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