Generally, you will need about 10 pieces of music from prelude to postlude. We will be happy to work with you and help you make your music decisions. Ultimately the decisions are up to you, but here is some guidance to get you started. Your wedding ceremony music should include:
Fifteen to thirty minutes of music for the guests as they walk in and find their seats. The musicians will play a beautiful mix of classics and love songs. If there are specific pieces of music you would like your guests to hear during the prelude, you are welcome to make requests!
Prelude music should be soft and with a formal touch, to let everyone know that the important event will start soon. Most brides and grooms today choose a mix of contemporary love songs, while some prefer traditional Handel, Mozart, and Bach.
the Family Processional and Wedding Party Processional
Specific songs for your family members and attendants processing down the aisle before you. Depending on how many family members or bridesmaids/groomsmen you have, you may need more than one piece of music.
The processionals should be songs that have meaning to you. Any song can work as a processional if it is played with a processional feeling (which we know how to do!). You can make traditional choices such as the Pachelbel Canon and the Bridal Chorus, or popular love songs of today such as “A Thousand Years” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” or you can choose your own special songs.
Please note: Many song changes will require the musicians to be present at your rehearsal, which will be billed as an additional booking as long as the musicians are available.
the Bride or Groom’s Processional
The key song to be played as the bride, groom, or couple walk down the aisle. Traditions are changing! Our Western marriage ceremony came from the viewpoint that the bride was being given away from her family to another. Today, many women don’t see themselves this way. Brides and grooms today look at the entrance music as “their time to shine.”
For weddings with one bride and one groom, a thought regarding the idea of a groom’s processional, coming from years of wedding experience: The groom is the king of the day. If he’s part of the processional of family and wedding party, it’s hard to tell that he’s the king. The purpose behind the family and wedding party processionals is that these are the people who are supporting the bride and groom. That’s why traditionally the groom hasn’t been part of the processional. (And of course the bride is the queen of the day!)
the Ceremonial Music
If your ceremony includes a candle lighting, sand ceremony, memorial tribute, or any time that no one is talking, it’s nice to have background music to cover the silence. Any ceremonial music you include should be quiet, reverent, and flowing. The musicians can provide appropriate choices for your candle lighting or presentations to the parents.
Please note: We don’t recommend music playing while the officiant is conducting your ceremony, or while you are saying your vows. It can be a distraction and make it difficult for the guests to hear the words, and we know from experience that many officiants don’t allow it.
Would you like to have a special song played or sung while everyone quietly listens? Talk to us about options!
The newly married couple takes their walk back down the aisle together as everyone claps and cheers. The wedding party will also walk out to this music. It should be upbeat and joyful.
More nice music for the guests, as they exit and segway to the cocktail hour. One song or classical piece is almost always enough.
the Cocktail Hour, Dinner, and Reception
Are we also playing your reception music? You can make up to three specific song requests for each hour. We want to help you create your individual flavor for the wedding, so please give us general guidance (such as “play upbeat modern pop songs” or “play Sinatra and Broadway tunes”). It’s part of the joy of being a musician to “read the crowd” and keep the event flowing — this is one of the advantages of having live musicians instead of recorded music. And of course we will need to know your first dance songs.
Have a great time picking out your music!