Wedding ceremony music tends to be softer, usually classical wedding music, but often popular, country, jazz or ballads.
There should be about three to five songs played as a Prelude when the guests are seated, then sometimes a special song when Grandparents, the Groom’s Parents and the Mother of the Bride are seated.
There are sometimes two selections during the Processional, one when the Bridesmaids enter, and the most dramatic as the Bride walks down the aisle. It can also be just one musical selection for both.
How do you make the length of the music equal the time it takes for everyone to walk down the aisle?
If you have musicians they will know what to do – so will a DJ. If you are providing your own music:
First Select someone who knows how to operate the devise and is prepared before the wedding day. Tom has seen a bride hand a devise to a 12-year-old nephew five minutes before the Processional. He was unfamiliar with the devise – but all went well – it was a good choice that day – but sometimes these last minute handoffs have failed badly. Be Prepared.
Second Record the processional selection/s two or three times – much longer than it will take to walk down the aisle.
Third Fade out the music when it’s no longer needed.
The most joyous music is played in the Recessional, when the Bride and Groom leave together – followed by the wedding party.
There can be special songs at different points in the ceremony, such as after exchanging the rings and vows, or lighting the Unity Candle. Usually the only music is when something is happening – for a Unity Candle or Mixing of Sand.
When there are live musicians there is sometimes a selection by them – but usually not so with a CD player, an iPod, or even a DJ with recorded music. The musicians can be watched so there is action, like a Unity Candle or Sand Mixing can be watched. So the music has some action with it.
Once upon a Wedding, a Bride who wanted four stops for music – Country Western – played on a CD with no action taking place. Tom warned her this was a lot, “but these are my favorite four songs.” In the middle of the second selection she whispered to him – “You were right.” But, of course, at that point it was in the program and too late to delete the last two songs. You lose the audience when it’s only recorded music with no action – it’s like being trapped on an elevator.
Once upon another wedding, the Bride had a Bagpiper with four no action musical interludes. This will work great once, and maybe twice, but the Bagpiper was in his glory and played too long on each of the four times. It was St. Patrick’s Day, but the audience began to fidget and the ceremony, with the 14 pages of wording the Bride selected, lasted an hour.
Music is wonderful at a wedding, but remember all things should be in moderation.
All these selections have been played at weddings that Tom performed. The selection is placed under a heading because that’s where it was played – but a Prelude selection would work as well for Postlude and even in another part of the ceremony. Go on line to listen to the selection and then you decide where it would fit best in your wedding.