Your wedding ceremony music sets the mood and tone for your ceremony. It settles your guests as the arrive and announces the start and end of your ceremony. It is like frosting on a cake and provides a real sweetness to the experience
Aisle Length and Song Duration The distance you have to walk for your ceremony processional and recessional will have a profound impact on your wedding songs. Your aisle is essentially from your processional staging area all of the way to the front of the guests. If your aisle is short, your music may not even get through the intro before your processional finishes. And if your aisle is really long your songs may end before you’re done.
Live Musicians If you have live musiciansplaying for your ceremony they can make adjustments to the start and finish of your music, manage transitions gracefully and make it just the right length and cover exactly what you want. There is also something very personal and inviting about live music that really helps set the stage for your ceremony. Of course, if you’re really set on hearing a recording of your favorite musician, then a live musicianis probably not for you.
Elite Entertainment, Wedding DJs
Disc Jockeys If you have a DJplaying your wedding music you’ll have a couple of decisions to make. You will have to decide how to handle what happens when you transition from the bridal party processional music and the music for the bride’s entrance. You’ll also have to decide what happens once the bride finishes the procession and the music is still playing. Do you want the DJto fade out the music or do you want everyone to stand there while the music finishes? If you want it to fade out, do you want it to fade out right when the procession finishes or do you want the DJto wait for a good moment in the music? And on that note, before you hastily decide to let the processional music finish on its own, think about what it will be like to be standing in front of your wedding guests waiting for the song to finish. It can be a bit awkward for everyone with your guests standing and all eyes on you waiting for something to happen.
DIY Music What if you’re doing the wedding ceremony music yourself? Frankly, I don’t recommend it. I’ve seen several weddings where the DIY music didn’t start on time (awkward) or for technical issues the songs didn’t play at all (really awkward). However, if you do choose this path, please use a dedicated music player, such as an iPod or MP3 player, a customized playlist and a speaker big enough to project through the space (the bluetooth speaker you bought at BestBuyis not going to cut it). Practice cannot be overstated and yet the odds will still be stacked against you that everything will go as planned (that’s why there are professionals). So be prepared for hiccups.
Music and the Wedding Officiant I arrive an hour or so before the ceremony to, amongst other things, work out music cues with whoever is providing music. This includes discussing cues for starting and stopping music, fade outs and or any repeats as may be necessary.
As a wedding officiant, sometimes the music runs longer than it was supposed to run. Trying to talk over music that is playing is not good form. It just doesn’t sound right and it makes it appear like something didn’t go as planned. So expect me to wait with a smile on my face until the music finishes before I begin speaking again. And don't look to my partner, Micah Sturr for a different opinion. He'll tell you the same thing. Remember, your guests don’t really know what was planned and as long as it looks intentional no one will notice.
If music doesn’t play as it should, or something unplanned occurs, it is best to take a page out of the ‘show must go on’ theater playbook, roll with it and keep going like it was intentional (as much as possible at least). As your officiant and host of your ceremony, I will keep things moving smoothly and deflect attention away from unplanned moments.
Music Choices Typically everyone is quiet and calm while getting seated and during the processional, but cheering and elated during the recessional. Your music should contribute to the feel of your ceremony as a whole. When I create a custom ceremony I always keep in mind that we are building to one big moment: the kiss and the cheer that follows!
When guests arrive and are taking their seats, a little music can help ease their mind that they are in the right place and doing what they need to do. Your guests are new to all of this and don’t really know what to expect until you tell them or provide enough hints and clues for them to get it. Playing some music at your ceremony site really helps your guests feel like they are in the right place at the right time.
When selecting processional songsor bridal entrance songs, think about songs that move you and can be used as a starting point for the feel of your ceremony. These songs are literally setting the stage for all that follows. Again, pay attention to long intros or other anomalies in songs that may not make them an ideal selection for the procession.
Unless you have a particularly long ceremony or some otherwise lengthy pauses during unity ceremonies, I would recommend staying away from music during the ceremony. In-ceremony music can take you and your guests out of the moment and turn the focus away from you. Additionally, it adds some complexity and creates more opportunities for things to not go as planned. However, if you’re ceremony is a bit longer, a song can be a welcome break from speaking. Or if you are doing a unity ceremony that gathers items from your guests during the ceremony or requires some set up, some music can be a good way to transition.
When you think about recessional songs, think about something upbeat that matches the emotion you’re expecting and that can pierce through a cheering crowd. This will be the moment that everything has led up to so be sure to pick the music to make it just right!