets the tone for any event. If you’re having a very formal wedding, do you want classical music playing to set an elegant tone? If you’re having a religious ceremony, will your guests know they are in a holy environment just by the music they hear? If you’re having a beach wedding, do you want people to get in that party mood right from the get-go? In the same way, playing classical music at a backyard wedding can make the whole event seem more upscale if that's what you're going for, or if your venue is a chapel, but you play the latest Top 40 hits, that sends a whole different message to the guests than if you chose to play hymns or classical music.
Decorations, pretty dresses, hair and makeup, are all part of making the day feel more special, but music is a universal language. It speaks to everyone and has an effect on your guests that, even if all those other little details were gone, would still convey the most important message: why they’re all here (which is to celebrate your union in marriage) and what type of event this is going to be. .
Tune in next Tuesday for Part 2 of 4! 💜💛
If you don't want to hire a full-on wedding planner, you may want to consider a day-of coordinator or enlist a friend or family member to play this role. A day-of coordinator can make the big day go much smoother, from directing vendors during set-up, to making sure the ceremony runs according to schedule. From a musician stand-point, it's especially nice to have someone making sure the parents, wedding party, and bride are all lined up for the procession and then give a cue for when to start each song to make sure everyone walks at the correct time. It takes the guess-work out for the wedding party and bride as well, so they can feel confident as they walk down the aisle. :)