Adding Music To Your Special Day
Music is also an essential part of weddings. Without music, most ceremonies are just dull and unexciting. Giving a personal touch to music for your most beautiful occasion can prove to be the most entertaining event for the day.
Music provides a beautiful, emotional element to your wedding and reception. Moreover, the music and songs you select will also help make your wedding uniquely your own. Here are some tips on how to enhance the different phases of your wedding with music.
You’ll most likely choose two different types of music for your ceremony and reception - softer, romantic music to be played or sung before, during, and after the ceremony, and entertaining or dancing music for the reception. In some cases, the same musicians are able to provide both. As an alternative, you might choose to have the church organist or soloist, or one set of musicians for the ceremony, and a band or entertaining DJ for your reception.
Should you wish to have music playing before the ceremony, instrumentals can establish an atmosphere for your guests and may include mood-setting pieces that your early-to-arrive guests can enjoy as they wait for the show to begin. For example, in traditional Jewish ceremonies, it is common to have a pre-ceremony reception or cocktail hour during which the bride and groom have separate chambers in which to greet guests, in addition to a common area where hors d’oeuvres and drinks are served. It is festive to have musicians and possibly a singer in the common area at this time to “warm up” the guests with some soft or lively music. Even chamber music wouldn’t be out of place.
For the ceremony, be sure to check with your site coordinator or officiant regarding any restrictions or limitations that might be in place on music selections. Some places of worship limit the music selections to whatever their own organist can play. However, there are numerous other options for your ceremony music, when allowed, including a harpist, violinist, string quartet, trumpeter, saxophonist, classical guitarist, keyboardist, flutist, and vocals or choir.
Your reception music can range from a refined background element during dinner to music for dancing. For example, a string quartet, violin or harp is a polished backdrop for your celebration, while a rock band or twelve-piece orchestra will provide a wider range of lively tunes. If you and your fiancé are strong music aficionados, you may even opt for different groups of musicians or even a DJ alternating with a band that specializes in your favorite style(s) throughout the reception — whether it’s jazz, rap or pop. Your style choices can also reflect your ethnic heritage, such as Latin, Klezmer or Irish step. Remember that good bands and DJs book up early, so you’ll need to start researching your options from nine to 12 months in advance. And, of course, be sure you have the chance to hear them in action before you decide to hire them.
While a live band might seem like the ultimate in wedding reception entertainment, keep in mind that most won’t have the same range of selection that an established DJ will. There will also be “dead air” when the band takes their scheduled breaks, unless you make arrangements for something to be played during that time. If you opt for a DJ, make sure you choose one who is both experienced and fun and can play a variety of songs, from slower traditional to ‘50s to rock and roll to faster contemporary music for dancing.
If you’d like to give guests a performance they’ll always remember, consider staging a humorous dance and/or lip-sync number to a popular tune with your fiancé and perhaps a couple of members of the wedding party. Keep it tasteful — remember, this may show up on your wedding video! But it is your wedding, so it’s OK to have fun and let your hair down a little. And if you and your fiancé have taken dance lessons and are proud of what you can do, go on out there and strut your stuff!
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